Getting Better (and recognizing it)!

I’ve been reflecting lately on something extremely important – how I really have made a good amount of progress when it comes to getting through my anxiety. While I admit that I’m still not where I want to be in terms of not allowing anxiety to interfere with my life, I also see that I’ve made a lot of improvements and that I’m quite proud of myself.

I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but I know that for me, one of my biggest fears is that I’ll never get through my anxiety like I want to – that anxiety will always hold me back from what I want to achieve. I hate the idea of never overcoming my fears and it scares me that there’s a possibility that I’ll always feel enslaved to something so awful. However, I also realize that because I’ve made so much progress, with hard work, I can continue to do so. This is a wonderful feeling.

It is so important that we recognize our progress – I can’t express this enough. Recognizing our achievements helps us to realize all that we can do and that overcoming and standing up to our fears isn’t as impossible as it may have originally seemed. Just because it may take more time than we’d like for us to make the amount of progress we want to see, doesn’t make it any less important and praise-worthy.

I want to tell you all something else that is very important – no matter how many steps or how small the steps might seem, every positive step towards progress matters! Don’t let anyone tell you anything different. If you’re taking positive steps in the right direction, it matters! Hard work matters!

 

 

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Featuring My Own Quote!

Hey everybody! I know that I mentioned my exciting new project with Travis from www.travisandthebrain.com/ and how I will be helping co-create mental health awareness merchandise. I’m excited to show you the first product that I helped design on Travis’s storefront, featuring my very own quote!

If you’d like to purchase this product, please feel free to click the image below. Thank you! Also, make sure to check out Travis’s other fantastic items and keep checking back as we upload more merchandise to the store!

 

 

Progress Is Progress – Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise!

Maybe every time you’ve ever shared your progress with someone else, they’ve commended you. Maybe you’ve never had someone question how the progress you’ve made can really be labeled as such. I think that’s great. However, I know that I, for one, have experienced otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, many times when I share my progress with someone, they are proud of me and express those feelings of pride. They understand that if I’m doing something that I previously struggled with – no matter what it is – that it matters. Even if the step towards success may seem small, they see that it’s important.

On the opposite end, I’ve had people question my progress. I’ve mentioned that I did something that I usually back away from and instead of hearing their praise or that they think I did well, they just ask how it’s a big deal; how it qualifies as progress. I’m not going to lie – it hurts. I’m not saying that I constantly need recognition, but the last thing a person wants when they share their accomplishments with you, is to feel belittled or shut down. Any of us who have ever struggled with anything, know how difficult it can be to overcome our obstacles. We also know how good and refreshing it feels when it’s clear that they we stronger than what is holding us back. We want to be built up by ourselves and the ones we love, not torn down.

If you’ve experienced what I have – that some people aren’t understanding or kind when it comes to our struggles and hearing about our progress – then here is my advice. I recommend trying to save sharing your progress for the people who will actually appreciate and respect it. I know it’s hard not to want to shout your progress from the rooftop, but sometimes lending your happiness to others is a risky concept. Not everyone will be supportive and instead of showing you the respect you deserve, some will simply share harsh or careless words.

Again, and this is important to remember, there are people who will support, respect, and care for you. There are people who will go out of their way to cheer you on and to make you feel as special as you truly are. These are the people you want to allow into your lives and share both your good and bad times with. Don’t allow others to take away your sense of pride and accomplishment. No one can take away your progress, no one!

Do It For You!

Due to health reasons, my therapist of about three years recently retired. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, but I had planned to return when I found out that he would no longer be seeing patients. To say the least, I was upset. I truly believe that he was the best therapist that I have ever seen. He was kind, caring, and in my opinion, had the best methods for helping me get through my anxiety. I could tell that he genuinely wanted to see me get better. I will miss him dearly.

For now, and I think at least for a while, I don’t plan on seeing anyone else. I know what I have to do to make the progress that I want to make – I have to face my fears in small, manageable steps on a consistent basis. I have to continue to work hard.

I have to admit that it’s strange not seeing my therapist anymore, but not just because of the usual reasons. Not only am I not physically going to his office as much anymore (I’m still seeing my psychiatrist), but I was regularly sending progress reports of how I was working daily to get through my anxiety. It’s strange not sending these reports on a daily basis. When I first decided to stop sending the reports (I was never told to stop, but out of respect for my therapist, I decided it would be best), it felt weird not reporting to him about my progress. It almost felt unnatural.

The thing is though, that I was never working hard to gain my therapist’s approval in the first place. Sure, there may have been some days where I didn’t feel like doing anything productive, but I did in order to look like I was trying (I know that sounds awful, but I’m only human), but I never once tried my hardest to get better for merely my therapist’s sake. I want to get through my anxiety for myself – so I can enjoy my life to the fullest and do things with the people I love, along with being more independent.

