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By this point it is obviously no surprise that I struggle with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
I’ve always wished that I was a more positive person. Positive thoughts do not come natural to me. Actually, negative thoughts do seem like my natural state of mind.
I do believe you are a product of your environment and negativity is a learned behavior. I come from a long line of pessimist on one side of my family. The other side, surprisingly not. Had I been raised around that side more maybe more would have rubbed off. Anyway, it takes an intentional conscious effort to make myself look at the brighter side of things.
To pull myself out of lows I have found some things that have helped me and thought I would share them.
- Always, always, always remember this too shall pass. No matter how bad it is or what you are going through it will not last, even when it does not seem like it. In my 36 years of experience I can honestly say the only thing that you can really count on is that life (good and bad) will change. Things change ALL THE TIME! Life is not supposed to be easy all the time, it’s really not. Look ahead, but also look back to the degree of remembering everything you made it through before. Just ride the waves, hang on and pray for better days and hope you learned whatever it is you were supposed to learn.
- Rely on God; he made you. You are here everyday because of him and his son Jesus Christ. You have a purpose, try to figure it out. This is easier said than done sometimes. Again, it has taken me all the way into my 30’s to figure this out and I am still a work in progress. I am slow to catch on, and hard headed. I fight his will for me daily, one because I am still not 100% crystal clear on all that entails and don’t stay in his word as much as I should, and number two because it is hard! I often thought that I needed to follow the heard and what is right and works for everyone else must be what I should do too. That brought lots and lots and lots of anxiety. I should have known that what I was doing just did not resonate with my being. Try to figure out what you are good at…no matter what it is, try to figure out what God wants you to do with it and find a way to do it or at least work towards it. Sacrifices will have to be made, but they will be so worth it! Imagine feeling like you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing.
- What makes you happy? In your downtime (what’s that?!), when you don’t have to do anything but what you want, what puts you in a good mood? Think of something that takes your mind off of whatever is going on and give yourself a moment of bliss. Call someone, listen to music, read something, watch a movie, pray, go on a walk or run, play with your kids. For me, writing has been extremely beneficial but something I waited entirely too long to figure out, considering the huge outlet for misplaced feelings this has been for me. Do something that distracts you from your current situation and will fill your empty cup. Especially since sometimes you can’t do anything but dream for better days, and you should be dreaming about what you want for the future anyway.
- Don’t depend on anyone to make you happy and rescue you. As my counselor likes to tell me, I’m often waiting for the silver bullet. I’m still a little confused on exactly what he is referring to but I get the gist of it. When we place our happiness in someone else’s hands we come up short every time. We cannot put that responsibility on anyone but ourselves because how does anyone else know what we really need besides ourselves and God? As bad as it sounds, I struggle with this a lot! I want someone to come along and fix things, after all that is what I feel I do for the people I love and live with. Why can’t anyone do this for me? Because I am not a child and my happiness depends on me.
Counseling Makes A Difference
I am slowly learning that all of this is what mentally healthy people do.
When I depend on other people, situations, or events to put an ease to my miserableness, eventually I always end up back where I started. We may not be able to realize a lot of this stuff until we get a healthy perspective.
I spent way too much time putting my happiness in how people act, letting their lives and moods rub off on me (that’s what us Highly Sensitive People do) and expecting them to do what is right for ME.
They don’t and they won’t.
Sometimes we can’t see light at the end of the tunnel and need an outsider.
If you are not surrounded by the right people or in the right environment it is worth it to go outside your own realms to get clarity. I used to think that going to therapy meant I was weak or broken. In all actuality, it is the opposite.
Something I actually learned in counselling is that people that go to counselling are bettering themselves. When you know something is off, when you are tired of being miserable, struggling with communication and relationships and can’t seem to find the answers seek the professionals. It is their job to teach you how healthy people navigate life.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a professional if you have someone in your life who is seasoned and can be a good mentor to you utilize that, whatever gets you to the best version of yourself. You cannot give up on yourself, it is too important.
You are too important!