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Combating Anxiety and Depression with Self-Compassion.

We are now living in an era where people are finally addressing mental illnesses. And the main topics of discussion are the two most prevalent disorders–anxiety and depression.

There’s plenty of info out about the signs and symptoms of these disorders. There are even a lot of famous people who are coming forward about their own struggles with mental health. This new wave of mental health awareness is really encouraging for anyone battling mental illness.

So many resources are available for those of us who want to learn about these emotional problems, but the information for people who want guidance is limited.

Many people go to therapy to deal with these types of issues, which is certainly a viable option. But one thing I’ve noticed is that many people (and sometimes therapists too) focus too much on the fine details of problems rather than the implications of said problems.

In other words, they pay too much attention to negative situations that have already happened or things they don’t want to happen in the future.

Take anxiety, for example, most of the thoughts in this mental condition are future-oriented. Meaning that the thoughts are based on situations that have yet to happen.

Or we could look at depression, where most of the symptoms are focused on the past. Often, the depressed mind reverts back to one’s past failures, shortcomings, or personal flaws.

Depression and anxiety can truly distort your self-image, and your ability to cope with life’s adversities. I talk more about this in my articles Depression, the Invisible Illness, and 5 Groundbreaking Tips to Stop Anxiety in its Tracks.

Mental illnesses make it easy to slip into a self-loathing state of mind, constantly beating yourself up, or dreading unfortunate situations. But what if instead of worrying about what has or will happen, you stayed in the present? What if you were unconditionally self-compassionate? What if you started a pattern of reminding yourself that regardless of what happens (or has happened) that you will forgive yourself. Imagine the control this kind of thinking will give you over your anxiety or depression.

What if instead of thinking, I’m a failure, you told yourself I failed, but I’m not a failure? What if you went from, what if they don’t like me? To who cares if they don’t like me, I like me. Thinking like this can revolutionize your mind, replenish your heart, and change your life.

Compassion is an ultimate healer. In my time as a therapist, I’ve seen couples on the brink of divorce heal through compassion. I have also been able to witness people who’ve held grudges against absent parents release their burden because they began to look at their circumstances beyond the negative, spiteful, limited perspective they’ve been viewing things from.

Once you begin to look at a situation–whatever it may be–in its entirety, instead of the way that confirms your negative thoughts, you began to develop empathy. And empathy leads to understanding, which facilitates compassion.

Compassion is the medium by which one softens negative emotions to accept flaws and move past negativity. You deserve compassion. Allow yourself to be imperfect.

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