Anxiety can shake you around so you feel like you are holding on to a pneumatic drill.
Depression can feel like a heavy dragging weight inside and out.
These challenging experiences can be overcome. Here’s seven things that can help.
- Get help.
Risk the feeling of embarrassment and seek help. Speak with your doctor, seek a referral to a psychologist, ask for support from friends and family.
- Accept that feeling sadness or pain is a natural part of human emotions.
Be curious about what is happening, what you are thinking and what you are feeling now. Examine your feelings as an observer and as the person experiencing them.
- Identify what can’t be changed.
Regrets about the past, imaginations about the future, past mistakes and losses that can’t be changed are a major source of our negative thoughts and generate many self-criticisms. Work to accept what is and set yourself to look more positively at future possibles.
- If you criticise yourself, try to do it with balance.
We can be our own best critics because we think we know everything about ourselves.
When we are depressed or caught up in anxious thinking our internal critic can get a real boost and be more easily noticed. So deliberately add to your criticisms; build in a modification or a little humour.
For example:”I’m useless …. at brain surgery” (don’t do this if you are a brain surgeon)
“I can’t do [that]……yet”
“Everything goes wrong….but not for long.”
“I can’t stand it …..so I will sit.”
These seem silly but they work!
- Detail your problems.
When you are in a depressive mood or anxious state, thoughts, feelings and imagined bleak futures are often magnified and feel insoluble. It can help to examine the issues and identify the bits that make up the problem. Writing down the elements can help to reveal small manageable changes that build to shift how you feel overall. Do this in a focussed time, 5 to 10 minutes per day, set a timer and when done get up and walk or engage in another physical task.
Get dressed. Go for a walk. Stretch. Bend. Move. Start small and build from there. You don’t need to feel like it to do it. There is an increasing volume of neuroscience research that shows that even minor movement affects our serotonin levels and improves wellbeing.
- Forgive yourself.
If you feel you have ‘failed’ to do as you said you would or if you think you have made a mistake, start over and be patient with yourself.
I read about a woman who made this apparently difficult task easier by saying these simple words to herself, “This time I pardon you.”
You can always blame yourself again next time, but this time forgive yourself.
If you would like to discuss your concerns please contact me on 1300 856 480.