Did you know that 23% of people experience a panic attack at some point in their lives, and 18% of adults have an anxiety disorder?
Mental illness occurs as a result of a complex linking between one’s genes and environment, and triggers are often difficult to pinpoint
This article has helpful information about dealing with mental illness, and includes lessons from a stress expert and writer with anxiety disorder. Here are some of the lessons learned:
- Think impermanence: Remind yourself that you’re only in a bad episode temporarily and that the sensations will pass.
- Let go of control: Sometimes accepting uncertainty can feel de-stressing.
- Lean into it: Also called “exposure therapy”, doing what makes you anxious – slowly – can be effective at getting rid of distressing thoughts.
- Know you’re not alone: Speaking with people who are going through the same thing can be helpful.
- Exercise: Exercise can be helpful when feeling down and exercise has evidence of improving the negative effects of anxiety and depression.
- Practice self-compassion: Mental illness affects an organ (the brain) just like any other illness, and you should never feel guilty or blame yourself for having a condition that affects the body through biochemical interactions, just like any other condition would (like the flu). Remind yourself that this experience will make you kinder, stronger, and wiser long-term.
- Be patient: Anxiety and the negative effects of mental illness usually don’t disappear overnight, and accepting that this may be an extended journey and having hope for yourself is crucial.