10 Self-Help Tips for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Self-Help Tip #2: Get a Pet – The next best thing to bonding with another human being is bonding with an animal. It really doesn’t matter which type of animal you choose to purchase or adopt, as long as you are focusing some of your attention toward your new companion. Animals have been shown to have “healing powers”, and are often used in hospital settings for terminally ill patients. Dogs especially tend to make people feel better about themselves by making them feel less isolated. Having a pet can also help you to feel needed, since pets are a big responsibility and require quite a lot of care. This means that the time and attention you would normally focus inward onto yourself will now be shared outwardly toward your pet. Please note: you should not get a pet if you are not ready for one. And by this I mean you should not bring an animal into your home if you cannot afford to take care of it – either physically or financially – and meet its many needs. Doing so would be unfair to the animal and would only end up in you having to give up the pet. Pets can be wonderful companions that help to naturally reduce your Depression and Anxiety symptoms, but only consider getting one if you are capable of meeting its needs and devoting a great deal of time and attention toward it.

Self-Help Tip #3: Keep a Journal – You may think this sounds cheesy, but keeping a diary or a journal has been shown to drastically reduce both Depression and Anxiety symptoms. For both disorders, keeping a journal or even a “Thought Record”, as it is called in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), allows you to pinpoint your negative thought patterns as they happen. Since Depression and Anxiety Disorders often include cognitive distortions and pessimistic thinking, keeping a Thought Record every time you have a negative thought will help you to identify and examine your problematic thinking patterns, and eventually change them into more balanced or realistic thoughts. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making an actual Thought Record, try just keeping a regular journal. Writing down what you’re feeling as you’re experiencing it is therapeutic, and can serve as an emotional outlet. It’s true that people often feel better after they’ve vented to someone about whatever is troubling them, and a journal can be that “soundboard” or “imaginary person” for you if you don’t want to speak to an actual person about your problems.  Follow this link for the next page.

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