“I AM Strong Enough!”

We all need to exercise, stretch, and practice facing our fears in order to gain trust in ourselves. However, practicing is one thing and seeing what practice  can do is another. Sometimes we practice and exercise but then we just forget all about it and next time we feel anxious or have a panic attack, all of our hard work seems to go out the window. I completely understand this; I’ve been there and I’d be lying if I said I’m not still working on getting through this all the time. The thing is though that when we show ourselves that we can get through our anxiety and other issues through exercising and practicing, we have to keep this in mind when we are struggling. The whole reason we are practicing is to show ourselves just how capable we are of getting through our fears and that there is physically nothing wrong with us, it’s just our anxiety making us feel otherwise.

So, how do we translate our exercising into seeing what it can really do for us? Here is some advice:

1.) While you are exercising, stretching, and practicing facing your fears, focus on what you are proving to yourself. Tell yourself that the progress you are making by stretching can be carried over to when you are feeling anxious. Also, when you are stretching, focus on when you are anxious and how you feel. Then remind yourself as you are stretching that you are physically okay and that like now, when you feel anxious, you can get through it. You are strong enough!

2.) When feeling anxious, try to remember to work on progressive relaxation. Tense each part of your body for about five seconds or so and then relax those muscles. This not only helps distract you from your feelings of anxiety, but will also calm your physical symptoms brought on by fear. Progressive relaxation also shows you your ability to tense up, but then also let go. You can do the same with anxiety, it just takes time and practice.

3.) Keep a journal or some other record of your progress. Being able to physically see on paper, your phone, or computer that you have made progress due to the exercising, stretching, and practice you have done will show you that you are stronger than your anxiety!

**If anyone has any other positive comments or ideas on this subject, please feel free to comment!

 

 

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Paying Attention To Your Success

Sometimes when we struggle, we get depressed. It’s easy to focus on the fact that we struggle and suffer. Today I went somewhere and was anxious and when I got home, I just sat down thinking about how tired I was of my anxiety; of feeling this way. However, even though I still hate going through this, I realize that there are so many areas in which I have succeeded and have made progress. You may be surprised just how much good you have accomplished. Even if your accomplishments may seem small or seem to pale in comparison to the goals you’re trying to achieve, they are important achievements and you should pay attention to them. Here are some things you may want to think about when you’re feeling down and wondering what progress you’ve made or what you’ve achieved.

1.) Have you helped anyone recently or been there for someone? Even if you don’t talk to them over the phone or see them, you may be helping them in some way. Do you write a blog where you share your experiences? You may be helping someone realize that they are not alone and that they have your support. That alone is an amazing thing to do! Thank you to anyone who has done this!

2.) Have you practiced facing your fears? Have you been trying your hardest and been taking steps to achieve your goals? Even if you aren’t where you want to be yet, as long as you’re trying, you are doing something to get better!

3.) Do you have goals? Are you making plans or trying to make plans in order to achieve your dreams? Having dreams and being passionate about something positive is a great thing. Trying your hardest to achieve those dreams is even better!

4.) Have you taken any chances lately? Have you seized opportunities that come your way?

5.) Think about last year or the year before that. Have you made progress? Even if you haven’t, you still can if you work hard!

6.) Have you used your talents in a positive way? To help others? If you’ve done this, you’ve achieved something great!

Remember, you are probably already very successful. You may just not be paying attention to just how much you’ve achieved! Never give up and keep continuing to work hard to be successful!

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Taking A Chance

Taking chances can be scary. While a part of us may be excited to try something new like applying for a job or taking another important step in life, we may also fear rejection, failure, or even the responsibilities that come along with this new opportunity. However, even if taking a chance at accomplishing something can be scary, if what you are trying to accomplish is healthy and will make you happy, you are probably doing the right thing.

