When dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, it can be challenging to do even the little things in life. But there are a few small steps you can take now to improve how you are feeling, even if it’s just a little bit. These steps are to relax, distract, and cope.
The first step when dealing with an episode of anxiety or depression is to calm your body down. When you feel depressed or anxious, your body goes into a state of fight or flight. Your blood pressure rises, adrenaline pumps, and it becomes difficult to think clearly. To combat this, take time to think of strategies that can calm you down. Things like meditation, deep breathing, and grounding your thoughts can help with this. Grounding yourself is important; try to focus on what is around you and what you can sense.
Distraction is also a very effective strategy for calming yourself at the moment. It helps to find something to focus on that is not the way you are feeling. TV, music, and reading are great ways to accomplish this. An exercise is also an excellent tool for dealing with bad feelings. The natural release of endorphins from exercise dramatically affects mood and can help bring you out of the state of distress.
Once you have brought your body back to baseline or a lower level of distress, you can begin to cope with the feelings you experienced. This usually means facing your fears or speaking with a professional to get advice on dealing with your feelings. Even finding someone who is there to listen can help, whether it be a friend or family member.
Remember that everyone deals with issues in their lives, and you are not alone. Finding strategies to cope with negative feelings and thoughts can help to make your life just a bit easier. If you need help, make sure to reach out to a medical professional.