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Anxiety and Depression: Our Internal GPS System

by Kelly Niven

“With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world”. Dalai Lama

What are anxiety and depression?

We are informed that anxiety and depression are mental illnesses caused by a chemical imbalance. What if I were to tell you different? Would you believe me?

When we are growing up, we believe what we are told by the people around us. We learn to trust the opinion of those who are influential in our life – parents, teachers, the media, doctors, elders. What tends to happen is that we learn to trust the opinion of other people rather than listening to ourselves. In time this can lead to severe emotional difficulties.

The term mental illness implies that there is something wrong with you - that what you experience with anxiety and depression is unnatural and inappropriate. This often results in the sufferer looking for a quick fix to the problem.

The Truth

There is no doubt that anxiety and depression are very real. Anyone who has experienced the depths of despair will know that you feel it mentally, physically and spiritually. This is the last thing that you want in your life.

In my opinion, to live free from anxiety and depression, we have to see them for what they are; a perfectly natural response to increased levels of stress. In certain cases the reasons for these emotional difficulties will be obvious e.g. bereavement, illness, divorce. When the reason is not so obvious it can be tempting to accept the chemical imbalance theory which, as matter of fact, has no direct evidence to support it.

However our emotions, good or bad are there for a reason. You may have to dig deep to find the reason but I can tell you that it is there all the same. To live free from anxiety and depression, we have to have a better understanding of ourselves. We can learn that, through these experiences we are presenting with an amazing opportunity to grow.

Our Internal GPS System

We have our own internal GPS system which is doing its best to keep us on track. When we experience uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, we must listen. If we veer off course our GPS system will alert us in whichever way needed through our mind, body and spirit. This is a completely natural process, nothing unnatural about it. Any messages that this is otherwise the case are false.

We are highly sophisticated and even when we appear to experience adversity we are still working towards our higher good. This will always be the case, whether we choose to believe it or not. There is nothing and no-one working against us. It is our own internal GPS doing it’s very best to communicate with us, even if we have been afraid to listen.

We can wake up and listen anytime we like. There is no need to be afraid of what we might find.

When we open our heart and mind and listen we will be supported.

How to listen?

· Learn to listen to yourself over the opinion of anyone else. If it doesn’t feel right for you, trust your feelings.

· Accept what you are feeling rather than trying to fight it.

· Do not fear that you are going mad or that you are insane. These fearful thoughts are what keeps us stuck in destructive cycles.

· Resist the temptation to look outside of yourself for something to make you feel better. When we do this the relief tends to be short lived. The only way to feel good longer-term is to feel better on the inside.

· Resist the temptation to become dependent on anything to help suppress your feelings – alcohol, drugs, unhealthy relationships can all be used as a crutch to “get through”.

· Be aware that prescribed medication will numb your feelings.

· Learn about the power of your mind and thoughts and the impact these are having on what you are currently experiencing.

· Do what you can to raise your vibration levels so that you can hear yourself. Diet, exercise, environment, relationships, emotional baggage all have an impact on our ability to really hear.

· Find ways to express your emotions and to deal with issues from the past that you are still holding on to. Anxiety and depression happen for a reason. You need to find the underlying cause and let it go.

“Have confidence in your own spiritual potentiality, your ability to find your own unique way”

John Snelling


Kelly Niven has what most people would describe as unwavering faith, drive and determination. After experiencing severe emotional challenges she refused to accept the diagnosis and lack of explanation provided by traditional medicine. Not only did this lead to a full recovery but she gained a strength that instigated many positive changes in her life. As an HR professional (CIPD and BA qualified) she chose to leave her full-time career, end her unhappy marriage and undertake a post graduate certificate in counselling in order to rebuild her life. Kelly has a passion for dispelling the myth of emotional difficulties being classed as a mental illness (read her blog – www.life-is-now.co.uk). She believes that everyone has the ability to heal themselves provided they are empowered and want to take full responsibility for their own life.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KellyNivenBiz

Twitter - @KellyNiven

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