Often this blog is filled with posts about how I’m coping in my fight with anxiety and the challenges I face, with the odd ‘advice’ post thrown in for good measure. Well for this, I wanted to merge the two. Last week I posted (here) about a challenged I faced with going on holiday. The airports scare me and at one point I thought I’d never go abroad, yet I actually did it. Looking back, I think what did it for me was knowing the end result was going to be my reward. I had something to look forward to, which acted like a shield when fighting this incredibly strong mental illness.
This made me think – if we all had something positive to look forward to, then maybe every fight wouldn’t be so hard?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that when faced with tough situations that make us weak at the knees, finding a positive in that is like finding a clean tooth in Steptoe’s head. However, by consciously forcing ourselves to look for positives in every situation, is it possible that our anxiety will be reduced because we’ve got a shield to protect us?
When battling my demons, I’ve been through every scenario possible, from the doom and gloom of defeat, to the ‘cloud 9’ feeling of triumph, however in my most recent challenges I try to look for positives in every situation to give myself some direction and focus. If I’m heading to a meeting, I change my outlook from “I can’t do this, I don’t want to go” to “I deserve to do this, and it gets me out of the office!”, and chances are when I get there a part of me actually wants to do it.
Anxiety has a knack for taking everything away and reducing us to a pessimistic ball of sadness who’s outlook is bleaker than a British summer, but we are capable of turning an anxious situation into a positive one, no matter how hard a task this is. I’m a strong believer in finding positives in everything, and have so far been successful.
Whatever challenges you’re about to face over the coming days, weeks, months or even years, anxiety can take everything away from you physically and emotionally, but believe it or not you’re still very much in control, and very capable of feeling positive in the darkest of situations.
Next time you face a challenge that would normally prove difficult, try changing your way of thinking. When you find yourself thinking “I can’t do this, I shouldn’t be here, this isn’t going to work”, spin this around. Repeat over and over, silently or out loud, “I can do this, I should be here, this is going to work”. Repeat this over and over in your head. Keep going, and don’t stop until you believe it.
Positivity and fight are all we have when facing anxiety head on, so use these tools to their maximum potential. Push on. Keep going.