Maybe really moving? What?!

I successfully made it to my daughters doctor appointment yesterday! I still felt a twinge of anxiety and an adrenaline rush leading up to leaving, but I pushed through anyway. I was reflecting a lot on how that adrenaline rush that comes when you’re feeling really anxious about something is incredibly similar to the feeling you get when you’re super excited. I have another post called turning fear into excitement, but it was really helpful to revisit that technique. I was initially nervous, but instead I started thinking of why it was such a good thing, and kind of convinced my mind and body that it wasn’t panic, it was excitement – and transformed my negative feelings into positive ones.

I was talking to my grandma the other day, and she lives in the town I’m hoping to move to. She visited a property that is for rent – three bedrooms with a big back yard! I ended up getting in touch with the woman who owns the property today, and she said that we are the only people interested in it, and basically implied that if we want it it’s ours. It’s also less than a minute from my best friends house!

I want so badly to go, and I’m very seriously considering putting a deposit on the house to hold it, and aim to move by the end of January/beginning of February.

I am feeling pretty optimistic about making this happen, but there’s still a part of me saying, “you were barely able to go outside or down the street a few months ago – do you really think you’ll make it through a several hundred mile drive?”

So, I’m doing my best to quell those fears. I have been driving every day, but I am going to call (or text) my exposure therapist today to try to get some freeway driving in, and start preparing myself to really go. I got a comment on my last post from someone that said, “just start packing like you’re going!” And I think that’s the best and simplest advice. Just start doing the things it’s going to take to really get myself up there, and I’ll get it done.

There are so many things I’m doing on a daily basis that a few months ago would have thrown me into a frenzy of panic and fear, that now feel mundane and like it’s no big deal at all. I was reflecting on this earlier, and it feels really good to sort of sit back and say, “wow, I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m doing things I once feared I would never be able to do again, and now they’re okay.”

I remember sitting with my therapist months ago and telling her, “I just want to be able to go to a grocery store and buy food for myself.” And I felt such a longing for something so simple, to have something so normal feel easy and boring – and I’ve already reached that point. Grocery stores are no problem… so hopefully, I can do the same thing with a long distance drive.

Also, I’ve been making more progress on my book! I’ve written around 6,000 words the past few days, and that feels really good. And I’ve got a lot more where that came… and I’m excited to keep working on it!

Also, here is an artist called Pokey LaFarge that my grandma recommended to me, and I’m loving it!

And Rex keeps telling me to revisit this video when I’m feeling hesitant about doing things. It’s kind of effective.

❤ Chloe

 

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It’s okay if you don’t feel up to it.

So, lately my posts/general mindset has been pretty positive. I want to keep writing about things that help me in my blog, but I also just wanted to put something out there…

I know how impossible it feels to do ANYTHING when you’re feeling shitty. Like, my last post was about visualization. And I know that when you’re feeling awful and horrible and depressed and anxious, visualizing anything good in the future can seem like being asked to come up with the plans for a warp drive.

And it’s okay to feel like that.

So, I’m going to tell you about the one thing that helped me more than anything when I was feeling like that. (I might have mentioned it in my blog earlier, but I’ll talk about it again).

At my absolute WORST point, this helped. It helped when I would wake up having a panic attack before I opened my eyes. Being alive was spent in a nearly constant state of terror and depression, hopelessness and fear.

I kept a notebook with me at all times. I tried my best to only write good things in it.

I remember sitting on my stairs, paralyzed by panic, holding my notebook, and writing with a shaky hand, “I like cats. Cats are fuzzy. I like things that are fuzzy. I am grateful for fuzzy cats.” Or something like that.

I would keep a running list of the things I loved, the things that made me happy, and anything good I could think of. When I was feeling my worst, I would search my brain for anything that was comforting. Sometimes all I could come up with was cats. But usually as soon as I’d think of cats, something else would come to mind (chocolate, music, writing, etc.) and the rest would flood in.

I’d be panicking, and then would start writing about how grateful I was for cats, or flowers, or the internet, or video games, or Harry Potter, and things would get a little bit better.

It didn’t make things totally better all at once, but it helped, and I think after doing this for months, it helped a lot in a cumulative way.

