3 Ways to Combat Anxious and Depressive Thinking

1. Mindfulness

This is something that has helped me more than I think I even realise. For those of you who don't know, mindfulness is the art of being present in any situation that you're in.

The official definition of mindfulness is: 'a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.' (dictionary.com)As long as you're completely focused on what you're doing, the physical feelings of the moment, in that headspace everything else falls away. You're 100% present in that one second of your life. 

When I was starting out my journey with mindfulness meditation, I had this idea in my head of sitting in a room, crosslegged on the floor, meditating and trying to block out all of the 'bad thoughts'. And, that is a part of it, but you don't need to be a meditation master to be able to practice mindfulness. 

There are so many different ways to practice mindfulness, which I was already doing with no idea. You can practice is while swimming in the ocean, while driving your car, going for a run or even doing something as simple as having a really cold shower. 

That's all mindfulness is. An AMAZING way to deal with and combat anxious thinking. 

2. Escapism

As with mindfulness, there are so many different forms of escapism and the same things don't always work for everyone. There is probably a part of your life you use for escapism already, without even knowing it.

Escapism is the idea of using a certain part of life to escape from reality for a little while.

Now, I know that the first thing a lot of people probably think of when they read a sentence like that is that it sounds an awful lot like I'm condoning drug and alcohol use to escape your personal reality. Which is 100% not what I am saying, but it's a similar idea.

In the same way that you can practice escapism through unhealthy outlets, like drugs and alcohol, you can do the same with a myriad of healthy options.
Books, exercise, writing, journalling, creating art.

For me, it's all about literature, it always has been. The way that I escape is through novels, through blogging and journalling. While I'm not much of an artist, going to art galleries, especially some of the more abstract stuff, also does it for me.
It's all about finding what you love and what's right for you.

3. Gratitude Journal 

This one is a bit of a simple one, but something that has helped me to no end! And that is keeping a gratitude journal.

This is especially good at combating any depressive or paranoid thoughts that might run through your head occasionally about your life, your happiness and your overall quality of life.

It's pretty simple, all you have to do is spend a few minutes each day or week to sit down and write down 3 things that you're grateful for that happened in your day/week.
Not only does this make you consciously concentrate on the positives in your life, but it's also such a beautiful thing to go back and read when you are feeling down or overwhelmed by those depressive thought patterns.

Absolutely beautiful.

And for anyone who does think that they might need a bit more help:

Lifeline - 13 11 14

Headspace Australia - 1800 650 890

MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78

Anxiety Recovery Centre Vic - 1300 269 438
(only open 9-5, Mon - Fri)

Beyond Blue also have some amazing mental health support forums, for those of you who don't like the idea of speaking to someone over the phone - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums

My information: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylorbekkers/

Email: taylorbekkers2@gmail.com


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