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This quote is one that I heard recently in a book called You Are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero. I absolutely love this book. But after doing some research about it, I had come to find that the quoted author of this saying, Tao Te Ching, is said not to have actually said it. And although the author of this quote is debatable, I do like the analogy it provides. It’s actually pretty accurate for me, especially having dealt with both.
Overcoming depression and anxiety can be a very tricky thing. But first, we need to define what depression and anxiety are to get a better understanding of how we can best overcome these mental illnesses.
What is Depression?
Depression by definition is a mental illness that commonly exhibits the following symptoms:
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness
- Too much or too little sleep
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Digestive issues
- Thoughts fo suicide
While defining depression is important, it’s also important to note what depression is not. Depression is not simply feeling sad or lonely. It can include these feelings, yes. However, depression is a much more complex, chronic collection of symptoms that are both mental and physical. If you think you may have depression, take this free quiz.
Types of Depression
Part of understanding depression is to understand what the different types are.
Major Depressive Disorder.
This is the most common and is also often referred to as clinical depression. It includes many of the symptoms above and your doctor is one who can assess the severity of your symptoms along with the length of them.
Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Also called dysthymia or chronic depression, this disorder is very similar in symptoms to major depressive disorder. However, the symptoms last longer and tend to be chronic (lasting 2 or more years).
Seasonal Affective Disorder.
This one happens most often in the winter months due to the shorter days and reduced exposure to sunlight. A lot of times this can be remedied with light therapy, exercise, and meditation/affirmations.
This disorder affects some women who have recently given birth. Due to a dramatic drop in natural hormones, women may experience feelings of sluggishness, depression, and have difficulty emotionally connecting with their infant post-delivery.
No matter what you believe about depression, it’s the body’s way to defend itself. Depression is brought on by some kind of trauma a person has experienced. That can be as an adult or as a child. There are of course factors that make some people more likely to get depression, like having a family member who has had it. But honestly, I believe anyone and everyone is at risk. No matter your genetics.
Best Ways to Deal with Depression
Learning the best ways to overcome depression, instead of just dealing with it takes time and commitment.
These may have been some of the ways you’ve dealt with depression (I know I’ve tried them all):
- Physical Exercise
- Eating the right food
- Drinking green tea (this one is my favorite)
- Staying away from alcohol and drugs
- Stop doing the normal everyday routine (break out of that rut)
- Guided meditation
All of these things can have a tremendous effect on helping you deal with depression. However, to truly overcome depression, you must get to the root cause and work through the trauma that caused it in the first place. And I’m not just talking about going to therapy and hashing out the past here.
Maybe you’ve tried a few of the above. Have they worked for you? If they have, that’s great. Every single person is different. However, from my experience (and trust me I got a lifetime of it), these things help you deal, they don’t help you overcome. And if you’re just dealing with them, that means the depression can come back and it usually does.
A lot of times worse than before.
Before we dig a little deeper into overcoming depression I want to discuss anxiety too. Since usually and most often the two go hand in hand like that horribly annoying married couple that just argues all the time.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a state of extreme worry or high alert like something bad is about to happen. Although, everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, the type I’m referring to in this post is the chronic kind. The kind where you are constantly in a state of stress and duress.
Best Ways to Deal with Anxiety
Like depression, many of the remedies can be used in the same way to help deal with anxiety. But to add a few more, gratitude, breathing exercises, walking and avoiding stressful situations.
Anxiety can be a bit trickier to deal with because there can be so many everyday things that trigger anxiety. That’s again why I highly suggest digging deep to the root causes of anxiety. Simply using willpower doesn’t work. You need a plan, a system.
How Affirmations Can Work with Mental Health
Affirmations can play a key part in helping you overcome depression and anxiety. Sticking to a routine and doing them daily is a huge step in clearing some of the mental blockages that have been holding you back for far too long.
Coming up with the right affirmations can be daunting and can get tricky. That’s why I’ve come up with 132 Affirmations for Depression and Anxiety. And now you can get access to them by simply signing up.
Therapy, medication and any of the other tools people use to deal can only take you so far. For most of us, they’re just another coping mechanism. They don’t get to the root of the problem and heal from the soul. Instead, you should enlist someone who will give you a personalized plan to overcome depression and anxiety based on your unique situation. Check out what working 1:1 with me would be like by reading this.
Now that you’ve learned about the best ways to deal with anxiety and depression and how affirmations can play a big part in overcoming these mental illnesses. You can use this list in your daily arsenal of mental illness fighting superpowers. Make sure you sign up now to get the full list!