Holding On To the Feeling of Progress!

This morning I succeeded at something that I haven’t really done in a long time, or at least I haven’t done it as well as I did today. It’s something that I’ve been struggling with for a while and although I did manage to kind of succeed at it a little while ago, this is the first time in a long time that I really felt like I did a good job at it. It felt wonderful to make progress and realize that I have the ability to achieve my goals.

I just recently went to my therapist’s and he was saying how I have to realize that when I make progress and succeed at something that it’s not just luck. I wasn’t lucky today when I accomplished my goal, but rather I accomplished my goal because I am capable of making progress and facing my fears. I am stronger than my anxiety.

I think that it’s so easy (especially in times of struggling), to forget just how strong we are. I know that for me, it’s almost become habit to worry about things, to feel like I can’t do certain things. However, I have the ability to succeed and I’ve proven that to myself more than just once. It just takes consistent effort and practice to continue to show myself that I can get through my anxiety and overcome my obstacles.

It’s so important that when we succeed and make progress, that we hold on to the amazing feeling that achieving our goals provides. Achieving our goals proves to us that we are capable of making progress. Please realize that when you succeed at something, that it’s not just luck, but rather it’s your hard work paying off!

Accomplishments!

Yesterday I accomplished something that I’m quite proud of! I did this with no anxiety and let me tell you, it felt amazing! For a little while, I was very conscious of what was going on, but then I started to relax and as I was succeeding, I realized just how great it all felt.

I was, and still am, super proud of myself. I told my parents and a friend how happy I was to have succeeded and they were all very proud of me. A part of me felt silly being so proud and expressing this pride, but then I realized something with the help of a friend: there is no accomplishment too small to be proud of and quite frankly, I don’t think my accomplishment was very small at all. It’s one thing to get through something and another to do so without feeling any anxiety, and I’m very proud to say that I did a job well done!

This leads me to another point: any progress that is made should be celebrated in a healthy way, whether it’s considered big or small. Also, while you shouldn’t depend on others for recognition, there is nothing wrong with sharing your happiness. Additionally, while some people may not appreciate your accomplishments, others will and these are the people that you should be most grateful for (not that you shouldn’t be grateful for the other people in your life. Some people just have a difficult time understanding what they do not struggle with).

I would like to thank the first friend I shared my success with (you know who you are!). Thank you so much for being here for me, for listening, and for always caring. Your friendship means the world to me and so does your support. Seriously, I’m so happy to have met you!

I also want to thank everyone who supports me. I want to thank those who take the time to read, comment on, and ‘like’ posts on my blog. I want to thank those who take the time to email me and really get to know me while at the same time respecting my privacy. Thank you so much!

Please remember guys: no amount of progress is too small to celebrate! Even if some others may not understand the big deal, succeeding at something positive always matters! So be proud of yourself, be grateful, and remember that succeeding means that you have the ability to get over your obstacles!

 

Trying Extra Hard

Today I tried to accomplish something that I haven’t attempted in a long time. To be honest, I have mixed feeling about my progress. On one hand, I feel slightly disappointed. I was able to try what I wanted to, but I didn’t succeed to the full extent that I would have hoped. On the other hand, I did try and for my first attempt in a long time, I did fairly well.

Because I wasn’t fully happy with my results, I did the task again in the usual way that I get it done. I’m not going to lie – it was a pain. I had just tried to do what I wanted the ‘normal’ way and here I was, doing it again because I couldn’t just do it originally how I wanted.

I will be the first to admit it – it’s hard not being able to just do things that so many others find simple. Why does everything have to be so hard for me?

I’m ashamed to say that a part of me felt like trying today was pointless. After all, I just had to do the task over since I wasn’t happy with the first attempt. However, I know that the point isn’t to be perfect, but to try one’s hardest.

Trying extra hard can be stressful. I know that as I write this, I’m stressed. I’m tired of everything being so complicated and I’m tired of feeling so worn out from anxiety. I know deep down though that trying is worth it and I am proud that I gave it my all this morning.

Perfection is never guaranteed. Heck, perfection isn’t possible. If we try hard on a consistent basis though, we will be rewarded! So please don’t ever think that there is no point in trying. Some things take time, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t reach our goals!

