Psychotherapy is designed to give you back your mental health. It’s there so that those that are struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, and other issues can find happiness and contentment, with proven psychological strategies that are known to benefit those that are struggling.
But there are also little things that you can do every day that can also help combat your anxiety and stress levels. These include:
- Listen to Music That Makes You Feel Good – How often do you find yourself listening to music that matches the way you feel, not necessarily music that matches the way you want to feel. Studies have shown that music can have as powerful an effect on the mind as medicine. Listening to angry music, sad music, or ambivalent music may seem like a good coping strategy, but happy and upbeat songs are more likely to help you feel happy and upbeat as well.
- Get Off Your Phone – Young people that are also heavy cell phone users are significantly more likely to have anxiety and depression. It’s highly unlikely that finding is limited to young people. Staring at a cell phone all day may be changing your brain to experience more negative thoughts. Put down your phone, go outside, and chances are you’ll experience greater levels of contentment.
- Exercise (With a Hike?) – It has gotten to the point of becoming almost cliché, but there are sound medical benefits to exercising when it comes to boosting mood. Exercising relieves the body of excess adrenaline, it releases a hormone in the brain that both improves mood and reduces “pain,” and it helps people feel better about themselves. There are few reasons not to exercise when you have a great deal of stress or depression, and many more reasons to take the time to at least go for a hike once in a while.
- Have a Distraction – Sometimes your own thoughts are your enemy. That’s why it’s good to distract your thoughts with pleasant activities (activities that you want to do and not those that you are required to do) to turn the negativity off. Additionally, sometimes having neutral or relaxing sounds on in the background at a low volume (even while asleep) can act as mental distraction, preventing your negative thoughts from running wild.
These little life changes are not going to cure your depression or anxiety. But they can help control how much your daily life is able to affect you. Each one is a small change that can make a significant difference in your overall happiness, and thus are worth employing in your day to day life.