In my last post, I talked about how distraction is a good way to keep one’s mind off of their anxiety. I had been obsessing about something that I kept putting off due to fear. I was beginning to feel depressed that I wasn’t getting through my anxiety and that instead, I was letting it get in the way of my success. I then decided that what I would do was instead of obsessing about how I wasn’t getting what I wanted done, I would get it done in an easier way. I was still slightly upset that I was in a way giving into my anxiety, but I figured that once I felt slightly better, I could focus on practicing instead of the fact that I wasn’t doing quite what I wanted due to anxiety. The thing is that I started obsessing so much about doing the other thing that I had planned on doing, that when I thought of doing the original thing that fear had stopped me from doing in the first place, I was able to feel better about doing it and was able to get it done.
Now, my point is not that it was good to obsess. Rather my point is, that in a way, it is distraction that worked for me this morning. I was so concentrated on how I planned on getting something done in an “easier” way this morning instead of how I truly wanted to and I was so concentrated on feeling slightly depressed about it, that when I thought of something else I had really wanted to get done, it didn’t seem so hard. I finally got done what I wanted to!
Still I realized that I need to practice more. Things have been harder for me lately and it’s because lack of practice has lead to lack of confidence that I CAN get through my anxiety. We need to practice so we can prove to ourselves that we can get through our fears.
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.”
–Corrie Ten Boom
Distraction can be both good and bad. It can be bad in the sense that if we need to get something important done and we let ourselves become distracted, we may abandon what we needed to get done. However, distraction can also be a good thing when it comes to our anxiety. While I understand that sometimes our anxiety is so powerful it feels that nothing can break us away from it, sometimes positive distractions prove to be helpful. For example, if you talk to a close friend or relative about something you enjoy, get lost in a book, or listen to music, you may find that instead of focusing on your anxiety, you focus on something you enjoy instead.
In addition, practice is essential. I know you are probably tired of hearing this, but it’s true. The more we practice the more we gain the confidence that we CAN get through our anxiety. While it is true that there are other important things we sometimes need to do, and while I am not suggesting we abandon those things, taking time out from our busy schedules to practice should also be one of our top priorities. We need to see that we can indeed get through our fears.
I know. We all get busy and sometimes we use it as an excuse not to practice. The problem is that less we practice, the further away we get from overcoming our anxiety. I know there are things we need to do, but we need to realize that one of those things is to practice getting through our fears.
I notice that the more I practice, the more I improve. Lately, I haven’t been practicing nearly enough and therefore I’ve been struggling a lot more. We need to remember just how important we are and that while work or school may be important, so is getting better.
The proof is right in front of you. Are you struggling more lately? If so, have you been practicing so you can get through your fears? Have you been improving? If you have been, you’ve probably been practicing. Either way, practicing WILL help and you should be practicing.
Just recently I thought of an idea that might prove helpful in me getting through my anxiety and the response I received was, “What if that doesn’t work?” I think sometimes we fail to have confidence in ourselves and expect others to be the ones to believe that we can get through something; however that’s not always how it works.
When the person said this to me, I felt as if they didn’t want to bother helping me and maybe they don’t. However, we have to try our hardest to have faith in ourselves. This can be difficult because with all the doubt we constantly place in ourselves, we sometimes tend to feel like we can only get through things if others believe we can. Not everyone is going to have faith in those they do not understand; we cannot let these people diminish our own faith and confidence in ourselves.
With it being hard enough at times to have confidence in ourselves, the last thing we can afford is to let others bring us down. So keep practicing and trying to get through your anxiety, even if there are others who don’t believe you can.
I recently received some good advice that I would like to share with all of you who suffer from anxiety. Now, I have heard this advice before but without practice, this particular advice doesn’t always seem to help. As you know, I have been taught and believe that the fundamental principal in getting through one’s anxiety is to practice. Another thing that I have learned that helps is to focus on what one is doing instead of how one is feeling. Now, what does this mean? This means that while you are practicing, find something to keep your mind occupied on that does not involve focusing on your fears. I know this is not easy. There are times when as human beings we have to do things that are less enjoyable. I have been in these situations and know that it is hard to find something that will occupy my mind and when I fail to find that something, I tend to focus on my anxiety instead. However, if you are practicing, say at home or somewhere where you can find something to really keep your mind occupied on, use this something that you are doing to focus on instead of focusing on your fears.
