Today, I am going to share a personal story. It feels like an important personal story. About five months ago I began struggling with depression. Five months ago, I began struggling with depression, again. These feelings and symptoms were not new to me; lack of motivation, low energy, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, tearfulness, and lack of feeling joy.
After my education to become a therapist, I realized that since I was about 12 years old, I had been struggling on and off with depression. My depression also paired with anxiety. I later learned that it is common for these conditions to be co-morbid. These labels seemed dooming to carry and wrong to tell others about. I worked in mental health but the social stigma was still around.
I want to share this story because it is important for everyone. You or someone you know may be struggling with depression or anxiety. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is crucial to begin the conversations about mental health.
Talking to my friends, coworkers, and family was helpful. I researched different ways to deal with depression including medication, talk-therapy, exercise, diet, and mindfulness. I began seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. The best thing for me was to know that I was not alone, and to find resources to help me get better. My depression and anxiety has gradually gotten better. I am beginning to feel happy again, able to get out of bed and revived with motivation. I am feeling like myself again. I am aware of my biological predispositions and of current environmental factors.
Lets Look at Statistics and Facts about Depression and Anxiety:
- Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.
- As many as 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens may have serious depression.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about 1/3 of those suffering receive treatment.
- It is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression.
(statistics gathered from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
When it comes to anxiety and depression we have to give ourselves grace that these difficult mental health issues take time to get better. It is important to know that we can learn ways to cope with the symptoms. It is important that we don’t lose hope. What is important is that we ask for help.
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
Gandhi was a wise man. The power of language and our thoughts will influence our feelings and actions. Think about it. Three things often go together; our actions, our feelings, and our thoughts. What you say or do has the power to dictate how you feel or think about something. Our mindset can influence our emotions. How cool is that? We can influence our emotions.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned and now teach, is that have influence in how we feel about things. That puts us in a better mindset for coping with struggles or maintaining successes.
Here are some quick tips to enlisting this new positive standard into your language.
1. Say goodbye to words like can’t, don’t, and shouldn’t.
2. Be cautious with always, never, all and none (extreme words make us feel defeated).
3. Use Self-Affirmations (I am good the way I am, I am happy, I am successful).
4. Eliminate self-loathing. Try to give yourself grace. When we feel poorly or have poor feelings about ourselves it leaks into other aspects of our lives. Notice what is going on with yourself but try not to judge it. I often tell people to use the word, just. This is just a setback. I am just working through something. When you take away the power of words, you take away the power they have over you, your thoughts, and your feelings.
5. Take non-judgmental stances. The more we critics others, the harder it is to have positive words. When we take negative stances on things, ideas, or people it rises our emotions for worse. Criticism is for worse. When we take a positive or neutral stance it is for better. Inspire and encourage others, listening and be non-judgemental.
6. Reconnect with yourself. We live in a busy, beautiful world. It is important to find clarity in your heart and mind to practice a positive mindset and incorporate them as a part of your life.
Gandhi was a wise man, and he was also a practicing man. You have to practice and incorporate ways to be mindful in your every day life. The power of positive takes practice and patience. You have the power to inspire and influence.