Depression is when you don’t care.
Anxiety is when you care too much.
But both together… is hell.
Is it possible to break free of poor mental health and move into a place of wellness? YES!
Without a doubt, this can be done. However, it won’t be easy and it is going to take some serious honesty.
Do these three things to abolish depression and anxiety for good!
- Stop resisting what is and cultivate acceptance.
- Get to know yourself well.
- Live by your truth, not by the expectations of others.
To begin, you need to take a good long look in the mirror and really see what’s looking back at you. This includes recognizing your limitations and identifying your “truth”.
If I can do this, trust me, you can do this! So let’s get into what you need to do to end your misery!
A Common Root To Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety can be caused by a multitude of things. However, they often have a simple root cause that I could identify in my personal situation.
- Resistance* (Resisting “what is”)
- Not living your truth
Resistance isn’t always bad. Many times it can be the catalyst to making much-needed life changes. However, when making changes is not possible, resisting “what is” will chafe you in the worst ways and make you miserable. Instead of resisting, learn to “go with the flow” and let things roll off of you. Adopt an easy-going attitude and literally “don’t sweat the small stuff” as much as possible.
Now, let’s talk about living your truth. In both the big things and little things, living your truth will make your life more simple and ward off resistance in and of itself.
For example: If you hate to fly, don’t agree to meet a friend overseas. Doing so will only cause you anxiety and fear. Don’t ever want to wear a wedding ring? Then don’t speak of marriage with your love interest. Of course, these are two very simple and general examples, but I think you get my point.
There is a time and place for everything, including compromise. However, if you are constantly going against the grain of your truth so-to-speak, you will live a life that feels like a continual crisis. By ending resistance and knowing yourself enough to know what your truth is, you can, at this basic level, end depression and anxiety instead of living with them as your constant companions.
Look Into The Mirror and See Yourself For Who You Are
What do you see when you look in the mirror? You may see someone who is trying very hard at life, but unable to see your underlying truth. The person looking back at you is the image you project to everyone else, the mask you wear to survive.
If you want to heal mentally, you need to remove that mask. Remove it and look deep into your core.
Take a little time and look into the mirror without that mask and ask yourself, “what are my values?”, “what is important to me and why?”, “am I being realistic or setting myself up to fail?”, “what is my ‘truth’?”.
The answers to these questions need to be the bare-naked truth because so much of the misery in our lives is brought upon us by our own doing. I am not talking about the things out of your control, like a pandemic or death of a loved one, I am talking about the simple everyday things that are a result of poor choices.
It is time to get real with yourself and make an honest attempt to identify what your truth is. Doing so can have a huge impact on your everyday life and help you to make choices that are aligned with that truth.
The Flip Side Of Resistance… Acceptance
Another way to look at “resistance” is to see it from another perspective… acceptance.
When you are resisting ‘what is’, you are not accepting the situation. Now, it is very important that you don’t think of acceptance as being in agreement. Obviously, they are not the same thing but people sometimes have a difficult time separating the two.
So to clarify, accepting a situation does not mean that you are in cahoots with it, nor that you agree with it. It simply means that you acknowledge it and accept that it just is what it is for now.
This is important because research shows that acceptance is important for improving your mental well-being.
Study’s show that those who resist negative emotions and bodily sensations are more likely to have depression and anxiety.
On the other hand, those who embrace the suck have fewer negative feelings and emotions, leading to an improvement in mental well-being.
Why is this the case? Researches think this is because when you are more accepting, you focus less attention on the issue. Whereas, when you are the type who judges your emotions, they begin to add up, drawing your attention into a negative feedback loop.
With this in mind, try to be more accepting of yourself as a whole. Whether it’s your situation or negative feelings, your best bet is to acknowledge and accept.
The First Step To Living Your Truth
If your life is messy because you don’t live your truth, you need to find your center. The first step to doing this is to learn to say “NO”. When someone asks you to help them move, say no. If someone asks you to pick up a shift at work, say no.
Instead, say yes to learning who you are and what you are capable of doing. When you practice saying no, you can determine what your own needs are and begin to work on them.
I cannot stress the importance of knowing yourself enough. When you know yourself, and live accordingly, you will remove all the bullcrap in your life that tugs on you from every direction. It is not rude or “un-nice” to focus on yourself. In fact, in case of emergencies, you always put your own oxygen mask on first, then assist others. Everyday life is no different.
Practice saying no until you can get a grip on what your capabilities are and what you are willing to do without sacrificing your own mental wellness. You don’t have to be the nice guy/gal who does for everyone but does nothing for themselves.
People will appreciate that when you say yes, it’s because you want to help, and that you are capable of helping. Your efforts aren’t half-assed or based on unrealistic obligations to be “nice”.
We are all capable of reducing anxiety and depression by making a few adjustments. First, stop resisting what is and learn to accept things as they come. Acceptance is a powerful tool that we can all use to improve mental well-being and research shows it works!
Second, get to know yourself! Identify your core values and your limitations. This isn’t a judging sesh, it’s about knowing what you’re capable of so your actions directly reflect this. This is the foundation for the next step.
Third, live by your truth and not by the expectation of others. This is the reason that getting to know yourself is so important (and why a relationship with yourself is the most important relationship to have). As you determine what your values and capabilities are, living your truth will become easier.
These three things can change your life on their own. I know this because they changed me.
By making all three a priority and putting in the work, depression and anxiety will lose its place in you, opening the path to positive mental well-being for good. Then if that monster rises up again, you have a set of skills to put it back in its place.
Speaking of skills, check out this post about Mindfulness For Depression and Anxiety to add yet another tool in your mental well-being arsenal.
What is your experience with depression and anxiety? Please share your experience in the comments below, and please share us with your friends!