My name is William Taylor, and I am in my late fifties. Up until ten years ago, I was a poster boy for stressful living. I hope no one follows in my past footsteps, but maybe I can share what I learned in those forty years of hard living.
I was good at hiding my problems. On the surface, I was a friendly, normal guy. What most people did not know is that I suffered from depression, stress, and anxiety. This negativity caused me and those close to me to suffer.
If I had only known 40 years ago what I know now, I could have prevented most of the suffering that I caused myself. What helped me are simple stress reduction techniques, and I would like to share these freely on this website. They are simple breathing, focus, and awareness exercises that can be done in just a few minutes each time.
I was born in a family that had a lot of stress. We all loved each other, but there were many problems. Since the earliest time that I can remember, I suffered from anxiety, worry, and fear. This stress continued through my teenage and adult years.
When I was in my early 20’s, I developed serious depression. In the first few years, I would have extreme mood swings. For periods of time, I would feel that I could do anything, and I was completely unreasonable in my thinking. Then all of a sudden, I would go into deep depression, and could barely leave the house. When I was in these deep depressions, I could not let go of worry, negativity, and a sense of hopelessness. After a few years, the deep mood swings went away, but I continued to deal with off and on again depression. Sometimes it was mild and other times I had difficulty maintaining a normal life.
In my mid-20’s a family member, whom I loved and respected, tried to ruin my life. This person spread lies about me to other family members. It was a complete shock to me, and I could not understand why they were doing it. This sent our whole family into crisis, and it made everyone choose sides. I could not understand how some of the family members could believe the untruths this person was spreading about me. It turned into an absolute mess that continued for many years after.
For over twenty years, I could not forgive this person. I was engulfed in hatred and anger. I changed from a person who had trust in most everyone, to one who trusted few. My outlook on mankind became negative, and I found myself seeing the worst in myself and everyone else. I recalled and replayed this situation most every day for years and years, and could not let it go.
These powerful moments in my life caused me continual suffering from significant stress, frustration, and anger. I could see everything bad about myself and those around me. I had grown into a negative, hateful, and nasty person, and I was unable to find a way to change.
I tried many different options over the years, such as religion, doctors, self-help, and everything else that I could find. I did not like how I was, and I wanted to change. Unfortunately nothing eased my suffering until I found simple breathing exercises that helped me learn to let go of the stress I was holding onto.
I learned these simple exercises back in 2004, and they have taught me many ways to let go of stress. What surprised me is that these exercises are helpful to well-adjusted happy people as well as negative stressful people like myself. People close to me noticed the change and began asking what I was doing. I shared the simple breathing focus exercises, and many have had good success.