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Depression and Anxiety: Help and Treatment

A Practical Guide to Feeling Good

Regardless of which therapeutic techniques you choose to utilize in your recovery from depression and anxiety, it is important to keep in mind the goal: to be healthy.

Because depression and anxiety can completely dominate your thinking and even your life, we have to remember that there is a world outside the illness, and that is what we are seeking.

For some of us, we may not have a good idea of what being healthy is. Oftentimes our families are dysfunctional, and we do not learn how to properly identify and work with our emotions. How truly sad it is to consider the fact that many people grow up knowing only pain, fear, violence, and abuse.

The reason this is sad is because we know that this is not the way things should be. In many instances we become depressed because our environment is not giving us what we need in order to thrive.

Humans have very basic emotional needs, and when these needs are not met early on, we don’t learn what it feels like to be satisfied, to be content. And without a chance to relax and just take in our experience with a calm heart, we become truly unhappy.

We develop methods to cope with our unmet needs. Some of these methods are healthy, but more often than not we learn unhealthy ways of dealing with our conflicted emotions.

Smoking, drinking, taking drugs, promiscuous sex, and other behaviors that eventually ruin our health are the norm in today’s society. Or we may get completely cut off from our emotions altogether. We go through life not understanding our most basic source of energy, and we suffer dearly as a result.

There is great beauty in healthy thinking and behavior. You could say that it is when nature is allowed to shine. It is important to spend time with healthy people in order to learn that it is not only possible to be healthy, but also to know what health looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

Healthy people are blessed with the background and the skills to handle life’s pressures. If we only model ourselves after unhealthy people, which may include our parents and other family members, we will be limited to unhealthy ways of dealing with conflict and stress.

Healthy people are not immune to stress, and they suffer just as much as any one else when they experience pain and disappointment. What sets them apart, however, is that they are able to identify, experience, process, and then move on from a painful situation.

It’s that ability to allow ourselves to experience our negative emotions, but not get stuck in that energy state, that we must master in order to grow beyond our situations and truly embrace health.

Another way to experience health is to spend time in nature. When not influenced by man’s behavior, we can observe how nature seeks balance and continues to thrive. Gardening, raising animals, and observing life in its myriad forms can teach us a lot about the gifts that we were born with, the ability truly live and express ourselves as intended by our creator.

Even if you don’t believe in a higher power, the entire basis of science is that there is order to the universe, and that by observing it we can unlock some if its secrets.

But there are no secrets; everything we need to understand is within our grasp if we just allow ourselves to open up and receive it. We only need to trust in ourselves and start listening to what our hearts tell us that we need.

When fear, anxiety, greed, guilt, and anger fall away, all that’s left is our true nature. We may have just forgotten that it was there all along, quietly telling us that we are OK. We’ve always been OK.

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