When I first started to feel anxious, part of me felt scared and the other part of me felt ashamed. A torrent of thoughts washed through my mind that seemed to always end up at the same conclusion: why is this happening to me?
I’m no expert on the subject by any means, and can only talk from my own personal experiences. For me, what got me through and continues to get me through is reinforcing the same thoughts: I am worthy and I belong here.
Believe me, I understand it’s easier said than done. When everything feels like it is crumbling around you, it’s difficult to believe that you will ever have the tools to rebuild. But, if you change your perspective, it might not be as bad as you think. You have a foundation, and that is all it really takes to build a beautiful structure.
But think about it – is everything really crumbling? Or are negative thoughts impacting your clarity? That’s the tricky part in regards to my own anxiety. My automatic thoughts have a nasty habit of negatively influencing my mood. An extremely common symptom of anxiety in general.
WHERE TO GET HELP
This is where a trained counsellor or psychologist can help. They can help you reframe your thinking and challenge those unhelpful thoughts. Keeping in mind not all negative thoughts are necessarily bad. It sounds counterintuitive I know, but it’s part of the fight or flight survival mechanism. You actually need some unhelpful thoughts in order to survive.
That sounds scarier than it actually is, what I mean by that is that some thoughts are designed to keep you safe. Think of crossing a street and you notice a car, you might instinctively step back on to the kerb. That’s your fight or flight mechanism hard at work. It is designed to keep you safe, it’s just sometimes your brain misinterprets scenarios as dangerous when they are anything but.
It’s a lot to take in, especially when you feel overwhelmed already. It does and will get better if you ask for help. I’ve seen psychologists and psychiatrists and it’s really not as scary as it sounds. They are there to help you. It can be a slow and gradual process, but there is indeed hope for everyone: including you!
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line, as well as online resources on a range of issues.