Recently I took a chance at doing something I really want to try to do. It’s a great opportunity and just thinking about taking part of this experience makes me happy. However, I’d be lying if I said that I’m not nervous about whether or not I’ll be successful in my endeavor. The minute after I finalized the process of doing the necessary preparations for the job, I began to doubt the possibilities that I would actually get a chance to take part in the opportunity. What if I didn’t do what I was supposed to? What could I have done better? All of these questions began to surface and I started doubting my ability to be successful.

I don’t regret trying though. Whether or not I get the job, I’m proud that I took the chance. Yes, I have some additional fears about whether or not I can handle the possible workload if I do get the chance to be part of this, but if I do get the chance, I will be so happy. I must admit, I will be very disappointed if I don’t get the job, but that doesn’t mean that I will regret trying. So, if you are faced with a positive opportunity and it will make you happy, go for it!

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Practice=Progress

The more we practice, the more progress we make. The more we stretch and exercise, the more we see that we can do. As we’re stretching, we see that we do have control over our body and over our thoughts. The more we prove to ourselves that we can do, the easier it seems to do more.

Increasing the momentum and intensity of our stretching is important. While we need to take manageable steps, we need to increase these steps in order to see just how much we can accomplish. If we limit ourselves to how much we can do and never try to do more, we won’t know how much we can truly accomplish. I’m not saying we should push ourselves so much that we put ourselves in harms way, but we should make an effort to work harder.

I challenge everyone to take a step further than you have been in getting through your anxiety or other issue(s). Even if it’s a small step, I urge you to try. I know it can be difficult, but the more effort we put into making progress, the more progress we will make. As you continue to stretch and practice facing your fears, you will see just how successful you can be and you will want to push yourself even more! Practicing and exercising doesn’t always have to feel like a chore, it can be rewarding!

 

Once again, Happy Memorial Day!

Focusing On The Positive

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It’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes it seems impossible. However, the truth is, that most of the time we deserve to give ourselves a lot more credit than we actually do. Today something happened that was really embarrassing, but I also made progress in other aspects. I was really upset about what happened and at the moment, I found it hard to focus on the positive. The truth is though, that after a while, I realized the progress I made and how substantial it really was. Whether or not others noticed, I did and that’s what’s important. Sure, I’m still upset about the negative thing that happened, but I know that I need to think about the progress that I made instead.

Dwelling on the negative will only bring us sadness. Yes, it is true that we do need to recognize our faults so that we can improve ourselves and try to get better, but we also need to acknowledge our progress so we realize that we can get through our anxiety and over other obstacles. If we only focus on the negative, we will manage to ignore the fact that we do have the ability to overcome what holds us back.

Sometimes when I hear things like, “Focus on the positive instead of the negative” or “It’s over now, forget about it”, it irritates me. Some people don’t seem to understand how hard it is to just ‘move on’. However, as hard as it may be, we do have to learn to accept that we struggle, but also realize that we can still get through our anxiety and other issues.

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. I also wish everyone all the best in their journey in overcoming their obstacles.

Progressive Relaxation

Today I spoke to my therapist about how I wish that right after I experience anxiety, I could move past it. He told me that in addition to practicing through stretching and exercising, I should work on progressive relaxation. He described this process as tensing your body (starting at your feet and slowly working through the rest of your body) and then releasing the pressure. He stated that this would teach your body how to relax after being tense and show that you have control over your body. These steps would in turn help you relax your mind after it became anxious.

My therapist also mentioned a concept that is similar to one I’ve heard before. He said that whenever I go somewhere, I should bring things with me that are positive ways to distract myself from my anxiety and negative thoughts. Some examples of these items would be: books to read, notebooks to write in, and a source of music. Two great ways to get through anxiety are through practicing (including exercising, stretching, and progressive relaxation) and distracting the mind in order to prove to yourself that you can get through your anxiety.

Enjoying The Day

I mentioned in my last post that when we worry a lot, time seems to go by quickly. I also said that it would be much better if we could find a way to enjoy the day and if the day does seem to fly by, have it seem that way because we’re having fun instead of stressing out.

