How to Defeat Depression & Anxiety...The Postage Stamp Method

Consider the postage stamp. It always keeps its cool. It knows it will reach its destination, it may get depressed along the way, but it always bounces back. The postage stamp also uses its anxiety as a tool. Yes, it’s anxious because it wants to serve you and bring you happiness as soon as possible, but that never stops it from bringing you its A-game.

 

According to the World Health Organization 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability.

So what causes it?

 Many things, but they usually have one thing in common.

·        Loss of a loved one

·        Loss of a job

·        Loss of a home

·        Loss of your health

·        Loss of a relationship

·        Loss of something we think might happen

You can’t always control your circumstances, and bad things will affect you at times, but you can develop a practical strategy or framework so that negative feelings do not dominate your life.

 

First and foremost, seek medical attention. Clinical depression is not momentary sadness but a persistent feeling of despair triggered by a chemical imbalance in your brain. It takes real strength to ask for help. In addition, you may also benefit by confiding your feelings to a close friend. You may be surprised at how relieved you will feel afterwards.

 

What helped me to overcome depression after suffering the loss of my mother was getting back into a spiritual routine, daily exercise and changing the food I ate. When I spent time comforting others with soothing words from the Bible, I felt I was being healed as well. And when I exercised I felt a certain euphoria that helps me tackle the challenges that we all face on a daily basis. And when I chose better food to eat, I regained energy and strength that allowed me to go on.

 

Another tool that helped me was reading the book, The Depression Cure by Dr. Stephen Ilardi. In his book he suggests the following:

 

·        Consider taking a daily fish oil supplement.

·        Be active.  Try not to ruminate over negative things. Get outside and move your body and don’t forget to connect with others.

·        Exercise. This helps improve your physical and mental health.

·        Get in the sun. Sunlight stimulates the brains production of serotonin. Serotonin affects your mood and behavior.

·        Connect. We need other people. So connect with someone. Isolation only exacerbates the problem. A great book that I just read covers this in depth, it’s called, The Power of the Other, by Dr. Henry Cloud.

·        Sleep. Lack of sleep and depression go hand in hand. They are BFFs.

 

 At the outset, I spoke about loss and how it is a common thread for those that are depressed. Let me segway into a close cousin of depression, anxiety.

 

According to Dr. Ravi Shah, as quoted in Success Magazine, “Anxiety is a natural and healthy feeling all humans experience. It becomes problematic either when the worry is disproportionate to the issue at hand or when it interferes with daily life.” He continues, “If worry is holding you back and you get paralyzed by fear –that’s when it’s a problem.”

 

But there is good news.

 

Dr. Shah concludes by saying, “Of all the problems in mental health to have, anxiety is in a way a good one because it is very treatable.”

 

Here’s another take on it from Brendon. He says, “Anxiety is a sign to pay attention and bring your A-game. You can turn it into drama, a false cataclysmic feeling, or you can use it as a performance enhancement tool.”

 

Brendon lists three primary sources of anxiety and what to do about it:

1.   Fear of loss. Too often we worry that we could lose respect or love if we fail at something. But most often these are unfounded concerns or faulty assumptions driven by a fearful, tired or undirected mind. The next time you feel anxiety, take a few deep breathes and ask, “Can I use this energy to prepare to gain something versus sit here and fear losing something? What action could I take to ready myself and minimize the chances things won’t go well?” Then brainstorm actions you can take to move forward. Sometimes the easiest way to wipe out anxiety is to get a little momentum.

2. Fear of hardship. A lot of anxiety comes from feeling like we aren’t strong or capable enough to handle a difficult situation. But we have to question this assumption as well. Often, we’ve been through a lot worse and survived. And now we can use the anxiety to take a step back and better prepare for this upcoming challenge. We can turn anxiety into a strength, into a preparation weapon. No matter what is coming up, you can handle it if you prepare, ask for help, and open yourself to learning and being courageous in tough situations. The tools to manage the difficulties of life are within.

3. Fear of disappointment. Often anxiety comes from the fear that we’ll feel sad or experience negative feelings if things don’t turn out well. But perhaps it’s time to focus on the journey rather than the destination. Just focus on bringing your best to the situation at hand, and remember that everything will turn out well as long as you’re open to learning and asking for help along the way. All will be well as long as you stay in motion toward your dreams.

So, how have you been using anxiety? As a performance enhancement tool or an excuse to stop?

Burchard says, “The world’s highest performers use it as a tool. They get an edge from it and they, "Ok, I’m nervous but that tells me I’m in the game. I better pay attention.”

And they also develop plans to develop themselves, to strengthen themselves in all their areas:

·         Emotionally

·         Socially

·         Financially

·         Physically

·         Spiritually

So that those anxieties start to diminish as they become more.

But honestly, we are always going to have anxiety. So you need to trust yourself to figure it out. The best way to do that is to ask, “Where’s this coming from?”

“Sometimes, the best way to overcome anxiety is to re-charge or re-aim your focus towards the things that you do want,” Brendon insists.

And there you have it. If you want to go deeper with me on this subject, sign up for my Free Academy Training.

 

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