Yes, by all means meditate and exercise and eat right. But those are the last things you feel like doing when you feel shitty. It’s like, “yeah, I could exercise, but I’m depressed and I can’t get out of bed so I’m going to eat this pint of ice cream and binge watch Netflix for the next eight hours. Maybe I’ll exercise tomorrow… I went to the bathroom. I had to walk there. I’ll count that as exercising.” And that’s fine, as long as you don’t beat yourself up for it. You have to feel a little bit good to even try to exercise in the first place. When you’re feeling totally crappy, and someone tells you “go exercise, it will make you feel better!” It usually just make the crappy-feeling-person feel even crappier and inferior to these magical people who eat healthy, shower every day, go to bed at a reasonable hour and have already run a few miles and gone to a yoga class before 9AM.

So, I guess the point of this is that even though I’m going to be writing about things that I do that help my anxiety/depression, don’t get down on yourself for not doing them. But if you feel like you can, maybe try them out? I just don’t want to come across as some insensitive ass who is like, “just do these things and you’ll feel better!” Because that’s just not how it is. Well, maybe it can be, but you have to get motivated to try anything to make yourself feel better in the first place, and it can be hard to try anything when you can’t even will yourself to shower for weeks, or feed yourself, or get out of bed. And if you’re feeling that crappy, maybe that’s what you should do first. Take a shower, feed yourself, get out of bed. Then maybe try to meditate for two minutes. I mean, if you feel like it.

Anyway, this was kind of unstructured and a bit all over the place.

  • Do what you can.
  • Don’t feel bad about not doing things you don’t feel up to.
  • Try to find things to feel good about, no matter how small. When you find even one thing, sometimes the rest will snowball and life will look a little brighter.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone else in the world seems more high-functioning than you when you’re feeling at your worst.

Here’s a cute song that cheers me up. ❤ 

What would my life look like without anxiety?

I have been doing so much better lately, and I partially attribute this to how much visualization I’ve been doing. I’ve been visualizing being calm in situations that normally would induce panic, and I’ve found that has been incredible in allowing me to succeed in situations that would generally be difficult for me to deal with.

I was doing a meditation via Headspace (the anxiety pack), and the question, “what would my life look like without anxiety?” popped into my head.

This question seemed huge for me.

Images began flooding my mind of how different my life would be without anxiety (or just the ability to manage it so that it didn’t impact my life so dramatically).

I think this is a great exercise to do, and can be really helpful if you’re struggling. A few things though… I think it’s important not to judge your current life against the life that you’re imagining in your mind. That won’t help a thing. Beating yourself down just keeps you down, it doesn’t help you pull yourself back up (which is what you want).

Having a concrete(ish) idea of what kind of life I want if anxiety was completely off the table makes that life seem more attainable. It makes it seem more realistic. And it also made me realize that it wouldn’t be a completely drastic thing. All the things that I seem to want aren’t gigantic unrealistic goals. They’re small, little things. Like taking my daughter to the aquarium. Things like that. Being able to have fun and rock out to music in traffic instead of getting all crazy-eyed and freaking the hell out.

Also, I’ve been setting a timer daily for about ten minutes, giving myself that time to do my visualizations. Yesterday I was enjoying it so much that I ended up setting the timer over again three times.

So, I don’t know if this will help you, but it’s been really helping me. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section, or share any experience you’ve had with doing visualization-type techniques.

❤ Love to you all!

 

https://youtu.be/jlZDiztyxMI

“The conductor, frozen thunder rumbling through the ground
With a perfect little twist of that suit of armor and crown
You created, built for denying it
Hiding the cuts and bruises due to the self-inflicted bone crushing anxiety
I’m with you, so understand that all of this within you
Has chiseled you a flower out of stone
Yeah, you are not alone”

Things That Help: Finding Things to get Excited About

There is something about having things to look forward to that can give you a huge boost. I practice mindfulness/present moment meditation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get excited thinking about future events. And as someone who has been struggling with fluctuating levels of severe depression/panic/anxiety and agoraphobia, finding things that I love and look forward to has been essential in giving me little boosts that keep me going when I’m feeling in a bad spot.

New anything Harry Potter related? Finally! Yes!

New anything Harry Potter related? Finally! Yes!

Right now, I’m SO EXCITED for Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) to come out tomorrow. She is an amazing writer. If you relate to my posts at all, and you have a kind of dark sense of humor, youll fall in love. Seriously. Check out her blog, and her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy is about “taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It’s the difference between “surviving life” and “living life”. It’s the difference between “taking a shower” and “teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.” It’s the difference between being “sane” and being “furiously happy.”

