Pushing Through The Negativity

Sometimes it seems that no matter what we do, it’s not good enough or something comes along that seems to spoil any happiness we felt about making progress. Today I was able to get through something but towards the end something happened that made me anxious and instead of being able to just talk myself through the issue and tell myself that I just got a little nervous and other than that, I did okay, I had to hear negative comments about how I failed at something new.

While I’ve heard people say that you cannot let others bring you down (I know I’ve said it several times on this blog myself), just like getting through anxiety, it is not always easy. Let’s face it, when we love someone and we’re around them all the time, we want them to have a good impression of us and we don’t want them to think negatively about us or rip us apart with their words or actions. We are human beings and with that comes a level of sensitivity that is essential to keep close to our hearts. If we lose that sensitivity, we grow cruel and careless and that’s no way to live.

So how do we battle the negative words of others? How do we tell ourselves that what matters is how we feel about ourselves and that we are trying our hardest to get through our issues? How do we remain sensitive and caring while closing ourselves off to the caustic amount of negativity that brings us down? We remember that this is our fight and that those who want to help and encourage us are welcome to do so, but those who are negative should not make us feel any less powerful in our fight against fear.

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Breaking the Cycle

While perhaps not everyone who suffers from anxiety has experienced this, I know of some people who have and know that I am amongst them. There are times when I find that I am continually making progress and seeing myself becoming more and more successful, but then there are also times when I find myself giving into my anxiety. Sometimes, unfortunately, once I start falling into the trap of letting my fears take over, I continue to let my anxiety take control of my life and not let me do the things that I want.

Let’s say that you are at work or school and find that lately, you have to leave after beginning to feel anxious. You know that you don’t want to leave and that if you do, you will only feel horrible for doing so afterwards, but still your anxiety takes over again and once again, you find yourself following the same pattern of becoming fearful and then leaving. What do you do to end the cycle?

While I cannot promise that the following tips will work since I myself still struggle with this issue (sometimes on a regular basis), I will try my hardest to give some advice.

1.) Try to focus on what you are doing; what you are working on, what you are studying and how you can use what you are learning in life.

2.) Remember when you get anxious that the physical symptoms you feel are only due to being nervous and that you can get through your anxiety.

3.) If you have accomplished getting through your anxiety before, remember that you can do it again. You just need to focus on the positive moments instead of the negative.

4.) Remember that if you can break the cycle once, you can continue to do so.

Do What You Can

This title is somewhat deceptive. The reason for this title being somewhat deceptive is because those of us who suffer from anxiety often sell ourselves short. We tend to think that what we can do little, when in reality it’s just our anxiety making us feel that way. We can do so much more than our anxiety allows us to think, but sometimes even when dealing with fear, we can step up and do as much as we feel we can and still manage to succeed.

Take this morning for instance. I really wanted to get something done but I found myself too fearful. However, I knew that there were other ways to get what I wanted to get done completed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was even nervous to do Plan B; in fact I was so nervous that last night I worried about it so much I felt sick and depressed. However, this morning I decided that I would try and you know what? I succeeded.

Even when we don’t do exactly what we wanted or reach the main goal that we had in mind, we can still make progress. Let’s say that you were nervous to go to a friend’s house because it was a long distance and you have a fear of driving but you were able to meet her somewhere close by. You faced your fear of driving! You may not have done so in the way you wanted and this success may not mean that you are forever rid of the anxiety to drive, but you did succeed and that progress will remain with you forever.

Sometimes we get this idea that because we don’t succeed at getting done exactly what we want in the exact way that we want, that we’re failures or failed. We only fail, as I have said, when we completely give up altogether. Yes, the ultimate goal may have been (for example) to drive to your friend’s and you still need to push yourself to one day be able to do that; you need to keep practicing and exercising, but you still did make progress and you still tried. Trying is never insignificant; you should be proud of what you accomplish and be proud of yourself that you are trying your hardest.

Why?

For those fellow sufferers of anxiety out there, there have probably been many times that either while you are experiencing anxiety or a panic attack or afterwards (or possibly even before), you wonder why you are feeling so fearful, why you put yourself through what you do, or why you have to go through dealing with anxiety and feeling so anxious.

