How to Deal with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression?
The terms stress, anxiety, and depression have become very familiar these days. We often hear people around us complaining about getting stressed about certain things in their lives. And knowingly or unknowingly, they get driven into the mode of depression. As we keep getting busier in our lives, chasing dreams and aspiring to be successful (according to our perception of being successful) we fail to enjoy the little moments of life that make us happy.
We forget to take care of ourselves and the people closest to us. We keep running behind materialistic gains where the real success lies in feeling content in your heart and being at peace in your mind. But then, why do so many people across the world feel suicidal? Why are they feeling numb for no reason at all? What is driving them towards feeling blank from within even though they might have achieved a lot in their lives? We will discuss all of these and a lot more, just keep reading the article…
What do stress and anxiety mean?
The bookish meaning of stress is a state of being emotionally drained and mentally pressured that can occur due to certain change of events in life. It may be due to personal or professional reasons that can make you very worried, characterized by loss of appetite, sleep, and the urge to make wrong choices also.
Stress can be acute that occurs due to some new changes in your life that were uncalled for, like the sudden death of a near one, heavy losses in business, a partner cheating, etc. Some stresses are episodic also, where you feel stressed in only certain conditions, like fearing attending the class of a particular teacher or during exams! Some stress can be chronic, meaning they have prevailed for a longer time period. For example, no growth in your career, not being able to find a desired life partner, or not being able to fulfill responsibilities.
All of these lead to worries and pressures that can harm both your mental and physical health at the same time. Anxiety on the other hand is the body’s natural response to stress! It makes you feel restless, fearful, tensed, nervous, and all sorts of other negative feelings! It may be episodic or chronic depending upon the events occurring in your life. Stress and anxiety are interrelated!
How to deal with stress or anxiety?
Let’s be realistic here! Dealing with stress or anxiety is not easy! It takes a lot from you and only the one who suffers, knows what it takes to lose out on the important things in life! And no matter how one tries to empathize with you or console you, nothing can soothe you until your problem is solved! But is that a solution we are going to discuss here?
NO! I will not say things like “do not take stress”, “everything will be fine”, “things will pass on with time” and all other such cliched dialogues that most motivational speakers or gurus will definitely give you! I will try to tell you some practical solutions that are needed to be understood to remain free of stress or anxiety! I assume, most stress or anxiety is the result of a problem in your life. It can be personal or professional!
And when there is a problem, there is perhaps a solution too! Focus on finding that without wasting your time thinking about why the problem exists. There cannot possibly be any problem that doesn’t have a solution, it is NOT the law of nature. But the mistake we make is we keep worrying about what has happened, rather than focusing on what can happen!
Things can be different sometimes…
In contrast to what is mentioned above, some problems, though, might not have a direct solution! Like when you lose someone close to you or when you were not being able to clear a job interview that you aspired for! In such cases, there is no solution! What has happened has happened already and you CAN NOT change or reverse it, right?
So, what’s the point of overthinking or stressing about it? I won’t say that you forget about it in a day or don’t feel sad about it, shit happens, blah blah blah! Because it is a natural phenomenon to feel sad about certain things you probably gave your heart and mind (and time and money too!) But again, the point is you cannot change the situation by being worried! So, it’s better to feel sad or be worried for some time, a few days probably, and then bounce back to prove your worth and work your way through it!
Like you can always remember the loved ones who you lost in your prayers and try to be a better human being each day. It might not change the disaster that you faced in life, but it can lead you to be more at mental peace and get better opportunities in the future. Address your sorrows, but don’t get occupied by them to an extent that you start losing yourself!
How is depression different from anxiety or stress?
All stress or anxiety is mostly short-term and gets resolved with the problems getting solved or a change in the situation, but depression might not work that way! It stays with you even though you are in a good phase in life and have got everything you once desired. Everything can be running fine in your life and yet you may feel depressed!
The fun part of being depressed is that it is majorly unrecognizable! You can be depressed yet you can feel totally normal and obviously, the people around you will also not be able to recognize it easily! And that is why it is hard to address the problem of depression and find a solution for the same.
The general definition of depression suggests that long-term stress or tension leads to a certain change in our mental health that can affect our mood and make us feel sad and gloomy endlessly. It can also lead to emotional and physical damage and in worst conditions, it can lead people to attempt suicide as well. Depression is very common among people around us and it’s high time we recognize and address it!
