Using my favorite therapy skill, “Changing your perspective,” again, I have noticed that I was able to get over a large part of my anxiety by taking away some of its negativity. Anxiety now motivates me and it is possible for everyone. Adventure helps me and this is because I have depression. Going out and living an adventure helps me feel something. It helps me feel the adventure and also helps me feel even more because going on an adventure is hard when you’re either depressed or anxious. But I can’t always just drop everything and go on an adventure can I? But I have anxiety, so I can always, most days, have something to be scared of. So turn this need to go on an adventure into fighting your anxiety. Even when I have depression and can’t feel something, I have moments of feeling anxious until the moment passes and then I go on to feeling nothing. But even in times when I am just anxious without having a pressing need to feel something, I can always use this anxiety adventure to love myself for fighting it. And no matter how I feel, I always love an adventure, so channel your anxiety and turn it into a mountain to climb even if you’re just shaking someone’s hand while looking them in the eyes. The other day something happened that gave me a lot of anxiety and would normally send me into a dwelling state. But instead I decided to find some other thoughts that are true as opposed to the catastrophizing thoughts my dwelling mind gives to me…and the true thoughts are thoughts of my own strength. Surviving the moment gives you strength that you cannot deny, dwelling gives you thoughts that always wander from the facts into fiction of weakness.
This post is all about “should statements.” I was trying to think logically about how I messed up at work yesterday and at first I did well. Then the day went on and I started to believe another thought, “You should have done better.” Then I channeled everything that happened that day. “No, actually I should NOT have done better. I now have this memory, this BIG memory because of what happened from my mess up, and I will most likely never make the mistake again.” I mean, I might make the same mistake again but since the memory of my mess up is so big in my mind, the probability of doing it again goes drastically down. So maybe I “should” have done differently, but I really should not have done differently if you see what I mean. Anything that could have a “should statement” in front of it, is just a barrier to learning something that will help you so much in the long run. This memory of this mess up is now in my mind. So if anyone tells me I should or should not do something, I will just say (or think to myself), “The word should is the barrier to best lesson I could learn.” The best lesson because mistakes are harder to forget. So much different than looking at a lesson on a chalkboard. So don’t just push should statements out of your mind, channel them the opposite direction. You “shouldn’t” have made that mistake at work? Well you learned something out of it so maybe you should have.
PS: The way I came up with this post is because I wanted to write something. I thought really hard about my dilemma. Harder than I would if I just wanted to be happy. I didn’t want to turn my emotions into art and be creative because being creative to me can sometimes makes things worse if I am in a bad state. So I decided to think of something to blog about and I came up with this gem of a coping skill. (Well really an extra little twist to this already known coping skill). Basically I knew I wanted to write something in my time of insecurity because feeling creative or feeling smart could help me with my problems and I wanted to showcase the things I know. So I wrote about it and came up with something else. If you have no other motivation for using coping skills, try to remember how good it feels to blog about your intelligence and what you came up with on your own. That could be motivation in itself to think positively like it motivated me to change my “should statements.”
I am not supposed to use the word “should” but I am going to for just a second. You should never think of your slips and negative moments as anything other than a miracle. The reason for this is because it gets you to stand back up. Like myself, you may feel ashamed of any of your past issues, but how good would you really feel about yourself if you were always doing well your whole entire life? You might think you would feel pretty awesome if you were always doing well but change your perspective a little. And I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but this goes for everyone. Everyone has tough times…even that person you consider to be flawless. Healing goes up and down and that is a beautiful thing because it leads to a feeling of accomplishment and self esteem. I used to be afraid of talking on the phone. I was envious of my friends who were able to talk on the phone like it was nothing. I managed to get over that fear and every time I talk on the phone I feel accomplished and happy with myself. I am not weaker because I wasn’t born able to talk on the phone, it was a miracle that made me start from the bottom and work my way up. If we all were perfect and did everything without fear, anxiety or any other negative emotion, we would have no area for improvement. Think of it this way. What aspect of yourself do you possess right now that you had to fight for? Doesn’t it feel amazing to think about the past when you were not the same person? No one on this planet is perfect. That’s a miracle. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a miracle because you don’t have to be constantly thinking of those perfect people with their perfect lives. You’re probably thinking it’s a miracle because you don’t have to live in their shadow. But the miracle is not that no one else is perfect. The miracle is that YOU are not perfect. Perfection would mean no room for improvement so no sense of accomplishment. No self-esteem built up from your hard work through anxiety and fear. A perfect world would be boring and probably depressing. So thank the stars and the moon that no one is perfect but only because you are not either.