When You’re Really Hard on Yourself

I’ve spent most of my life being hard on myself. I’ve expected perfection from everything I do or say, and when I’ve fallen short, I often berate myself and drop into shame. When my anxiety turned me nonfunctional years ago, I noticed how awful I made myself feel for feeling awful. I was already experiencing difficulty and I chose to add even more unworthiness on top of that.

But I realized that, when I was kind to myself during a panic attack, the intense fear went away more quickly. When I sent myself love and compassion, the sensations of panic became easier to handle. Continue reading

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The Choice of Peace

To be honest, the past few months have been challenging for me. Outside circumstances keep popping up and throwing me off and recently, something happened with family that caused me to question everything, and spiraled me into my old habits of anxiety and depression. I caught myself gripped in fear with worst-case scenarios and immobile with pessimism that things will never change or get better. I was walking around completely STUCK in my own misery. Continue reading

Meet Yourself Where You Are

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve been struggling with some awful fatigue the past week or so. It’s the kind of exhaustion that makes it almost impossible to function, and this inability to do as much as I want has caused a lot of old fears to surface for me. Mainly, the fear of being lazy/ not accomplishing a lot/ not being worthy. Continue reading

Stopping the Comparison Game

I have to be honest, I can fall into the trap of comparing my life to others quite often. Social media and the little snippets of contrived goodness we see of others’ lives only makes it that much easier to think that others have it great, especially if we ourselves are struggling.

I remember when I was in the midst of panic disorder and completely nonfunctional, I would see other people doing simple things that I couldn’t do, like going out with friends or holding a steady job, and I would subsequently feel awful about myself. I would wonder why others had it so easy and I was barely making it through the day. I would get jealous and angry. Continue reading

What’s Beneath the Anxiety?

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that I have an impressive ability to distract myself and “run” from the things I deem too difficult to feel. I’ve been working with a private student for a few weeks now who is struggling with intense anxiety and depression, and I’ve begun seeing this tendency in her as well. There’s this overwhelming desire to find anything and everything to take us out of our misery. Because when we slow down enough and get still enough, it feels like we can’t handle the intensity of the pain within us. Continue reading

You Are Not Stuck: Neuroplasticity and the Ability to Change

When we’re struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and depersonalization, we can often begin to feel frustrated at our lack of progress. We might even begin to think that maybe it will always be this way. Even when we see others overcoming and flourishing, we might wonder whether we’re just stuck like this- that maybe our brains are just wired differently and there’s nothing we can do about it. Continue reading