Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. What does it mean to you?

10 April 2024

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common terms we hear every day, but do we truly understand what they mean for us personally? In a recent enlightening conversation on the Mental Wealth Podcast, Phyllis and I delved into the depths of these emotions and how we can better understand and manage them.

 

The Challenge of Quick Fixes

In today’s fast-paced world, people are often searching for quick fixes to alleviate stress and emotional discomfort. These “Band-aid” solutions may provide temporary relief, but they don’t address the root causes of our emotional struggles.

 

Understanding Stress Beyond the Surface

Stress is not just a generic term for feeling overwhelmed. Beneath the surface of stress lie a myriad of emotions like fear, worry, major concern, dread, and hopelessness. When these emotions escalate, they can manifest as anxiety or depression, which may lead people to seek medication as a solution.

 

The Role of Expression in Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety is a lack of expression about something we fear in the future, while depression is a lack of expression or suppression of our feelings. Many of us were raised with messages like “don’t make a big splash,” or “children are to be seen and not heard,” which can contribute to our inability to express ourselves freely.

 

Adding that these old habits of thinking, which are attached to our childhoods, often persist into adulthood and can lead to emotional suppression.

 

Here’s three effective strategies to change our thinking patterns and improve our mental well-being:

  1. Opposite Thinking

Challenge negative thoughts by considering the opposite. For instance, if you’re thinking, “This is not going to go well,” try thinking, “This is going to go well.”

 

  1. Forward Thinking

Instead of dwelling on past failures or mistakes, focus on what you want or prefer to happen in the future. Look forward through the windshield, not the rearview mirror.

 

  1. Positive “What If” Statements

– What if it could be easier than I thought?

– What if I am so ready for something better and it happens quickly?

– What if I could be living my new, better life today?

 

Understanding and managing stress, anxiety, and depression requires more than just quick fixes and medication. It requires a deeper understanding of our emotions, a willingness to challenge our old thinking patterns, and the courage to express ourselves authentically.

 

Remember, even if you catch yourself after the fact, consider that a win. Every small step towards self-awareness and self-expression is a step towards better mental health and overall well-being.

 

*If you enjoyed this blog and want more – The podcast episode below goes into more detail into exploring strategies, insights, and personal stories aimed at fostering understanding and resilience in the realm of mental wellbeing.

You May Also Like…

14 years of freedom!

14 years of freedom!

🎉 Imagine this: you're in your 40’s, and staring down a stable NHS career. You have a pension, a permanent post and...

As Featured In...