When we focus on how we feel (in this case anxious), we just make ourselves feel as if we cannot get through our anxiety. However, if we focus on something we enjoy and really think about it, we are telling our mind that we have something way more important to focus on than our fears. By doing this, we are telling ourselves that we CAN get through our anxiety and that we CAN change our thought pattern.
Lastly, we must continue to practice. Also, there will be times, like I’ve mentioned, that we do not have something that we enjoy doing to focus on. However, we must try to focus on something positive instead of something negative.
Practice. I know I have stated this often, but it truly is essential. I have learned that like with exercise, the more we do it, the stronger we get. The same thing goes for practice; the more we practice, the stronger we get in terms of confidence and gaining the ability to overcome our anxiety. It is true that practice takes both time and energy but isn’t it worth it if it can help stop anxiety from controlling our lives? We spend so much time focusing on the negative and so much time focusing on our fears when we could use this time instead to practice.
I know it seems at times like it is much easier to worry than to practice at getting better. I am not saying it’s easier in terms of how it makes you feel though, for I am no stranger to how not accomplishing something makes one feel depressed. However, with practice, we prove to ourselves just how much we really CAN do.
The reason I write so much about practice and stress the importance of it so much is because we all want to be free from the anxiety that seems to control our lives. Being able to see ourselves get through something gives us the realization that we can overcome our anxiety. Do not sell yourself or the concept of practice short, it can make all the difference.
I’ve had a lot going on lately and while I was feeling a little better and saw some improvement, the last couple of days have been rough. Sometimes things are so stressful, you can hardly stop focusing on them. Sometimes you try to sleep and you can’t and sometimes it’s difficult not to focus solely on the negative. As hard as it may seem, sometimes we just need to take a break. While what we fear might be approaching (if it’s doing something or going somewhere), sometimes we just need to take a moment and think about something better; sometimes we just have to, at least for a while, let go of the anxiety.
It’s easy to let our minds obsess on all the possible negative outcomes. However, sometimes we just have to let it go. It may not be easy, but it’s important to try.
If you practice and you do so consistently, you will notice progress. It may not happen all at once and it may not seem significant, but it is. Once you start making small amounts of progress and once you feel comfortable enough, you can try taking slightly bigger steps. Also, even small amounts of progress will feel wonderful. You will notice that things begin to seem easier and the best feeling is knowing that you are the reason for this! Even if you take medication for your anxiety or see a therapist, it is ultimately up to you to get better. YOU have to be the one to take the steps to gain the confidence you need to get over your fears.
When you see yourself getting better, you will realize that you have the power to combat your fears. This does not mean that you may not at times still find yourself struggling. However, making progress IS important. Once you make progress it is proof that you CAN get through your fears if you are dedicated to practicing and taking care of yourself.
So the next time you realize that you made any amount of progress, make sure you acknowledge this fact to yourself. Also, as I have recently learned, it is important to identify this sucess with yourself. Say to yourself, “I did this. I made this progress and I can do this again.”
Practicing getting through our anxiety can be difficult. For one thing, practicing may seem scary. After all, even though it’s in small steps, we are facing our fears. Practicing can also be difficult due to our busy lives. We may tell ourselves that other things are more important. While we do need to help others and there are other things that may need our attention, committing to our health is also VERY important. Like I’ve mentioned before, practicing may be hard, but suffering with anxiety is even harder.
I’ve learned that desensitization is the key to success. While some situations may seem scary, we need to practice facing our fears in small steps.
I was reading this article about fearful animals and it stated that even animals that are timid should use sensitization to regain their self-confidence. Now, I realize that it may be much easier for animals to overcome their fears (then again, who really knows?), but my point is that we need to commit to ourselves, we ARE worth fighting the battle against anxiety!