Learning to manage anxiety and depression can feel very difficult when it just doesn’t seem to reduce. Anxiety can swarm like bees and almost flood your body with fear and worry. Those everyday distractions such as worrying about work, money, relationships or that funny noise coming from the car (sometimes the list just seems endless), can leave us unmotivated and hopeless.
However, by letting your mind roam free, by letting go of the unhelpful thoughts may help you discover the answer you’re seeking. You could opt to go for a run, go to the gym, painting something, sew something or do anything else that sets your mind free.
Has a thought ever popped into your head and you realise that was the solution to your problem? You wonder, “How did I not think of this before?” Slowly, the anxiety and tension leave your body and you find yourself able to relax.
Sometimes this isn’t always easy, we are often so used to our unhelpful way of thinking that we can feel stuck in this vicious cycle. The way we think impacts the way we feel and how we feel often dictates our behaviours. By continuing unhelpful behaviours – such as ruminating or staying in bed – you feel worse and your unhelpful thoughts may start spiralling. Those kinds of feelings are tough to deal with, even if validated and gently challenged by a therapist.
Our life can be filled with many creative moments (in anything we do) as long as we are open to the idea and we are flexible in our approach. The world tends to view creativity as a mysterious skill that the artistic half possess. However, anyone can be creative – it is more about you enjoying your creative side in whatever you choose to do.
Sometimes, just letting your mind roam free by doing an activity, can be very therapeutic – simply by picking up a pen, pencil, paintbrush, needle and thread or logging onto your computer to create something. Unleashing your creative side and letting your imagination run wild, gives your mind the freedom to focus on something you are doing. This can release the pressure of the worry and anxiety in your body and mind, allowing your attention to focus on making something whether it be a painting, drawing, doing mindful colouring or making a garment.
Stepping back and looking at your project that you have carefully taken the time to complete can feel like an accomplishment and can also be motivating.
The next time you feel low or anxious, stop what you’re doing. Do not force yourself so it becomes overwhelming but instead change your focus of thought to something that releases you from that pressure.
Deshara Pariag MBACP Counsellor
My Life Therapy Essex
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