What else? I think because I’ve gone through such long periods of not leaving the house, it’s even more important for me to find things that occupy my mind to look forward to. I read a lot of books, and I get really excited when authors I love put out new books. Or video games. I’ve been playing Life is Strange, and they release a new episode every two months or so. That has been really awesome to have to look forward to!

Life Is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionise story based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present and future

Life Is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionise story based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present and future

I guess what I’m trying to say, is no matter what, you can always find something to look forward to. And if you don’t, go find something to get excited about. I know it can be hard. But those little things have really given me extra pushes during the dark times, that there’s at least something up ahead that I can look forward to, no matter how small or seemingly silly it might not be to other people.

This is an amazing book, and I'm incredibly excited that Tim Burton is currently making the movie!

This is an amazing book, and I’m incredibly excited that Tim Burton is currently making the movie!

Maybe it’s the fact that your favorite YouTuber puts out a video every week! Maybe it’s an album release from your favorite band, a book, a movie, a TV show, a game or game expansion. And sometimes the things that we look forward to don’t live up to our expectations, but that’s okay, because when you can at the very least have a good arsenal of silly little things that make you happy that you look forward to, that alone kind of makes it worth it.

I follow a lot of YouTubers, and this is the most recent one from Jenna Marbles. She cracks me up.

Hell. You don’t even have to find things that aren’t out yet to get excited about. Just go on a random internet hunt for cool things until you find them. And then get excited about them!

What are you excited about? Any recommendations of things to look out for? Post in the comments!

We’re good enough right now.

I had a visit with my therapist today that went really well. She has been coming to my house every week for quite a while now. 9, 10 months? More? I don’t know. But I feel so grateful and blessed to have someone who has been willing to come see me in my home, since especially when I first started seeing her I was 100% housebound and unable to go anywhere to get help.

I’ve been getting down on myself a bit for “not doing enough,” which is total crap, because I know I’ve been kicking ass. When I think about where I was six months ago, it’s like night and day, and seeing her made me think about the places I’ve been throughout the time I’ve been seeing her – and I’m doing better now than the entire time I’ve been working with her, and that’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

It made me wonder – when will I be doing enough? When will any of us feel like we are doing good enough?

Getting over panic and anxiety, going through it, trudging through it, is hard work. And just because we don’t always succeed in everything we attempt or set out to do, doesn’t mean that we are failures or not good enough.

So I’m trying to remind myself that I am good enough. I am doing well. I am accomplishing a lot, and just because it doesn’t feel like that all the time, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

I didn’t end up making it to the concert that I wanted to go to yesterday. Instead of letting it weigh me down, and beating myself up about it, I’m going to move on and feel okay about it. It didn’t happen, but I know that there’s a whole lot of music in my future.

I did try to go to the beach, and ended up getting anxious 3/4 of the way driving there and made Rex turn around. Literally five minutes after we got home it started pouring rain followed by some pretty intense thunder and lightning.

I did get a few pictures of the sky right before that happened:

The sky was just too pretty not to take a picture.

The sky was just too pretty not to take a picture.

It may sound silly, but I kind of took it as a sign that I was doing what I needed to be doing for myself. I walked in my house, went upstairs, and it started pouring out of nowhere. I can’t remember the last time it rained here, it’s been so long. We barely got a few days of rain in the winter, so it was pretty crazy that the weather acted up so much.

Something that seems pretty small, but that I’m proud of regardless, is that I did my makeup yesterday. Okay, let me explain. I wrote a few days ago that a bunch of hippies came through my house and “cleaned” (see: Ransacked), and as I have OCD and issues with contamination, was really afraid to do my makeup. But, I faced my contamination fears and put on my makeup. I even improvised using eyeshadow as eyeliner, because these people threw away my eyeliner. I had bought it two days before, and it was $20 eyeliner (taking deep breaths). Dude. You just don’t mess with a woman’s eyeliner. Or a mans, for that matter (I’m looking at you, Robert Smith). You just don’t do it. Ever.

Also, I’m kind of a fan of shameless selfies. You will probably encounter them often in my blog. I think selfies are awesome, and I love seeing other peoples selfies.

And here's my shameless selfie. I make no apologies.

And here’s my shameless selfie. I make no apologies.

