5 unexpected benefits of coping with depression and anxiety

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Most people that suffer with depression and/or anxiety will know just how overwhelming and debilitating it can be. I have realised that once you’ve worked through negative feelings there is, in fact, a silver lining. Now I see that it’s important to think about the positive elements of living with mental illnesses. Here are 5 uplifting consequences of battling with depression and anxiety…

  1. Depression constantly puts things into perspective:

Depressions sucks don’t get me wrong. However, when faced with the looming cloud that is depression, I find myself more in touch with my emotions. As a result, I think I have developed a certain self-awareness and have become more introspective. Now I ask myself why I might be feeling a certain way and try face the problem head on.

  1. I have developed a deeper sense of empathy for others:

It can be really hard to feel like yourself when suffering with a bad spell of mental health. Sometimes I can feel alone or unloved. Although I feel these horrible feelings, it gives me a greater understanding of what other people are going through. I am there as a helping hand as much as someone else is a helping hand for me.

  1. My relationships with family and friends have become stronger:

At first it was really difficult to open up and talk about my struggles. Once opening up, not only did my wellbeing improve, but also my relationships with friends and family were enhanced. It is extremely easy to isolate yourself and push people away. But after opening up, I found myself getting closer to my friends and family. I now have people that notice when I am down and connect with me on an emotional level far greater than before.

  1. I developed a greater appreciation for the happy moments in life:

Having anxiety and depression does not mean that I will constantly live a miserable life. Yes, there are bad times, but they come and go. Ultimately, I have to live for the high moments; I have experienced enough low moments to now fully appreciate the happy ones. Because I sometimes think negatively, I am pleasantly surprised when things do go my way.

  1. I’m dedicated to improving myself and always moving forward:

Mental illness can make anyone feel awful, but what we need to see is that it can serve as a catalyst for change. Struggling mentally motivates me to change and improve my life. I am open to more ideas that help me to do meaningful things; this improves my self-confidence and helps me to find ways to live a healthier and happier life. I have learnt to treat my anxiety and depression as a friend that I can learn from. When I have dark days or thoughts, I need to acknowledge them and not judge them. We should use our rough days as inspiration to make profound change in our lives.

(Image courtesy of: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/02/17/campaigners-hail-forest-sale-u-turn_n_7411866.html)

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