Anxiety and Depression: Resolving Core Issues
February 28, 2021
With the new year comes the hope of renewal and revitalization. If you’re like many of us, your new year resolutions involve an improved diet, exercise, balancing work, family, social life and community, and investing in mindfulness and wellness.
But let’s talk about an important distinction between “New Year Resolutions,” and actually “Resolving Core Issues” that create depression and anxiety.
Resolution vs. Resolve
There is no question that a better diet, fitness program, and restful sleep positively impact every facet of your life. But they alone cannot resolve fear, anxiety, or depression. To be truly whole and happy, you must resolve the core issues, the burning embers within, that continue to spur your mental health challenges.
For example, if you were the victim of childhood abuse, whether it be physical, mental, or sexual, no amount of running on a treadmill, or drinking a green smoothie, is going to help resolve that traumatic experience and bring you true peace.
These are psychological challenges that physical remedies cannot fully address.
“How Do I Resolve?”
To be clear, we fully embrace – and incorporate into our whole-person approach to wellness – diet, fitness, and sleep into our programs. But our licensed counselors also emphasize earnest discussion, reflection, and activities that require clients to address and work through the difficult issues that have imprisoned them for years.
It can be challenging, and even painful, to relive unpleasant experiences. It can also be incredibly enlightening, empowering, and freeing to discover that previous life events have actually been unknowingly suppressing and confining your mental approach to life. That “compression” has likely caused you to withdrawal, carry bitterness and anger, distrust, and fear. The result is almost always anxiety and depression.
Having a compassionate, experienced professional to walk with you through the process is invaluable – and important. Without asking the right questions, and providing guidance and exercises to work through, you may never “resolve,” although you may continually be “resolute.”
4 Tips You Can Take Today to Help
1. Take control of your self-talk. Many depressed or anxious people create toxic internal messaging to themselves. “How could I be so stupid?” “No one will ever love me.” “I’ll never get over what happened to me.” The good news is you get to decide what messages you send yourself. Every morning, and every evening, tell yourself three positive things about yourself. “I love and forgive myself when I fall short.” “I am going to be kind to others today.” “I’m not going to let other people’s words get me down; I am a happy person.
2. Do tangible activities to reinforce positive, healthy thoughts. Write what you are grateful for in a journal, every day. Put positive reminders throughout your work and personal environment – “be positive,” “help others,” “love.” Set a goal of walking a certain number of steps every day to increase activity. If you fall short, be gentle on yourself, but also encourage yourself to stick with it!
3. Avoid digital distractions, read positive messages. Social media and television can suck us in, but the messages of violence, confrontation and drama-filled relationships can keep us mired in a world of negativity and non-productivity. More good news: you get to choose where and how you spend your time. Join a recreational league, volunteer at a non-profit, read a new book every week, commit to a daily devotional and a workbook.
4. If you are continuing to struggle with depression and need more help than an individual counselor can provide, look into treatment. Depression and anxiety are both treatable, with long-term positive outcomes very possible.
To assist you, we have created a Symptom Checklist for Depression that may indicate a formal treatment program would be helpful.
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