Depression is a medical condition- caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, even with you knowing, it begins with a feeling of hopelessness, distress, and despair, then matures to loss of interest in daily activities, increased anger or irritability, and loss of energy. Then you begin to be a shadow of yourself, you become afraid that you would drown in it, probably because you have tried different ways to help yourself, you have searched for help but seem not to find that perfect key to unlock that feeling of hopelessness.
Right now as you read this, you feel you're banging your head against a wall, but admit it, you really need help, and this is just the right information you need to know and apply – the power of your brain, yes how you can train your brain to fight depression. It simply requires your determination, focus, and decision to get your happiness back.
The brain is the most complex organ in the body, in fact, it does to an extent have control over all parts of your body physiologically speaking. It keeps evolving, and neuroscientists believe that we are in the era of the golden age when it comes to brain research.
The truth is, your brain is powerful, sounds familiar right? It is not just complex, but has the ability to control the way you think, feel, breath including our sense of reasoning and judgment. For instance, the frontal lobe of the brain controls our emotional traits, and our emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system. So this means that you can control your emotions including depression.
So let’s dig a little deeper into the world of your brain and how you can train it to fight depression.
1. Brain Exercises
A renowned psychologist Sutton-Smith in his work wrote that video game play is literally the neurological opposite of depression. The outcome of his research during the ‘60s showed that adults and children who played video games had powerful positive emotions, increased physical energy and stronger confidence during play in contrast to people who didn’t play. He advised that the new treatment for mental health in the near future would be in the form of playing purposeful video games. However, a multiple fMRI, including the one conducted at Stanford University viewed into the brains of video gamers. The result showed that when you play video games, two regions of the brain are hyper-stimulated repeatedly, the reward pathway responsible for motivation and goal-orientation together with the hippocampus which is associated with learning and memory.
So how about you play a video game, solve a soduku, crossword puzzle, or other mental math games ? Try it as a method of depression therapy and see the difference. Since playing helps you focus on a puzzle which needs to be solved, the more you solve the puzzles and get to the finish line, the more confidence you gain and just the mere thought of anticipating it lights you up immediately and creates a sense of motivation and determination.
2. Avoid Comparison
Okay! Let’s get this straight, he/ she has what you think you deserve or always make you feel you’re in a competition (thoughts that exist in your mind), but this actually is as a result of you expecting so much from yourself because you feel someone is ahead of you. You then put yourself in an imaginary competition with someone who might be unaware. Better still you feel rejected in your social environment, thus increasing your vulnerability, which makes you feel insignificant? Dear, you just have to wire your mind back to YOU, yes YOU. Self-motivation is one huge way of getting out of depression. This depression therapy works well, especially when you're conscious of the fact that you are not in competition with anyone but the person you see in the mirror which is you. Work on making yourself a better person and surround yourself with those things that spread joy in your heart like a fragrance does to a room. Tell your brain it's time to break out, and you will see your brain cells activated and excited.
3 Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
VNS is a depression therapy that helps depressed patients with treatment-resistant depression that does not improve with medication. Vagus nerve stimulation is surgically implanted, and it sends electrical pulses to the brain through the Vagus nerve in the neck, which reduce depression by affecting the limbic system and mood areas in the brain.
Counseling or psychotherapy can be highly beneficial in resolving issues that are holding you back, and learn to recognize and disrupt negative thought patterns. Researchers in the Journal of Personality found out that the best way to disrupt negative words spoken to you is to reiterate while the speaker is in action. This means that you should learn to observe negative emotions and thoughts as they occur while saying to yourself, ‘that negative thought is only an opinion, but it has nothing to do with me.' Protect your mind and dismantle such thought. Get the professional support you need to be a better version of yourself.
Your brain interprets signals both negative and positive. For instance, if you keep meditating or thinking about how insignificant you think you have become or how heavy the whole world seems to be on your shoulders, your nerve cells begins to send those impulses to your brain, so think about this! What if you become conscious of your thought pattern like you become determined to meditate only on the best and not the worst?
Okay, we’ve all had low moments, but why dwell in the past when you can move on with the beautiful gifts that life have to offer. In addition to taking antidepressants, meditating on those good wishes send positive impulses to your brain and lights you up once again.