This morning I woke up to a pleasant surprise. I love rabbits and I saw an adorable bunny in my backyard. I’ve also been able the last couple of days to get back on track with my practicing and I think it’s starting to pay off. I went outside today and not only walked around my backyard but also did some stretches outside. Being able to do this and feel no anxiety felt amazing. It felt so good to be able to enjoy myself and take in the beauty of nature and the beauty of being able to be calm.

When we experience good moments, we really have to take them in. I know that it may seem much easier to do this with negative moments (I know how it feels to have negative feelings stick with you longer than you want them to), but you can enjoy the positive moments and use them to strengthen your self-confidence. If you struggle to remember the positive times in your life, write them down! After you experience a good and positive moment, try your hardest to really think about why the moment was so enjoyable. Try to hold on to that feeling of peacefulness!

Here is an example. I went outside and the weather was nice. It wasn’t too hot outside and it wasn’t too cold. The colors outside were beautiful. I remember being able to walk around and do my stretches without feeling anxious.

Hold on to the memories of your progress! Try to remember the positive and not dwell too much on the negative. I know it can be difficult, but that’s why we have to practice consistently!

 

Time Flies…

I was going to write this post a few days ago, but I never did. Then I saw a comment on theothersideofp.wordpress.com and decided to write it after all since I think a lot of us who struggle with anxiety notice the same thing: that not only does time fly when we’re having fun, but also when we’re suffering from dealing with something that takes up so much of our time and energy.

When we’re dealing with anxiety, or another issue for that matter, it sometimes seems to consume our lives. We put things on hold that we want to do at times and we also spend time worrying about the worse case scenario. I know that for me, it seems like time has gone by rather quickly and I think this is because I haven’t really lived to the fullest. Why do I feel I haven’t lived to the fullest? There are so many things that I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t. They may seem like simple things, but my anxiety can be so powerful that it has a way of holding me back from doing even the most seemingly easy things to do.

I have to admit, thinking about this makes me sad. I hate the fact that there are things I used to do that I don’t anymore. However, I really do believe that if I continue to consistently practice facing my fears and exercise, that I will be able to do things I enjoy more often and that I will become more confident. It may be hard to see yourself getting through your anxiety and other issues, but you can if you continue to try. It’s never too late to fight to be free from what holds you back. You can do this! Wouldn’t you rather time fly because you’re enjoying it? You can make that happen!

Finding The Time

I know what it’s like to not practice and to blame it on different reasons. I have forgotten to practice, I’ve dealt with other stressful situations and therefore not wanted to exercise more than I have to, and I’ve simply put other things that are less important (like watching TV) before practicing and stretching.

Today I was watching a show and told myself that after the show, I would take the time to practice. However, as I was watching, I decided to take action at that moment instead of stalling. So, I paused the TV show, exercised, and after I was done, went back to watching the show. My point is that we have to realize what is more important and we have to get our priorities straight.

I understand that sometimes, it’s harder to practice than other times. Sometimes we don’t feel well or something else gets in the way. However, we have to assess our reason for not practicing and we have to decide whether or not it’s a good enough reason not to stretch. The truth is, that the more we analyze these reasons, we will see that most of the time, we are simply putting off what we need to do.

I’ve said this before, but I really think it’s extremely important. Practicing has to come before many other things. When we practice facing our fears, we prove to ourselves that we can get through our anxiety. Also, when we find the time to do so, we remind ourselves that we are worth the hard work that it takes to get better. Our health is more important than watching TV or taking a nap. Yes, sometimes there will be moments when we need to take a break from practicing and I’m not saying that every spare second of the day has to be spent on stretching and exercising. We do have to make an effort though to find time to practice getting through our anxiety and other issues. We cannot allow ourselves to put off something that is so vital to our recovery and progress!

Crash and burn 

Many times our fears are caused by us over-thinking and doubting ourselves. While it may be difficult, we CAN turn our negative thoughts into positive ones.