Anxiety and depression in any form can lurk behind seemingly happy lives and smiling faces. It’s crippling and can be devastating for the person going through it. Regardless of the cause, there are proven ways to deal with it with both professional help and personal efforts.
Here are some ways you can alleviate the symptoms and eventually overcome the conditions in the long run.
1. Seek professional help
One of the biggest reasons depression, anxiety, and unhappiness go untreated is the unwillingness to seek professional help. Now, there are a variety of ways you can get this done. Whether it's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), or Antidepressant Medication, the right professional will prescribe what will work best for you.
But for the prescription to work, you need a correct diagnosis first. And that will happen accurately only if you spend a specified time with a professional. It may be scary and dreadful to think about it. But in the long run, you'll thank your stars that you made a move.
2. Practice Mindfulness
The state of being mindful is more relaxing and therapeutic than people give it credit for. Yes, you're more focused on the task at hand or on the environment around you. But very importantly, it focuses your energy on what matters most. The result is that your mind doesn't wander around on depressive thoughts or anxious feelings.
The easiest way to master mindfulness is by daily routine. It may not come naturally at first. So, start a 5-minute meditation or 10-minute awareness exercise every day. It'll soon blossom into a powerful habit that gets you up, active, and motivated for facing life.
3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
This one’s so frequently recommended that we lose track of what it can really do for our lives.
Firstly, a fitter body keeps your mind on a healthier flow. You're more confident about yourself, and you'll even carry yourself with a different poise and swagger.
Secondly, science reveals that regular exercising releases endorphins. These are what we know as those 'feel-good hormones. There's no wonder why fit people seem annoyingly happy all the time. And those of us with crippling anxiety or depression can use a little bit of that vibe.
Finally, a regular exercise routine keeps you occupied enough to forget about depressive thoughts (even if temporarily).
4. Track Your Triggers
Anxious thoughts and depressive episodes can often have triggers. It may be a habit associated with a traumatic past or a situation that reminds you of how it all started. Keep track of when these anxious fits start kicking in. You’ll realize that there are clear environments or visuals that trigger these thoughts in your mind.
With a clear understanding of your triggers, you can anticipate them, stand up to them, and later on, even overcome them. It’s a clear path of progress that starts with grasping what flicks the on-off switch in your mind.
5. Practice self-control
Whether it's excessive alcohol or over-eating, we can develop tons of unhealthy habits thanks to depression. That's because our minds and bodies try to over-indulge in the things that feel good. It feels like that's the only activity where you're getting some satisfaction or pleasure.
The problem is that this habit can be the anchor on which the depression grows and sustains itself. Because every time you're not splurging on junk food or grabbing a beer, the feel-good vibe goes away. So, try to build the self-control necessary to fight these urges. Remember that they may feel good for the moment, but you often feel even worse after.
Depression, anxiety, and their related issues can cause catastrophic changes that ruin lives. The recovery is not easy, to say the least. But it's surely possible with the right mindset, habits, and lifestyle changes to back you up!