Signs of being depressed
These are some symptoms that can help you or people around you to recognize that a person is suffering from depression and he or she must seek immediate help from mental health experts! Read below…
- You may have many mood swings that may include anxiety, loss of interest in worldly affairs, general discontentment, a feeling of loneliness, hopelessness, etc.
- You may not be able to socialize or interact with people. In fact, you may not even like interacting with people close to you. That may lead to social isolation.
- You may feel like crying suddenly without any actual reason. Irritability and feeling agitated are also common.
- Experiencing physical changes; excessive or no sleeping, weight loss or gain, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, etc.
- You may feel suicidal repeatedly and also harm yourself without feeling sorry or thinking about how it will affect the people close to you.
How to address depression?
The most important thing while dealing with depression is figuring out and accepting that you have this disorder! Many people go into denial mode thinking they are completely fine. It might be just their work pressure or physical ailment that are put into question. But no! If you feel you are experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, you might well, evaluate whether you are in a mode of depression or not!
And the next step you take if you feel hollow from the inside is to follow the given instructions…
- Start focusing on improving your physical health; go jogging in the morning, practice yoga, do meditation, eat right, get enough sleep and perform physical activities that keep you energized.
- Be kind to people around you. You might not know what struggles people are facing in their day-to-day lives. One stroke of impolite behavior may lead to breaking someone to a point of non-returning!
- Divert your mind from things that hurt you. You should also try to cut off ties with people that cause you emotional damage. When any relationship becomes abusive or toxic, it is better to let it go than to suffer all your life. It may be difficult to break bonds that are close to your heart but you must remember that short-term suffering is better than long-term suffering!
- Start talking to people who value your emotions. Establish well communication with your friends, family, and at your workplace too! A heart-to-heart conversation always helps in healing from what is hurting you!
- Tell yourself you are better at things, and you have certain skills that you can excel in! Remind yourself that life is not always about success, it is normal to fail, but giving up is not an option, you need to get up every time you fall down. When you constantly remind yourself of these positive affirmations, you will see a positive change in your life too.
- Practice acceptance. It is not achieved in a day. It takes a lot to accept the bad and let go of what hurts you! But it does not mean you forget them! You must never forget the bad experiences because those are the experiences that help you grow and learn so many aspects of life that you would not have known if things didn’t turn out the way they did!
- You must understand that life cannot be a straight path; it will have its own roadblocks, sometimes bumpers, or maybe sometimes potholes too! But that should not mean you won’t walk on that path. You have to! But be careful to not fall on them! Accepting your failures and learning from your mistakes is the truest form of being successful.
- Above all, spirituality is the best healer. No matter which faith you belong to, practicing spirituality and establishing a connection with the almighty always helps in finding peace through the toughest of times. It will inflict hope on you that no matter what, there is someone up there who is watching upon you and his timing is never wrong! And what is written on your destiny cannot be taken away from you! So be patient and wait for the right time!
- Lastly, seek help from a mental health expert! Be it a psychiatrist or a counselor, if you feel you need a therapy, never shy away from visiting one, you will surely feel better.
The final takeaway…
The likes of being stressed or depressed is very common these days, mostly among youngsters. The generation that we are living in has made us living robots. The digital revolution has given us massive exposure to the virtual world but has made us lonely in the real world. We see influencers being very cool and successful on Instagram, making lakhs (or probably crores) just by making reels but we fail to see the real-life struggles people around us are facing and yet they are surviving every day without complaining.
We start comparing our lives to others when actually globally it is considered that only 8 percent of people are able to fulfill their dreams and become truly successful. The definition of success needs to be changed. It must not be the high-paying jobs or materialistic possessions that should define your success.
The inner peace you have, the feeling of contentment in your life, and pushing yourself to be a better human being every day should be considered the backbone of being successful. Of course money matters! But it should not control your life. Yearning to earn more money is always good, but losing yourself in the process is never a welcome move! Hopefully, this article has enlightened you a bit and you will work your way to a much happier and peaceful life!
Always remember- YOU ARE PRECIOUS!
In my late 20s, I am passionate about writing, exploring ideas, appreciating the good, and surviving the bad. I believe in healing from things that do not show scars and thrive to help others heal too! I am also a practicing psychological counselor! Be with me on my journey towards Enriching Minds and Comforting Souls!
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