October 18, 2016

Here Is How Learning Humility Saved Me From Anxiety And Depression

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Saksham Gangwar
Saksham Gangwar

Love wasn’t the thing that saved me from my anxiety depression, it was humility.

We’ve all heard it before, how the greatest gift of all was love. Endless songs written about it and how you could never really be happy without it.

But you could say that’s a different story when you’ve got something called “anxiety-depression” like me. I’ve had it since I was 16. It runs in the family so the sad part was I couldn’t do anything about it at that time. It was really hard to even love myself during those moments of sadness. Don’t get me wrong, panic attacks still come and go for me. But this trait that I acquired probably saved me from making my life any worse than it already was.

So here are the reasons why humility helped me with my anxiety-depression:

1. Humility brought me closer to God.
Ironically it was verses such as John 8:7.

“…When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'”

It reminded me that there is no one out there that can ever persecute you. Not even yourself. You are not your downfall. You are not your shortcomings, and you are definitely not what you think others think of you. It made me realize that there is someone BIGGER out there who is Bigger than you, or your problems and insecurities.

This is not to say that I boast of my relationship with God. It is a choice that I took freely. Humility gave me a sense of enlightenment.

2. It gives you wisdom.
It will flow out of your mouth naturally because you acknowledge the fact that you have gone through trials and hardships but in the end you are willing to help others to see them grow as a person. You’ll be able to communicate these trials and hardships in a way that people might relate to and not feel intimidated with your wisdom.

3. Humility will pave the way for better friendships and relationships.
I’ve always had trouble with friendships, I always thought that I was never good enough for them or that. Because of this I would often avoid conflicts out of pride of maintaining my “adaptable and aggregable nature.” I always lied about being fine even though I wasn’t because I wanted to be seen as strong, and because of that, I felt like I couldn’t really trust anyone to see me vulnerable. I learned that vulnerability paved the way for intimacy in friendships and helped me build trust with the people around me.

4. It lets you ask for help.
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. Even when you really need it. You assume people would laugh at you for asking such trivial things. You’re afraid of the judgement that is to come out of asking. Humility helped me overcome this fear of being seen as a bother to others.

I would always avoid the topic of my anxiety depression with my parents for fear of being told that I am weak and that they had had it worse when they were my age. I know for a fact that they want what’s best for me and that they were quite encouraging when they offered to buy me Meds for my condition, but the stigma of being treated for a mental illness just seemed so ugly to me. Even if it was for my benefit and my well-being I always felt like it was my fault for feeling the way that I did and avoided it altogether.

Yet, I remember the day I asked for help was the day I felt the burden lift of my shoulders a little bit. So lower your pride! You are not weak for asking. You have come to terms with some of your hardships and are helping yourself in the process.

5. It keeps you grounded.
It’s a known saying. Those who think high of themselves will be pulled down and those who are down to earth will be raised up. There is nothing better than the feeling of being one with the universe. Humility is the thing that ties you to reality and keeps you aware of everything around you by not letting high levels of emotions like pride, anger, and sadness influence your logical thinking.

6. It helps with your confidence.
This probably helped me out the most. As a writer, it always helped me to overcome fear of judgement by writing freely. And honestly. It helped me feel better about myself knowing that everything that I do, and I say comes from honesty fueled by humility. I didn’t want to prove myself as an amazing writer or story teller so that people would marvel at my work. I wanted to voice out. Express myself. And maybe even if it’s just for a few people, I might be able to relate with their struggles.

7. You’ll eventually love yourself.
Knowing where you stand in life is crucial in loving yourself. Sometimes it’s hard when you compare yourself to other people. It’s especially harder when you try to compete with them for glory, gratification and recognition. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition, this will always fuel you to become a better person.

But doing it for the sake of winning and acceptance is a result of insecurity. I remember being one of the top of the class back in elementary and being active in participating in various contests in art, film, writing, and quiz bees in High school. Once I became a college student though I was surprised to find so many people who are exceptional. It always felt like I was running a race filled with pro-athletes, and it rendered me exhausted to even try and keep up with my peers. Learning to realize that you are limited to the strengths given to you will help you realize that it’s a better use of your time to explore and better yourself through these strengths rather than be something that you are not. And lastly humility will help you do what is best for you and your well-being. And through this, you’ll come to love yourself little by little. TC mark

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