Beating Anxiety: 7 Ways To Kick Worry To the Curb

Beating Anxiety: 7 Ways To Kick Worry To the Curb

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a lot of colleagues talking about anxiety on social media. I’m sure COVID-19 is playing a big role and sparking fear. But, whether we’re living in a pandemic state or post-pandemic, anxiety is a mental health disorder that if it goes unchecked can interfere with a person’s day to day activities. I know we need help beating anxiety. I haven’t always had anxiety but I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown older, there are times when I’ve felt a bit more anxious. There are days when my anxiety is higher than others but I’ve finally figured out 7 ways to kick unnecessary worry to the curb. Here they are: 

Deal with the issues.

1. When I feel anxiety about dealing with a person, I decide to deal with whatever the issue is. My first step might be to journal how I’m feeling but after I have my thoughts clear, I process how I want to handle it. If I feel its not anything for me to address with the person than I let it go. If I deem it worth my time, then I take the issue to the person. I used to get frustrated and not talk about the issues and this led to me having anxiety in the first place. It was hard to deal with my feelings but now that I deal with my issues head on, I feel much better. 

Take action.

2. Take action with whatever you’re running from or worried about. If you’re worried about something at your job, come up with a strategy which allows you to be in the best position. Dealing with a bad personal relationship, take the issue to the person like I mentioned above. If it’s a health issue, knowledge is power. Worrying without action brings about anxiety. Doing something about your concerns reduces anxiety. 

Avoid fear mongers.

3. Stay away from and stop listening to fear mongers. People who are constantly telling us that the sky is falling are literally bringing about anxiety. If you’re on social media giving your attention to people who are saying horrifying things, you are gonna get frightened. You gotta guard your inner peace from fear mongers. 

Stay in the present moment.

4. Stay in the present moment. A lot of folks say it, but what it means is: Think about what you’re doing right now. If you’re in a safe environment… if your belly is full, if your loved ones are safe, think about that. Worry is a preoccupation with what is going to happen in the future. By focusing on what is going on right now, it allows you to eliminate outside distractions. 

Count your blessings.

5. Be grateful and count your blessings. If you woke up this morning, be grateful. Are you healthy? Be grateful. If you can pay all your bills, be grateful. Having gratitude for the blessings in your life will help eliminate feelings of anxiety. Sometimes I write a list to remind me of all the blessings in my life. Listing and counting my blessings brings me joy and makes me ultimately less anxious. 

Accept the things you cannot change.

6. Accept the things you cannot change. For me anxiety and frustration have often gone hand in hand. Learning to accept the things that I cannot change reduced both anxiety and frustration. There are things in life dealing with family, health, COVID-19, Hollywood, etc that we can’t change. But, what we can do is come up with a strategy for success that works for us. No more wasting time worrying about people, stuff and things. Our time is best spent being focused on how we want to live our lives. 

Let it go.

7. Finally, my all time favorite anxiety buster is: letting go. Some things just aren’t worth thinking about. Some people aren’t worth fighting for. They aren’t. Being anxious about someone’s behavior that you can’t control isn’t helping you. So, let it go. Being anxious about an obnoxious boss, ain’t gonna help you. Looking for a new job though will empower you. So, choose empowerment. Let the other stuff go. 

When anxiety creeps in, I take myself through these 7 reminders. Then I ask myself, “Is what I’m worrying about currently making my life better?” If the answer is no, then I know to let it go. It keeps me beating anxiety.

7 Risk Factors For Depression Everyone Should Know

7 Risk Factors For Depression Everyone Should Know

There are 7 risk factors for depression that everyone should know. At Black TV Film Crew, we want to support your work but also your mental health. People who work in the creative field have shown to have a higher susceptibility of depression. We’ve witnessed too many people suffer in silence and wanted to share these 7 risk factors for depression. 

7 Risk Factors For Depression

  1. Loneliness & Isolation: Many of us think we can do everything on our own until we realize that we can’t. Being lonely and isolating ourselves can increase our risk of depression. 
  2. Marital or Relationship Problems: Abusive relationships or bad relationships make us more susceptible to depression. 
  3. Recent Stressful Life Experiences: Unemployment, financial problems, losing a loved one, and divorce are all stressful life experiences that can increase our risk of depression. 
  4. Chronic Illness or Pain: Unmanaged pain or a chronic illness diagnosis like diabetes, heart disease or cancer can increase our risk of depression. 
  5. Family History: They say, “Mental illness runs in families.” So, if you have depression in your family, any family member is likely to be more susceptible to also suffering from a mental illness. But, knowledge is power. Talk to your family members and equip yourself. 
  6. Personality: Some of us are chronic worriers. Many of us are so self-critical that we lower our own self-esteem. Those personality traits make us more susceptible to depression. 
  7. Early Childhood Trauma and Abuse: Survivors of childhood trauma are often told to bury what has happened to us. But many of us know that you can’t just forget being abused or traumatized. Suffering from childhood trauma and abuse can lead to depression. 

Erase the stigma of mental illness

Believing that you suffer from depression can often lead to feelings of shame or guilt. Let’s erase the stigma of mental illness. Encourage your friends and colleagues to seek help from a qualified medical professional. Please download and share this graphic. You never know who is suffering in silence. The National Suicide Helpline is 1.800.273.TALK.