As someone who feels crappy a lot of the time, feeling good enough to take a selfie, means that I was feeling awesome enough about myself to take a selfie! And that’s rad, and we should celebrate when we feel that good about ourselves, and when other people feel good about themselves. Because wallowing in our own self-pity and misery kind of sucks. But we all go there – I’m guilty of it, and it just makes it worse to get down on yourself even more because you’re not happy and shiny all the time. But having records of the times when you’re doing well can be really helpful, and I think it’s important to record or document the good stuff in whatever ways we can.

I was telling my therapist about my blog, and I said that I wanted to try to focus on as many of my successes I can, and that maybe that will help others too. We talked about how it can also be harmful to only write about the good things, because that can make people feel really crappy about themselves when they’re not doing well. So, I’m going to write about the good stuff and the bad stuff, instead of trying to project only one side of myself here. I think that some people tend to write blogs that are either all positive, or all negative, and having a balance of something in between is pretty cool, because that feels real, and how life actually is. At least, I hope that there are good times with your bad times… I know sometimes it can feel like there aren’t.

Also, it made me really happy to see that someone had actually written about me, and a comment I wrote on their blog. It’s the first time I’ve seen myself mentioned on someones blog post, and that felt really good. They said about it,”Just cause of a comment that made my day. Kidding it made my year!” And I thought that was really sweet. And then they said a bunch of really nice stuff about me. Their blog is Gold and Silver Living, and here’s the post. The comment was about how when I was backpacking Thailand, everyone was smiling. They call it the land of smiles. And people there believe that if you frown at someone you are transferring negative energy onto them, and could make them have a bad day, and by smiling at them, you’re sending out good energy. That’s stuck with me over the years, and I try to do that as much as possible when I go out.

This is me in Thailand. I know I'm not smiling, but I don't have too many pictures of me there. Going back is definitely one of my bigger goals to work towards.

This is me in Thailand. I know I’m not smiling, but I don’t have too many pictures of me there. Going back is definitely one of my bigger goals to work towards.

So, to sum this post up, I want you to know that you’re enough, even when you don’t feel like it. We all are. And I’m trying to continually remind myself that yes, I am doing enough. When I feel like I can’t do anything, I can’t do anything, and that’s enough because I’m taking care of myself.

And I hope that I can remind myself that I’m good enough right now in two months or two years from now, no matter what’s going on. Because in any moment, we’re doing the best that we can given the current circumstance we’re in, even if we don’t know it.

Also, here’s a song that I’ve been playing a lot lately, and puts a smile on my face. It’s about how all of us are different, and that’s a good thing, and how we shouldn’t be so judgmental towards each other.

Driving by myself

So, my biggest thing for the past year has been a fear of being in the car. I’ve been doing better with it, but usually need a safe person with me.
Today I decided to do some driving around the neighborhood by myself.
Okay, so I didn’t go very far, but it was nice to be able to even just drive around my block for a bit, and around some other blocks nearby with very low anxiety. It’s something I haven’t been able to do in quite a long time.
Also, I think that music is extremely helpful. I have a song that has been really helping me with getting over my driving/car phobia. I generally refer to it as “my driving song,” but it’s actually Bad Girls by MIA. Also, I love her. She is a bad ass, and my favorite pop singer.

Listening to this while driving makes me feel more like my bad ass self.

Do you have any good driving songs, or recommendations of songs that are about driving/have music videos with awesome driving in it? I’m thinking it would be a good idea to add more “feel like a total bad ass while driving” songs to my collection. Thanks so much ❤

6 Tools That Help Me Curb Panic Attacks

Having tools at your disposal is vital when going up against frequent panic attacks. Without them, you feel defenseless and not at all prepared for the monster that is the primal fear that takes over your being when you’re either building up to an attack, or are in the throes of one.

Finding the right tools has taken years, and I’m still always on the lookout for new ones,

I’ve found some conventional ones, and some kind of off-the-wall methods of coping that have been helpful, so I thought I would share.

1. Corsets

Did you see that coming? Who knows. I figured I’d start with the most taboo thing on my list to get it out of the way.I know it sounds weird, but corsetting really helped me. I haven’t been able to corset in a number of months because, well, still pregnant… but I fully intend on corsetting again after I give birth.

