Thursday, April 18

Symptoms of depression

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. One of the factors that contribute to depression is monotony – the feeling of being stuck in a routine that lacks novelty, excitement, and stimulation. Let us explore the link between depression and monotony and how travelling can be an effective way to treat depression.

The Link Between Depression and Monotony

Monotony can be a significant contributor to depression because it can lead to feelings of boredom, emptiness, and disengagement. When we do the same things day in and day out, it can start to feel like we are stuck in a rut with no way out. We may begin to lose interest in the things that used to bring us joy and may struggle to find motivation to try new things.

Furthermore, monotony can also trigger negative thoughts and emotions. For instance, when we have nothing exciting or novel to look forward to, it is easy for negative thoughts to take over, leading to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. This is why monotony can be a vicious cycle that feeds into depression and can be difficult to break. Depression is such a condition that it doesn’t only affect your life but also everyone around you, depleting the positive energy in one’s home and relationships.

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Staying indoors can cause depression

Staying indoors for prolonged periods can contribute to feelings of depression. The lack of natural sunlight and exposure to fresh air can impact our mood and energy levels. Being cooped up indoors can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to weight gain, poor sleep, and other health problems. Additionally, being isolated from social interactions and human connections can increase feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Lack of stimulation and variety can also lead to boredom and a sense of monotony, which can further exacerbate depressive symptoms. Overall, staying indoors for too long without breaks and exposure to nature and social interactions can have a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Understanding the brain behind depression

Depression is caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. One of the primary neurotransmitters involved in depression is serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depressive symptoms. On the other hand, travelling can release several chemicals that can help to alleviate depression, including dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward, oxytocin with social bonding and trust, and endorphins with pain relief and mood enhancement. These chemicals are released when we engage in novel and exciting experiences, social interactions, and physical activity, which are all common aspects of travel. Travelling can even revive a relationship to bring back youthful excitement and renew the sensation of love that was once felt in the early stages of the relationship.

How Traveling Can Treat Depression

One of the ways to break the monotony cycle and treat depression is by traveling. Traveling provides an opportunity to experience new things, cultures, and environments that can help to break the routine and provide the much-needed stimulation and excitement. Here are some of the ways traveling can be an effective way to treat depression:

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Novelty and excitement: Traveling to new places provides the novelty and excitement that can help to break the monotony cycle. It can be invigorating to explore new cultures, try new foods, and engage in new activities.

Exposure to new experiences: Traveling can expose us to new experiences that we may not have access to in our daily lives. This exposure can help to broaden our perspectives and provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Increased social interaction: Traveling can provide opportunities for increased social interaction, which can help to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Meeting new people, engaging in group activities, and sharing experiences with others can help to boost mood and alleviate depressive symptoms.

Improved self-esteem: Traveling can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem. When we step outside of our comfort zone and take on new challenges, we build confidence and self-efficacy, which can help to counter negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.

Rasulullah ﷺ enjoys the outdoors with Aisha رضي الله عنها

Aisha reported: She was with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while on a journey. Aisha said, “I raced him on foot and I outran him, but when I gained some weight, I raced him again and he outran me. The Prophet said: This is for that race.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 2578

When we look at the life of Rasulullah ﷺ, we find a constant theme of bringing happiness in the lives of everyone around him. He ﷺ constantly taught the sahabah (R.A) to have a balance in life and not to be extreme in anything as our bodies have rights over us. Taking time out to enjoy nature, contemplate on how Allah ﷻ created the world and bond in a playful manner with our spouses.

What should be our intention when travelling?

Say, [O Muhammad ﷺ], “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah , over all things, is competent.” [Suarh Ankaboot 29:20]

Travelling can be a form of Ibaadat (worship) if we make the correct intention. We should make the intention that we are travelling to see the wonders and blessings of Allah ﷻ and to seek reminders of the doom of the predecessors. When we travel with this intention then the journey becomes more than just relaxation and refreshing our minds but rather it becomes it refreshes our Iman in the greatness of Allah ﷻ and it may motivate us to draw closer to Allah ﷻ. The few days of travel should be enjoyed as it can be just the roohaani (spiritual) upliftment you need while at the same time realising how big the world is and how small our problems are. Allah ﷻ is capable of sustaining the entire world, surely He can remove our worries and grant us ease. 

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