Almost every family is affected by anxiety & depression today, challenging us to examine how we feel about counseling. Is it embarrassing? Maybe it’s just for “those” kind of people. Is it just a bunch of useless talk that doesn’t actually “do” anything?
No matter how you feel about that, essentially we all just want stronger family relationships and stronger futures. That is where lasting happiness comes from, and we know that deep in our bones.
We also know that anxiety & depression stand in the way. The real question is how do we rid our lives of anxiety & depression and get stronger families and stronger futures?
Simply stated, anxiety is fear about the future, and depression is fear about the past. You could just try a little recreation. Maybe taking the kids out into nature and giving them some life experiences will help them overcome their fears.
The problem is that recreation doesn’t usually happen in our everyday environment, so we go places to recreate. Yet most of our life’s emotional triggers happen at home, work, school, our everyday environments. Because of the digital era. many of our triggers follow us anywhere we take our personal devices, which is basically everywhere.
BTW, this isn’t an issue only for kids. It’s for everyone of us. How often do we take out our frustrations in unhealthy ways by numbing or just ignoring the problem?
This is the source of today’s anxiety and depression epidemic. Freedom, peace, enjoyment all come from handling life’s challenges in healthy ways.
We expect everything should be easy in life, and if it’s hard then there must be something wrong with it. Just submit a survey or some feedback and the designers will make it more intuitive. That’s the mentality we all live with.
When you have a disagreement with someone, you don’t just give them a 3 star review and expect them to validate your viewpoint. When you tell your boss your job is too hard, there must be something wrong with it, you get fired. Try telling the hiking trail that it’s too steep and shouldn’t be so hard. It’s not going to change for you.
Unfortunately we now expect everything to bow to our level of comfort or else we want it gone or someone else to fix it. That is not resilience. That is not how you overcome anxiety and depression.
If you want abs, there are specific exercises to help you get a 6-pack. You can talk about abs all day, but without actually doing the exercises, you won’t develop the muscles.
Just like talking about resilience doesn’t actually give you resilience. We give a lot of lip service to “doing hard things,” but everything in our lives is designed to make life easier. You won’t ever build resilience in life just by saying “I can do hard things.” Just like you won’t get abs just by saying “I want abs” You have to put in the effort to build that muscle.
Sit-ups, crunches and Russian twists are some actual exercises that can help you get those abs you want. Mindfulness, distress tolerance tools, and talking out the story in my head are some specific mental exercises that will build emotional resilience.
Counseling is like going to the emotional gym to build your mental muscles. If you go just once a week, you might see some improvement, but it may take a long time. If you go 3-4 times a week, you’re going to get emotionally strong, pretty quickly, and the muscles will stay with you long after your intense training.
We all know the importance of developing and maintaining physical strength throughout the lifespan. It’s time we saw developing and maintaining mental health the same way.