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7 Effective Ways For Combating Depression And Anxiety

7 Effective Ways For Combating Depression And Anxiety

Canterbury Christ Church University

Unfortunately, mental health is often overlooked and not enough attention is given to people who really do struggle with issues such as depression and anxiety. It’s no secret that the state of your emotional and psychological well being is bound to have a massive impact on your day-to-day life – both positive and negative. When you’re dealing with emotional problems on top of your daily life stresses, it can be double the challenge, and you’re unlikely to deliver to the standards that are expected of you, whether it be at school, university, work or life in general. I’ve decided to compile 7 effective ways for combating depression and anxiety to help those of you in a rut!

1) Changing your thought process.

As someone who has struggled with (and continues to struggle with) issues relating to anxiety, I can tell you first-hand that combating depression and anxiety is totally doable.  Our bodies and our minds are programmed to learn good habits as well as bad ones, and trying to train your mind to think positively rather than negatively will make a massive difference to not only your mental health but also your overall and physical wellbeing as well as your relationships with people and whatever else it is that you do in your life. Trust me on this one; just practice, practice, practice. Get a cognitive behavioural therapist if you absolutely must. Read books on the topics, watch YouTube videos, educate yourself while you’re at it and you will begin to see the differences, even when it comes to dealing with the issues in your life that would normally send you reeling over the edge with negative emotions.

2) Let it go.

I get it. Not everyone is creative. But this doesn’t have to be about being creative. Of course if you are the creative type, then that’s awesome! Use your creativity to express the emotions that you’re going through, whether it be by writing, painting, knitting, embroidery, playing a musical instrument or conjuring up a succulent meal in the kitchen! Letting your feelings out and really being able to express them in heathy ways helps so much.


If you’re the type of person who likes to bottle things up and you feel as though the whole world is against you and you have no one to talk to – try to find someone who you can trust and even if that could mean calling up a mental health helpline and chatting to a professional – trust me, they’re there for a reason and their job is to help you! You could also try writing down your negative thoughts and emotions on a piece of paper and then destroying it, either by burning it or ripping it up into hundreds of shreds. It can be very therapeutic and it could make all the difference.

3) Exercise.

This is really important. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, which put you in a happier mood. You don’t have to be an athlete or super duper amazing at sports; all you need is a pair of healthy legs, a pair of healthy arms and some fresh air! I’m not the biggest supporter of getting the only amount of exercise you’ll probably get all day…inside a stuffy gym. I’m not against working out inside a gym, but please don’t let it be your only saviour when it comes to exercise. Everybody has a vast, open local park where they can go for walks, play some tennis, play some basketball, play some football, run, walk their dogs, everything. Don’t deprive yourself of this because no gym in the world will ever compare to the fresh, glorious outdoors. Plus, being encompassed in nature is a proven way to get your creative juices flowing! Not to mention it’s free, for goodness’ sakes.

Swimming and cycling are personal favourites of mine and if you’re the same as me – then take advantage of that! It’s supposed to be fun, not a chore.


4) Being grateful.

I really can’t stress this enough. As the saying goes, “try to look at the glass half full.” It’s true. As I mentioned before, good habits exist just as much as bad habits. The more you’re grateful for the good things you have in your life which you are probably taking for granted, the less time and energy you’ll have left to even acknowledge all the things you don’t have or lack. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be aware of aspects that need to be improved or changed, quite the contrary. Rather, I am saying that you shouldn’t dwell on the things that you probably cannot change, or that may realistically require some time and some effort to change. Be proactive. Try to do with what you have, accept what you can’t change and change what you can’t accept – but be realistic. Take small steps at a time, try to focus on that one step you want to take first and don’t think about doing too many things at once; you’ll only burn yourself out and you will be miserable.

A good, practical method that really works for me in combating depression and anxiety is physically writing down a list of everything in my life which I’m grateful for. Try it, and you will be overwhelmed by how lengthy the list turns out to be! Even if it’s just things like I have eyes that I use to see the world, I have a roof over my head, I am healthy and I have a pair of arms and a pair of legs – etc. It seriously helps to put things into perspective and always remember this: if you can’t be happy with the little that you have, you will never ever find happiness in whatever you will eventually gain or achieve.

5) Keeping busy and helping others.

Volunteer at your local library or Museum. Give to charity, even if it’s just a small amount. Try to help your mother around the house with the chores. Lend a helping hand to those who are less privileged than you are. The list is endless! Helping others and being able to see the smile you put on their faces is a gesture that will never get old. Not only will it help to improve somebody else’s life, but it will also ease in combating depression and anxiety due to the positive, warm and fuzzy feelings it leaves inside you. It can even help to boost your confidence and your self-esteem because it really makes you realise all the good you’re capable of! Try it, and you will have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Another point worth mentioning here is the importance of actually making time in your life to do the things you enjoy; the things that make you feel good about yourself. These could be anything from sports or creative hobbies to watching childhood cartoons that take you back to a happy, magical place in your life and put you in a good mood!

6) Sleep and a balanced diet.

Because of our busy-till-we-drop schedules nowadays, it has become somewhat of a challenge trying to get the full 7-8 hours of sleep every night, no matter how organised you are. My only solution to that would be to try to sleep as much as you can on days off, and to book regular holidays away, if you’re capable of that. Even if you can get away for just a week, do it. You most likely need it for combating depression and anxiety.

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As for diet, well that’s another victim of a busy schedule. Sometimes work can get so on top of us that we forget to eat for hours on end – either that or we overeat and gorge ourselves on unhealthy snacks and junk foods. Try to change that; even while you’re up to your nose with work and never-ending to-do lists, make sure you’re constantly snacking on whole foods such as fresh fruits, dried fruits, raisins, nuts, whole grain crackers dipped in cheese, vegetable sticks dipped in hummus, etc. Don’t skip any meals and DRINK WATER! Take care of yourself, change the bad habits into good ones and you will immediately begin to see a shift in your moods and even in your anxiety levels.

7) Prayer and meditation.

You don’t have to be a believer or follow a certain religious doctrine to practice this last tip in combating depression and anxiety. Squeezing some time into your busy schedule for spirituality and some meditation sessions will help you to not only release the stresses and the tension from everyday life, but it will also allow you to connect with your inner most raw, pure self – which in turn relaxes you mentally and physically and helps you to recharge on good vibes and positive energy.

Having faith and staying connected with my religious practices helps immensely when it comes to staying grounded and balanced in my moods (and I am very temperamental!) Fasting, for example is just one of these practices and it not only helps with physical detoxification but also with a good level of self-discipline and the ability to appreciate a lot of the things I tend to take for granted on a day-to-day basis (i.e, food). Whatever you want to do, there are so many different types of sessions and activities available out there which will assist you in your journey to living a healthier, happier and more peaceful (and productive) lifestyle.


I hope these 7 simple tips will help you in not only combating depression and anxiety, but to grab them both by the ears and kick them to the curb! (Literally).

And remember, this is just to help you exhaust all avenues available to you so as to not only improve your moods and feel relatively stable most of the time, but also to lessen the intensity of your negative emotions (at the very least) so that they are easier to manage. These are tips that have helped me tremendously and I always believed that happiness is a choice. But if you really feel like you have a little something more going on that you just can’t seem to shake off, then definitely don’t hesitate to contact a local councillor or have your General Health Practitioner refer you to a mental health specialist.

Are you looking for cures in combating depression and anxiety? Let us know if this list is helpful!

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