Mental maladies like depression belong to a group of ailments that picks its victims silently and subjects them to endless stress and distress. So how do we cope with the attack? Here are 3 simple ways to retain our sanity – which starts with a fit mind – when everything seems to be breaking apart and we are suffering from depression:
1. BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
Channelize your ruffled energies and confused anxieties into celebrating the relationships that really matter in your life. Rekindle the magic of companionship by building a buffer of family, friends and acquaintances that can act as a sponge, sucking away the stress and leaving you refreshed.
2. STAY REALISTIC
As the joke goes, while the optimist considers the half-filled glass as full, and the pessimist interprets it as empty, it is the realist who drinks it and feels happy. This formula works well in real life too. Be it professional or personal life, most of the time it is our own expectations and the standards we set for ourselves - more than what others have from us – that doesn’t let us de-stress and exhale. It is important to realize that we can only plan our journeys – not ensure their success – so stop taking your goals and dreams too seriously. And when you do set targets, keep them realistic, adjusting for uncertainties and keeping some leeway for surprises. This won’t just help you feel lighter and livelier, which is critical to a healthy mind, but can also lead to better life-work outcomes.
3. NURTURE GOOD HABITS
The power of habit is often under-rated. As the famous saying goes: “We are what we do repeatedly - Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Be it a more responsible diet, regular exercise or getting enough sleep, intelligent habits can go a long way to building a fitter mind. Get creative and add to this habit-list by exploring new hobbies and activities, helping out with household chores (which also fetches you the bonus benefits of exercise) and unwinding with music or a rejuvenative home massage/spa treatment. Research has also shown that having a pet works wonders for the mind. Needless to say, whichever approach you adopt (and you can adopt more than one from this list), take adequate steps to ensure safety, cleanliness and hygiene at every step.
The mind is our most valuable possession. Take good care of it, and it will take care of you… for life.
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