There are times when you may have even been experiencing anxiety or a panic attack and while this is occurring, you’re thinking about just how much you’re going to regret becoming so fearful. There may be times when we regret how we act during a panic attack or how we let our anxiety take control of our lives. I understand the feeling and just as I am here to say you are not alone, I am here to offer some help.

I’d like to say that when you become anxious, just remember how you’ll regret putting yourself through these feelings of fear and just get through it with this in mind. However, like I explained in my post, ‘Just do it’, simply telling ourselves to get through something isn’t always that easy. So while I do believe that we should continue to try our hardest during our panic attacks and feelings of anxiety to get through these moments without letting our anxiety control us, I know that there are times when our anxiety still seems to take control of our lives.

If you feel that you have let your anxiety stop you from making progress, remind yourself that while letting your anxiety continue to have such a negative impact on your life is not good, this does not mean you are a failure; it simply means you need to keep trying harder, practicing, and exercising in order to prove to yourself that you can get through your anxiety.

As for why we suffer with anxiety, the answer is not always clear. For some of us, we know why we become so fearful and we can work on getting through these issues. For those of us who do not know why we are so conflicted with anxiety, we need to continue to examine ourselves and our lives and no matter what, keep trying and never give up! Everyone struggles with something, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. We cannot give up!

Also, remember to thank all of those who help you everyday. While there may be times when even these individuals seem to be hard on you, it is possible that they are only trying their best to help. I’d like to thank my family and friends for being here for me, and all of you who read this blog and have commented, followed, and liked my posts!

“Just Do It”

So while I know that they only mean well and are trying to help, I have had many family members say that if I want to do something so bad, then I should just do it. Unfortunately, this is not always the easiest thing in the world; especially for someone with anxiety. However, we do need to try our hardest to get better and to face our fears.

I understand how when we want to do something but anxiety gets in our way and stops us from achieving what we wanted, we tend to grow depressed, upset, or slightly saddened. You are not alone in feeling this way; I’ve been there. I also know that trying to follow the Nike slogan of just doing what you fear, isn’t always simple. Sometimes we cannot just face our fears without thinking and in fact, sometimes that might not be the smartest approach. It is okay not to always be ready to face our fears right away but we must still practice and work hard to get through our anxiety; we must still make the effort.

So while it may be annoying when someone tells you to, “Just do it”, they most likely just don’t understand your anxiety or how to always help. If you work hard though and you continue to practice and exercise, you can begin to feel stronger and more able to get through your fears.

Getting Back to It

For many of us, while we try our hardest to practice every day, for some reason there may be days when we don’t do so as much. There may be times when we are exceptionally busy, get sick, or just honestly, forget. The truth is, however, that we cannot grow complacent and we cannot afford to continue to let our busy schedules, laziness, or illnesses lead to a pattern of not practicing or exercising. So what do I suggest? While we should still try to in some way practice and exercise on those difficult days, even if it’s in a small way, we should at least remember that as soon as we have a moment of free time, to get back into the pattern of practicing.

If you find that time has gone by and you haven’t practiced and exercised as much, you need to begin again. We need to continue to give ourselves proof that we can get through our anxiety and we need to continue to get stronger physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Not Always Taking the Blame

There have been many, many times when my anxiety has caused me to be selfish; I am not proud of this. My family and friends have gone out of their way to help me and often times I still struggle, causing them to have to help me time and time again. However, I do not suffer with anxiety on purpose nor do I try to go out of my way to make others help me. Sometimes we all just need someone to help us get through something and while we need to learn to depend on ourselves; it is not horrible for people to help each other.

While more times than not I am sorry for “putting someone through dealing with my anxiety”, there are times when I am not apologetic. For example, I have had family members that have treated me horribly because I am struggling and they feel it somehow affects them. I know people that refuse to help and have always been this way; I know people that try to make me feel worse.

The people that seem to try their hardest to make us feel poorly about going through something that is highly difficult for us to go through are not kind people. It is one thing if we are harming them or affecting them in some way, but it is another if they simply refuse to be nice. Some people are just not willing to take the time to try and understand and instead, they decide to take their anger out on us. We cannot always feel guilty every time someone tries to make us feel this way.

So remember, while we should try hard not to be selfish and try to get through our anxiety on our own, we should not let others’ negativity bring us down.

