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How to manage anxiety and depression.

Updated: Apr 7

Life coach. Mindset Coach. Clinical Hypnotherapist. Mental health service

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions, they are also unfortunately on the rise.

Depression is generally caused by living in the past. This is when we wish things were the same as they were before or that we had done things differently than we did or that someone should have behaved in a certain way but didn't and we can't get past it.

Depression can present itself as intense unhappiness or hopelessness, Loss of appetite, sleep problems, lack of energy or motivation, self confidence issues and in extreme cases thoughts of death or suicide.

Anxiety is generally caused by living in the future. That is worrying about what might happen, what someone might say or think or worrying about things that are out of your control.

Anxiety can present itself as butterflies in your stomach, dizziness, restlessness, headaches, accelerated breathing, nausea, changes in your sex drive, unable to stop worrying, low mood, depression, disconnection, feeling like you're losing touch with reality and panic attacks.

When we live in the present moment, it is impossible to feel anxious or depressed but how do we manage this when we are struggling.

Practical solutions such as drinking water which can ground you or using breathing techniques to improve the oxygen getting to the brain so that you can problem solve effectively. You could also try naming three things that you can see, three things that you can hear and move three different body parts to help you brain shift out of it's current anxiety.

Long term solutions will involve challenging unhelpful beliefs and this might require professional support. Mindfulness can be a great tool for managing anxiety and depression. It can help you to anchor yourself in the present moment and become aware of the processes that are causing you to suffer. When you are mindful, you are paying attention to your thoughts, using your emotions ( feelings) as signposts to the thoughts that aren't working for you and cause you to behave in a certain way. Once you are aware of the thoughts that are causing your pain, you can start to work on challenging and changing them so that they no longer have the same impact on you.

Wellbeing strategies such as journaling, regular exercise, spending time outside, meditation and yoga can help to create space for us to enable us to reduce the stress hormones being produced by the body.

In doing this we can take ourselves out of our flight or fight response and distance ourselves from the triggering events in our lives which are contributing to our anxiety or depression. This distance gives us time to examine these events and problem solve them. To do this, we can talk with friends and family, listen to podcasts, read self help books, learn to meditate, use affirmations or seek professional or medical help.

I also find this exercise very helpful:

Take a piece of paper and using either a spider diagram or an ordered list, write down all the things that are overwhelming you or causing you stress or anxiety.

Then cross out anything that you have no control over.

Take a new piece of paper and on the left hand side write everything that is left from your spider diagram or list leaving plenty of space between them.

On the right hand side, start to list things that you can do to improve or resolve the issue.

When this is done, break the tasks on the right into small jobs that you can easily do in your everyday life to help you move out of depression or anxiety and into a sense of balance.

Changing the chemical response that controls our moods and ultimately make us depressed or anxious is not easy but having good wellbeing strategies, completing small and manageable tasks and consistently using affirmations and visualisation can help you to take control of the activities in your mind so that going forward you can manage your mental health proactively.

Proactively managing how we think and feel can help us to avoid overwhelm but adopting good coping skills and understanding our triggers much better. ( A trigger is a subconscious automatic reaction to an external event)

The key is in recognising how you are feeling before it becomes too overwhelming. Spending long periods of time in either anxious or depressed states, causes our survival mode to kick in and long term that can have a damaging impact on our physical health.

If you would like to discuss how Life and Mindset Therapy can support you, please get in touch.

Chris .


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