3 ways to ease the symptoms of depression

Struggling with the blues is not easy. However, you can do some things on your own to help relieve some of the pain and discomfort.

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  • Depression is a very real and sad reality. All of us experience times of joy and sadness; it is part of life. If we are not diligent in managing our moods, we can get stuck in the cycle of sadness. There are a few ways that will help you break free from periods of depression and experience some of the joys of life. Having something enjoyable to look forward to, surrounding yourself with happy people and learning something new are some of the tools that can help you ease the pain and discomfort that comes with depression.

  • Have something to look forward to

  • We all get weighed down with heavy burdens. Sometimes it can seem like we are slaves to our employers, our creditors and even the normal demands of life. When you feel like there is a constant stream of work to do with no relief in sight, it’s time for a break. When life's stresses pile upon us, it is vital to have something to look forward to. You do not have to have some extravagant plans; it can be something as simple as a delicious meal or a few minutes of quiet time with your family.

  • Remember that each member of the family has a unique set of demands in life. Create a culture in your home that allows each family member to defuse stress and anxiety by doing something fun together. Having family activities in your schedule, that your spouse and children look forward to will make the challenges of life easier to bear.

  • Enjoy the company of optimistic people

  • Have you ever been around someone that is critical and negative about everything? This can be extremely exhausting. Do not be one of those people. If you struggle seeing the positive things in life, surround yourself with positive people. During your interactions with them, listen carefully and try to see the world through their eyes. By maintaining a positive attitude at home you will create a sanctuary for your family.

  • A positive attitude is born from gratitude. Positive people have an ability to find something to be grateful for in even the most depressing circumstances. Be an example of positivity in your family by being grateful. As the family optimist, you can help your loved ones see the brighter side of life in any circumstances.

  • Develop a new skill

  • Learning something new can help boost your self-esteem. As I was hiking through the woods, I found a small stagnant pool of water. There was a great deal of moss growing and the water had an unpleasant odor. I realized that if we are not constantly taking in new information or learning new things we become stagnant just like that pool of water, sad and depressed.

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  • Spending time developing new skills is like a constant stream of fresh water flowing into a stagnant pool, the water becomes clean and refreshed. Do not settle with being a stagnant pool of water. Decide now to learn a new skill that will allow you to be of service to others. I promise that as you do, the fresh stream of knowledge will wash away some of the dirty water that has accumulated in your life.

  • There is always something that you can be excited about. Spend time learning from those who have mastered the ability to see the brighter things in life. As you set an example of gratitude and optimism in your family, you may just help break that cycle of sadness in the life of one of your family members. Don’t forget to improve yourself by learning something new. As you use these tools to combat depression you will find that those cycles of sadness will be much shorter and less frequent.

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Dustin A. Wiggins, author of 180 Experiences that will Strengthen your Marriage, is passionate about discovering ways to strengthen the family. He loves to write and explore different parts of the world. You can follow him on twitter @_DustinWiggins or check out his blog Lessons of Wisdom to stay updated with helpful and inspiring ideas.

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