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Depression and Tension

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Tension, stress, anxiety and depression are commonly used words when we are faced with negative experiences

Tension or Stress is the natural response of the body to any form of discomforting event that we might endure. It can be positive that is Eustress and help us in giving our optimal performance or it can be negative i.e. Distress and have deleterious impact on various domains of our life.

Depression on the other hand is more severe and can impact relationships, work and daily functioning. It can be categorized in three forms depending on its intensity-:

- Mild
- Moderate
- Major

We may interchangeably use depression for stress in colloquial speech but there is avast difference between the two. Depression includes signs like-:

  1. Reduced/ Increased Appetite
  2. Disturbed Sleep
  3. Loss of Interest
  4. Tiredness
  5. Hopelessness, Helplessness and Worthlessness
  6. Isolation
  7. Chronic frustration and disappointment

In case of major depression therapy sessions with a clinical psychologist along with medication is the recommended course of action, however for mild and moderate depression there are a few strategies that can help in overcoming the negative thought pattern and ideation:

1. Emotional support system -Expressing our struggles and trials with people who care for us and who are willing to extend their support can help in drawing strength in enduring the rough phase we are undergoing. When we share our pain we feel unburdened and it helps in relieving the emotional distress we are experiencing

2. Penning down thoughts - Writing our thoughts down in a paper or diary helps us to express and when we keep worrying, we are stuck in a loop so when our thoughts are clearly in front of usit helps us to rationally analyze them and it also leads to catharsis (release of those pent up emotions) otherwise negative thoughts keep building up which leads to pent up frustration and we are unable to break that loop

3. Identifying unhealthy/ irrational thought patterns -When we are experiencing a difficult patch in our life, we may succumb to the tendency of focusing and maximizing the negatives and discounting the positives in our life.

4. Pursuing a passion/hobby/interest -Engaging in any activity that provides even micro moments of happiness on a regular basishelps us to divert our focus and energy in a constructive manner helps us in establishing self worth and inculcate a positive outlook

5. Physical exercise - Any form of physical activity has a positive impact on our physical and mental well being. Engaging in physical exercise helps to channelize the negative emotional build up in a productive space and it releases endorphins in our body or what we call happy hormones which reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol thereby elevating our mood

6. Mindfulness - When we practice mindfulness we are able to focus on the present moment and not focusing on the past that cannot be altered or the future that cannot be predicted.It is not only associated with feeling less stressed but make us more focused and calm.

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