Dangerous Habits For The Anxious Mind

Hey guys! I know I haven’t written a post about anxiety in a while. The truth is that I’ve been doing really well and I’m super proud of myself! I’ve been practicing and exercising on a consistent basis and I’m feeling really good about myself and my progress!

Anyway, I thought I would write a post today about some things that I’ve learned can be dangerous for one with anxiety. Now, don’t get me wrong, these habits really aren’t always the best in general, but for those of us who struggle with severe stress, they can be even more dangerous. So, without further ado, here are some bad habits that I suggest if you struggle with, you work hard to break!

1.) Over-thinking

  • This is a major problem for me. Many times, when I know I’ll have to do something or go somewhere that makes me anxious (or I think will), I obsess about it and over-think a great deal. I worry about the what-ifs and quite frankly, I start worrying way ahead of time. The problem with this is that when we obsess about negative outcomes, we tend to convince ourselves that the situation will go negatively and we leave little to no room for positive thinking. In a way, we almost doom ourselves before we even get a real chance to do well! Don’t get me wrong, we still have a great chance of doing well, but we make it harder on ourselves.

2.) Not distracting our minds

  • This habit kind of goes hand in hand with over-thinking. So many times when the negative thoughts kick in, we let them. Instead of setting our minds on more positive thoughts or actions, we just stay where we are and continue to dwell on our negative thoughts. Sometimes the best way to stop feeling anxious or stop thinking negatively, is to get up and distract ourselves! Do something positive! Write something, watch something you enjoy, read a good book, clean! Anything to get your mind off the negative!

3.) Worrying about others’ opinions of you/opinions of your progress

  • While sometimes listening to others’ opinions is helpful (a therapist, psychiatrist, trusted friend or family member, etc.), sometimes we allow the negative opinions and words of others to get us down. There are times when I know I’m making progress but the rude comments of others turn my good mood into a bad one. Sometimes I feel like they rip the happiness and feeling of success away from me. We can’t allow that to happen! If we make progress, we make progress. We cannot allow others to make us feel like we don’t try our best. If we know that we’re trying our best on a consistent basis, then that’s what we should focus on!

4.) Second guessing yourself

  • This is another habit that takes a lot of effort to break. Anxiety can be so strong sometimes that it makes us doubt our abilities to get through situations. Anxiety can sometimes make the easiest tasks seem extremely difficult. However, you can break that pattern! We are all stronger than our anxiety! We just have to work on a consistent basis to prove to ourselves that we can get through and over our fears!

5.) Not practicing and exercising on a consistent basis

  • This is a big one guys. Seriously. I’m not saying this to preach or to act like a professional therapist (because I’m not), but consistent effort really is key to getting through our anxiety. How do I know? I know because I’ve experienced it. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle way more than I want to. However, I see proof that practicing and exercising every day and on a consistent basis really does make a huge difference. It enforces the fact that we are stronger than what tries to hold us back. Remember, getting through our anxiety and living our life to the fullest is extremely important. It’s worth all the hard work!

If you struggle with any of these bad habits, please know that you are not alone. Also, please know that you do have the strength to get through your anxiety! 🙂

 

“Just Ignore Them”

“Just ignore [him/her/them]”. This is common advice given to those who deal with negative comments from family, friends, and strangers. While it may be easy for some people to ignore rude comments from strangers, it is usually a whole different ballpark when dealing with those who are close to you.

As I’ve mentioned before, while I have a lot of people who care for and support me, I also know a lot of people who don’t understand what I go through and who don’t put much effort into trying to be kind. This is unfortunate. However, having to deal with people who don’t understand what you’re going through or who are less than kind is part of life.

I’d love to say that when my family members are rude to me about my anxiety, it doesn’t bother me. I’d love to say that the fact that I’m doing really well lately makes it easier to just ignore their negative comments. To be perfectly honest with you guys though, it doesn’t. It still hurts when I hear my loved ones make fun of me or make cruel remarks about what I’m going through.

The thing that we have to remember though is that we can’t expect everyone to understand what we go through. Also, to be quite frank, we can’t expect everyone to be kind to us either. There are people who are mean or simply don’t have the patience to be there for us in the way we’d like. However, this does not necessarily mean that they don’t love us, it just means that it’s harder for them to be kind.