Featured photo courtesy of Hian Oliveira. 

3 Ways To Beat The Battle Against Sadness

3 Ways To Beat The Battle Against Sadness

Beating Sadness

I’ve dealt with bouts of sadness from time to time. I’ve gone to therapists to help me with my depression. After a life altering experience in 2016, 85% of my depression lifted. I’ll tell you all about it one day. But, even with that experience, I noticed that I’d get sad sometimes out of the blue. A few days ago I randomly looked up sadness, guilt and fear and read an article that I’ve begun to put into practice. This article explained that sadness is often triggered by something not going the way you’d like it to go. The author of this article said people who experience sadness often are focusing on the past. He further stated that to get rid of the sadness, a person needs to focus on the present and become future focused. I sat on my bed and contemplated this. 

Could it be that I’d become so focused on my regrets that I blocked my own happiness? 

For the next few days, I made a note of what made me sad. And guess what? Most of my sadness came in the form of regrets, ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda,’ relationships that don’t work, and bad situations from the past, etc. I took the advice from the writer and every time I felt sadness, I focused on a decision or action which could improve my future and I had some short directed conversations with myself. 

For example, when I thought about a writing opportunity that didn’t yield financial results, I asked myself, “What are you writing now that can yield financial results?” That question led me to creating an early morning writing routine. 

When I thought about a relationship that no longer works, I asked myself, “Did you do everything you could to make it a positive relationship?” I knew I’d done everything I could. Then I said to myself, “Well, you can’t change people and you can’t change the past.” With those words, I felt my spirit, literally, release the bad relationship from my mental consciousness. 

I know this solution almost seems too simple to work. But, I encourage you—if you’re experiencing bouts of sadness—to do these three things.

  1. Make a note of what kinds of thoughts are bringing you down. 
  2. If you are focused on the past, take a present action that can impact your future.
  3. If you know you’ve done everything you can to save a relationship or help a person or whatever, remind yourself that you’ve done all you can and LET. IT. GO.

Sad thoughts can be detrimental to our health. Checking in with yourself and developing tools to help you create a healthier mindset is a path to better mental wellness.

5 Things You Should Know About Depression and Suicide

5 Things You Should Know About Depression and Suicide

Depression and Suicide: Be On The Lookout

Today when I woke up and heard that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide, I was saddened, but not shocked. I wasn’t expecting Bourdain to end his life, but I realize that no matter how happy people seem in pictures and on television that there is always a story behind the face. With Kate Spade committing suicide earlier this week, I’m sharing 5 things you need to know about depression and suicide. 

This afternoon a colleague of mine reached out to me about Bourdain’s passing. My colleague explained that “with the life this guy had, the money, the travel, the adulation, the good family life… I’m sorry but I just don’t get it.”  ‘It’ being suicide. ‘It’ being depression. 

Initially, a person not understanding depression and suicide annoyed me, but instead of being annoyed, I wrote about it instead.

Here are 5 things you need to know about depression and suicide. 

  1. No matter how rich, famous, adored, or loved that a person seems they still have problems and issues that may be unresolved. For example, money doesn’t solve problems of low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual abuse, fear, anxiety, spousal abuse, being heartbroken, etc. Money is money and it does a lot of things. But, money does not solve all your problems. Money does not prevent suicidal thoughts. 
  2. When a person becomes successful, they still have problems from their past which may haunt them. There are celebrities who’ve admitted being called ugly by their family members, who’ve admitted to being physically abused by their parents and even though they’ve become wildly popular, they still struggle with accepting their looks and accepting themselves. Success does not change the scars you carry. 
  3. Instagram, Facebook and other forms of social media which portray a person in a happy environment do not paint the entire picture. I can take a photo smiling at 1:30pm and then head to the therapist and cry about my family issues. I don’t take a picture of myself in the therapist because I don’t want you to see me crying. But the fact is, I was crying. And, you didn’t know it. Social media is not an accurate snapshot of what a person is going through. A person can have suicidal thoughts and still appear happy on social media. 
  4. Television is fake. As much as I love television, writers are hired to create compelling stories. Reality TV, hosting shows all have elements of fiction. A tv host who performs with high energy but really has the flu and would rather be at home is not showing you his or her true self.  Celebrities, TV personalities, and movie stars are rarely what they seem on television or in the movies.  Celebrities suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts just like other people.
  5. Many people who commit suicide are looking for a way to end their pain, not necessarily their lives. Andy Spade, husband of Kate Spade, was quoted saying that Kate had fought depression and anxiety for many years. In studying suicide and depression, I’ve learned that many people characterize their struggles as fighting with a monster or fighting a dragon. Some people give up because they’ve been fighting monsters and dragons for as long as they can remember. For some people this fight has gone on for decades. 

No one is immune to depression or suicidal thoughts.

At the end of the day, no one is immune depression or suicidal thoughts. No amount of money, fame, adoration, travel or good family life can cure a person of depression. During the times when I battle depression, I utilize the tools found in the book, Feeling Good. But I’ve also accepted that there are good days and bad days. I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely free from depression but I know that I have more good days than bad. I want everyone who battles depression to consider that they just might have more good days than bad also. And, if they need help or someone to talk to, please call: 800.273.TALK.