My earliest memory of anxiety was throwing up every morning before school in 4th grade for about a month. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I just knew that I dreaded going to school because of bullying. I was so upset it manifested in being physically ill. Since then, anxiety and depression have plagued me as an adult and literally held me back from living the life of my dreams. I wanted to share with you what has helped me cope with anxiety and depression. I am working to overcome these debilitating disorders and banish them from my life.
Acknowledge that you need help
It’s very easy to continue to go through life and just grin and bear it. I was a victim of anxiety for many years, not being self-aware of what what happening to me or even seeking ways to overcome it. We often don’t take the time for self-care and just accept that “this is the way life is.” But I was always envious of others that seemed to have more confidence, more success and just went with the flow. It wasn’t until I looked inside myself and realized that I wanted to live a different way that I was able to make steps to overcome it.
Meditate and breathe deep
I’m not kidding. For years I scoffed at meditation, because frankly, I had too much anxiety to even sit still. I sucked at it. I can’t say I’m great at it even now, but I’ve gotten over myself and keep doing it because, frankly, it helps. Meditation is a practice, so well, it takes practice. But learning to calm your mind and be still brings you in touch with your emotions and makes you more self aware. And self-awareness is what you must have to cope with anxiety and depression. A nice side effect of meditation is it can lead to deeper creativity and greater clarity regarding life choices. I use the app called Calm. I started with guided meditations and have moved to timed meditation.
When we have anxiety, we tend to breath more shallow, get less oxygen and let ourselves feel out of control. Taking the time to breath deep, hold it for a few seconds and then let it out slowly does wonders. I know, I have done this before public speaking and it is a game changer!
Explore natural remedies
I have found relief from anxiety and depression by acupuncture, homeopathy and natural supplements. Some that I’ve tried are L-Theanine, Ashwagandha, and Chinese herbs. These don’t work for everyone, but I suggest you give it a try before going to pharmaceutical medication.
I am extremely excited about a new technique I learned from my doctor, called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I think everyone can benefit from this and there are scientifically proven results that it reduces cortisol even better than talk therapy! It only takes a few minutes and helps you heal yourself. Check out this video where I talk more about my struggles and discovering EFT. EFT requires you to dig deep into the reasons behind your anxiety. It has helped me cope with anxiety and take my emotion level from defcon 10 to about a 5 in about 3 minutes.
Knowledge is power. Everyone’s limiting beliefs originate from their childhood and life experiences. We create our reality based on our thoughts. It’s kind of a wild concept, but super cool. Everything we can imagine is possible and we have the power to create it. That includes a prison of our own thoughts. Some books that have helped me are Psychocybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and You Can Heal your Life by Louise Hay. In discovering EFT, I have starting reading The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.
Get professional help
Find someone who can help you dig deep and find those life experiences that made you the way you are. Talk through them. Acknowledge them. Overcome them. And when all else fails, try medication. Depression is literally a chemical imbalance and sometimes we need even more help to heal. There is no shame in doing what you need to do to get healthy. Sometimes you are so low you feel like there is no way out. I myself have been on medication on an off through my adult life.
I deeply empathize with anyone who is suffering from anxiety and depression. My greatest hope for everyone is that they will fight to dig themselves out of the hell caused by these disorders to truly realize the people they can become. There is hope and you are not alone.