I don’t have any magical advice on how to not let others make you feel horrible about your struggles. I’m still trying myself to not let others’ negativity get me down. I do know that a great way to prevent yourself from allowing others to bring you down is to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made. Also, remind yourself that the people who are rude probably don’t go through what you do and they don’t understand how hard you try every single day to get through your struggles and over your obstacles.

Please, above all, remember that there are people who care about you and that as long as you’re trying your best on a consistent basis, you will get through your struggles!

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to deal with negative comments from others, please feel free to comment! Thanks!

Also, thank you to everyone who supports me and is kind!

Doing Well And Proud Of It!

So the last few days I’ve been doing really well! After I last talked to my therapist and we decided that I needed a more structured schedule when it came to exercising and facing my fears, I’ve been following through and feeling a lot better. I wake up at a certain time and follow a pattern every day. The times may not always be exact, but they’re pretty close and I try to do the same things every day as well.

I’m extremely proud of myself! I’ve been sticking to the schedule and I definitely notice a difference in how I feel. I feel more energized, I’m making more progress, and I feel better about my accomplishments.

Something I want to talk about is rewarding ourselves. My therapist mentioned how when I do well, I need to learn to give myself rewards and not depend on others to do so. He had a good point. Not everyone is going to appreciate your hard work and effort. You have to be the one to tell yourself and show yourself that you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. How can you do this? Here are some examples!

  • Blogging
    • After I finish getting some things done, I come on here and start blogging. I work on the photo challenge and book challenge, along with writing anything else I may want to write. I also check out some other blogs!
  • Reading
    • As I’ve mentioned I’ve been reading The Da Vinci Code. This is another reward for my progress. I can just sit back, relax, and read!
  • Watch TV
    • I’m a big fan of watching TV shows and movies. Doing so helps me relax and makes me happy.
  • Working on my story
    • I’m about 120 pages into my story that I’ve been working on. Since I love writing, it’s an excellent way to reward myself for my progress.

Last but not least, getting better is a reward in itself. The more we practice on a consistent basis, the better we’ll get at managing our anxiety and making progress! I know that practicing consistently works, it’s worked for me and it can and will work for you if you try your hardest to succeed! As always, I wish you all the best!

Giving Yourself Too Much Time To Think

Thinking is a good thing – it is. Having a lot of time to do things is a good thing as well. The problem comes into play when we spend too much time on negative thinking.

Yesterday I saw my therapist. He suggested that I come up with a more structured schedule to follow in order to hold myself accountable for practicing facing my fears. I agreed with him that this was a good idea. It was decided that I would set my alarm clock for 9:00 a.m. and start getting things done after that.

Well, I woke up early. Now, this is actually a good thing. It gave me more time to get up and get working on making progress. The problem? The problem was that because I got up early, a part of me felt it was okay not to do anything right away. That’s where I went wrong. Right away I should have gotten up and started exercising. However, I didn’t and my mind started wandering.

I started wondering about the what-ifs and although I also started thinking of things I could do to make more progress, I also started worrying that my plan wouldn’t go well. If I would have gotten up and focused on exercising instead, I probably wouldn’t have caused myself to not do what I wanted to; I probably would have had more confidence. However, I gave myself too much time to over think and as a result, I didn’t do as well as I would have hoped.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did get things done and I did do a good amount of exercising so far. Also, my therapist told me to reward myself after doing a good job and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now – I’m writing this post and I just participated in the daily photo challenge and book challenge. As my therapist told me, we can’t always depend on others to give us rewards/approval. We have to learn to do that ourselves.

Anyways, over thinking can be a dangerous and tiring thing. The best way to overcome over thinking is to get up and focus on something more positive; something helpful instead of destructive. So the next time you get up early or feel like you’re going to start over thinking, get up and start moving!

 

“I Am Strong Enough To Get Through This!”

When our anxiety hits, it can be extremely hard sometimes for us to feel like we can pull through. It can feel at times as if we can’t get back up and as if we’re stuck in an uncomfortable position. I know that, for me, when I’m experiencing a panic attack or feeling extremely anxious and overwhelmed, I sometimes don’t know how I’m going to get through it.

