How can I deal with stress and depression?

Even though life is supposed to be getting easier, as we are increasingly provided with various tools, gadgets and technology to help us, various stressors are all too common.

Rather than manage our thoughts differently and utilise necessary coping skills to, many often turn to ‘coping’ strategies that may feel helpful in the short term, with the underlying issues still remaining unresolved. These ‘strategies’ may include some of the following – alcohol, sugar, gambling, spending sprees, drugs, unhelpful thoughts. You get the picture.

So even though various coping strategies can feel helpful in the short term, how we are feeling deep down essentially doesn’t change.

We can go to the supermarket and buy a number of items. Things we can actually physically buy. However we can’t buy the following things off the shelf – confidence, happiness, success, self esteem, self worth. These are all an inside job.

Back in the caveman days, we were continually living by the hormones of stress. We were in survival mode most of the time. However this is very unlikely in the present day, but we are still living by the same hormones. If we continue in this pattern, it will only lead to poor health and addiction (to various substances and old emotions)

Being addicted to old emotions, what does that even mean?

Every single time we have a thought it creates a chemical. Negative or stressful thoughts create chemicals such as adrenaline or cortisol. Whereas happy thoughts create the opposite, chemicals such as serotonin or oxytocin.

With every thought we have (and there are thousands each day), chemicals travel right down the spinal chord to the body (So thoughts and feelings are completely linked – thoughts being in the mind and feelings in the body).

The body is literally being flooded with chemicals the whole time. Guess what, it gets used to these. We actually become addicted to familiar chemicals within the body. We get some, and we want more! So we continue to think the same thoughts, the body feeding off this familiar mindset. We literally become addicted to our old emotions. Why old? Because they are from the past. Familiar emotions we are feeling over and over.

Then we decide to make a change. And then what happens? The body has been used to these feelings for so long, it doesn’t like it! So we keep stuck, in the familiar feeling. It is easier to give up, then to work through what we need to. Its the easier option, the path of less resistance.

Does this sound familiar? Is it the same old cycle that you are use to?
Here are some very simple techniques to help you get out of the rut of old thoughts and feelings –
  • Do some exercise – no matter how little, get out into the fresh air and release some of those happy chemicals naturally!
  • Improve what you eat – check what you are eating and ditch some of the unhealthy patterns. Eat and cook from fresh wherever possible. Avoid the processed stuff. Set small realistic and achievable goals each week – rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • Meditate – I’m not asking you to go all zen, but close your eyes for 10 minutes every day. 10 Minutes thats all! This is a practice like anything else. Your mind will wander off about a zillion times at first. Still, quiet and reflection will make massive changes. Hone this skill and you will notice big changes.
Remember you are in control of all this, no one else is in charge. You are the captain of your own life.
I have been helping people with stress and depression for a number of years. Clients come to see me who have usually been stuck for a long time. Within weeks, we see massive changes.
Sessions are relaxed and informal. So many clients have been saying the same thing recently – the only regret they have is not coming to see me much sooner and how totally different they feel as a result.
If you resonate with any of this article, or know of anyone who would benefit, get in touch today, I can help.