Believe it or not, we will all go through anxiety and depression more than once in our lives. But whether it is long term or short, there are ways to cope and deal with our “inner demons”. However, in order to cope with anxiety and depression, we need to know what they are.
First, I would like to clear up confusion, as sadness is not anxiety or depression. Sadness is an emotion and therefore is temporary. Sadness can also be helpful to its person, as one who has sorrow is able to see things more clearly and is often able to become sympathetic with others. As such, sadness is never able to hinder a person from experiencing joy.
Fear is not any of these “obstructing feelings” either. Fear is one of the body’s natural defenses when in danger. This emotion is often confused with anxiety, as both are able to hinder a person from accomplishing something in life. However, similar to sadness, fear is temporary and can normally be overridden.
Enter, Anxiety and Depression
So what is anxiety and depression? Let’s first focus on anxiety. Anxiety is the persistent and everyday fear that is commonly followed by symptoms such as heavy breathing, sweating, muscle aches, etc. In severe circumstances, it can often lead to disorders such as panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety. Note that anxiety is not an emotion, but is more or less “a battle between emotions”. But, believe it or not anxiety can be helpful to its person. Anxiety works with fear, in that it helps our body perform a fight or flight decision. This is often why anxiety and fear are often misinterpreted. Anxiety also is what we use to plan to evade danger; it is high wired into our brain. As such, it is very hard to ignore anxiety when under a stressful situation. So how should we react in a stressful situation? Below are some tips to help.
Meditation: Meditation is simply rest from the days problems. “It’s better to do it in a quiet environment” stated by Anonymous.
Breathe: Do what we do naturally, take a deep breath and know everything’s alright
Drink Tea: I recommend Sleepy Time or Mint. It will make you more relaxed.
Exercise: Exercising takes your mind off of the days stress and it also helps your body release endorphins, the same chemical used in pain relief.
Eating right: The right kinds of nutrition replenishes your body with minerals lost during anxiety. It also helps you focus on the day’s tasks.
Sleep: Your body NEEDS sleep to function. So does your mind. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
What the Heck is Depression?
“Depression is a series of continued sadness and anger in a person’s life that never seems to end, said Tsige Kaufman and Leah Moore-Parson. Depression is not anxiety and therefore can not be treated as such. When anyone suspects that you or someone has depression, the first thing to do is not to jump in and help. Only help if they want help. However, it’s important to know when to step in. If they have thoughts (such as suicide) that hinder themselves from functioning, it’s important to make sure to get them help.
If you or a friend is struggling with depression or worse, here are numbers that you can call. You are NOT alone.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Anxiety/Depression Hotline: 741-741