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Stress Management Techniques for Those Struggling with Depression

Everyone experiences stress at some point in life, and this is because stress is a normal reaction toward transformation. Typically, the brain produces signals that induce stress hormones whenever an internal or external environment changes. Even a newborn baby experiences stress, for instance, during exposure to an unfamiliar environment. At some point, stress is positive because it is a feeling that forces one to figure out how to adapt to some changes in life.

However, long-term stress is similar to disease as it may associate with several physical and mental hitches. According to the American Psychological Association, roughly 75% of folks experience stress that causes physical health degradation. The World Health Organization reports a high frequency of depressive disorder among individuals experiencing stress. In other findings, 65% of people that experience stress reveal that the situation is due to the uncertainties linked to life circumstances. What is the connection between stress and depression? What are the proper depression management skills? How can you manage stress and prevent negative mental and physical repercussions?

The Connection between Stress and Depression

As reported by the American Psychological Association, approximately 53% of individuals with chronic stress also have depression. Positive stress disappears quickly, while chronic stress often develops into depression or another mental condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, several underlying body mechanisms link stress and depression. For instance, long-term stress interferes with normal body neurotransmission, and the resulting signal transduction leads to a negative psychological response. This ultimately causes depression. Without proper depression management skills, a person develops other mental disorders and physical health complications.

Can Stress Worsen Depression?

People feel depressed when they are in a constant sad mood. This is often a consequence of the inability to adapt to negative changes. For example, say an individual loses a job or is going through a divorce. A typical response is dwelling on the negative; for many folks, it is difficult to shift that thinking pattern. The negative psychological pattern contributes to a deeper state of depression. Constant stress also triggers isolation. Well, it is customary to want to be alone when stressed to have a clear mind and determine how to get out of certain situations. However, sometimes this fails, and social isolation becomes a constant behavior. With no loved ones to show emotional support and help in other likely means, the severity of depression increases.

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How to Cope with Depression

  • Regarding clinical depression, the proper solution is to seek medical assistance. Some depression effects do not subside on their own. You may need medication.
  • Connect with others. Depression worsens when you are constantly in isolation.
  • Keeping fit is also among the efficient coping techniques for depression. It boosts your self-esteem, and feeling good about yourself prevents or minimizes depressive episodes.
  • Ensure you are getting adequate sleep. Good sleep inhibits neurochemical activities linked to depression-associated hormones.

What are the Major Causes of Stress?

Sudden Life Changes

Little changes in life, like shifting schools, careers, homes, etc., cause short-term stress, which eventually goes away. Significant, adverse changes, on the other hand, are among the primary causes of severe stress. The constant thinking of future uncertainties disrupts one’s emotional equilibrium.

Health Complications

Studies by the National Institutes of Health show that people with chronic illnesses have increased stress levels. This is because keeping up with health management, dealing with pain, and possible change in physical appearance negatively affects people’s psychological state. In conjunction with that, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, to mention a few, put one under a lot of financial pressure. Research reveals that financial constraint is the number one source of stress in 72% of Americans—28% of this figure think about the problem daily.

Family Obligations

While many families are well off, a significant percentage cannot afford the basics. Statistics show that roughly 4 in 10 children live in households that cannot meet the usual home expenses. With more than 51 million Americans unable to afford healthcare, food, and education, it is evident that many parents are dealing with severe stress. Men are the majority of the victims because it is the societal norm for males to cater to a more significant part of their financial responsibilities.

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How Do You Handle Stress and Depression?

  • First, take note of your stressors and how you respond to them. This is the best way to decide how to control your emotions in stressful situations.
  • Meditation goes a long way. It calms your mind and body, giving you clear thoughts about facing undesired circumstances. Listening to soothing sounds, taking a walk, reading etc., are helpful activities for stress management.
  • Set achievable goals and try to attain them, one at a time. You have to be realistic about achieving your goals to avoid psychological pressure.
  • Improve your sleeping patterns. Good sleep reduces the level of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Also, keep in mind that healthy sleeping patterns prevent the development of other mental complications.
  • Connect with loved ones. Family and friends create a safe space for you to air out worries and troubles. More so, people in your circle will always be willing to help where possible.
  • Seek help. If you have severe stress, possibly causing depression and other psychological complications, it would be best to get medical assistance.