Everyone struggles with some sort of anxiety and depression in their lives. It may not be as prevalent in some as it is in others. Some people can be seen struggling with it, while others have more of inner struggle. No matter how you're being affected, everyone can cope with it in similar ways.
Here are some ways to help everyone cope with their anxiety and depression.
1. Know the signs
Everyone has their own experiences, but below are some of the most common signs of an anxiety attack:
- Feelings of danger, panic, or dread
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Rapid heart rate
- Trembling or chills
- Tiredness or weakness
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Difficulty focusing
2. Practice deep, focused breathing
This exercise can help to focus your mind on something other than the stressor. Practice four-count breathing for five minutes. Breathe in for four counts, then breathe out for four counts. Making your breathing even will help to slow your heart rate and relax your body.
3. Write down your thoughts
Sometimes, putting pen to paper can really help to calm the mind. Being able to get the thoughts out of your head and reading them can make them seem less daunting.
4. Identify and learn
If anxiety is a part of your everyday life, identifying and learning to manage the trigger is always best. A lot of the time people suffer from anxiety because they feel like they've lost control of things, and this is the way their body deals with it. Being able to find the trigger and being able to control it will give you power over the anxiety.
5. Adopt cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of therapy that seeks to identify and change possible unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. It builds on the idea that all behaviors, including unhealthy ones, are learned and, therefore, can be changed. With this, one can change their negative stressors and turn them into positive thoughts and/or actions.
6. See your doctor
Sometimes the simplest answers are the best ones. You may not be able to handle it all on your own, and that's OK. You don't need to hold everything in — it's OK to get help every once in a while. If your anxiety becomes too severe for you to handle on your own, your doctor will always be supportive of whatever you say. Let it all out, you'll feel better.
These tips aren't only useful for anxiety. They can be used for many things, including depression. It's not healthy to keep everything bottled up inside, it needs to be let out in a healthy way.
If you're really struggling through something, don't hold it in. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a complete stranger about everything rather than someone close to you. Please talk to someone before the thoughts become too overwhelming you don't know what to do with them.
If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse or mental health issues, call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.