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Quick Boost

Anxiety and Depression
By Vince Caimano
Category  Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are certainly the terrible twosome. They occur together about two-thirds of the time and almost 60% of our poll respondents said the same.

The research on depression and anxiety tells us that anxiety causes depression and that depression causes anxiety. Both of these make sense from an experiential point of view. When we get stressed out many people respond by slowing down. When we get depressed we often get anxious about not being able to do very much.

So how can we respond when we get attacked on two fronts? As it turns out there is a third issue that is related to both depression and anxiety. It is poor sleep. If we don't get enough sleep we will tend to be more anxious and depressed. Here are the things you should check on to make sure that you are getting the proper amount of rest each night:
  • Reserve seven to nine hours for sleep time - most people need this much.
  • Go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning - even if you didn't sleep well.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool. Only use your bed for sleeping and sex.
  • Get yourself ready for bed by spending some time doing something quiet and restful for 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep. A warm bath, quiet music, warm milk, etc. can help.
  • Don't be a clock watcher but if you feel you haven't fallen asleep or you have woken up for 15 minutes or more, go to another room and do something quietly until you are sleepy.

Another thing we can do to help reduce sleep issues and depression is to work directly on anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness- based stress reduction are two techniques that work very well. Exercise or just taking a walk will also lower your stress level and help you to sleep better. A great book on stress and depression with many helpful techniques is called When Panic Attacks by Dr. David Burns.

One other area that we can work on that will help with both anxiety and depression is having fun. When we are depressed or anxious we tend to stop doing the things that we enjoy, that bring us pleasure and that are recreational. See if you can do at least one fun thing every day: meet a friend for coffee, go to a show, take a walk in a beautiful place, etc. Taking the time to be good to yourself can make all the difference - please give it a try.

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Search all of our Quick Boost posts to find exactly the tips and tools you need.

Anxiety (7)
Benefits of Sunlight (4)
Diet and Supplements (2)
Effective Sleep Habits (4)
Healthy Thinking (14)
Holiday Events (8)
Life Planning (5)
Life Transitions (1)
Light Therapy (2)
Professional Help (4)
Promise of Exercise (4)
PTSD (1)
Self Awareness / Mindfulness (12)
Self Compassion (4)
Stress Reduction (7)
Supportive Relationships (6)
Understanding and Living with Depression (25)
Use of Medications (5)

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