Do You Feel Anxious or Depressed?
Many people are dealing with anxiety or depression and have for many years. It can be extremely helpful to explore what is underneath these powerful emotions to move through them and get to the other side.
People suffering from depression often are dealing with stuff from the past, while people overwhelmed with anxiety are worried about the future. Anxiety is defined as having a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Depression typically involves feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
Everyone at some point has felt anxious or depressed. Is it something you feel from time-to-time or often? If it’s often, it’s important to take time to look at what it might be trying to tell you. There may be something to deal with and work through so you can have more freedom, peace and joy in your life. It doesn’t have to be something you have forever.
Below are five steps to begin making changes.
- Don’t run the other way. Many people stuff their feelings because it wasn’t okay to express emotions as children. Now, they are afraid to feel their feelings in fear they will become stuck in them. If we don’t feel our feelings, we can’t move past them. We will stay stuck.
- Face your fears. Often, there is something underneath fear that goes back to earlier in our lives. Write down your fears. Are you willing to face it to move through the feelings in order to get to the other side? When we face our fears, we are able to see things differently.
- Examine the negative statements. Identify and understand the negative statements you have made about yourself. Is it about being bad, not good enough, inadequate, ugly, unworthy and the list goes on? These need to be explored in order to change them. Our thoughts control our feelings and then how we act. It’s important to work on understanding why we feel this way. Then we can make changes.
- Develop healthy coping strategies. How do you deal with your feelings now? Growing up it might have been the best way to deal with the feelings by pushing them down in order to survive. However, how does it work in your life today? Do you stuff or numb them by using the Internet, shopping, drinking, smoking, etc.? Let them out by writing down your feelings and dig deeper.
Don’t give up. You are worth it! You deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself! If we don’t love ourselves, it’s hard to love others fully.
-Kristen D Boice M.A., LMFT, EMDR Trained
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