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 is a large part of the story to being able to find the blueprints to your worthiness. Basically for years I was trapped in the ideal that girls should be weak and dainty. I never wanted to be anything else because no one told me the other way around was worthy too. First of all, “strong is beautiful” is something that is being said to women now and I’m grateful, but it wasn’t said to me when I was younger. Anyway, I started working at a bakery on a side where being strong didn’t really matter. The other side however, the side I never worked, was where the strength was required. Since I was a child, whenever I would lift something I would feel bad about myself afterwards, but it’s human nature to be able to lift. If we were cavemen how would we survive without a little strength? But you don’t just have to look at it like that. What I did was I watched my co-worker lift these things. The way I lifted them the rare times I had to was strained and struggling…the way I thought it should be. Then I saw my co-worker lift these things like it was no big deal whatsoever. Her eyes were unaffected. She’s just lifting and carrying this giant bag to wherever it needs to go. Then I began to get stronger myself and eventually had to work the side where strength was required. I ended up being able to carry large things in one arm. Since I was young I cringed at myself anytime I noticed my physical strength. Now I put a large portion of my consciousness to the muscles in my arms as I carry these things. I let them protrude into my consciousness until I feel their worth. The reason I love being strong now is because of the gracefulness of your muscles tight against whatever you are carrying. The gracefulness of just carrying it without a fuss. The thought of how intense you look with those two things combined. I must also mention that now I believe strong to be worthy, that doesn’t mean the worthiness of being weaker has evaporated from my mind. That ideal was ingrained into my head for probably most of my life. That ideal will not leave my mind nor should it. Someday I’ll get older and I’ll get weaker. I won’t have a choice but to lose my muscle and by the time that day comes I’ll need a strong mind and a strong mind comes from loving yourself no matter what. I know how it feels to be okay with being less than strong, so I will make sure I keep that in my mind as to not judge others who are not the strongest and I ask that everyone else does the same in any other aspect of their self love. Find your worth in whatever it is that you are and keep the worth you always saw in whatever you used to desire. Or if you were born loving a certain aspect of yourself, work on trying to love the opposite even if you don’t desire it as to be sure you don’t judge others. You won’t judge others because you see their worth already and you hold self love for yourself. This gets rid of self loathing that leads to judgements and seeing someone different from yourself that leads to judgements. I believe this to be one of the keys in eradicating judgements. If we all see the worthiness in ourselves and notice that people who hold the opposite aspect are worthy too.
The first one is self as context. This means that you are not truly one thing. You don’t have to mold yourself into what you believe you are or have to be. It makes labels not make sense. Sometimes I am shy, sometimes I am outgoing. I cannot label myself as either one because every moment and every experience calls for something different. (This skill took me awhile to understand, so if I am wrong on this skill, feel free to correct me).
Then I love mindfulness. This one started as boring for me and then turned into something I use almost everyday. This is where you make sure you are aware of your surroundings. This helps immensely with anxiety. You occupy your mind while you tell yourself to look for certain colors around the room. Or you just sit outside looking at nature and make sure you notice and feel every single wonderful thing.
Building mastery. This is when you learn new things in order to gain self-esteem or a sense of accomplishment. This one is obviously self explanatory and if you are learning something new, you are already using this skill. However, this is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a rut and feel you need something to get yourself out.
I talk about changing your perspective all the time in this blog so it’s only appropriate that I share it here. This skill is when you take something you dislike about yourself and then you change it into something positive. This is what I try to do with this blog. Share the wonderfulness that I see in every aspect of all everyone can be. Tall or short? You can love yourself if you are either. It makes sense. Two people who are completely the opposite physically or mentally both have the option to love themselves; both have the capacity to be confident. You cannot look at someone and say with fact, “That person has got to be confident.” Just like you cannot look at someone and also say with fact, “That person has got to be insecure.” There is no universal type of person who is the epitome of confidence. That is saved for someone who is just actually incredibly confident no matter who they are. Every single person on this planet has the power inside of them for self-love. Which means your insecurities are not true. If confidence about some aspect of yourself is not inside of you but is inside of someone else just like you, you can find it too. And every category of person has many people who are confident in that aspect of themselves.
And then there is opposite to emotion. I use this a lot when I cross the street oddly enough. I hate crossing the street at cross walks if there are cars. “What if they wave me on but I can’t see them through the glare in their window and I just stand there awkwardly?” “What if I think they let me go first but then they begin to drive as I start crossing and I have to jump back with embarrassment?” “I’m almost to a cross walk and there’s a car coming. Maybe I should stop and look at my phone and act like I’m too busy to cross the street until that car is gone.” … “No, I better just be strong and cross the street with that car. I’ll feel so much stronger when it’s over.” So yes, I often do cross the street especially when I don’t want to. It’s an incredible feeling, even crossing the street, to defy your fears.
