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This won't all work for everyone 100% out there, but I feel like a lot of us here are very similar minded, simply because of the fact that we're drawn to a site like this if that makes sense. So this may be helpful to you.
I've had issues with anxiety and deep depression my whole life. Therapy did nothing for me personally (though it may help for you depending on your needs), I would always try to "intellectualize" my way out of the therapist's attempts at helping me, or I would simply be disillusioned that I was essentially paying $$ for an ear to listen to me and would feel deep down the therapist didn't care. I was starting to accept that my problems would just be my reality and always define who I was internally, that it was in my genes to have so much mental pain, but things have changed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. But it could be winter for you regardless of what season it is. Sunlight is a big fucking deal. It hits me as so obvious now, of course that thing in the sky that is our livelihood is essential to our everything. Including well-being, cognition, mood, etc.
Tip: Get sunlight. Plenty of it. Take your shirt off and soak up the sun. On a bright day I sit in the sun for a good 15 minutes straight, I do this as often as I can. It's not good enough to be in the sun "just throughout the day", take some time to really bask in it. You'll learn there's a lot of pleasure in this sensation and it will open up your eyes to how obvious this is to being mentally strong. Shelve the vitamin D and get out there. I haven't had a serious panic attack or debilitating anxiety attack since I started getting into this routine, and I used to have them every week.
Music. I never knew how important it was. I'm deeply into it, I even produce music in LA where it's an even bigger deal than in most places, but the power of it is something I've come to understand just recently. Clean up your library of anything depressing or that you associate with bad times. This is not to say trash your music, especially if you own it physically, you can always revisit it for old time's sake (I've done this recently with a few artists) but the important thing here is to change up your playlists, heavy repeat albums, whatever it be. Music should meet you where you want to be, and if you want to feel depressed then by all means listen to depressing music. But I take it you want to change that. What you listen to doesn't have to be phony soulless upbeat pop, but you can take this opportunity to explore and reevaluate what you listen to. (Bonus: exploring new music opens your mind to different worlds, ideas, and understandings of people/countries/etc.) You know that saying who you hang with is who you are? Yeah, well we're hanging with our music, so it better be stuff that lifts us up or gets us in a great fucking mindset.
I've been in cars with people and asked for them to change the radio station, because I can honestly feel my mood moving with a sad song and I'm conscious of it. People might think you're weird but let's be honest, you were always that weird and different guy.
This is coming from a metalhead who has always listened to subgenres that are notorious for negative lyrics and moods. That's not to say I don't still love metal, or appreciate what it meant to me at times, it just isn't in my playlists as much and I'm more selective of what I pick.
Drugs. Okay, so I've experimented with many drugs and they always gave me an illusion that I finally understood my problems and finally knew what I had to do to fix them. Illusion doesn't mean useless. A lot of insight from drugs like LSD or crystal meth (yes) have given me incredible self-revelation. I learned why I do certain things and why I avoid other things; why I feel so differently from people around me and experience things most others I meet can never relate with. Go figure, it was just that: flashes of insight and then poof, the magic of it gone. I'm left with new self-knowledge but sometimes even felt worse after. I don't use any drugs anymore not even weed as much as its accepted (makes me more suspicious of it now that it's accepted, and come on, it's hardly even the same good shit it used to be nowadays), and I don't regret my phase of experimentation, but if I could go back and just give myself one drug it would be
St Johns Wort
This one is going to be a game changer for a lot. Make sure it's this brand because they have a proprietary way of stabilizing the most important component of the plant that this supplement is derived from. This isn't even an affiliate link, it's just my honest recommendation.
I started this a few years ago but gave up. Then I picked it up again not long ago taking 3 a day for a few weeks then tapering to 2 a day and now 1 a day, and all I can say is wow. I started taking this before I started taking into action my previous advices and it really did do something. Best way I can put it is I no longer feel like I'm constantly in mental fatigue or empty inside (you know exactly what feeling I'm talking about), but I also don't feel emotionally numbed. Like I said I still experience reality for all of its horseshit but I feel freer and like my world is more stable. And unlike my experience with so many prescription ATDs I still have my identity/humor/likes/dislikes/personality/character and I can keep a hard on just fine.
Food. I'm no nutrition expert and I still have my struggles with this even being relatively thin, but my meals are very simple, I'll put it that way. I'm going to start a site soon where I document everything I'm writing in this post, and there I will do something on my meals. Again, they are very simple. Oh and I don't eat bread.
Stop being idle! No, not in a "grab life by the balls! Stop just being alive and start living!" way. I mean in a 'Get your ass off your bed or chair or wherever the fuck you're sitting right now' way. Believe it or not, when an organism is idle for long its cells essentially decide to die. If you spend days or just extended periods really laying or sitting, you are actually breaking down and not metaphorically. When I was at my worst I would spend weekends alone just sleeping or trying to sleep. I was intensifying my condition without realizing it, and my body was accepting its new vegetative state. Make a conscious effort to walk, stretch, do a random set of pushups throughout the day. Move! But not just for the reasons Michelle Obama gave you.
