My Go-To Solutions for Anxiety/Depression


 

 

 

I long for the day when anxiety and depression are not struggles I face on a near-daily basis, whether in my own personal life or in that of a friend.

 

However, I can say there have been significant improvements thanks to a few techniques that I’ll share today. I hope you find them helpful! Please share, because you never know who is really struggling with these things, and they could make a huge difference in a life!

 

Recognize triggers. I know that certain situations are going to be more difficult than others, for instance leaving my kiddos with a sitter or in daycare, or going to a crowded event. Simply knowing that I’m going to be in a heightened state allows me to go into the situation as prepared as possible.

 

For instance, I will build in a buffering transition zone, so to speak, that will keep me from having to drop off or leave the kiddos in a rush. I can ensure on the days I’ll be at an event that I focus on what I can control, like eating properly and getting the right kind of exercise.

 

Understanding what situations are more difficult for me doesn’t alleviate the issues completely, but helps me keep things under control rather than being caught off guard.

 

Verbalize. Have you noticed that keeping your anxiety or depression to yourself actually intensifies the symptoms? I certainly know this to be true for me. It’s stressful to hide things, and stress exacerbates mental illness.

 

When I started to confide in friends and family, I noticed a huge shift in how I felt, both immediately and long term. Knowing I didn’t have to hide and put on a front gave me more freedom to be me, and allowed me to focus on staying and getting healthy. It also helped me get perspective. If I’m having physical symptoms of anxiety, having someone else to remind me that it’s probably not Ebola, or whatever other nasty disease I automatically assume I’m dying of, is incredibly helpful.

 

Relieving the pressure was paramount, and gave me more confidence to speak even more publicly about what I’m struggling with – which, in turn, has helped many others in their struggle. Speaking out also empowered me because I was doing something to beat my anxiety.

 

Tapping. When a friend first told me about what she described simply as “tapping” to relieve my anxiety, I thought it was too easy to be useful. But when I found myself battling an anxiety attack just a short while later, the method proved incredibly powerful. It was later explained to me by my therapist, and reading I’ve done since collaborates it as having actual methodology behind it.

 

The Emotional Freedom Technique, as it’s formally known, involves using your fingers to rhythmically drum on certain areas of your body. For me, I find it calming to focus on one thing – moving my fingers in a steady motion – and the metronome-like pace seemingly takes everything from 80 miles per hour to a more manageable, slower speed.

 

What I like most about it is I can do it without anyone even noticing. Sure, you’ll see me tapping my fingers on the side of my leg (which I should note isn’t an official “spot” recognized by EFT), but lots of people do that regardless of their emotional state.

 

Singing. I’m not one to hum a bar with any tune, but there’s research behind the practice of singing your anxieties. A recent article I read recommends a specific app – Songify – that will transcribe your fears (or whatever else you say into it) into a melody.

The idea isn’t to mock your fears or minimize them, but to deconstruct them and realize their place. There's a lot of helpful info in the link here.



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