Hi there. If you struggle with anxiety or depression – two very different yet very related mental illnesses – you should keep reading. You'll probably know that they both come at random times and sometimes it isn't easy to pinpoint exactly why they're happening. But if you think long and hard enough, you might be able to realize that a lot of mental illnesses stem from some sort of insecurity or fear that was branded onto us like cattle at some point in our childhood. It's that or genetics.
Rest assured, there IS a cause, you're not going through this without any reason or explanation. For those who aren't familiar, anxiety is basically a reaction we have to things that intimidate us. In other and simpler terms, it's an overactive fear sensory that acts out over what appears to be nothing. So anything could be scary or stressful, we're simply ultra sensitive. Depression is like a self-feeding spell that makes you unmotivated, tired, sad, and uninterested. The best way I can put it, you feel like a ghost. Not dead or alive, just there. So after spending weeks and weeks working with doctors on ways to treat things like this and help manage mental illnesses, I've compiled it all down to three lists.
1. Things That Make Me Happy
This one is pretty straightforward. It's best to think of the simplest things such as the sky, shoes, whatever. This is so that if you ever feel like a panic attack coming on or you're simply having a bad day, you can refer to this list. Some doctors call it a Survival Kit. You might think "I'll just remember all of those things," but the truth is, it's nice to have a survival kit around. Less thinking, more doing. You got this.
2. Things That Make Me Cry
I know this one sounds weird, but trust me, it helps A LOT. It's important to recognize what brings out our emotions. I learned that it is crucial to any person's development to recognize their emotions and express them. If you can identify what it is that gets to your emotions, accept them and move on. The point is to own them and tell yourself it's okay.
3. Things That I've Earned
This one is all about insecurity. This is a time to make a list of your accomplishments and what you're proud of. Put it down on paper, take a step back, and smile. Whether it's trust, respect, winning a race – whatever. Don't deny yourself anything that crosses your mind. If you're proud of it, flaunt it. If you can identify what you like about yourself, work to build on those. Recognize them as your best cards and if you ever get a chance to talk about them, speak with confidence.
So I'm not saying do 1,2 & 3 and you'll be cured, but they'll definitely help. Getting these ideas out of your head and onto paper will help you see them as external things, and when they're on paper they can no longer be played with and twisted up in your mind. They're on paper, they'll stay there as they are, leave them be. I hope this list helps and try to think of more lists that could be useful to you!