Curb your expectations with people. Not in a "live stoically! never expect, never be disappointed!" kind of way. I mean just please understand there is a lot of rudeness and vile people out there. A lot of bad souls who want nothing but to bring people down, people who are closed off to meeting others, people who's identities are tied to their's and their friend's hate of other people, who will frown at you and generally be asses for no apparent reason to you. No matter how much I suppress it or pretend to be this hardened guy in real life, I generally have a nature that assumes the best of others. If someone says they're going to pay me back I really think in my heart that maybe they will. If a girl says she cares about me I think she does. Naturally this has set me up for lots of disillusion and disappointment in my life, as I try to be honest and goodhearted but I find "no good deed goes unpunished." So me personally I don't live like a stoic, but I make a conscious effort in my thinking now to approach things neutrally, not going in thinking it will be good/bad outcome. Not thinking someone is either necessarily lying or telling the truth unless I've developed trust in that relationship with them. This makes me a lot happier. Sounds so trivial, doesn't it? Answers and truths are always in simplicity and the obvious, and we discover what they are for ourselves.
I don't meditate. Call me crazy (really, do it) but meditation has caught on with a LOT of people
and guess what, a lot of those same people are still fucked up but now have -$15 in their bank accounts from a meditation book they bought or $-250 from a seminar on ancient east Indian teachings for it. It's a big fad and even corporate offices are adopting the concept to improve worker efficiency. Weird. I don't sit for 15 minutes and repeat a word or sound to myself but I do have activities or outlets rather where my focus is definitely fixated for 15 minutes even more at a time. This activity can be anything or mean anything for you, you just need to have something you FOCUS entirely on for a bit daily (essential).
Tip: if you don't have an outlet like I described, turn on the classical station 15 minutes every day and listen to those long ass songs. really listen to them and get into the rhythms and melodies layered on top of each other. this has the same effect as traditional meditation but it's more fun and less weird, plus it's mentally stimulating to immerse yourself in complex but emotionally purposeful music.
This one might be controversial. Don't watch the news. EVER. We all know and understand: all the news outlets are tailored towards garnering massive amounts of viewers. Your preferred global, national, or even local news channel secretly hopes high numbers of people die in every story because that means better ratings. It's sickening and I in no way want to support an institution that essentially banks off manipulating the emotions of average Joe. You're not average Joe. It makes for bad conversation fodder anyway, "Hey you hear about that plane crash?" You should rather be saying to people, "Hey check out this thing I just put out" or "I'm doing this with my life right now" or "How are you?" for God's sake, not "Hey how about those suicide rates in a location that has nothing to do with us?" Do you see how much negativity the news promotes in your life? If a big important event is occurring and you spend just minimal time around others you will hear about it, because it will start leaking into all public discussion because of it's significance. This is coming from someone who has been deep into "history realism" his whole life, and I don't necessarily denounce all my knowledge (USA nuke bombed Bikini Islands and relocated natives in the name of "God's will" thus tricking the natives; USA infected Venezuelan children a few decades ago with syphilis disguised as vaccines, then refused court settlement because a country can't sue USA if act wasn't on USA ground; world powers are spying on us to absolute shit and making populations weaker every day in every way)... Point is, a lot of bad shit is going on and has happened and will happen. This isn't a perfect world but whoever ever said it was? There's also so much good and great people and all we can do is be the best agents of change in the spheres of our lives than we can be, instead of stressing over events and evils that we can't undo or change. Cutting the news out of your life will be a great change that you will feel the effects of in a week or so. This includes news articles online.
Onto my next point, another controversial one probably. Quit social media. Okay, so let me re-iterate, if social media depresses you then quit it. If you use it and notice no change in your mood state or wellbeing after browsing instagram for 1 hour or whatever then ok, keep using it. I don't want to generalize but wow this was a big one for me. Instagram and facebook depressed me to hell and deleting them legitimately has made me feel significantly better in my headspace. Girls will call you weird if you have no social media but if they like you, I really don't think they won't fuck you because you don't have an @ she can follow. I'm no player yet but my first lay I gave the girl my email address the first time we met, this was when I didn't even have a phone. She didn't think it was weird and even laughed about it, but it wasn't a problem. Again this one is a very individual choice you'll need to figure out, if social media is really messing with your brain. For me I got tired of seeing a constant stream of people and even celebrities I admire trying to 1-up and show off their extravagant lifestyles in photographs that don't capture the full essence of the experience, and instead just make me feel like shit comparing my own life to theirs subconsciously. And I have a dislike for selfies, I was sick of seeing people's edited faces shoved into my eyes along with all the sneaky ads and targeted content in between. Social media isn't free, you're the product. you pay in other ways with the data they collect about your habits. You're being pimped by the companies who sell your most personal data (everything in the terms and conditions you agreed to but didn't read). All this is everything that average Joe doesn't care about. It will make you feel excited when you open the apps, then dull, so you close them. Then you open the apps again because you remember they brought you excitement. You think this isn't intentional?
