Coping with depression and anxiety

Written by Jon Ho

· Stories Of Hope

We all know the saying – an idle mind is the devil’s playground. And this adage holds no truer than for those experiencing depression, anxiety or both. More often than not, one leads to the other and we are thus 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.

One should ask oneself, why should that be top of mind? Rather, one 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 the 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. 

Of course, these may not be possible for those experiencing an anxiety attack. The main thing would be to find a quiet place to calm down, be it in one’s room or familiar surroundings. Sometimes, the attack comes when one is outside the home. Personally, when that happens to me, I find that sitting in the mall’s washroom, thinking calm thoughts insomuch as possible, breathing exercise, help me to cope. 

During those intermittent periods of calm and tranquility, I find that channeling my energy into learning new things such as a language, an art form and the like helps build mental resilience as it lets one understand the beauty and diversity of life.

The suggestions may not work for everyone; one has to remember that people are intrinsically different. One has to find an outlet that works and focus on that, strengthening one’s 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.