Am I Depressed or just low?
There will always be times when we feel down, life becomes suddenly hard and it can be increasingly difficult to keep our heads above water. Luckily, these feelings of negativity usually dissipate but for some people, feeling depressed can become the norm. This is not simply feeling down, this is medical depression and it can be truly overwhelming for some. Deep feelings of emptiness and despair will govern every aspect of life including sleep, work, eating and even relationships. A state of depression can create feelings of self-loathing, anger, irritability or even reckless behavior. If you suffer with depression, you may feel you’ve lost all control and are merely a spectator in your own life.
How to nurture yourself month after month
While many of us shy away from the prospect of taking medication, if you recognize these symptoms, then seek out medical advice. There are alternatives or additions to prescribed medication and everyone’s circumstances are different. Options include counselling as a viable alternative and increasing exercise and ensuring that you eat healthily will also aid recovery. If you always work with the mind, body and spirit, even the smallest of positive actions can make a difference. When you feel at your lowest point, you may not feel like doing anything other than shutting yourself away from the world, but consider trying some gentle yoga postures, you may be surprised by how they can help. It doesn’t matter if you are less than supple; even the smallest of movements and shortened sessions will be beneficial.
5 poses that support recovery
Exercise has been shown to aid depression recovery and yoga is particularly beneficial because it is so gentle and nurturing and it can even lessen pain, improve feelings of self-esteem and help to reduce lethargy. Yoga may increase the production of the brain chemical serotonin boosting feelings of well-being. In addition, mindfulness and concentration help to alleviate stress and anxieties. Some postures, particularly back bends can be incredibly beneficial in helping the individual to be open to change and improvement while restorative postures foster well-being and relaxation.
1 – Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This powerful but rejuvenating posture can help to alleviate stress and mild bouts of depression. It stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid, reducing fatigue, anxieties and insomnia. This is also an excellent posture for improving digestion, easing menopausal symptoms and aiding those with high blood pressure.
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2 - Extended Puppy Pose – Uttana Shishoasana
Extended puppy pose provides a strong counterbalancing pose for the bridge and also helps to relieve mild stress and depression. It has a calming effect on the brain, improving digestion and easing menopausal or menstrual problems. It can also improve feelings of fatigue and any problems sleeping.
3 – Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana
A therapeutic pose to ease any overwhelming feelings of depression or anxieties, it can also ease insomnia and reduce intense tiredness. It can help to combat the symptoms of the menopause while stretching out hamstrings and hips.
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4 – Upward Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
This posture invigorates the kidneys and the nervous system, aligning the spine and opening up the chest. It improves posture, provides some relief for fatigue or mild bouts of depression.
5 - Reclining Bound Angle Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana
This is a wonderful restorative pose that helps to alleviate depression and any symptoms of stress. It also helps ease the symptoms of menopause or menstruation. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and the heart.
If you are new to yoga, some postures may seem difficult but do not let this put you off. Focus on the alignment of your body and never strain. Enjoy the movement and hold the extended posture and feel the stretch. Remember that even the smallest of movements will start to pay dividends and you will begin to rise up through the suffocating confines of depression.