Have a depression fallback. What I mean by that is have a plan in case you reach a bad point before it happens. Let me re-iterate that again because I feel like I'm not getting my point across: in case you're visited again by your old demons, you should have a plan already written out for times it will inevitably and temporarily happen. For instance, write down a list of things you'll do. This can be a phone number you will call, a friend for instance who you know genuinely cares about what's up with you. My personal fallback plan is a hot shower or bath; driving out to a hidden spot on the coast at night because that always brings me pleasure to hear the ocean and be the only one there; listening to music that always chills me the fuck out like stevie wonder or chicano batman; watching an episode of seinfeld or larry sanders show; cooking up one of my favorite meals like thai food or fish; or ordering take-in chinese food and watching any one of my favorite movies. Just write down whatever you enjoy, things you can do in case you find yourself in a bad spot that are guaranteed to lift you up. The importance of writing this list is that when you're at your worst mentally and especially if you suffer brain fatigue/fog you won't have the motivation or cognition to think up these things that will help you. So better to have the list handy. Again, it can be stuff like taking a brisk walk down your street (this couldn't be on mine when I lived in the ghetto lol), or standing barefoot in grass and feeling the coolness with your toes, but make it definite+actionable+simple things that make you happy and not vague or hard to do activities. There's probably an official word therapists use for this but I just started doing this and calling it depression fallback. Another ultimate benefit of having this list is that you fear a looming depression less, because you know what you're going to do. This helps with anxiety as well as you're less anxious about the future. Weird how our brains can give us anxiety about anxiety lol.
Oh yeah, this helps you escape the consumer habit that companies like amazon prey on: buying from loneliness. Instead of buying shit to make up for your feeling bad, you have alternative choices now and are spending more purposeful.
Comparing yourself to someone else is good. It inspires you to become better. But that "someone else" should only and always be YOU. Yeah, easier said than done, "don't compare yourself to others." I hate that advice because it's impossible to follow. But recently I just re-applied that thought of self-comparison to me-1-year-ago and finally found a way to live the principle. This helps immensely with something like self-image. I see people with advantages over me in some ways and I don't really feel envy, just more or less a feeling of "oh good for them." I am my own measure of comparison and this is something you should adopt to if you haven't already. You probably wouldn't like to be around someone who's constantly talking about wishing they had something other people have, so don't be that person nobody wants to be around. And I'm not just leaving you at that, I gave you a whole process for changing your mindset. Comparing yourself is inevitable as it's a habit of the mind, so pick yourself to do it with. This will help with depression related to self-image (a big fucking deal men rarely talk about).
Have a healthy dose of self-respect. "Don't take yourself seriously..." Ever notice who are the people who say that? Yeah, rarely people that you would look up to or admire for any reason. Maybe don't take life so serious, or don't be serious in every situation, but treat and give yourself some respect. In the way you dress, talk, act, communicate, it should all communicate this. I hate hearing people call themselves failures or losers because if you say it, you believe it, and if you believe it it becomes true for you. Don't say "I'm an anxious person". Don't say "I'm depressed." You might feel and experience anxiety or depression, but don't ever define yourself by it. Tell yourself good things, tell yourself what you want to be, and believe that you will be that. I think the book The Secret is horseshit backed by incredible marketing but some of those core principles are rooted in reality. You don't have to give this piece of advice hokey names like "affirmations", just apply it and don't be weird about it.
Open up to people. I don't have much to say on this other than I've recently opened to a couple people in my life about my past addictions and demons. This comes from someone who doesn't even have many people that I'm close to, but we all generally have at least some people in our lives that we can reach out to. Usually we're just hesitant to. That hesitancy is bullshit and it's something you need to get over. It's a gift to have people close in your life, who have a genuine care for you, even if it's just one person. Utilize the relationship. You wouldn't believe how much anxiety is lifted when we share.
I didn't write this post from a video or book I read or anything like that, I wrote this post from my gut knowing what's worked for me. I'm actually very excited while I write this and am smiling genuinely with happiness while I type this sentence. It's a certain desire once you've found something out to share it with the world in hopes of helping others reach where you have reached. I'm no expert at getting laid yet so I'm not here giving advice on that, I'm taking notes and taking action from the advice of you guys who are legit living player lifestyles. And guess what I don't have it all figured out in terms of happiness or fixing anxiety/depression either but I have come a long way to the point where I'm now a better version mentally of myself than I was last year and the years before that too, so significantly so that I now consider myself a generally happy person without anxiety that my limits my quality of life.
