Managing the Highs (Anxiety) and the Lows (Depression) of Life
The New Year can bring new opportunities, challenges and expectations. Many individuals also experience increased anxiety (stress) and fear (depression) of managing those very opportunities, challenges and expectations.
Some questions you may be asking yourself as the new year rolls around might be:
- Will my situation get better or worse?
- What if I don’t get a job?
- How do I handle underemployment/unemployment?
- Will people treat me differently now that I am divorced?
- What if my circumstances get worse than better in 2013?
- How do I reconcile my new relationship with my old hurts?
Whether you are waking up with a rapid heart rate anxious about what the day will bring or sad that there are no job prospects, incorporating a sense of balance will protect your emotional ego. Here are a few steps to balancing what life throws at you every day.
1. Manage your thoughts and you will manage your world.
Be demonstrative about what thoughts you entertain every day, hour or moment. Every thought that enters your head does not require priority. Filter what your mind decides to concentrate its efforts.
2. Focus on the major instead of getting down in the dumps over the minor.
In the scope of life, everything is not going to go right every day. Yes, you were late for work. First time in a year. Does that constitute termination? Highly doubt it! Inserting anxiety in an environment where none exists can cause additional stress.
3. Dark and lonely days happen to the best of us.
GET OUT! One of the nasty tricks of depression is the proclivity to withdraw and function in isolation. Do the exact opposite. Walk in the mall. Donate time to a charity. I have seen homeless individuals donate time in a soup kitchen. It reminds them that they are not alone. Balance says that we can be productive regardless of the circumstance.
4. Expect a little anxiety.
Moving from one season of life to the next has the potential of producing feelings of tension and uncertainty. Change- even good change can throw a person off his/her game. Expect the emotional gymnastics of jumping from one anxious moment to times of feeling inadequate. Give your mind, body and soul time to transition. A new job or new relationship will take time and attention before a sense of peace materializes.
5. Where did the time go?
That’s right, when our lives lack balance, we tend to lose track of time. Before you know it, the entire day has been spent staring at a TV. Lack of energy and loss of concentration are prime indicators of depression. Set an intention each day. Establish three tangible objectives to accomplish for the day.
To Do List: Eat healthy, exercise for ½ hour and meditate on one Bible verse.
Life brings changes. God never meant for us to live in isolation. Counseling can help you find your balance. The counseling process is designed to provide a safe environment to work out moments of anxiety and depression. It is a supportive process in which your counselor will collaborate, encourage, explore and challenge the things that go “bump” in your life. Here’s to finding balance one day at a time!
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