Colin James McKenzie, Lifestyle Coach
Some tips for managing anxiety and depression in your day to day life
And as we are all aware, some of those non-sufferers can be less than understanding - pull yourself together, have you tried just not worrying about stuff, stop being ridiculous, you're just not trying hard enough, but there's nothing to be anxious about so what's the matter with you.......we've heard them all haven't we?!
So moving on from those truly unhelpful suggestions, what real help can we actually give ourselves? There's a few basics, all of which are worth repeating here, and all of which have value when we remember (or more accurately are able) to apply them.
1. Stop being so hard on yourself. If it's not your fault that you suffer from this medically recognised medical condition, then why are you blaming yourself for it?
2. Celebrate your achievements, however small. Anything you can do today that you couldn't manage yesterday is a success.
3. Talk about it. Find a support group or meeting near you and go. Being with and hearing from others who suffer in the same way will help you to realise you're not alone.
4. Fresh air and exercise! Our Grandparents were on to something with this advice: the release of endorphins from exercise, coupled with the body and skin's natural reaction to being outside, mean this is actually the best action you can take. Keep it simple, just put your trainers on and go for a walk. That's all you need to do to start feeling the benefit, do it daily and you won't believe the change.
My personal top tip for you, one I've used myself and which I teach others to use also is surprising in both its simplicity and effectiveness. Get a notebook. A new one. Get your favourite pen. And just write. You don't need it to have the structure of a diary or the formality of a mood chart you just need to empty your brain of all the swirling negativity and just write. Write a shopping list. Write a To-do list. Don't worry about doing them, just write them down so you stop worrying about them. Write your worst fears and thoughts. Your hopes and dreams. What you'd do if you won the lottery. Just write until you've emptied your brain of everything and can get a good night's sleep.
In America it's called scribble or note therapy. And because what you're doing is taking all that negative anxiety, popping them in the pages of a notebook and then closing the notebook at the end, the idea is you're closing the page on the worry and can relax a little better, sleep a little easier and so on.
I know it's not a cure, and I'm not claiming it as that. What I am saying is if you follow points 1-4 as the basics as best you can on any given day, try adding this note-writing to your daily routine as a means of helping to get those negative thoughts out of your head. And who knows, maybe out of your life.
-Original article and thoughts the property of Colin James McKenzie-
Colin James McKenzie