Recovery Story: Coping with depression and anxiety

Written by Jon Ho

We all know the saying – an idle mind is the devil’s playground.
This saying holds no truer than for those experiencing depression, anxiety or both.
More often than not, one leads to the other and we are then left at a loss, not knowing, nay, not feeling the urge to do anything other than wanting to hide.
Hiding. Running away. Wanting to curl up in bed and hide from the world. Actions that further compounds the problem.
We should ask ourselves, why should that be at the top of our minds? Rather, we should all the more channel that into something productive, something that helps the process of healing.
There are many different possibilities out there and these can be tailored to suit you and your situation.

“Taking a walk, taking in the sights and the sounds, has helped me when I’m feeling depressed. It reminds me of what it is to be human – to take in all around us, to appreciate the beauty in the myriad of forms that exist.”

Walking also stimulates the heart, becoming a sort of exercise and it’s proven that physical activity does help one’s state of mind.
During those intermittent periods of calm and tranquility, I find that channeling my energy into learning new things such as a language, or an art form helps build mental resilience.
It lets me understand the beauty and diversity of life.
What about when we are experiencing an anxiety attack?
The main thing would be to find a quiet place to calm down.
Sometimes, an anxiety attack happens when we are outside instead of at home.
Personally, when that happens to me, I find that sitting in a washroom, thinking calm thoughts insomuch as possible, and doing breathing exercises has helped me to cope.
The suggestions may not work for everyone. We have to remember that everybody is intrinsically different.
We each have to find an outlet that works for us and focus on that, to strengthen our mind against idleness and stress.
Take it as a step in understanding yourself and that these ‘distractions’ aren’t really just distractions.
They’re instead a reminder that there we are more than the sum of our mental frustrations.
We are fighters.

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