Tools for Healing Depression and Anxiety

Major depression affects 15 million American adults each year, and about 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety. Modern medicine may treat these disorders but not cure them, but there is a way to completely heal. This lecture covers the root causes of depression and anxiety, and teaches students how to overcome them.

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The U.S. is one of the most depressed and anxious countries in the world, despite having more resources than almost any other country. There are complex reasons for this pattern, but here are three simple things that anyone can do to decrease the risk of developing depression and anxiety, or to help relieve the conditions:

1) Connect to others. When we start to feel down or depressed, we tend to want to isolate ourselves. This makes the depressed feelings worse. Human beings are built for social connection and community. Seek out social connections that are positive and nurturing to you. Schedule socially positive activities even if you don’t feel like it.

2) Seek out meaning and purpose. Focus on activities and relationships that give your life meaning and purpose. It is easy to restrict your life to things that are easy and meaningless like TV. When you don’t feel good, you start to believe that doing something meaningful would take too much energy; but the truth is, the less you do, the more tired and worn-out you feel.

3) Give to others. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the more you give to others the better you feel. This doesn’t work if well if the people you give to are the ones closest to you because we can’t help but to hope for something in return. But, if we reach out to others who are suffering or give our time to the less fortunate, then we feel the benefits of giving and often our mood will improve.