The intruding thoughts, the paranoia, the hurriedness to finish a task, is it all just in my head?
Yes. But, also no.
Of course the thinking is literally in my head. But, I’m not making up all these negative obtrusive thoughts. Or am I? You see, when you think 1,000 thoughts in a minute’s time it can get fairly confusing. Yes, I do live with anxiety and depression and have done so for much longer than I first thought (therapy is a funny yet beautiful thing). BUT – my anxiety and depression do not define me.
Just because I hear negative thoughts creeping into every moment of my day, does not mean that those are my own, true reality. Or are they? Now I’m just getting too existential and need to take a step back. LOL
What I’m getting at is this: humans are multi-faceted beings. You can have one side to your personality or 10. And lately, I think I’ve begun to almost relish in my melancholic side. Do any of you get that way?
I’m not saying I’ve enjoyed this struggle bus I’ve been riding for what feels like forever, but lately I’ve been thinking I’ve let myself use my mental illnesses as an excuse. An excuse to be antisocial. An excuse to not go to the gym. An excuse to ignore responsibilities.
Sometimes it seems you are climbing an uphill battle, and hey, maybe you are. But working on ways to counteract those negative thoughts and actions is what will get you to that holy grail of a destination: peace.
My dad, the wisest, kindest, most optimistic person I know (he’s also a psychologist so hey, he’s got the proper training, too) once told me that to keep yourself at peace, you must replace each negative thought with a positive one. And when the negativity seems to be taking over no matter how hard you try, you can’t give up. Hating on yourself for looking fat or unkempt in your outfit today? Tell yourself you’re beautiful. Say it out loud if you have to. Shit, write it down!
We all have our ups and downs, and I personally have been on a down for a while now. But I haven’t given up. I won’t give up. Adding positive and healthy habits into your routine is a great way to start.
For example, I’ve been reading so much more lately. I used to always have my nose deep in the spine of a book, but I got off the reading train in college and never quite hopped back on. Until last year. Not only does reading make me happy, but it also is a non-electronic activity, which are few and far between these days. It also helps me fall asleep easier and more quickly than if I turn on the TV. Which means…drumroll please…I wake up more easily!
Getting out of bed on the right foot really goes a long way. Forcing yourself to find the silver lining helps, trust me. Yesterday I had the day off of work, and when I first woke up I couldn’t wait to just lie in bed all day and watch TV. But why? Sure, a leisurely day is necessary, especially when your body and mind need rest, but too many lazy days is what starts your downward spiraling.
So, what did I do? I said NO to my negativity and got out of bed and went to yoga. As soon as I had my breathing regulated and hit my first down dog, I immediately felt a release of stress. Pain, hurting, anxious and depressive thoughts quickly crept out with each huff.
I felt so great afterwards and ended up having a fully productive day, all the way down to putting up Valentine’s decorations at midnight (still working on the whole falling asleep thing, it’s a marathon not a sprint y’all gimme a break).
So here’s to replacing each negative thought with a positive one. Let’s spread more peace – Lord knows our world needs it now more than ever.