DEALING WITH STRESS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
The following blog, along with previous blogs written, is based on issues from various patients I have worked with over the years. If you wish to no longer receive these blogs, merely e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating “Do not email future blogs” and your name will be deleted from the mailing list.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can have an effect on everyone’s daily life. With all that’s going on in the world today, it is easy to be affected by the confusion and mixed messages we are bombarded with. The results can be a mixture of all three with the question of which affects the other two first. For some, stress can lead to anxiety and/or depression. For others depression can lead to stress and anxiety. Regardless, all three can be debilitating. Though each can be interwoven, not every person suffering from anxiety is depressed, and not every person with depression feels anxious. Regardless, whether experiencing anxiety or depression, stress always seems to be interwoven in the mix.
Stress is a physical response to a situation. When the brain receives a threatening signal, the body goes into high alert to prepare for either a “fight/flight” response. Once resolved, one way or anther, the body goes into a state of equilibrium. Today, more often than not, the perceived threat is not easily resolved. As a result, the stress can be chronic and prolonged and not easily turned off. These overwhelming pressures that don’t get resolved can result in various levels of anxiety and/or depression. In fact, it is not unusual for someone to suffer from both anxiety and depression at the same time.
Anxiety, along with stress, seems to be part of every day life for many people today. That chronic, uneasy feeling in mind and body, seems all too often to keep people from feeling in control of their lives. People experiencing anxiety may feel fearful, panicky and not viewing themselves in control. When this happens, it can adversely affect ones ability to work, maintain a normal life style and stay focused.
Depression, on the other hand, can hang over people, suffocating everything experienced. When feeling depressed, it adversely affects the person’s thinking, behavior and feelings. People who are chronically depressed experience a hopeless attitude, that nothing in life is going to change. There is a lack of motivation to do anything but sleep. Doing anything constructive is put off until one feels better, but that day never seems to come.
Depression can make it much more difficult to control or cope when one is stressed and anxious also. Counseling and proper medication can help but changing ones thoughts and behavior can make really a positive and constructive difference. But doing this is easier said than done. Waiting to no longer feel depressed before doing anything will only make the depression worse. Though it may be very hard to do, it is vital to push through the depression in spite of the resistance. Only then, can the small successes chip away at the depressive stagnation.
SRATEGIES YOU CAN TRY:
It is not unusual for it to be recommended that people dealing with stress, anxiety and depression seek out professional counseling and proper medication. Though this avenue can be successful in certain situations, there are a variety of strategies one can utilize to deal with these maladies as well.
- You can start by being more aware of what you are feeling and also the underlying causes and triggers. Finding answers to these questions may provide valuable information as how you can effectively move toward to effectively being your authentic self.
- Do some sort of activity that has a beginning, an end and gives a sense of accomplishment. This can be especially difficult for people who are depressed. They are more apt to resist by claiming to do it when they feel better.” It doesn’t matter what the activity is. It can be something as simple as throwing out the trash or taking a shower.
- Find something that may be soothing such as watching a good movie or reading an escapism book or putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Getting lost in the activity will get you out of your head when thinking negative thoughts.
- Focus on a daily routine, morning, noon and night. Adhering to a daily routine will give you a sense of personal power and fulfillment at the end of the day.
- Connect with other people, regardless of the lack of motivation to do so. This can be in-person, over the phone, through video or zooming. If the people are positive, it will have a real positive effect.
- Get out of the house, even if it means taking a walk around the block or taking a short drive to the post office.
- Focus on your breathing. When feeling anxious or depressed, put your hand on your chest. It will remind you to slowly breathe. Remember not to breathe through your lungs which would mean you’re shallow breathing. Rather breathe through your diaphragm which is located in your abdomen area. By doing so, you getting needed oxygen pushed throughout your body, including your heart and brain.
This list is not an end all, be all in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. There is not a “one shoe fits all” remedy for those sufferers. Being aware of your body and what combination of strategies may work for you may be found through trial and error. If what you try doesn’t prove to be successful, resist the tendency to become discouraged and give up. Push through it and try something else.
Readers are invited to comment, share thoughts, ideas or suggestions about this blog or any other previous blogs. Readers can e-mailing me at email@example.com or mailing me at lifesourcecenter, 710 Main Street, Plantsville Connecticut, 06479.