My brain is a wee bit battered and fried after today’s therapy session, so I thought I would try my hand at a list-type post and see what you think. 🙂
Here are 15 of the many things I’ve learned on my mental health journey. I hope they help, and feel free to ask questions in the comments!
- Progress is possible.
- Everyone progresses at their own pace.
- Everyone has different areas of focus.
- Regarding therapy, you don’t have to know what you need help with before you seek support. (It’s their job to help you figure that out.)
- Feeling anxious doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing something wrong or that something is wrong around you. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything to “fix” or “police” the situation.
- Try not to judge your insides based on someone else’s outsides. (This one comes from my mother-in-law, actually.)
- Think about the incredibly high standards you have for yourself. Who do they truly benefit? What would happen if you lowered the bar and let yourself breathe?
- You can be anxious and have fun at the same time. Anxiety can coexist with positive emotions and experiences.
- A lapse is not the same as a relapse. You’re never truly back to where you started, because that’s in the past and you aren’t a time traveller. (Or are you?)
- Don’t beat yourself up if you do stumble. Self-condemnation is toxic and is more likely to undo healing than it is to “push you” to greater success.
- Progress is about learning to tolerate feelings of anxiety so that those feelings become less powerful. It’s about learning to say, “Hey there, anxiety, I see you. You’re not in charge anymore, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t see you.” Anxiety doesn’t go away by pretending it’s not there.
- It’s not about reaching some “perfect” fantasy version of yourself. It’s about learning how to accept yourself as a whole package. I couldn’t truly progress until I shed the belief that I was “bad until better.”
- You are not bad. You are not weak. You are not alone.
- You deserve support.
- It’s never too late to feel better inside.
I hope you find these encouraging as your tackle you own anxiety or mental health mountains (and molehills, because those are tricky too sometimes, especially if you are a mole who is also lost in the mountains).