I think one of my greatest demons in life is my depression and anxiety. It’s plagued me much of my life and a song lyric comes to mind, “I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.” And, that is very true for me. Life, I think, is a constant struggle. There is always a new battle around the corner. But, in the last year, I have found that you can either lay down and die, or you can move on.
I think what makes it worse, in some cases, is when you feel like the environment and energy around you is a constant negative. We don’t always have control over that either. Trust me. My name is Ami, and not only do I have a problem, I’m also a control freak. They say knowing is the first step…I would disagree. I think it’s just who I am and I can’t change it, only learn how to better deal with others, and managing my compulsion to control.
I even see it now in my relationship with my husband. We have the most issues when we’re not in agreement. It usually stems from one of us thinks we should be in control…or more in control of, a certain decision or situation and we both want it to be ourselves.
So how do we deal with anxiety and depression, and not allow our environment to make it that much worse? My answer is simply, in my experience, it depends on who you are. If you like yoga…do yoga. If you like painting…do painting…or drawing, or listening to music, or getting out in nature. There are plenty of bad ideas out there like drugs, alcohol, or food addiction. But, there are plenty of other awesome ideas that can, not necessarily cure you, but give you the lift you need at the moment to bring you back to center. We’re all individuals and have different needs at different times.
I know what works for me is a huge puzzle. I have been pretty emotional lately dealing with a lot of stress and issues. When this happens, I end up in a world of hurt in depression and anxiety. Something as simple as going to the store to pick up eggs can set my anxiety high.
It takes time and practice but here are a few things I do to try to keep positive and steer myself out of depression, anxiety, or negative thoughts/feelings:
- Redirect negative thoughts to positive ones. Just think of something nice. Usually this can be a subject that you can always think of as nice, or a happy place.
- Yoga. Conventional yoga that has the spiritual aspect really helps center me and redirects my moods. I feel better able to handle the day when I do yoga.
- Painting, drawing, writing – All good, creative forms of expression that you can put your mind into and escape the negative thoughts for a while as you concentrate on a positive task.
- Reading positive quotes, articles, books – What you put in to your mind, is what it will become. If you’re reading a bunch of negativity (i.e. books, comment sections, news articles…) then you’ll adopt that negative way of thinking. You put good in, you get good out.
- If you need to get away and calm down. Do it. I know as mom’s we’re about the worst to actually do this. But, I have made an effort that even if I go scroll through Facebook, sitting on the side of the tub in our master bathroom, it’s quiet, and I’m taking a few minutes for myself.
- Clean up your diet. I can’t express how much going Paleo has done for my mental health. I am much more in control and much happier.
I could probably go on for hours, but those are just a few ways I’ve found that works for me. I have discovered though, these positive changes I make in my life doesn’t mean that I will always be immune to negativity, and setbacks.
Yes, I survived what is now believed to be an EF5 tornado. The strongest tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Yes, I believe I am one strong -blank- lady now. But, It doesn’t mean I’m invincible.
So I guess my best advice about my journey with depression and anxiety, is take time to listen and be still. Meditate. Do whatever you can to listen to your body. It won’t perfect every moment of your life, but I think you’ll be more easily able to identify issues and direct them in a positive way.