Realization

Hey everybody! I hope you’re all doing well!

So, I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately. As many of you may already know, I don’t have a job and I still live at home due to my anxiety. I don’t wish to share my age online, but usually, people are on their own and working by this time in their life. I admit that this weighs on me – I would love to have a job by now and maybe even live on my own. I want to be more independent and unfortunately, my anxiety often stands in my way.

Another thing that always bothers me is the idea that I may never get through my anxiety and be able to do the things I want to do. I don’t always want to be held back due to fear standing in the way of success.

I also admit that sometimes I look at my success over the years and feel that I haven’t made enough progress. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for a long time now and I feel like, maybe, I should be a lot better by now. Here’s what I realized earlier today though – I have made progress and I can continue to do so if I keep working my hardest.

That’s the thing – if we’ve made progress, then that right there is proof that we can continue to do so. Maybe we won’t improve overnight, but with time and effort, we can overcome our anxiety and other obstacles.

I know that I’ve mentioned all of these things before, but I really do believe that it’s important to remind ourselves of our ability to get through the hardest of times. We cannot allow ourselves to forget just how amazing and capable of success we all truly are.

Grains of Sand – July ’16

Hey guys! Sorry I forgot to do this sooner, but here are my Grains of Sand for the month of July! Sandy from Sandycademy originally created this great way to record one’s progress! Thanks Sandy!

-Started reading Stay Close by Harlan Coben
-Accomplished something amazing without any anxiety!
• It felt so good to know that I had the ability to accomplish this!
-Received a great writing opportunity!
• Thank you so much to the person who made this possible! It’s nice to know that my work is both loved and respected. Thank you also for your continued support!
-Reached 550 followers on my blog!
• Thanks to every one who reads, ‘likes’, comments on, and follows my blog! Your kindness and support means the world to me! 🙂
-Was able to accomplish something that I haven’t done in a while and did a really good job!
• I’m so proud of myself that I was able to do this and do it well!
-Got article published by Youshare Project
• Thank you so much Youshare for publishing my second article that I submitted to your site! Your support means the world to me. Also, thank you for being there to listen to the stories of others!
-Got post published on The Mighty
Special thanks to The Mighty for publishing my post on your site! I’m so happy that I got the chance to share my story and advice with others.

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!

 

It’s Okay Not To Be Perfect (No One Is!)

This morning I struggled. I wanted to try to do something that I haven’t been able to do in a while and instead of succeeding, I allowed my anxiety to interfere with something else that I’ve been doing well at. My mistake? I obsessed…a lot. I kept thinking about the what-ifs and I obsessed so much that my anxiety stopped me from doing something that I’ve been doing great at.

Anxiety can sometimes cause us to doubt ourselves, even when we know deep down that we are able to succeed. For example, I know that I can be successful at certain things now – I’ve proved that to myself. However, this morning when I was worrying about not doing well with something that I haven’t done in a while, I obsessed so much that it led me to struggle with succeeding at something I know I can be successful at. Why? Because sometimes our anxiety effects us so much that it shakes our confidence in more ways than one.

What we have to remember, is that no one is perfect. We all struggle, we all have bad moments and days, and there will be times when we all wish we could have done better. We also have to remember that we can be successful and that chances are we have been in the past. I know without a doubt that I’ve made progress and I know that with hard work, I can continue to do so. So yes, I totally understand if you become disappointed in yourself if you didn’t do as well as you would have hoped. However, try not to beat yourself up! Chances are that you have made progress and will continue to do so!

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! 🙂

 

The Thing About Mantras

If you struggle with anxiety or another mental health issue, you’ve probably heard this advice before: come up with a mantra. I don’t think it’s bad advice, I don’t, but I don’t think that everyone understands that saying a mantra doesn’t magically make things better. No, saying a mantra isn’t enough. You have to believe it!

I’ve heard my therapist say this before, but he said it again yesterday and so I thought I’d write about it. There are a lot of important steps that one should take in order to get through their anxiety, and often times, people suggest having a mantra to say to yourself when you become anxious. Mantras have the power to make you realize how strong you are and to push you to do your best.

The problem is though, that sometimes, anxiety and other mental health issues make it hard for us to believe that we are strong. They have the tendency to make us feel weak and sometimes, even if we say a hundred times that we can get through our anxiety and over our other obstacles, we still struggle to believe it.

So what makes a mantra successful? Believing it! It’s not enough to just tell ourselves that we’ll get through our struggles. No, we have to prove it to ourselves. How do we do that? We practice facing our fears, we exercise. Then, when we can see ourselves making progress, we come up with a mantra. When we say that mantra, we remind ourselves of the progress that we’ve made. We need to be able to back up our mantra with facts!

youarestrong

The Truth

The Truth: You are not a failure!

When we see ourselves struggling and not doing as well as we know we can, we tend to sometimes feel as if we have failed. Sometimes even though we are strong enough to get through our anxiety, we find ourselves feeling otherwise.

Anxiety has a way of making us feel incapable of achieving our goals. Our minds can play tricks on us and allow us to think that we are weaker than we actually are. When we give into our anxiety and allow it to take over, we tend to start to believe that we cannot overcome it and therefore, we are failures. The truth though is that everyone struggles. Some of us just struggle more in certain areas than others. Also, some of us just have to work harder to overcome our obstacles. This does not make us weak or pathetic. This does not make us failures. It just means that we struggle and that we have to work hard on a consistent basis.

Some days are going to be harder than others, there’s no doubt about it. Whether or not you struggle with anxiety or a mental health issue, you’re going to have bad days. Some days may seem impossible to get through. They’re not. I know it can be hard not to feel like a failure when we don’t achieve what we wanted to, but that doesn’t mean that we actually are failures. We are only failures if we give up on ourselves and our goals completely.

 

baddaysfighthardest

Here is some advice on how to remember that you are not a failure – even when you feel otherwise.

1.) Remember all of the times when you have succeeded in accomplishing a goal. Remember all of the progress you have made. I guarantee that you have made some progress.

progressnotperfection

2.) Remember that you are not alone in your struggles. Everyone struggles with something and everyone has bad days. We may all struggle in slightly different ways and our bad days may be difficult for different reasons, but no one is perfect and no one goes their whole life without having a difficult day.

baddaynotlife

 

3.) Remember that as long as you try, you’re not a failure. Trying is essential and as long as you never give up, you’re not a failure.

 

youonlyfailwhen

4.) Remember that even if you struggle at something, you’re still stronger than your anxiety and any other issue you that you may have.

 

youarestronger

5.) Remember that you are an intelligent, talented person!

 

*All images found on The Seeds 4 Life

Don’t Let One Bad Day Determine Your Future!

One thing I hate is when I’m doing really well and then I have a bad moment or day. Why? For starters, it’s disappointing to see ourselves struggle when we’ve been doing so well. Also, I know that for me, I sometimes struggle with one bad moment or day turning into more than one.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but it can be a scary concept. Not only am I disappointed when I don’t accomplish something, but it makes me worry that I’ll continue to struggle. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to allow our one bad moment or day to lead into causing others to be the same.

So what can we do to stop this negative domino effect? We can remind ourselves of all the times we did succeed and how we do have the strength to get through our anxiety and over our fears. We can also continue to practice as much as possible and prove to ourselves that we don’t have to let our anxiety control us! While it can sometimes be difficult, we need to show ourselves that one bad moment or day is exactly that: one bad moment or day.

Remember, you can get through your anxiety and any other struggles you may deal with. You just have to work hard on a consistent basis and remember that you are strong!

thingsbad

“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!).

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