Also, I’m talking about steel boned underbust corsets. No plastic boning, and not the ones that cover your chest. I always felt like I couldn’t breathe in the ones that go over your chest. I’m also not talking about tight lacing so much to the point where you feel pain. I would never corset so tight that it was uncomfortable. I started with one that was two inches smaller than my natural waist, and because I ended up corsetting 10+ hours every day, I continued downsizing. I started with a 30″ corset, and when I found out I was pregnant had just gotten a beautiful 22″ custom corset (I can’t wait until I get into that thing. It’ll happen… eventually).

Anyway, the reason that it helps me, is it makes me feel grounded and balanced. Everyone’s anxiety is different, but mine is usually accompanied with a feeling of being totally unbalanced, dizzy, and like I’m going to fall over at any time. Corsets helped curve that feeling in a big way. Also, I’ve suffered from back pain most of my life and my back pain completely disappeared with a corset.

They also make me feel as though I’m constantly being hugged and comforted when one is on me. When I would put a corset on I would get this comforting feeling. It feels like armor. It feels like you can take on anything in a corset.

2. Meditation

I tried to get into meditation for a long time. Really, I did. It just didn’t stick. I’d sit there and feel like I was doing it wrong. I’d sit there, and then I’d just wait for my timer to go off. In an attempt to make myself meditate more, I got a muse headset. It’s like this EKG headset that you put on, and calibrate the sensors via an app on your phone or tablet. Then it measures your brainwaves while you meditate. For a while I meditated daily with this, but then the novelty wore off and it became more annoying to have to fiddle with the thing and get it to calibrate correctly. So I gave that up. I began to think that I was too impatient for meditation, or that I just wasn’t good at it.

But then I discovered mindfulness meditation, and began doing it throughout my day without even thinking about it. And then I found an app on my phone called Insight Timer, and began setting it for 2 minutes throughout the day. Seriously, two minutes. I’d do that several times throughout the day, and over time it became a habit. Over time, I ended up getting excited about the time I got to spend meditating, because it made me feel so wonderful. I found that with regular meditation, I was a lot calmer throughout the rest of the day, and just in general.

I started doing a Metta Bhavana meditation practice as well, and let me tell you, it’s some powerful stuff. Basically what you do, is you think to yourself, “may I be well, may I be happy, may I be free from suffering.” Then you think of someone you love or care about very much, and think the same thing for them. Then someone you feel utterly neutral about. And then someone who you have negative feelings toward. And then you think of everyone all at once, and try to send those feelings out as evenly to each person at once, without focusing on any one person more than another. And then you bring that out to your entire household, then your block, then your town, etc.. expanding that feeling so it’s shooting out all from you.

And damn, it feels powerful. I felt high, but not in a bad way, because I really hate feeling high. It’s such a powerful feeling, and difficult to explain, so you should just try it.

3. Gratitude

Gratitude has changed my life in so many ways. I truly believe that we are the products of our thoughts, and shifting your consciousness into one of gratitude and thanks is so powerful. Perception changes reality, you know?

I guess it’s hard for me to talk about this one and tell you how it started for me without bringing up another one of the things in my toolbox, which is my positivity journal. Basically, I’d only allow myself to write good things in it.

My initial gratitude practice was really awkward. I’d be in the full blown middle of a panic attack, and would shakily take my pen to my notebook and try to think of something I was grateful for. On one occasion it came out like this:

“I am grateful for cat. Cat is fluffy. Cat is soft. I am grateful for cat.”

I may or may not have felt more like a crazy person after writing that, but I also felt better, because it opened up the part of my brain that searches for the good stuff as opposed to being hyper-aware of all of the negative shit.

So then I kept writing. Scouring my brain for good things. Happy things. Things that are not bad and terrifying and make me want to hide in a ball, or disappear for a while.

Every day I started doing this. I’d try to start writing what I was grateful for early in the morning, as it tended to set a a nice tone for the rest of the day. I’d have my journal on hand with me at all times, and would occasionally write down more things I was grateful for as I thought of them. Sometimes I’d write the same things that I was grateful for every morning (friends, family, food, creature comforts, etc.). Occasionally I’d think of some really deep shit that made me feel profound, and might have been feeding my ego, but it’s kind of nice to have a boost like that when you feel so down and out all the time.

