Topic 3 Specific strategies to handle depression

3.1. Behavioural activation

  • Behavioural activation refers to activities or exposure to pleasurable situations that involve contact with positive reinforcement. For example, if you are a person who likes sports, then encouraging yourself to play some sport like tennis would be a way of obtaining positive reinforcement to improve your mood.
  • The aim is to get the person to initiate behavioural change because when a person feels depressed he/she tends to be more inactive and reduces involvement in pleasant activities. For this, it is important that the behaviours performed are aimed at achieving valued goals and that there is a high probability that they can be reinforced by the context.

Check this video which include some tips when doing behavioural activation: 

3.2. Mindfulness

->Same technique mentioned in 2.8. from Topic 2: specific strategies to handle stress.

  • It is a meditation-based practice that consists of training the attention to be aware of the present.
  • Mindfulness is about letting thoughts flow without resistance or judgement, simply observing how they come and go. It is important to differentiate between the fact of focusing attention and the attitude with which it is done. In addition to focusing attention on the present, one should adopt an attitude characterised by curiosity, openness and acceptance.
  • Mindfulness practices can be formal or informal. Formal mindfulness practice requires a minimum of 45 minutes a day doing mindfulness meditation exercises. On the other hand, informal mindfulness practice consists of applying mindfulness skills in any everyday action such as eating or walking.

Check this short video to find out how to practice mindfulness:

3.3. Cognitive restructuring

-> Same technique mentioned in 1.7. from Topic 1: specific strategies to handle anxiety

  • It consists of identifying and challenging maladaptive thoughts. These will then be replaced by more appropriate ones and the emotional disturbance caused by these thoughts will be reduced or eliminated.
  • The technique involves discussing negative automatic thoughts that occur in situations that provoke anxiety or other emotional disturbance (e.g. “They think I’m boring”) and replacing them with more rational beliefs or thoughts (such as “I can’t read other people’s minds, they’re probably tired now”).

It is not an easy technique, but you can do some actions. Check this video if you are interested!