There doesn’t seem to be any let up at the moment – the polarisation of Brexit, then slap into the terrifying uncertainly of a pandemic, which has led us into a wholly predictable yet unavoidable economic crisis which has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. It’s no wonder that global levels of anxiety and depression have soared by 25 percent, according to the WHO World Health Organisation.
The trouble with all of these events is that they are completely and utterly beyond the control of any of us. We go about our daily lives, putting petrol in our cars, and food on our tables, trying to make plans for our holidays next year, while the spectre of soaring energy prices, interest rates, and inflation swirl around our shoulders sucking the very joy out of life.
Smart technology forces us to look outside all the time. Doom scrolling on social media places information in front of you that has really nothing to do with you. 24-hour rolling news feeds through a constant stream of misery-tinged notification alerts – you never get the good news, do you?! Social media makes you feel as though you’re living in a parallel universe where everyone else is winning at life, while you sometimes feel as though you can barely keep your head above water.
Well, no more!
There are things you can do NOW to take you out of the path of that depression and anxiety and place you firmly in the camp where the outside noise is switched off, and you can start to enjoy life again, in spite of the doom and gloom.
Concentrate on the things you can control
Start to look at the world in two ways – those things you can control and those things that you cannot control.
The things you cannot control are, for example, a global economic crisis, the weather, what other people think of you, and the government. The trouble with these things is that no matter how much you fret and worry about them, you can do very little to change or influence them. So, you are, in effect, putting yourself through a lot of pain for absolutely no gain – in fact, it is just going to be detrimental to your health.
The things you CAN control are what you choose to put into your body, how you are going to feel when you get out of bed in the morning, putting plans into action by taking the necessary steps, going for a walk around the block instead of doom scrolling on your phone…
So, next time you start to feel those creeping tentacles of anxiety, ask yourself if they are there because you’re worrying about something you can or can’t control. If it’s the latter, then stop and focus on something that you can do instead.
Start moving again
21st-century life does tend to encourage us to be sedentary. We move from the bed to the sofa, to the car seat, to the desk, back to the car seat, and back to the sofa again.
During this time, we are getting older and heavier, our bodies are changing, and past injuries continue to make their presence felt.
Yet, at the same time, our bodies continue to be miraculous in their ability to function, heal, and achieve things we never thought they’d be able to achieve. What often holds us back physically is our minds convincing us that we can’t do certain things.
Yet, the minute we start moving, magical things start to happen – we release certain hormones that make us happy. Threads of confidence start to wrap together to build our self-esteem.
If the thought of sweating it out in a gym simply makes you want to scuttle back under the covers again, please know that you do not have to go down this route. Starting to move can simply be the process of finding half a dozen gentle exercises that are designed with you, individually, in mind. Speak to our movement coach Ben Cuthbert – he’s got thousands of people moving again, even those in wheelchairs who felt that they’d never walk again!
Retrain your inner voice
You know that little voice that always seems to be whispering in your ear, convincing you that another glass of wine won’t hurt, or there’s no point leaving those last two biscuits in the bottom of the packet?
Well, it might be handy to know that the voice comes under the realm of one of those things that you CAN control, even though it probably feels as though you have absolutely no control at all.
That little voice – your inner voice – is controlled by your imagination, and your imagination is something that can be trained and controlled by you.
For most people who get caught up in that spiral of negative, depressive thinking, thought patterns become habitual. It becomes easier and more convenient to think in a negative, self-effacing way because the opposite seems too difficult. Thinking in the opposite way – positively, productively – pushes you out of your (dis)comfort zone – something which is not appealing when you are struggling emotionally.
There is no easy route to changing your inner voice, and the first step is always going to be the hardest. Combining it with positive steps towards retraining your outer body will help to set the patterns for change.
Discover Be You Health Studios
If you have hit a roadblock in life and feel yourself struggling physically and emotionally, come and see us. Our dedicated studio provides a discreet and safe haven where you can work on your mind and body.