Anxiety Depression And The BAR Cycle - Health

Anxiety Depression And The BAR Cycle

For those of us who have fallen into the anxiety depression cycle, life starts to seem hopeless...pointless. We fear the consequences of every possible step up, so choose to take no steps. Sadly, the lack of effort guarantees the very failure that was so greatly feared...the unnecessary destination for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Whether the cause is a physical condition or psychological issues, you don't have to live this way. You can turn the same cycle that got you there upside down, and use it as a ladder to climb out of the pit.

Physical Causes And Treatments: Anxiety and Depression are often, but not always, due to physical conditions in your body. Mental illness is really an illness of the physical part of your body called the brain. Anxiety and depression are often diagnosed together and often from the same root physical causes...chemical imbalances that make it difficult for your brain to process emotions (like fear) properly. Like all mental illness, this looks like a behavioral problem, but it's related to physical conditions. Some of the causes can be diet, allergy, diabetes, yeast infection, hypoglycemia, smoking, lack of physical exercise, thyroid problems, addictions, and many others. These conditions, when treated properly, can often reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression. Sometimes the physical causes can't be isolated and may be due to unresolved psychological issues. This "chicken-or-egg" scenario between physical and psychological causes is pointless to debate. The symptoms of a nxiety and depression can be treated with medication while the related psychological issues can be treated through counseling. Once you resolve the causes, the treatments will become unnecessary over time.

Physical Self-Help: Because some of the causes of anxiety and depression are physical, there are things you can do physically, to help relieve these mental illnesses. While you should definitely see a professional if you feel you may suffer from mental illness, professional treatment can be greatly helped by doing these easy things: Quit smoking. Get regular aerobic exercise. Eliminate any addictions. Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Get tests for diabetes, hypoglycemia, allergies (especially food allergies), thyroid, and yeast infections. Drink lots of water. It may sound odd, but all these things impact your brain chemicals. Exercise is probably one of the most important, because it causes your body to produce powerful chemicals, called endorphins, that naturally relax you and give you a sense of well-being.

Falling Into The Anxiety Depression Pit: This pit usually starts with non-specific feelings of fear (anxiety) that cause us to lose confidence, make mistakes or bad decisions, confirming the thing we feared. Then, incident-upon-incident, the lack of confidence intensifies until we're unwilling to even try. It continues to build on itself until we're doing less and less. We find it difficult to make the decisions necessary to do our jobs. Then we can't seem even to get to our jobs on time. We start being "sick" more often, and eventually quit or are fired. As the "failures" and fears pile up, eventually we can come to a place where we just don't feel that trying is worth the effort...depression has set in. We're convinced we will fail and, by not trying, we confirm those convictions. Some people go through years of half-efforts as if to guarantee enough failures to justify giving up in their minds. While drugs can correct some of the chemical imbalances and symptoms associa ted with anxiety and depression, until we deal with the irrational thoughts that brought us here, nothing will cure us. The sad news and very good news are one in the same...the very real circumstances of anxiety and depression were brought about by irrational imagination. Why is that good news?

Using the BAR Cycle To Escape The Pit: The fact that we imagined our way into this pit means we can use that same imagination to get out...that's very good news! The preceding paragraph shows us how we created aBAR Cycle in our minds that gradually dug the pit we're in. We experienced a fear (Belief) that produced hesitation/mistakes (Action) that generated emotions of lower self-esteem and greater fear (Results), making the negative beliefs even stronger and motivating even less effective effort at the opportunities of life. As we continue in this cycle, we can get to the point where we're frozen in fear and self-loathing, because every action confirms our belief that we will fail. It's good news that that's how it started because that same BAR Cycle can be used to turn it all around.

We can gradually work our way out of the pit the same way we got into it. As the referenced BAR Cycle shows, the only place to cause a change is in belief. James Allen said, "All that a man achieves...fails to achieve is the direct result of thought." What occupies your mind? What do you believe about yourself? No matter how pointless effort seems to be to us now, if we focus our thoughts on one thing we believe we can do...one little stretch from where we are, we can accomplish it. Maybe it's re-reading this article, then adding more positive articles, then refusing to accept negative, limiting thoughts about ourselves. Begin pouring positive information into your brain as the BAR Cycle article suggests, then reinforce those thoughts with action.

If you're so depressed you can't get out of bed, maybe your first action is getting out of bed. When that isn't a struggle any more, force yourself to brush your teeth, to get dressed every day, to make and eat meals, to clean the house, to call a friend, etc. Gradually build success upon success of things you feel will stretch you just a little more. Celebrate every success, to reinforce your resolve. Go outside for a walk, walk every day. If a job is too frightening, try volunteer work, then volunteer work full time, then a job using the same skills you learned volunteering. As you continue to feed your mind with the positive and continue taking tiny steps out of the pit, one day you'll look back in amazement at how far you've come. I haven't suffered from depression, but I know anxiety well, and it has caused me to take long, serious looks at depression.

Suffering from performance anxiety, fear of people and fear of success, I made what I would call a stupid decision that has made all the difference in my life. I chose to leave a civil service career to build a sales business. The first week on my own had me in bed all day, crying myself back to sleep. I was too terrified to even try at my business for a very long time. Finally, one day I started taking the kind of tiny steps I described above. First smiling at people, then meeting them, then calling, then selling, then recruiting. I finally earned a small profit one year, but, after gaining all the confidence I needed with people, I realized that that business was not where I should be helping people. In the 18 years since, I became a minister, spoke to groups of over 1,000, sang solo's, earned two college degrees, built two profitable businesses, founded two non-profit corporations, supervised a $ 2.5 million construction project, built 3 successful websites and publishe d over 2,000 pages on the Internet. I mention this, not to brag, but to help you understand how much you can change your own life.

If you find yourself in the fetal position, crying yourself to sleep all day over fear of life...there's hope. You don't have to stay there! Just turn the BAR Cycle upside down and use it as a ladder to climb out of the pit. This is something you can do to help whatever therapy you're receiving and very likely, over time, you'll eliminate the need for therapy. All you have to do is change one belief at a time and everything in your life will change. Now, the only question you need to ask yourself is, "Do I want my life to change or have I become too comfortable in my pit?"

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