11 Ways to Cope With Anxiety & Depression
Today we’re gonna dive into something deep, something that needs to be talked about and addressed , something that I think a lot of people struggle with daily , but are to afraid to admit it. That something is anxiety and depression. I’m not talking about the occasional feeling of being down in the dumps, no I’m talking about the feeling of not being able to get out of bed in the morning and perform simple daily tasks such as showering, cooking,or cleaning.
Believe it or not there are people out there suffering severely and not knowing how to cope with the feeling of just not being enough. I know this because I’ve been there in that place and it’s not a fun place to be. Every now and again I feel myself slipping back into it and that’s somewhere I hate to go. It’s a draining place not only emotionally, but physically and mentally too. It makes you feel stuck as if you’re in a pool of quick sand and you’re slowly,but surely sinking deep down into the dark. It feels as though you’re never going to leave that place, as if you’ll be stuck there forever, as if there’s no way out. Well I’ve got news for you, there is a way! There is a way to pull yourself up from that dark place and see light and happiness again.
I think it was during my first year in college that I actually realized how severe it was for me and how bad I was actually suffering. In high school I’d had those same emotionally draining feelings, but I never really thought about it being anxiety or depression because I’d always thought you’d see the signs I eventually learned that was not the case. You don’t see the signs most people see you and think you’re so happy and you’ve got everything figured out, but when the curtains close and the crowd has left the building you’re left to drown in your own thoughts.
When I finally did realize that I was suffering, I decided to do what most people don’t do which was get help. No I didn’t go talk to a shrink, but I did myself a favor and went to a doctor for a help. I had made an appointment at a local doctors office where I lived and was kind of happy about getting the help I needed. Upon getting there I filled out the usual paperwork they give new patients and went through the normal blood pressure check, weighing, and temperature. I was then given a survey, or what they called and evaluation sheet, with a bunch of questions which I was required to circle the answer that best described me and my feelings. After my evaluation it didn’t take long for the doctor to talk with me about my feelings then analyze my evaluation and tell me that she’d be prescribing me some meds. As I stated, I was excited, this was what I wanted. I wanted to feel normal and I wanted to feel like myself and to me, this was definitely a start.
Now that I had these new meds I felt like everything would change, and those feelings would go away. I took the medicine for about two or three months and I started noticing those same feelings were coming back. Upon going to my usual wellness check appointment I stressed this to my doctor. In which she told me that we could increase the dosage if that was something I wanted to do. It was at that moment I knew that I shouldn’t be taking these meds. If it was going to require me to up my dosage every time my body got used to it i didn’t want it. I didn’t want to be dependent on that the rest of my life. I wanted a normal life not a life of jamming pills down my throat every time I needed it.
So I made the decision to stop taking the prescription, and treat myself. Being that I was already deep into herbalism, I knew that I could find an alternative method to traditional medicine and I did. I actually found a few different methods that worked for me and I’m going to share with you what I did to help minimize and cope with my anxiety and depression. I will say it’s not an easy journey, but it’s possible if you trust the process.
- AFFIRMATIONS : I mentally prepared myself for the journey I was about to take to self love and happiness. I had to change my thought process, and the way I thought about myself. I came up with my own positive affirmations that I’d tell myself whenever I felt myself falling again.
- SPEAKING OUT LOUD: I had a friend to talk to (my spouse). I realized that when I would talk to my spouse about what I was experiencing it made it easier because I didn’t have it all bottled up inside and taking over my thoughts. Even if it’s something you feel may sound stupid, express it to a trusted friend. It will feel a lot better than keeping it in. I promise.
- MEDITATION: I meditated. In the beginning of my meditation journey I would listen to the song "Good Thoughts Bad Thoughts" by Funkadelic this song allowed me to keep myself on track with the way I thought and the lyrics made me want to think better. I also used an app called Headspace, which really helped to relax my mind and body and clear those negative thoughts.
- SMOKING/INGESTING HERBS: Other than the obvious of smoking Mary Jane, I actually smoked herbs such as St.Johns Wort, Sage, Blué Lotus, & a few other herbs. These herbs are beneficial for their ability to release the happy hormones (endorphins)to calm the mind and reduce stress. This allowed me to go throughout my days easier and less anxious. I opted for making my own "meds" from St.Johns Wort. You can find them here .A tincture or tea is another way of ingesting herbs and are very beneficial and fast acting especially if you don’t want to smoke. Different blends will have different benefits. If you’re looking for a mind calming tea you can find one here.
- JOURNALING: Writing down thoughts and feelings is another way to release. I always kept my journal with me and when I felt something I’d write it down. It also helps to write down your plans for the day so you can easily check each accomplishment off one by one. This is especially helpful if you have a hard time completing tasks when your down.
- UNDERSTANDING: Understanding why you feel the way you feel is key. You need to know why you feel anxious or depressed and what triggers it. Finding your triggers will make it easier to catch those feelings before they arise and if they do come it will be easier to calm yourself if you’re able to identify what caused it.
- MIND OVER MATTER : As you know the brain is pretty much the power house of the body. I don’t know about you, but I do believe in manifestation using your mind. When you’re constantly tearing yourself down, telling yourself you’re not good enough you’ll eventually begin to believe it. Speak and think what you want into existence, try not to speak so negatively about yourself even if you’re joking. Most times when we joke about ourselves we’re honestly telling how we truly feel about ourselves. If you’re nervous about something try saying things like " I have nothing to be nervous about, it’s all in my head". YOU are the master of your mind, nobody else can control how you feel about yourself.
8. TAKE A BREAK: It’s always nice to have some time alone, do something you enjoy, something that will bring you happiness. If you spend a lot of time on social media , try staying away for a while. Social media tends to get us all caught up in what other people have going on , and all the positive things they have. News flash, those people aren’t going to show what they’re really feeling it’s social media, everyone puts on a show to impress their followers.
9. SUNLIGHT: Sitting in the house all day is definitely not the answer to your problems. I know, I know m, you don’t feel like doing anything but laying in bed. Just hear me out. Going outside and allowing the sun to hit your skin will actually help to recharge you. If you’re into crystals then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Our bodies are made up of energy, sometimes we need recharging. Sitting outside in the sun will allow you to recharge and gives you a much needed boost.
10. CRYSTALS+ SAGE: If you’re up for it, do some research on crystals and crystal work. There are so many of them out there with healing properties that can help remove the negative energy and thoughts from your body and mind. Crystals have different properties and can help to protect,manifest,and improve things around you. Most times when purchasing crystals there will be detailed descriptions explaining the crystal and it’s properties. Smudging is also another way to remove negativity. If you’re going to use sage it’s best to use it in an open space, if using it at home open the windows so that when you’re cleansing you allow the negative energy to flow away. You must be serious and believe in what you’re doing when doing energy work, if you’re not careful you can allow more negative energy in. It’s best to do your research before doing any energy work.
11. AROMATHERAPY: People have used aromatherapy for ages to help with calming the mind and body. Things like incense and aromatherapy candles are geared towards helping to relax the mind and body. Different aromas will have different affects on you, so make sure you’re reading the description of each item so you have an idea of what will work best for you. You can find a variety of different incense and aromatherapy candles here.
Now I’ve just given you a complete list of ways you can improve your anxiety and depression without having to rely on traditional medicine. There are a bunch of different ways to overcome what you’re experiencing, but these are only a few. I hope these few can help you in some way, shape, or form feel better about yourself. You are important, and I want you to feel better. If you don’t have a friend to talk to I am here, my door is always open. In the words of Funkadelic "Free your mind and your ass will follow".