Psychological Methods To Beat
A powerful self-control treatment program
consists of the following important components:
In the viewpoint of a depressed person, depression usually seems
to come for no apparent reason and from nowhere at all.
Research has been clearly presented that positive events or
activities lead to positive moods, while negative events lead to
The depressed person must accept the fact that this is so,
amidst having thoughts that the depressed feeling sprung out from
nowhere. So rate your mood on a 1 to 10 degree and keep a
record every day of positive events and circumstances. It is
likely that your mood will mirror what is happening in your
We have seen that depressed people focus more on negative events
of their lives and neglect or overlook positive ones. They’re
not wary of this situation and don't know they are doing
this. So, it is for your advantage to know the importance of
making careful records and try to analyze what is happening in your
life everyday. To do this, you must look for and record all
gratifying events and activities, even little, trivial pleasant
events. It is very important for you to learn again and see the
greatness this world has to offer.
Feel the invigorating atmosphere and smell the flowers. Don't
forget usual things like sipping a cup of coffee, assisting
someone, taking a walk, watching a bird, reading a book, taking
kids to school, watching your favorite program, reading an advice
column, going shopping, listening to music, making yourself
attractive, visiting a friend, completing a chore, daydreaming,
playing with children, playing sports, expressing an opinion,
getting a long kiss, getting or giving a compliment, and the act of
Jot this in your record book or so-called diary with a brief
description of these pleasant events.
As that week of jotting down had passed, make a graph of your
daily mood rating and number of pleasant events for that same
day. This must be done in the same graph. Then observe if
your disposition doesn't go up and down according to how many
pleasant events occurred that day. If so, this is a motivating push
to increase the number of pleasant events in your life and to
appreciate the nice things that happen.
Using this advice, you can have your simplified version of a
"behavioral analysis" in which you would look for the previous
situations and consequences of good and bad moods. Your objective
in doing this is to find cause and affect relationships that can be
used to boost your spirits and reduce depression.
Taking One Small Step at a
Some depressed people get disappointed when their desire for a
better outcome results to disappointments. One main reason is
because their expectations overshadow the essential details of how
to get there. Impractical anticipations, like having your
grade as all A's, may also lead to frustration and a low
Thus, it is important to learn to have a well-defined plan, to
set realistic goals and expectations, and to have some success
experiences. It is valuable to be satisfied with small rewards and
Thus, you must make a decision on some practical, possible,
important self-help project that will boost your confidence and
vitality, such as working out to have a stunning body figure,
increased exposure to people, learning to play basketball, spending
more time alone with your spouse, or anything for that
Then, for each project goal set many clear and reachable
sub-goals (small steps), perhaps things you could do every
day. Schedule your time, prioritize your tasks, and do all
your best to become successful. Jot down your progress in a
diary or record book, along with the positive outcomes.
As you know, depressed people feel that they are to be blamed
when things go bad and they’re "just at the right place and at the
right time" when things go well. Here’s an exercise to help
you realize your value and reduce your accountability for negative
1. Think of a recent memorable event. Describe it.
2. List the means on what and how the contributions of other
people, as well as things beyond human control, were responsible
for this situation.
3. List the ways in which your efforts, talents, skills,
experience, appearance, etc. were accountable for this event.
4. What rate or percentage of the responsibility/
accountability for this event was attributable to you?
You can try to do this for several events, including both
positive and negative ones. You have almost always worked for
positive events and against depressing events. So, if you do not
think you are really the cause for more than half of the pleasant
events, re-evaluate your explanation of those events and decide if
you aren't causing more positive things than you thought. It
is a known fact that depressed people belittle their own
After you have done the re-evaluation, if you can picture
yourself as responsible for negative events - over half of the time
- see if others aren't more accountable. You will come to realize
that your abilities, traits, and contributions can cause good
things to happen and that external factors beyond human control are
accountable for the negative consequences.
Focusing on Future
When we are depressed, we have the tendency to concentrate on
the past or to see initially the immediate consequences, and not
the long-term positive results of what we are doing now. The trauma
of sufferings in the past can make the depressed people focus their
efforts on quick relief, and ignore circumstances that might be
cumbersome but very critical or rewarding to their future. Become
aware of the effects of your activities by analyzing the outcome of
some activity each day.
Your outcome analysis is used to know the advantages and
disadvantages of certain tasks, to accept challenges that have big
potential, and to give emphasis on practical, long-term
planning. This is important for us to do, but it is even more
essential and difficult for you if you are a pessimistic person
with low self-esteem.
Some depressed people feel that indulging themselves over
rewards for any accomplishment is being egotistic. This
feeling or behavior becomes an obstacle in using some of the most
powerful self-control tools, such as self-reinforcement and
It is normal to pat
yourself in the back once in a while!
Research has shown that whenever we feel down and troubled we
tend to do less pleasant activities, but just doing more enjoyable
things is not an assurance to beating your depression.
However, actions do change feelings. You can increase your
activity level, get out of your house then find something exciting
and worthwhile to engage in. Start with easier tasks, and work up
to more difficult ones. Track and reward yourself as you accomplish
each task for motivation.
Research also purports that an aerobic exercise program for at
least 30 minutes 3 times a week lessen major depression as much or
more than medication. Exercise would be good for you in many ways,
not just with depression. Thus, seriously consider this:
Some studies shows that exercise alone three or five times a
week for 30 minutes reduces depression by about 50%. That is as
good as taking antidepressants or getting psychotherapy
Take a break from it all.
Get lots of rest, relaxation, and sleep always. Our
interpersonal situation greatly influences your happiness and
depression. It has been found that bashfulness, loneliness,
dependency, and marital problems often precede the scene of
depression. You should avoid these conditions as much as you
Try to change your depressing surrounding - working conditions,
family relationships, stressful situations, and the like. Our mood
reflects our environment.
pessimistic and self-criticizing thoughts that characterize
depressed people such as:
“I am always a
“This is a hopeless case.”
“I’m messing up again.”
“It will only get worse.”
To control these depressing thoughts, try restricting sad
thoughts to specific times or places.
Then reward yourself upon eliminating negative thoughts, and
replace them with positive visions.
Try your best to have a lot more positive thoughts. Think
that living is a gift, and you are very fortunate to have life
until now. Be thoughtful – then you will feel that your
friends appreciate your efforts. Realize that nothing in this
world is permanent and that every problem has an end. Know
that you have the ability and talent to outshine others.
Even if you don't feel like having these things every hour, feel
them anyway. They will become part of your subconscious.
Be happy. Feeling self-satisfaction may help you swing
your mood from sad to pretty well. You can practice smiling more,
acting in a more confident manner, dressing up more attractively,
expressing compliments, and acting as though the future will be
better. Acting happier can change your mood.
- Action steps against depression
If you anticipate a depressing event to occur, advanced planning could be used to reduce the negative outcome. Assume you have an idea that you are about to fail in your exams. Finding alternative solutions and seeking help on how to handle the situation could help.
- Develop your social skills
Different individuals require different social skills. The response of each individual to a certain situation varies greatly. Review your social skills and weaknesses, and improve on those deficiencies that you think are causing your depression.
- Planning and time management
Poor or no planning, and the inability to manage time, has caused a lot of people to become depressed. Some people thought that it is time-consuming to plan things out.