I didn't think this would be my first post but I'm glad it's this because I want to contribute what I've done to get to this point. I'm generally at a baseline mentally nowadays, compared to just last year I was manic and constantly up/down and life was hell and some days the pain brought me to dark places I would never wish on anyone. I thought I was broken. I still get nervous before doing something new. I still experience sadness and happiness in tangible ways. I'm still me. But the cloud of depression is generally off my back. I'm better than I've ever been, and everything I've written here has contributed to that. Because my suggestions are simple don't assume they're trivial.
The most important thing you should get out of this post is get sunlight, lots of it. Experiment with St John's Wort for a month and continue if you feel change. Have a simple diet of foods you enjoy that aren't processed to hell and back. Music is important, and re-read my paragraph about the importance of music if you have to. Don't necessarily meditate, but do focus on one thing for a solid length of time daily; you can cultivate a skill or goal better this way while also letting your mind find peace in itself. The rest of the advice is important too but I really want to prioritize these. Notice in my title I don't say I fixed my issues because no one lives anxiety free (except maybe a psychopath) and no one never experiences some level of depression (though it may not seem that way), but I have identified what I feel has been taking hold of my life and I am combating these issues successfully. I didn't talk specifically about fatigue or panic attacks individually much but these issues for me were intertwined with the others as I no longer experience either really. Panic attacks used to be an every day personal hell for me and fatigue would stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Now I don't feel trapped in my mind or limited by my body's lack of function or rather my body's dysfunction.
- Sunbathing: ancient Greeks would do this for people with mental problems, lay them in the sun or 3 days and then they would be better... so I read in Greek Lives
- A lot of doctors aren't up to date on medical literature. This is something I didn't know. Medical journals are updated WEEKLY but most doctors and mental health practitioners don't read anything past when they got their license because they don't have to. I once had a health issue that my cat's vet explained to me, I brought it up in casual conversation while getting my cat's shots and he explained to me what my symptoms meant and what the latest study recommended. To this day he helped cure my chest pain problem (costochondritis) and now I don't have it, meanwhile my doc that I pay big $$ for didn't know shit and just gave me a fat medical bill to say what I already knew I had. You know your body and what's normal for you and what isn't, your doctor doesn't know you better than yourself. If you feel you have a condition don't be afraid to research for yourself or even post on a medical forum where maybe you'll find docs up to date on stuff, or find niche communities online of people who suffer what you do. I'd say beware of naturopaths. Although I'm very biased because one almost made me lose my hair and hairloss isn't even in my family (moral of the story is just because something is a Vitamin or herb or plant doesn't mean it's harmless... plenty of poisons and hard drugs are "plants" basically. that's not a valid argument; St Johns Wort even is a plant but it's effective and there are even instances where you shouldn't use it because of serious interactions -- this is if you're pregnant or are taking an SSRI simultaneously)
- St Johns Wort has conflicted reviews online because not all the products are equal. Use the one I recommend for the reason I described.
- Rising anxiety levels are an epidemic and due to corruption in scientific literature many causal links are being obfuscated and prevented from entering general knowledge spheres, as profit for the interest groups would see huge decline. Just talk to people, if you feel like you're the only one you'll find out so many nowadays suffer from high levels of it. I'm friends with a bouncer at a music venue, he's massive and has the whole tough guy image to a T and I was surprised when he admitted to me he's anxious as hell most of the time.
- Not everyone gets our amazing LA sunny weather. Buy a light therapy device if you need to. I use
when it's cloudy for weeks (not affiliate link). Not on par with sun but absolutely better than nothing.
Long read but there's a ton of awesome advice in here. I really like the depression fall back plan, I've never really thought of that and actually think I will put one together if I continue doing as well as I have been lately.
Next time you might want to throw a "TL;DR" at the top or bottom of the post, though I would recommend anyone struggling with mental issues read through the whole thing.
- By 2020: Reach 190lbs, <18% BF (@ 155lbs est. <10% BF)
- By 2020: Lift Goals: Bench - 270lb, 1 Arm Row - 150lb x 3, Leg Press - 450lb,
- Do some looks/edge maxing
- Start and complete the Going Out to Bars program
- (Done) Quit daily kratom
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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I didn't think the "Get Hung" guide would have girls eyeing my bulge. It did.
I didn't think that your exercise and diet advice would have girls checking me out. It did.
I DEFINITELY didn't think that your hair-loss prevention would fix my hairline. Not in a billion years. It mother fucking did. You saved me a crazy amount of time, a ton of money, unnecessary pain, and destroyed my #1 source of anxiety. DESTROYED IT.
Kratom is next!
To anyone reading this, follow through, read this material, APPLY this material, and enjoy life.