After a while of basically forcing myself to think of things that I was grateful for, it turned into an automatic habit. I witnessed my brain literally shift its perspective on a daily basis. I went from always wallowing in my own self-pity about how damn awful everything was, to being able to see the good in things for the first time in so long. I still write down the things I’m grateful for, but I also find that so often during the day, I have a thought accompanied by a smile and think, “I am SO grateful for this!” And these feelings of gratitude are nearly always accompanied by, well, happiness. And happiness is something I think that we’re all after.

The more I practice gratitude, the happier I feel over all. I’m not 100% happy, but I find moments of happiness that sometimes permeate throughout the rest of the day, and make life feel a lot better, brighter, sparklier.

So, if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend starting to try to practice gratitude. Even if the only damn thing you can think of that you’re grateful for is that cats are soft and fluffy. That’s okay. It’s still a gateway to all the other things that you are grateful for.

4. Smile Breathing

This is one I only discovered recently. It’s kind of a breathing/meditation technique, but you don’t really need to meditate while you’re doing it.

It goes like this: take deep breaths and smile on every out breath.

This helps for those moments you’re feels apathetic, despondent, or generally depressed… but it’s also powerful no matter how you’re feeling.

5. Positivity Journal

I have gone through many of these. They’re basic notebooks that you carry around with you and you write good stuff in them. I’ll usually start my morning by writing the things I’m grateful for, coupled with positive affirmations and any good thoughts I’m having.

I like to write in it throughout the day, usually writing the date and time. I’ll write good things that happen throughout the day. When I think of something I’m grateful for I write it down. It’s pretty much for anything and everything good going on in your brain and life.

I found that using this really helped to keep me focused on positive thoughts. With any anxiety disorder, it’s like you’re constantly seeing every bad possible outcome. You’re hyper-focused on all the crappy stuff that you wish would just disappear. This can help make that stuff kind of disappear sometimes. Or at least, the bad stuff is balanced with the good. And sometimes you become so focused on the good stuff that the bad stuff fades away a little bit more. And with continued use, it keeps fading. And it keeps getting better, and you find yourself experiencing more and more of those happy moments. And when you’re having a really bad time, you can open up your journal and look through it. When you are feeling hopeless, you have a tool that you can use to remind yourself that it will get better. That it won’t always be like this. That there is hope. And hope is an extremely powerful thing when all you feel is fear and despair.

6. Curbing What-If Thoughts

I’ve read in various places that depression is focused on the past, and anxiety is projecting fear into the future. I definitely agree with the anxiety part. Nearly all of my anxiety is made up of obsessing over horrible things that may happen in the future. Mostly, I get terrified of future panic attacks, and have a good amount of really weird and irrational phobias.

Basically, I’m plagued with “what if” thoughts all the time. My brain does something like this:

What if I have a panic attack?

What if I get stranded?

What if I suddenly fall down unconscious?

So, to curb these nasty what-if thoughts, I’ve started saying, “then I’ll deal with it.”

I try not to get upset with myself for having them. Instead if they come up now, it goes like this:

“What if I have a panic attack? Then I’ll deal with it then.”

“What if I get stranded? As unlikely as that is, if it happens I’ll deal with it.”

“What if I suddenly fall down unconscious? Then I’ll deal with it, but I don’t need to worry about it right now.”

I’ve found that by adding the, “then I’ll deal with it,” helps because I’m reassuring myself that even if the worst things happen, I’ll deal with it, and I’m telling my brain that there’s no reason for me to be worrying about it, because if it happens I’ve got it under control.

Since I’ve been doing this, my what-if thoughts have reduced dramatically. I still have them, and sure, sometimes I forget to tell myself that I’ll deal with it – but more often than not, I do remind myself that if something happens, I’m capable of dealing with it.

There are so many other tools that I use, but this is already nearing 2,000 words, and I’ll save more for a future post. Hell, I’ve spent over five years compiling these tools and putting them into practice as much as possible. I’ve read every freaking self-help book under the sun, which is definitely going to be a post at some point. I’ve read every panic/anxiety workbook, inspirational self-help books, books on meditation, mindfulness, and more. I devour them, and there are so many to wade through that it can be overwhelming.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and panic, I hope that some of this helped. Please feel free to share anything that has helped you with your own struggles in the comments section! I’m always looking for new techniques and tools to be a happier and more functional human being. And if you have any questions about anything I mentioned, feel free to ask and I’ll get back to you as best I can!