Take time for yourself as a way of dealing with anxiety and depression.

BOOMER TALK: It takes change

For someone who suffers from serious anxiety, it may very well seem like the whole world is conspiring against you.

Like many people in the helping professions, I see people from all walks of life. Most of these souls are walking around in some type of emotional pain.

We all need someone, whether it is a friend, a family member or helping professional with whom we can safely open up and allow our emotional demons to tumble out.

It can be cathartic and allows us to function in a more productive and happier state.

But for someone who suffers from serious anxiety, it may very well seem like the whole world is conspiring against you.

You may misread a person’s look at you in a store, or on the street as you pass by, as something it really isn’t.

Perhaps they are looking at you through their own pain and it colours their thoughts and the emotion that projects out from their eyes.

With anxiety (and its best buddy, depression), it can feel like no matter what you do, nothing is working.

Your anxiety may have morphed its way into anger and frustration, or it may paralyze you emotionally, or skew your thinking to the point you reach that hopeless and helpless state and contemplate suicide.

It can be a dreadful feeling where you believe you have slipped over the edge and down into the chasm, never to return to the life you once knew.   Every minute feels like one hour as the emotional pain builds higher than you believe you can ever overcome.

I came close to that at one point in my life when the man I loved died.  It was at the end of a 10-year journey of major losses and it felt like it was just too much.

He gave me back my sense of worth in six short years, after it had been stripped away by circumstances beyond my control.  What an education it was and I’m grateful when I look back for the experience.   It not only opened my eyes, but also my heart with understanding of what it must be like and what it is like for a lot of people.

I don’t know why it happens, but sometimes upsetting events come in a cluster.

It can feel totally and completely overwhelming as you deal with the roller coaster of emotion that comes with it.  There may be times when you feel you will not come out the other end of the pain tunnel. But you will.

Here are a few ideas that may help.   If you are able to, build exercise into your day.

Studies have proven that exercise helps lessen depression.

You can walk around Polson Park, or your neighbourhood, or you can offer to walk your neighbour’s dog. Ask a friend to go for a walk.

If you have walking issues, swallow your pride and use a cane, or walking sticks. Move your body in some manner.

Build structure into your day.  Set a time to get up and plan to do things.  Read for fun and read to stimulate your brain as well.  Learn how to meditate – lots of sites on the internet will teach you this.  Check out comedies on TV.

Laughter boosts your immune system, increases your endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and decreases cortisol (stress hormone).  Laughter is a natural relaxant.  Learn something new. Do therapeutic colouring (you can find free colouring pages on the Internet).

Journal, but write down funny things you observe and knowing this is your focus will help you to notice things that are funny.  You will be amazed at how many funny things you observe everyday.

There is no change if there is no change.  Take care of you, just like you’d take care of someone you loved.  Love yourself.

Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer.  www.amindfulconnection.com

 

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