Welcome back to my over-coming anxiety help guide! If you haven’t already read the part one of this series go ahead and do that first before jumping ahead to stage 2.
So, we’ve established that the first step to over-coming anxiety is being aware that you have it, and accepting that rather than fearing it. (I would highly suggest documenting this jounrey you’re on by the way, just so you can refer back to, and motivate yourself when you’re having troubled times). In acceptance we can find an inner peace, and once you are more peaceful on the inside, you are more capable of controlling your exterior life better and more positively.
For me, part of the reason my anxiety spiralled into depression is because I found that I was no longer myself, and that I was essentially an empty body, with no burning passions and desires. The social anxieties I had lead me to believe I was no longer capable of making friends because I wasn’t interesting or cool enough for people, and that really ground me down till I convinced myself I had a personality that no one liked. Which is of course a recipe for disaster when you’re all alone at University, coming with 0 friends from your local town, can’t drive to get home, and hate the course you’re studying.
So yeah, for me at least I found that my anxiety worsened because I subconsciously was rejecting the things I really enjoyed doing, I lost myself because I didn’t accept myself for who I was. I know now that I’m a freaking amazing person, and I do the things I love daily! But at this difficult time in my life with my ever growing anxiety and low mood, I was spiralling hard.
This is where the whole concept of mirroring other people came about (check out my blog post for more- You are not a mirror), I essentially tried to reflect the other people around me at university in order to ‘fit in’ and tried so hard doing this I burnt out… and CRASH—– breakdown.
Therefore the next stage to over-coming your anxiety is immersing yourself in hobbies that you had forgotten about, or if you’re feeling confident enough try something new. Write a list of all these things, physically not mentally, get some paper and write that shit down, you could even write them in order of what sparks the most joy in you. Having this physically there will help, because whenever you’re feeling low or need to reassure yourself that you’re good, this list will give you a greater sense of purpose. If possible you can go and immediately do one of the things on your list to break yourself free from a panic attack, you can climb out of the black hole of low mood and replenish yourself mentally by doing something you enjoy!
I know this second step may seem a little much, and perhaps you may be in a position right now where you’re thinking- I don’t love anything enough, I don’t have any hobbies, or- my life isn’t interesting I don’t do anything fun. Take your time. You don’t need to write this list in a day, be aware of when you feel most at peace, when you feel connected to your true self, when you get that tingly sensation of doing something and being proud of it or that exhilaration of wanting to run 100 miles after doing something you’re super passionate about! You’ll get there.
Even the little things such as taking a walk with the dog, or reading a good book. Re-emerse youself in things you forgot you loved, or feel that you lost apprecation for, and in time… you’ll re-ignite. The second joy is sparked within you things will really begin to shift, the days will become more bearable and you’ll find ways to fill the time you used to dread of doing nothing. Keep yourself busy, but busy in a good way, busy doing things you adore, not things to keep those negative thoughts at bay!
You’re doing amazing, I know you are, because you’re making the effort to read this, and that shows strength and courage.
All my love,
The Broken Pearl