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Top 10 Depression Tips from a Psychotherapist

Depression is something seen increasingly often in our psycho-hypnotherapy practice here in the UK. Here are my top 10 tips for help with depression:

1. Respect the Clock - Set your alarm clock for a reasonable time each morning and make sure you get out of bed within 5 minutes of it going off, even if you feel you have no real reason to do so. Eat at three specified times during the day, whether hungry or not, and make sure you eat a reasonable amount of good, healthy food - no matter how small the portion. No need to go overboard on portion size, however: the key word here is reasonable.

2. Give Yourself a Positive Statement - Have a positive statement ready to repeat 10 times on awakening. Regardless of whether you believe it or not, repeat this positive statement just as soon as you wake up. 'I am alive, happy and free' or 'Every positive thing I seek is now seeking me', are good examples of positive statements or affirmations. The key here is to stick at it. It took you a while to buy into the doldrums; it will take a bit of persistence to pull yourself out.

3. Take Care of Personal Hygiene First - Take a shower or a bath first thing in the morning and be sure to brush your teeth and comb your hair. Depression is a form of self-disrespect and the simple act of freshening up and looking after yourself increases your self-respect. If you need help to bathe, ask for it - that help is available. Oh, and when you look in the mirror, be sure to smile, whether or not you feel like it The simple act of doing this on a regular basis works wonders!

4. Change into Fresh Clothing - Don't hang around the house in the same clothing you slept in. Leave your pyjamas or sweats in the bedroom (or in the washing machine) and put on something that you wouldn't mind being seen in if you were outside. The way we dress influences and affects the way we feel.

5. Leave the Home - Regardless of whether you feel you have any real reason to do so, make sure you go outside - even if it's only to walk around the block or down the street and back. If you haven't been out for a while, begin with a brief walk and then go just that little bit farther next time. Stop by a shop and pick up something - a newspaper or magazine, some milk or bread. If it's a supermarket, make sure you choose the check-out with a real-life cashier, don't go through the self-scanning aisle. You need human contact.

6. Make Human Contact - Whether it's simply saying hello to a shop assistant or cashier, or calling a friend or relative, make sure no day goes by without talking with someone. Watching TV or sending an email doesn't count - you need to actually speak with another person. Make sure you do this each day. And don't be afraid to put a smile in your voice - it really does change the way you - and others - feel.

7. Focus on the Positive - You already know what's missing in your life and focusing on this has failed to help you. Now is the time to focus on what's there, on what's positive. Everyone has positives; it's simply a question of identifying them. An easy way to begin the process is to close your eyes and focus on everything within a six foot (2 metre) radius. Start with yourself: 'My face and hair is clean' etc and work outwards: 'The day is bright' or 'I can hear the birds singing'. You get the idea.

8. Make a 'To Do' List - Write down everything that needs to be done today. Pace yourself and systematically work through it, ticking each one as it is achieved. Give yourself rewards as you progress - a cup of tea or decaffeinated coffee can be earned instead of just taken for granted.

9. Give Yourself a Hug - Sound silly? Well, maybe it is, but go ahead and do it anyway. No-one needs to see you. Do it now. Give yourself a good hug and really allow yourself to feel it! Send yourself some loving, experience your own warmth. You deserve it and you'll be really glad you did it!

10. Celebrate your Progress - Recognise that any progress and any achievement, no matter how small, is a true accomplishment. If you took care of your appearance, took a walk outside, talked to someone, etc then give yourself a pat on the back. You're moving forward, so celebrate!

About Author Peter James Field :

Peter Field is one of the foremost hypno-psychotherapists working in the UK today, with busy private practices in Birmingham and London. Author of numerous articles on psychotherapy and hypnosis, he is a Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Health. More really interesting articles and helpful information can be found on his website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Tuesday, August 5, 2008
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