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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.