Depressive Slumps and How to Treat Them

Our emotions are delicately balanced. The balance can be disturbed when we over-extend the nervous system. In times of high arousal the nervous system is working overtime and we are using a lot of psychic energy. The brain can’t remain in this state of accelerated activity so the nervous system tries to force us to rest. One of the ways that it does this is to bring on a feeling of depression.

The depression is thought to actually build up under the high arousal so while ever we keep powering on it is masked. However, given the slightest break, the depression emerges and we sink into an emotional slump.

The consumption of alcohol lowers arousal levels and this is why people who have been pushing their nervous system wake up with a severe depression after a night on the booze. Depression usually causes us to be inactive. We prefer to just lie around and do nothing. This lassitude can assist the nervous system to repair itself.

While the feelings associated with the slump are often unpleasant they can serve a very useful purpose. If you’ve been working like a dog at a sheep trial; breaking all previous management records in your company and doing plenty of boozing – don’t be surprised if you occasionally slump.

How to Overcome Depressive Slumps

  1. Get some exercise. Take a brisk walk or a swim when you are gloomy.
  2. Watch your diet. A low fat, high carbohydrate seems to assist production of beta-endorphins — the good feeling chemical.
  3. Recall some positive memories of work or personal success.
  4. Do something positive for someone else. The good feelings will rub off.
  5. Act as if you feel good. Your mind can trick your body.
  6. Catch a positive emotion. Associate with positive people and their emotions will be contagious.

Take your foot of the accelerator and go with the flow. If rest and recuperation doesn’t fix it then please seek medical assistance.

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John Townsend

My name is John Townsend and I have been working as a Stress Management Consultant since 1986. My seminar, Get Tough With Stress, has been presented to thousands of people throughout the world and shows people how to toughen up to stress and to transform stressful experiences into valuable learning experiences.

My clients include many of Australia’s largest companies plus Australian Government Departments and agencies. One of my greatest personal joys was to present my Get Tough With Stress programme to staff of the Australian Parliament.

Over the past 15 years I have been presenting to large numbers of Chief Executive Officers through an organisation called The Executive Connection (TEC). I have been privileged to receive the highest honours bestowed on speakers by TEC, an organisation dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of Chief Executives.

Follow John on LinkedIn: townsend-international-pty-ltd

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