Time to Reflect

Oftentimes, those of us who suffer from anxiety focus on the negative; the day to day struggles that we face due to our fears. However, for many of us, we have made progress and even though sometimes the bad days seem to erase all of the good ones, this is simply not true. Any step in conquering our anxiety counts, any efforts that we make in facing our fears matter, and any good days or experiences we have are good.

I wanted to write a post today about how while things may often seem difficult, there are times when we make it through our anxiety and we see that we can succeed. We need to celebrate these times; we need to tell ourselves how proud of ourselves we are. While I will admit my anxiety has gotten worse in some areas, it has also improved in others and I am very thankful for all the times I have gotten through my anxiety and that I am still able to get through difficult times.

Through all of the tears that we may shed over our fears and experiences with anxiety, I think it’s important to let ourselves focus on the positive moments in our lives; the times when we’ve shown ourselves that we are stronger than our fears. We spend so much time obsessing on how we suffer and struggle along with being upset with ourselves when we allow our anxiety to take over. Sometimes we need to take the time to be proud of the moments when we get through our anxiety; we need to continue to practice, exercise, and give ourselves credit for all the times we have been strong.

The Need To Explain

For some of us, when we become anxious, we are able to be so without showing any physical signs that would make others suspect that we feel anxious. However, for some of us, that isn’t so easy. Sometimes we become shaky, need to leave the room, or need to take deep breaths. While some of us may not feel embarrassment for showing that we suffer from anxiety, I think a great deal of us do. For example, I know that I begin to wonder what others think of me and I feel the need to explain that it’s just anxiety and nothing else.

I think in a way it’s okay for us to do this; it makes us feel better. However, at the same time we shouldn’t always feel the need to explain ourselves. People should be understanding and try their hardest not to assume the worst or become judgmental. In addition, we know what we are dealing with and really that’s all that matters; we shouldn’t feel the need to make everyone understand because let’s face it, that’s not always our responsibility.

But I digress, I get it. I’m guilty of having a panic attack or struggling with anxiety and then, because I feel embarrassed, explaining myself. I hear myself saying it or writing it; “I struggle with anxiety”, “I left today because I suffer from anxiety”. I think this is normal; we want people to understand. So here is my advice:

1.) If you want to explain what you are going through to someone it should because you want to, not because you feel you need to in order for them to understand. We can’t always live our lives trying to make others get it. Let’s face it, we have too much that we already worry about.

2.) Try and remember that nobody is perfect. Nobody. Everyone has things that they don’t like about themselves or that they struggle with. If people are judgmental, that’s their issue.

3.) If you decide you still feel you should explain yourself and do so, fine, but remember you don’t have to.

4.) If people treat you horribly because of your anxiety, you do not owe them an explanation. Don’t apologize for struggling; they should be apologizing to you especially if they know you struggle and they still make you feel awful. While it is true that you should try and understand that some people are trying to help you and may get frustrated, there are people that may simply refuse to help. If anything, those who do not help you or even try to understand owe you an explanation.

 

Proof That We Can Succeed

Practice and exercise are important tools in getting through our anxiety. When we practice facing our fears and when we exercise, we strengthen ourselves both physically and mentally. In addition, we prove to ourselves that we can get through our anxiety; we see and feel ourselves doing it. We need to practice and exercise at any chance we get and even if our schedules are busy, we need to make time. I know making time for ourselves may not always be easy, but in order to get better, it has to be done.

Also, I’d like to talk about not getting down about not always being able to do what you want right away. While we should get upset and disappointed when our fears control us, we should not let ourselves fall into the trap of depression. Get up and try to practice, try to exercise! Try not to focus on what your struggling with for a moment. Try to focus on what you’re succeeding at. Even succeeding at practicing and exercising is something to be proud of and simply not giving up is something to be proud of too!

Many of you may have already heard this whether it be from me or from someone else, but we must use positive self-talk to tell ourselves that we can get through our anxiety. With practice and exercise, we can become stronger and then use that proof to tell ourselves we will be okay. Through facing our fears we can remind ourselves that we have gotten through these things before and that we can do it again. Tell yourself that your anxiety is just creating these symptoms; you are okay. Most important of all when it comes to positive self-talk, we need to believe that we can get through our fears and that’s why practice and exercise is so important; it gives us the proof that we can do this!