I realized that just because my therapist retired and I wouldn’t be sending him emails citing my progress, did not mean that I couldn’t and shouldn’t still be recording said progress. Every step that I take in order to get through my anxiety is important and in order to remind myself that I am strong enough to conquer my fears, I should be writing down the progress I make – not for my therapist, but for myself. After all, I am working hard so that I can be happy with my life, not so that someone else can be satisfied.

The point is this: you should be trying your hardest to get through your anxiety and over your other obstacles for yourself – not for anyone else. If you want to keep track of your progress, don’t just do so because you’re told to do so, do it because it’s beneficial for you. I understand the desire to want to get better so that you can spend time with the ones you love and that’s fine, but your main reason for getting better should be so that you can improve your life!

*Please know that I am not trying to state that if your therapist retires, that you shouldn’t search for a new one if you believe you should keep going to therapy. I may eventually see someone again for my anxiety, it’s just that at the moment, I think I need to simply utilize the tools I was given – to work hard on a consistent basis to get through my anxiety!

 

Natural Anxiety & Panic Attack Remedy in 4 Minutes

Man am I reblogging a lot today! Please check out this great video and Jen’s great blog!

The Anxiety Chronicles

After doing my daily guided meditation, for my anxiety, I decided to look at other videos by  BEXLIFE. I came across this short video, where she explains how to control an anxiety or panic attack in 4 minutes, using 2-3 techniques. Please check out the video or share it with your loved ones. It may be very helpful and beneficial. Also, if you have time, check out her other meditation videos. She has suffered with anxiety for over 20 years, and through meditation, has found ways in controlling it and living a more peaceful and aware life.


-Jen xo

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Getting Out Of That Rut

Steven from Comfort Zone Goodbyes gives great advice on getting out of ruts! Please check out his blog! Thanks!

Comfort Zone Goodbyes

It happens to the best of us, life can be going really great, and then before you know it,  bam, you’re stuck in a rut.

dirty-truck.jpg

That phrase “stuck in a rut” brings to mind a lyric from one of my old school favorite pop punk bands, Relient K. It’s a line from their song Be My Escape and goes like this…

And I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and

I’ve been locked inside that house all the while You hold the key

And I’ve been dying to get out and that might be the death of me

And even though, there’s no way in knowing where to go, promise I’m going because

I gotta get outta here

I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake

I gotta get outta here

And I’m begging You, I’m begging You, I’m begging You to be my escape

That…

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Age is just a number

A wonderful reminder from Matt at In Silence We Suffer! Please check out his wonderful blog!

In Silence We Suffer

My uncle and his partner visited us for dinner on Saturday evening, and during the course of the meal I was asked the inevitable “So Matt, you’re 20 now, what do you want to do with your life?”

My answer seemed inadequate. I admitted that I didn’t know.

I was told that I should.

I can’t say that that is something I agree with. Why should I know? Just because I’m 20? What’s so different from being 19? It could just be a single day. Has anyone ever woken up on the morning of their 20th birthday and realised that they’ve finally found their life’s purpose?

You don’t create your life first and then live it. You create it by living it.

We cannot become defined by our age. It’s not like there are things that everyone should and should not know about the direction their life will take by a…

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There’s No Such Thing As Insignificant…

when it comes to making progress!

I just recently got back from going to my grandma’s. While I still got anxious and struggled a little, I was able to make progress when it came to certain areas. While it may seem insignificant to some, I know that it wasn’t. At one point, I thought I was going to have to sit down like I usually do before I got to her apartment room, but you know what? I didn’t! Also, when we left, I found it easier to just get up from the couch in the lobby and walk out. I didn’t need any help doing so!

I’ve spoken about this before, but we really do need to recognize the progress that we make. Every positive step we take towards accomplishing our goals, shows us how strong we are and proves to us that we can get through our anxiety. We can’t afford to take those accomplishments for granted. We have to take notice and we have to take them for what they are: a sign that tells us that we are stronger than our anxiety and obstacles.

Small steps can also lead to larger ones. If we pay close attention to the small steps we make and if we celebrate our accomplishments, it will allow us to have more confidence in ourselves. More confidence allows us to take bigger “risks” and soon we’ll see that, really, there weren’t many risks at all. Why? Many times we feel as if we’re in danger, when really, it’s just our anxiety playing tricks on us!

So, next time you make progress (whether it’s a big step or seemingly small one), remind yourself that no positive step is insignificant! As always, I wish you all the best!