This morning I experienced more anxiety than I would have hoped while doing something. While I admit that I struggled, I kept reminding myself that I was (and am) strong enough to get through my anxiety. I know that in the past I have gotten through tough times and that I have the ability to get through even the most difficult of moments. I kept repeating over and over to myself that I have the strength to get through my anxiety. I also kept picturing and remembering all the times when I’ve gotten through things without difficulty.

This is another reason why exposure therapy (exposing oneself to their fears in small, manageable steps on a consistent basis) is so helpful. By showing ourselves proof that we can get through our anxiety, we show ourselves that we have the strength to do it again and again. We can use this proof in the present and in the future to get through difficult times. I wish you all the best!

 

*On a completely unrelated note, I will start participating again in the April Photo A Day Challenge tomorrow! I felt my handwriting and my closet was a little too personal to take a picture of (and messy!).

Don’t Get Discouraged!

Whether it be when dealing with anxiety or when dealing with wanting to achieve another goal that we have, it’s important to remember not to get discouraged. Getting through our struggles can take time, and so can, achieving our other dreams.

First, let’s focus on mental health. As you all know I struggle with severe anxiety. However, I’m taking steps to get better with dealing with my anxiety and trying my hardest to overcome it. In many ways, I know I’m getting better. Still, I know that I have a long way to go. Do I sometimes feel discouraged? Definitely. Am I going to give up? Absolutely not!

Another thing that can be discouraging is when we have a dream goal for ourselves in terms of a career, and we wonder if we’ll ever read it. As many of you know, I really want to be a professional author one day. I want this so much. However, I’m not going to lie, sometimes I doubt that it’ll ever happen.

I’ve sent poems to different magazines and I’ve also sent in some short stories. I had one poem published, but to be honest, I’m not sure that there was much competition. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an honor, but I had to pay for the magazine, so it felt a little less amazing. Maybe that sounds horrible, but it’s true. My point is, that my work has never truly been published to the degree that I would hope. Sometimes it’s hard not to just throw in the towel and believe that I’m not good enough.

The thing is though, that I do think that I’m a good writer. I may not be the best in the world, but I do think that I’m talented at it. So many of you read, like, and comment on my blog and a lot of people have read and enjoyed my posts on The Seeds 4 Life. Also I’ve had positive feedback from family, friends, and professors. So in a way, I have a lot of proof that I am talented. Also, even without all of the encouragement from my readers that I receive, I believe in myself and that is important.

My point in writing this post is to assure each and every one of you that you have positive talents. Even if things may not seem to happen for you right away, that doesn’t mean that you should give up hope! Keep trying your hardest on a consistent basis and you will reach your goals!

*I’d like to give a special thank you to everyone who reads, “likes”, and follows my blog. Also thank you to all the blogs that have reblogged my posts and those of you who have allowed me to guest post for your blog and submit my own work!

Positive Patterns

So today I’d like to talk about positive patterns. I think in the past I’ve mentioned that for a lot of people with anxiety (I know that I am included in this), we struggle with a lot of negative patterns. I know that there have been times when I get anxious and have a bad day and it seems that this one day stretches into many. I remember the time that I did a similar thing and got anxious and, bam, I get anxious doing the same thing again.

I hate negative patterns. I hate how sometimes having a bad day makes us have more than one bad day. Sometimes when we struggle, the cycle repeats and really, who wants a negative and bad day or experience to repeat? I know I don’t.

However, it is possible to experience positive patterns. Positive patterns occur when we practice consistently and show ourselves that we can get through our anxiety. We see that instead of one bad day turning into more bad days, we can make one good day turn into more good days! Before we know it, our good days are more than just a pattern, they are our life!

I’m not saying this won’t take a lot of time and dedication – it most likely will. However, I’ve seen proof that by consistently working hard to get through our anxiety and over our fears, we can succeed and make progress. By practicing on a consistent basis, we begin to see proof that we can make consistent progress.

Consistent progress when it comes to getting through our anxiety and facing our fears is important. Making consistent progress proves to both our mind and body that we are stronger than our anxiety and that we do have the strength to overcome it!

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