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How can I manage anxiety and depression?

Updated: Feb 3

Chris Maragkakis. Blog author and life coach

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 night 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.

Long term solutions will involve challenging unhelpful beliefs and using Mindfulness to help anchor yourself in the present moment and become aware of the processes that are causing you to suffer.

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 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 (see podcast 30) 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.

If you have questions or would like to discuss how coaching can support you, please get in touch.

Chris x

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