Being diagnosed with “Anxiety” and “Major Depressive Disorder” isn’t something you expect to hear. I’ve struggled with my mental health for years and have experienced some of the darkest times of my life.
Anxiety and depression look different for everyone. Some people may be able to put a smile on their face while continuing to live their everyday lives while others, such as me, end up in bed all day with the blinds shut.
After hitting rock bottom last year, I promised myself I wouldn’t let it happen again. That’s when I started to learn how to manage anxiety and depression instead of allowing it to take control of my life.
I want to share these tips with you and I hope practicing them will help you gain control of your mental health.
Disclaimer: These tips that I’m sharing have been working for me. The information in this post shouldn’t be looked at as professional or medical advice. If you ever need help, please reach out to your doctor.
Manage Anxiety and Depression:
Write in a Journal
Journaling helps you release everything that’s on your mind in a safe space. You can buy a personal journal or download an app on your phone. I use an app called “Journey” and it has become the perfect place for me to get things off my chest.
Although you can write down all of the challenges you’re facing, it’s also good to focus on the positives. When you explain what’s bothering you, figure out a way to turn it around and ask yourself “What lesson can I learn from this situation?“
Another thing I love to do is write down affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome negative thoughts. Repeating affirmations daily reminds me that my problems are temporary.
I’ve always been the type of person to push my problems to the back burner and not talk to anyone about them. I’d let all of my emotions build up and once I reach my breaking point I end up going off on someone — sometimes it’s not the person who caused the problems. It can get tiring holding things in since it puts unnecessary weight on your shoulders.
Keeping a journal has helped me to easily and quickly write down everything I’m holding back.
Related Post: How I Found My Confidence and You Can Too!
Find a Therapist
Society has made it seem like you’re crazy if you have to see a therapist, however, that’s not true! Realizing that you need help is OK. Many people have a difficult time admitting something is wrong, so you should be proud that you’re taking the steps needed to improve your mental health.
It can feel awkward talking to a stranger about your life, but this has been a blessing for me. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone who doesn’t know anything about you. It’ll take time and patience to find the perfect therapist for you, don’t give up on your search!
There is someone out there for everyone, however, you must be willing to put in the work to research and make an appointment to go.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Each person has their triggers, what do I mean by that?
Well, have you ever been around a person or in a situation that all of a sudden makes you feel some type of way? That’s a trigger. Some events and experiences that you’ve gone through may cause your anxiety symptoms to begin or worsen. It’s important to identify what your triggers are and set boundaries.
Once you identify them, this is when you can start working towards finding healthier ways to cope when it happens. Working with a therapist on this challenge is helpful. Don’t feel bad if you need extra help to do this, therapists are here for a reason!
One boundary you can set is to only be around people who are encouraging and give off positive vibes. Sometimes you have to love people from a distance and keep your mental health as a priority.
Related Post: Anxiety at Night: Stay Calm and Reclaim Your Sleep
Limit How Often You Worry
Another way to manage your anxiety and depression is to limit the amount of time you worry. The majority of the time, our negative thoughts never happen. We can start overthinking situations which will cause our mental health to become worse.
My therapist taught me this tip: Set a timer and take 15 minutes each day to worry about any and everything. Once those 15 minutes are up, push it to the side and move forward.
At first, I didn’t understand how this could be helpful, but let me explain it further.
There are some days when I’m constantly thinking about something bad happening from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. By the end of the day, not only do I feel miserable, but I feel mentally exhausted too. This is why setting a limit on how often you worry is best.
If you aren’t able to change the situation that you’re worried about, then it’s something that needs to be put on the back burner.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
The final tip you can incorporate in your life to manage anxiety and depression is to challenge your negative thoughts. At some point, we all struggle with negative thoughts — we tend to be overly critical and talk down on ourselves. When a negative thought pops up in your mind, it’s good to ask yourself whether or not it makes sense.
Challenging your negative thoughts isn’t something that’ll happen overnight, you have to work daily towards that goal. Once you start becoming mindful of
Related Post: How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts and Emotions
Learning the best ways to manage your anxiety and depression will take patience and consistency. Don’t expect everything to go away overnight.
Everyone has their own share of challenges each day. Although venting to your friends and family can be helpful, don’t be afraid to step out and seek professional help. Find a therapist in your area that you can start seeing regularly. Even if your first or second therapist doesn’t work out, don’t give up!
I hope this post helped you realize you’re not alone and we’re in this fight together.