Self, Health And Wellness

How To Get Your Depression, Anxiety & Stress Levels Under Control In 8 Manageable Steps

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8 Tips For How To Deal With Depression, Anxiety & Stress When Symptoms Strike

There are days when feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress seem to take over.

Those are the days when everyone and everything is demanding so much from you and you feel so overwhelmed that you really don’t think that you can take it anymore.

Those are the days when dealing with depression and anxiety is too much to bear. And you feel like you just want to crawl into bed and never get out.

Are you having one of those days today? Do you just want to know how to get rid of depression and anxiety?

It is possible to manage the stress and anxiety when you're feeling depressed with some awareness and action.

RELATED: What It Feels Like To Have Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time

Here are 8 tips on how to deal with depression, anxiety, and stress when the symptoms strike.

1. Take deep breaths

When we are overwhelmed and depressed, the first thing we do is stop breathing. Well, not literally stop breathing, because then we would die. But, we do unconsciously hold our breath because of the increased tension in the muscles used for breathing. This can make the feelings of overwhelm even worse, leading to deeper symptoms of depression.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and depressed, remember to breathe. Deep breaths into your belly in for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. Put your hand over your belly to feel it filling up with air. Do this over and over until you feel a little calmer. Repeat throughout the day as necessary.

Healthy coping mechanisms like this will help you a lot, that's a promise.

2. Go for a walk

If you're feeling depressed, take some time to go for a walk. There isn’t a woman I know who doesn't say that her stress and anxiety levels are always greatly reduced after a walk.

The thing about walking is that it kills three birds with one stone. 

Walking encourages deep breathing, which reduces stress and anxiety quickly. Also, for some reason, the motion of walking encourages clearer thinking. The rhythm of the stride and the increased oxygen intake can make something that was extremely overwhelming and stressful just 20 minutes earlier much easier to manage.

Furthermore, the dopamine that your body creates with the motion of exercise works to help alleviate your depression symptoms instantly.

So, get outside and get your heart beating if you're dealing with depression, stress, and anxiety. 

3. Identify what is causing the overwhelm and anxiety

One of the reasons you get depressed when you feel overwhelmed is that you don't understand what is specifically overwhelming you.

A client of mine was so overwhelmed with her life that she had no energy to get anything done, she yelled a lot at her kids, and she could barely stand being around her husband.

She figured that she was just too stressed out by her day-to-day living and came to me to help her get more organized.

We talked for a bit and I came to learn that they have 3 new dogs in the house. Three new dogs! And, you guessed it, they were causing the overwhelm and stress, not her lack of organization.

Once we knew the cause we were able to find a solution.

4. Share your stress

Sharing your stress and your sadness and depression with another person is a key part of dealing with it.

They say that what is kept inside the head is 4 times more intense than what is spoken. If you share that you are feeling depressed, you might learn something that will help you manage it. We all have things that work for us and sharing them with others can be very helpful.

If you have someone you can talk with about your overwhelm, then absolutely do it. Be it a therapist, a life coach, a friend or a partner, let those anxious thoughts out of your head and into the world.

From there your thoughts have a reduced power and are easier to deal with. This is one of the best ways for overcoming depression. 

RELATED: 5 Ways Your Anxiety Is Making You Depressed

5. Write it out

Do you journal? Or write letters to yourself? Or scribble notes on post-its? If you do, great! If you don’t, it could be time to start.

Writing about things that are overwhelming and stressful can be useful, both for your depression and your anxiety, especially if you don’t have someone with whom to share your stress. Much like speaking, writing allows you to get your stress out of your head and onto paper.

And when you can see your stress on a piece of paper in front of you, instead of having it rolling around in your brain, it’s much easier to manage. If you're in hell with depression, pull out some paper and a pen. 

6. Make a plan

Once you have pinpointed the cause of the stress, it's time to make a plan for overcoming depression and anxiety. Without a plan, the overwhelm usually doesn't just disappear. In fact, it often gets worse.

In the case of the overwhelming dogs, the plan involved putting the dogs in their crates during dinnertime and also again at bedtime. Not having the dogs bouncing around, distracting the kids, and getting into trouble allowed my client to focus on the work at hand and not let it stress her out.

No more yelling at her kids. Phew.

7. Follow through

The most important part of making a plan for overcoming depression, stress, and anxiety is following through. Even the best-laid plans don’t work if you don’t follow through.

Have you ever been constantly overwhelmed by life? You can't keep your apartment clean, have a difficult time keeping appointments, struggle to do things that involve any planning, and would rather just stay in bed all day?

You could make a plan to hire someone to clean your apartment once a week so you can spend 10 minutes a day neatening up. This is a great strategy for overcoming depression that causes you to be overwhelmed by life. But, if you don't follow through with it, dealing with depression and anxiety can continue the overwhelm. 

So, make sure that you follow through on your plans to deal with your stress and overwhelm. If you don’t, your anxiety and depression could actually truly overwhelm you and that will not be fun.

8. See a doctor

While you might be thinking that your stress is the cause of your depression, it could be that your depression is the cause of your stress.

For many struggling with depression, the idea of doing anything at all can be so daunting that we just don’t. As a result, we get overwhelmed by all of the things that need to get done that we aren't doing.

If you've tried overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress by doing the things above but they don’t work, and you're wondering if you're truly depressed, then it’s important to see your primary care doctor right away.

They can help you deal with your depression and fix your feelings of overwhelm. There are coping skills for depression that you can learn to get past it and get past it quickly.

So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, or stressed, get outside and go for a walk, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Breathe deeply as you stride. You will see that your overwhelm reduces significantly right away. These are all healthy coping mechanisms that can teach you how to deal with depression any time it sneaks up. 

As you walk, consider what is overwhelming you and make a plan to fix it. If you have someone to help you figure it, out even better. And then make it happen.

If you can’t get past the stress and overwhelm, consider seeing a doctor to treat your depression. It might be the key to it all.

Learn how to beat your depression by managing your stress and overwhelm. Don’t let it manage you.

RELATED: Is Your Brain Being 'Hijacked' By Stress & Anxiety? Here's How To Know For Sure

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate.  She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Follow her on Facebook for more great life and love advice

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.