This ideal just came to me recently. When I was a teenager and my cousins slept over, they would always be up at around six am, while I couldn’t get up until around nine. I cannot get up in the morning without an immense amount of trouble. I like working nights because I don’t have to wake up. I hate mornings. Let’s just put it that way. But when you sleep in, this is an easy recipe for self-loathing. “I’m lazy.” “If everyone else wakes up that early I should be able to too.” Well, a few days ago I was finally okay with myself for the times when I do sleep in. I’m a night owl. And there are reasons why I am. I like the darkness, I like driving around at night. I like walking at night. I like staying up late. I love being a night owl because I love the night. I can know why I love being a night owl in my own love of the darkness. I hear the crickets of the night and I love them, so I love the fact that I will stay up late to listen to them. And then, being a night owl leads to the inevitable…I am not an early bird. We can also just switch all of my ideals onto an early bird. You know why you love the morning, maybe it’s the birds chirping or the idea of a whole day ahead of you. And because you know exactly why you love the mornings, you can love your early bird self for being able to see that beauty in the dawn. So back to my point. Be a night owl and sleep in. Don’t consider yourself lazy. You just love the moon, the crickets, the stars, the glow under the streetlights. You feel happiness when you look out into the night, and that happiness is why you sleep in. When you wake up and look at the clock and it’s noon and the sun is already streaming onto your face, think about the reasons. You love the moon more than the sun and that’s perfectly okay. And if anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for sleeping in, go ahead and just tell them that you love the stars. If anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for going to bed early, tell them you love the sunshine.
When I was getting ready to go to college I was depressed and didn’t care at all about my future. Now I am so excited for my future that I got depressed about having a major I don’t like, but have channeled my excitement and turned my excitement on my major and found the beauty in it. My major is marketing and I always wanted to do things with animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist and I was going to go to college for that but I ended up being so depressed I literally just clicked a major and went on with my life. I knew nothing of marketing. I didn’t care that I wasn’t interested, because I wasn’t interested in anything. So instead of sulking about my major I decided to channel it. Here are the reasons why I found marketing to be a great major. If you have chosen something you regret, you can find a way to love it.
- The potential to have a job in a “the office” type setting-Being so close to others and being able to have strange work relationships like from the show the office. (Yes this show is actually possible-I have these kinds of relationships at my current job but I’d like it to stay that way in a new job. Plus, in an office setting I’ll be able to enjoy it more because the job I have now is very physically demanding and it makes me too tired to care as much as I could about how funny my co-workers are)
- Being an artist/scientist-I need to be creative to grab people’s attention while finding out what will grab their attention.
- Honestly, I see so much beauty in the business type. Dressing in business clothes, being strong and getting things done. The problem for me is that I’m not the business type. I can only pretend to be the business-type but then I’ll feel like a fraud next to these amazing people. If you are a businessman or woman, you can love yourself so much because of how impressive you are. Going to interviews and working your way up and giving presentations is incredibly hard. Yesterday I almost didn’t apply for a job because they said you need to be ok with presentations. That has always been my worst fear. Well, I thought to myself, “If I want to be as amazing as I view actual business people, I need to apply to this job and fight through my fear of presentations.”
- I also like the idea of a cute little cubicle.
In two days I go to a wedding alone. My self esteem isn’t doing all too well at the moment and I desperately need a way to be okay with going alone. It’s a friend who has friends that are all confident and in relationships. Then there’s me. In my head, I’ll be the only one alone, which most likely will not be true. Before I would just say to myself, “I have to go. But this is going to be horrible. I cannot wait until it is over.” But now I can say, “I am going to go. But I need to make the most out of it by digging deep into the situation and finding the good.” I already knew it would make me stronger. However, this one didn’t seem so appealing this time. I’ll be strong going alone. That’s great! But not enough this time. I even had to google it because these blueprints to finding the good in every situation isn’t working with my brain right at this moment. I at least found that it’s not strange to go alone. I learned that other people go alone as well as I. It’s an experience. Not everyone can say they went to a wedding alone. It’s an accomplishment especially when you have low self-esteem. Writing that right there made me more confident but I still feel my nerves all over my body. Lets turn this moment into a bucket list task. “I want to survive a wedding alone.” Now, this will be my second wedding of my life. The only other one was when I was twelve. So, when will my next wedding be? Another ten years? I have found that this is an experience that is tough to deal with. A situation that would be awesome to survive. So, why not put it on my bucket list if I’ll feel accomplished when it’s all over? I can’t skip out now. I won’t be able to check this off for another ten years. What fun would it be to live on the safe side all the time? Any time you are about to do something you think you will hate, just think about how strong you will feel and grab your bucket list and write, “I want to get through [insert experience here] and come out stronger.” Be careful though. Don’t say to yourself, “I have to go.” Maybe find a perfect way out of the situation and then just throw it aside. In the end you may not believe you’re strong enough because you really didn’t have a way out. You “had” to go. Your brain might tell you, “You’re actually weak because you couldn’t even say no.” Well, now you can fight back your negative thoughts with that excuse you never used. “I could have stayed home, but I went anyway.” Now that’s being a warrior.
We all spend so much time taking pictures. Whether that be for instagram or something of the sort. I recently got back from a trip in which I practiced this new type of bucket list I thought of. I call it, “The present bucket list.” What this means is to go into a situation that is either on your bucket list or just a situation you find yourself enjoying, and then take one picture of it, but just one. I mean, we all know that in good situations these days, most of us, including myself, want to take a picture of it. This isn’t a bad thing in any way at all. Pictures are memories but it gets us into trouble if we only see what’s in front of us from behind a camera. What I did this week on vacation, doing things on my bucket list and looking at the scenery is take a picture, and then be sure that I am mindful. Mindfulness should take up most of the time spent on this. Not taking pictures or videos. Make sure if you are in a situation where you are ready to check something off your bucket list, make sure you really look at it. Act as though, for a few moments, that the different view of a camera never existed. Act as though your hand physically cannot move to place a checkmark next to this experience until you have practiced mindfulness in this situation and really looked and felt everyhing.