If you had told me at the height of my suffering that it was the best thing to happen, I would have thought you were crazy.
If you had told me back then that it would change my life, change the direction of my career, and improve my relationships with my children and loved ones, I would never have believed you.
But this is exactly what happened. I was stressed, very anxious, and at my worst, severely depressed. I never realized that this experience was a blessing! Up until this point, I had been sleepwalking my whole life and it was the wake-up call I needed.
Most people fear anxiety and depression in their lives!
I believe we are led to believe that anxiety and depression are caused by genetic defects or brain diseases. Those who question mainstream medical conclusions are classified as charlatans or “anti-psychiatry”. They are strongly opposed!
Sufferers believe that the forces that cause their condition are within themselves. Vulnerable people are told by those in power that there is something “wrong” with them. This will maintain the status quo.
Why keep the status quo when there are other useful ways to heal?
The existing system leads people to believe that they are not in control of their lives. This encourages dependence on people, professionals, medications, and anything else needed to manage the day-to-day.
This approach effectively encourages a victim mentality. Allowing people to believe they are victims and need quick solutions. What we don’t realize is that this approach keeps people “locked” in the cycle of depression and anxiety.
We have disempowered those we want to empower. Rather than offering hope to those who need it most, we have perpetuated a life of fear.
However, anxiety and depression are effectively emotional difficulties. They are a direct result of the way we live. Often, they are caused by mental, physical, or emotional stress in our lives.
They are a sign that it is time to make changes! The changes we make as individuals are more than we can make with the support of others. We are responsible for everything that happens in our lives.
There is no unexplained cause for anxiety and depression. There is no quick fix and there is no magic pill you can take to cure it. You must uncover the decisions and patterns that led you to this point.
My own plight with anxiety and depression was a particularly challenging time. The symptoms I was experiencing came fast and furious. It was completely debilitating and left me at rock bottom.
Thank you for not accepting the status quo. At that time I had no one to talk to about life. I didn’t realize it, but refusing to give my power away allowed me to speak life into myself.
I believe that overcoming anxiety and depression is more than possible. I believe that it is possible to overcome the fear that controls your life. When you take control of your life, wonderful things happen despite your difficulties.
I grew in self-confidence and self-confidence. This is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. I began to grow and not only did I escape the cycles of anxiety and depression, but I began to live my life. I am living a full life now, and I feel happy and fulfilled.
Does this mean I haven’t experienced dark or difficult times? No, not at all, life is a mixture of ups and downs. We are human and this is completely natural. We are often unaware of this and we want to avoid sadness or grief.
When we feel this way, we are afraid to be open and honest. What we don’t realize is that our fear of dealing with our negative emotions can actually cause anxiety and depression! As Carl Jung famously quoted, “What you resist persists”.
Once we get rid of many of our fears about anxiety and depression, such as the fear that we are sick or that we will never get better, we can learn to embrace these moments. When we embrace our negative emotions and go with them, we naturally move through them faster.
I am now well aware that these moments of despair are truly moments of brokenness. Now I am not afraid to feel what I feel, and I enter fully into the dark night of the soul, though often or not for long. There is always a clear vision of the path ahead when I emerge on the other side.
I have found my greatest inspiration at this moment. I don’t want to be distracted or miss out on this time. I believe you too can learn to embrace the learning these opportunities provide.
This is not new information! The world’s most successful people are fully aware of the growth that comes from difficult times. Napoleon Hill, the famous author of Think and Grow Rich says “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries the seed of an equal or greater reward”. The difference is that these people learn how to work through their difficulties.
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How to find the way out of the darkness?
- Take full responsibility for your own health and happiness – you are not a powerless being. You are powerful and you have the ability to heal yourself of your suffering when you know it.
- Accept that your experience of anxiety or depression is an internal drive to make changes in your life. You’ve gone off track and this is the wake-up call you need.
- Avoid the temptation to rely on something outside of yourself to deal with your negative thoughts and feelings. We can easily become dependent on people, food, alcohol, and drugs (legal and illegal).
- Make sure you surround yourself with people who speak life into you. This includes family, friends, professionals, the media, and what you read. Make sure you avoid people who live in fear and don’t give you encouragement and hope.
- Listen to what people in the know say. There are many people who want to tell you how to live your life, but they have not succeeded. Only listen to those who have successfully achieved what you want. Experience is the best teacher.
- Follow your heart. You have all the answers you need within yourself. You must learn to trust your feelings more than what any other person tells you. No one knows you as well as you know yourself.
And when the dark times come.
- Learn to accept and feel what you feel. When you don’t face these feelings you are doing yourself a huge disservice. You can’t hide from yourself for long. Our deepest feelings will motivate us until we listen.
- Be honest with those around you about how you feel. You will be more authentic when you are honest with others. You will find the help you need from others. We are interdependent – we need connections with others to survive.
- Take extra care of yourself during these periods, including sleep, diet, exercise, and rest. This is not selfish, it is survival. You owe it to yourself and those you love.
- Slow things down and embrace the silence with meditation. It can be tempting to rush everything, especially if you’re stressed. However, it is the silence and stillness that allows you to hear yourself. Only then will you get the insight you need.
- Most importantly, never allow yourself to believe that you cannot get through challenging periods in life. We are stronger than we realize even if we don’t know it yet!
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