Hello and welcome,
Today's topic is going to be centered around mental health and wellbeing. We're going to dissect two common and unfortunate states of mind known as anxiety, and the other, depression.
We're going to work in reverse, so let's take on anxiety first.
Anxiety, as uncomfortable as it can be, is a state of mind. Where does it come from? Do we just randomly wake up one day and decide we're going to have anxiety? There are different forms, or levels, of anxiety, some mild and some extreme. Rapid onsets of anxiety, or panic attacks, are very frightening experiences. Let's try to understand how anxiety is formed; how is it that we create this in our life?
Human beings operate in two ways; first of love/faith, second of fear. Anxiety, as I'm sure you guessed, comes from fear-based thoughts or living. In order to understand anxiety, we have to understand our thoughts. Thoughts are like seeds; we can grow something positive like sunflowers, or we can plant nightshade, a deadly poison. Keep in mind that this can be done on a conscious or subconscious level.
If we plant positive thoughts (sunflowers), it can only grow if we nurture it. If we plant negative thoughts (nightshade), well, the same is true. So how does a negative thought turn into anxiety? When we are living in fear, we are growing negative thoughts; these thoughts are not in harmony with the soul. The soul wants to express itself, we want to express ourselves. If we spend our days doing things and thinking thoughts that do not support our true self or our "higher purpose," it creates a state of confusion. Let's take working at a job for the sole purpose of earning a little money. If this job does not support your purpose, beliefs, or desires, then it can cause internal confusion. This confusion manifests in the body as anxiety. The mental confusion has to take form on the physical level; your mind and body are linked, therefore the anxiety (confusion/fear) has to be expressed in the body.
Anxiety will continue to manifest if we do not change the environment in which it grows; like the seed, the environment supports the crop. Worry or fear of the anxiety continues its growth, and this anxiety eventually will become suppressed, pushed down, and kept inside. This anxiety turns into depression. Depression is also a state of being, and it affects your physical body. It has been proven in several cases that your thoughts physically change the cells in your body. Anxiety and depression are causing disintegration to your body. Depression can be compared to a state of DEEP REST. When you are in this state, you are likely to be inactive, spiraling further down. There is a saying: "If you do not use it, you will lose it." This is true with your body. Anyone who has experienced depression understands how difficult it can be to pull out and restore a happy-loving state.
So what can we do?
It is highly suggested to not claim or feed anxiety or depression. Focusing on these states attracts more of similar experiences into your life. There is a great saying by Buckminster Fuller that goes as follows: "You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete."
This means we do not focus on getting rid of anxiety or depression. We focus on living out of faith/love, compared to fear. Living out of love, being positive, and focusing on creating and expression.
Here are a few friendly suggestions to get your started.
1. Grab a journal and make a daily routine to physically write down at least 10 things you are grateful for. Take as much time with this as you need, really attempt to FEEL the state of being grateful. Is it possible to be depressed and grateful at the same time?
2. Create the habit of catching your negative/anxious/depression thoughts. When you notice yourself having a thought, acknowledge the thought, but instead take the time to think three thoughts that are positive or expressing gratitude.
3. Plan a trip a few months out; don't worry about the details of how you are supposed to make this happen, or how you are going to afford it. Instead, just visualize yourself already on the trip, how much fun you're going to have, what food you are going to eat, and who you are inviting to the trip. Really imagine this situation; what activities are you going to do? Are you taking pictures? Making a committed plan to vacation does so many good things for you. Even if its a one day trip, that's fine. This affirms to yourself that you are going to first be alive and well, that you have the ability to feel happy and enjoy expressing yourself in this life. It causes you to start being active and social again. Taking the actual trip can help you remember what you love and enjoy about life. It can help you get back on track with your goals and your life purpose.
4. Set reminders on your cellphone or calendar—something you will see often. Use reminders to ask questions and hold yourself accountable. It takes daily repetition and constant awareness to improve and change mental states that will last. My recommendation would be setting several reminders on your phone.
Examples of reminders:
- GRATITUDE JOURNAL!
- What state am I in, how do I feel?
- 3 positive thoughts
Simple but effective reminders frequently activated throughout the day will help you to reprogram your mind. Your habitual thinking habits have created the negative states of anxiety and or depression, so be gentle with yourself while you are creating positive states. There is no time restraint, and it isn't a race; this is your mental health, your wellbeing.
Writing is a very powerful form of expression. I recommend also writing about the things you love, figuring out what you want from life, and beginning to take action, even in baby steps, in making things happen for you. Focus only on what you WANT, not what you DO NOT WANT.
I hope this simple read has helped someone, somewhere, to remember how to be healthy and happy. It really is all in the power of the mind; life isn't over, it is happening now. You have the ability to shape your life however you want, and I hope you choose to be happy and vibrant!