Alternative treatments for depression – Part 3: Coping and relaxation techniques

It is not easy to fight off depression. The additional stress and anxiety that worsen the symptoms of this mental disorder make it more difficult for depressed people to cope with their condition. The most pertinent solution during this period is to adopt strategies that would help ameliorate their condition.

Though pharmacological interventions, coupled with various therapies, are recommended for depressed patients, certain relaxation techniques can help bring down the level of stress and anxiety. Anxiety is common in people suffering from depression, with the severity of anxiousness aggravating the risk of panic attacks.

The foremost thing which depressed people need to do is to manage their emotional well-being. Professionals recommend certain relaxation techniques to decrease their level of co-existing stress. Some common coping strategies advised to depressed people are:

  • Deep breathing techniques: Slow and deep breathing helps get rid of accumulated stress. This technique can be tried at any time or during the build up of undue stress. Combining meditation with deep breathing can help attain greater relaxation, relieve one from stress, and improve concentration levels.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is a great stress-buster, apart from providing physical health benefits. Physical activity in place of exercise can also help provide necessary relief from the emotional weight adversely affecting the mental health of depressed people. Practicing different yoga positions is considered best for its psychological and cognitive benefits. Studies assessing the effects of yoga on the brain and mental health reveal that meditation, balance and relaxation methods help in fighting anxiety and depression, along with enhancing memory and revamping concentration levels.
  • Aromatherapy: Experts prescribe aromatherapy, but no studies have been able to indicate how the use of essential oils is helpful in treating depressive conditions. The aroma from essential oils helps soothe the olfactory senses, thus, providing necessary relief from depressive feelings. Aromatherapy makes use of the essential oils that may be rubbed on the skin or inhaled for healing purposes. A study on the impact of aromatherapy on patients manifesting signs of depression and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine advised the use of aromatherapy as an alternative and complementary method for depressed patients afflicted with prolonged medical conditions.
  • Staying in touch: Depressed people tend to be isolated, exhibiting withdrawal tendencies, thus, making themselves less socially available. This leads to a vicious cycle where depressed people tend to retreat into a shell fearing connectivity with outside society. For depressed people, it is essential to forge relationships with their loved ones. Keeping in touch with the near and dear ones will help them share their deepest feelings.
  • Eating healthy and balanced diet: At times, depressed people tend to avoid food during their occasional mood swings. Some, on the other hand, tend to find comfort in continuously gorging on food items, thus, increasing the risk of becoming overweight. Though not much is recommended by practitioners about the nature of diet for depressed people, experts usually advise cutting down on simple carbohydrates like white flour and refined sugar to stabilize blood sugar levels and to improve mood.

Embracing happy life

The idea of relaxation differs from person to person, though the purpose of fighting depression remains common. Adopting any relaxation technique or a combination of more than one coping methods can help in alleviating levels of depression, thus, helping one to live a normal life. Not all techniques have the desired effect, but their potential impact can be helpful if used in conjunction with medications and therapeutic interventions prescribed by physicians.

If you or our loved one is battling some form of mental disorder, get connected to the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health experts for information on mental health treatment rehabs available.

Read the first and second parts of the series:

Alternative treatments for depression – Part 1: Creative therapy

Alternative treatments for depression – Part 2: Be active to ward off negativity