Trigger alert: I understand in times of distress articles like this can be a trigger so please be aware that I wrote this while my anxious mind was quiet, which allowed me to see things clearly – a brief window of opportunity! It should in no way make anyone feel overwhelmed. Achieving a healthier mind is a long process – allow yourself the time. Just know that I get it, I’ve been there, and it can be different 🙂
Earlier on I wrote a post about the anxious and depressed feelings that had taken control of me. I have so much to say on this topic (I got to 1500 words and decided not even I wanted to read all that!) so I have had to simplify each section. I will no doubt go into more detail in later posts, but please feel free to email me if you would like to ask me anything privately at email@example.com.
Our perceptions and beliefs can influence how we experience things. However our experiences also shape those perceptions. It’s a kind of ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum. Which came first, and do we have any control over how we feel about the things that happen to us?
I’ve been feeling pretty down over the past month. My life hasn’t changed since then. The weather isn’t better, I haven’t had some breakthrough or massive success, and I still have an amazing fiancé, family and friends. Nothing bad happened to make me sad, just like nothing has happened in the past week to make me feel how I’ve been feeling over the past few days…like one of the luckiest people in the world!
But I know which one is the truth. One ‘state’ was my anxious mind taking control of me, whilst now I have taken that power back.
Doesn’t this prove just how fragile our ‘reality’ really is? If you feel lucky, you are lucky. If you feel depressed, you are depressed. If how we feel is influencing how we experience our lives and therefore our reality, can we change it?
Our state of mind is incredibly powerful, and yet we often give that power to influences outside of ourselves. We say we want someone to make us happy. We blame others when we’re not. We absolve ourselves from responsibility and say things like ‘well if I had what she had I’d be happy too’. Or ‘if that hadn’t happened to me I’d be more successful’. But that’s completely untrue. Feeling resentful will only make you resentful and you will remain resentful no matter how much you achieve. The key to being happy is in your hands, not someone else’s. If you don’t like what you see or how you feel, only you can change it.
To take back the control, you have to stop blaming other people/things/situations for your discontent.
But how? It isn’t easy. It took me nearly 5 years to change the way my emotions controlled my life. I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim of my experiences, of my own mind. To see how I am winning the fight, please see part 2 later on.
So as you will know from yesterday’s video, I went shopping. An enjoyable hobby for many, but ultimately something I try to avoid (as with anything that involves crowds of people).
Find out how I did in today’s memoir.
As a sufferer of anxiety, one of the biggest things that plagues my mind is whether or not I am in the right place at the right time, making the right decisions. As I have previously written, my fears stem from things I can, rather than cannot control. In my mind, those things I have no control over, I can’t change anyway.
It’s the things that I have the power to change that really worry me; because it makes me responsible for how my life turns out.
This was very clearly demonstrated to me during my travels and by my fear of heights. When on a plane, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I am thousands of feet up in the air. I can look down at ant like cars and Lego houses quite easily without a second thought. However, whilst rock climbing in Vietnam, I literally became paralysed with the fear over having the power to throw myself off the side of the mountain at any given moment. If I was going to die, it was because of something I did, it would be my fault, and that kind of responsibility was just too much to bear.
This fear, albeit less intense than when rock climbing, follows me around every corner of my life, where anything less than perfection can make me feel like a failure.
You may have noticed a lack of posts lately, maybe even a bit of a disconnection with me, its author.
A few weeks ago, I posted a vlog about how to let go of anger, in which I talked about the mountain of stress that had been coming my way. I also spoke about how my emotions and coping mechanisms seem to shut down in order to manage the overwhelming pressure I put myself under. It is like my mind is saying, “ENOUGH, I need a break!”
You see, on top of building this site in order to start living my soul purpose (which as all you bloggers know, is a lot more work than just posting an article every now and then), I’ve also been planning a wedding, started a life-coaching course, am organising a 3 months travelling excursion as part of our honeymoon, and am writing a book (well, I’ve kind of started 3…). We’re also moving out of our house a week before we get married and I’m trying to do all the housework because I feel so guilty over not earning any money.
And I have given myself a timeframe of 4 months.