For years, I’ve experienced mild anxiety; general and social. It was always a back-burner, in that it never really affected me too much in my daily life. Things changed around a year ago and I delve more into that in one of my previous posts: Anixetyandme.
When my mental health took a real dip, I couldn’t tell my perspective had changed. I couldn’t really see that I was feeling so bad, I just thought I was having a hormonal few days/weeks. What actually was happening was my anxiety was progressing, and it was taking over my life little by little over several months. I found getting up a struggle, being present in my daily activities a struggle and just generally lost enjoyment in what was happening around me. I wasn’t present – ever – and i knew something had to change. So I went to see a therapist.
My gosh – the best thing I did. My anxiety has taken a back seat – big time. Here’s why.
I hadn’t really taken time for myself. Sure, I’d run myself a bath, I’d go out with friends and I’d absolutely be doing things that were for me. But these things weren’t actually enough to really help my mental health, not long-term. I needed a perspective shift, a support point that I wouldn’t feel guilty accessing (I generally see me telling others about my thoughts as me burdening them, even though I know my friends are babes and wouldn’t ever want me to feel like that). Having a therapist gave me time – for me – and for me only. And it was what I really needed. My perspective was challenged, but softly, keeping me feeling in control at all times. My worries were challenged in that my thought processes were revealed to be pretty damn crappy to myself. After a few sessions and exercises to find out what was going on in my mind, I started to feel that I had the strength to drive my own life forward, and I hadn’t felt so for some time. So it was a relief. But a slow relief, that I’m only just really seeing. What I would say too is I am not the person that I was last year. I know I’m not. I’m similar, sure. But I’ve fought many fights personally and professionally, and I’m now at a place where I am happier with who I am and that took time, energy and focus.
How did I change my mentality – and my life?
Life used to happen to me. People used to hurt me, situations used to cause me stress, the unknown was too scary.
Can you see how negative even writing that is?
When life is happening for you, you see the positives and the hope of what you could achieve instead, you forgive the past and you accept the choices that others make even if it really annoys you or upsets you. People are allowed to make their own choices, and it’s really not a reflection of you all the time – it’s a reflection of them.
I’ll give you some examples:
Somebody says something horrible about you.
Old me would think “That’s horrendous that they could even say something like that about me, what must they think!” and often wonder if I was good enough, if my actions were appropriate, if my effort was enough.
Now I would think: “That’s very sad that they are so unhappy to say that.” and I would leave it there. Because I am good enough. The moment their words enter your life, they’re no longer their words, they become your problem, and it’s a problem you can never solve because you don’t have their mind. So don’t try.
You don’t get the job you want
When you go for a job, usually you have some sort of emotional drive for this. You’re fighting for a better you – maybe more money, maybe more responsibility. But you get rejected. Many you get rejected more than once. What does that say about you? Find out. Ask for feedback, and fight for real feedback that you can work with. But honestly, remember – a job isn’t your identity.
At the end of the day a job is simply a job. You offer more value to those around you by simply being you.
You don’t know where to start to feel better?
Here’s a few things I’ve changed that have helped me SO much:
Raising money for Cancer Research UK means I have to walk 10,000 steps a day to raise the sponsorship money that my family and friends have Kindly given me. The exercise has been AMAZING for my mental health – and I’ve felt so supported by those who have given money or just encouraged me.
Go outside. I always feel like when my mind is negative or clogged with too much information, I can’t clear it until I am in an open space. I love being at home but when you get outside and you focus on other things than your mind, you realise your worries don’t really matter in the long-term.
Got more sleep. More exercise has meant I’m physically exhausted. Often when I was anxious, my mind would be exhausted but not my body. Now I’m always so ready to sleep and my sleeping has improved.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone where it matters. I’ve pushed myself in places I never thought I would. I’ve acheived small wins, rather than the big wins, and I’ve never felt so proud of myself
Give yourself a compliment, or listen to the compliments of others. Negative thinking stems from self-worth and self-love. If you’re being negative about everyone else, you’re usually not being that great to yourself. Show yourself some love, and spread it around. We all want to feel good.
Forget who is to blame. It doesn’t matter. Just take responsibility for not letting these things drive your life. Drive your own. Focus on what you can do to improve things. Focus on what others can do to help you if they want to – bring your thoughts to the present, rather than in the past or racing towards the future.
Ask yourself – is life happening to you or for you?
Love, Am X
P.s I’ve been purchasing quite a few books that have really encouraged me to challenge my perspective every day, I’ve linked them below and I would honestly recommend the top one SO much.