“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy”
Your worries, anxieties and fear of panic attacks do not have to limit what you can do in life.
Can they make things that bit harder?
Of course, but it doesn’t have to stop you.
The negative thoughts often surface quickest when you are trying to take on a new challenge or do something outside of your comfort zone. The feelings of self-doubt can be strong and very real.
That is why it is important to have perspective.
If all you are doing is just getting by and end up spending the rest of your life shying away from the world it’s likely you’ll never really feel fulfilled. This is then likely to feed into your negative thought processes and only make things worse.
At the same time, pushing yourself to do more and be more can be frightening, especially at first.
What you require is a sound base to build upon. Somewhere you can steady your thoughts and calm your mind.
This can be done by simply learning to appreciate the smaller things in life. Those which we often take for granted, forget or subconsciously discount.
We have given so much importance to things like money, success, social status, opinions of others, consumer goods and material possessions. Yet these are things which can only give you a short high and you end up always chasing the next one.
The things which can actually make us feel better every day are overlooked. They aren’t really the small things, they’re the big things in terms of their importance of giving our minds an even keel to work from.
Being able to enjoy the little things in life is often one of the hardest things for anxious and depressed people to do.
Like all thought processes it takes time to establish, but it’s important to learn to do so.
Let me explain
General anxiety leads you to worry about all manner of things. Many of which you know deep down really just don’t matter.
It can be so consuming that you forget to stop, take a step back and be thankful for the things things in life you do have.
From time to time it’s good to just reassess your situation. To sit quietly and really appreciate the things in your life which you have and can feel thankful for.
The biggest one for me actually seems quite strange when you say it.
I’m thankful just to be here.
Many of you may have had days when you wished you were’t here, but that’s only because your negative thinking can warp your thoughts so much that you think things which you know just aren’t true.
How about a better way of thinking?
Appreciate that you even get to have those thoughts and feelings.
That you’re able to make choices in what you do and who you are, and as far as possible get to live a life you want to lead.
It doesn’t matter why you believe this world exists or how we came to inhabit it.
Be it science or religion – it’s a ‘miracle’ either way.
Be thankful for the small things
These really can be anything. Whatever things you have in your life that you enjoy doing.
Here are a few examples to start you off:
- Being here – just the fact you beat that billion to one (and probably more) odds of being born and got the chance to experience the world.
- Spending time with friends and family – being with people who you know care about you. Be thankful that you get to share your experiences with these people and enjoy the real meaningful connections involved.
- The ability to love – being able to experience the amazing feeling of love and being loved.
- The beauty of nature – our planet is an amazing place. Sometimes nothing lifts your spirits more than just appreciating the world around you. It could be watching the waves crashing on a beach or getting to watch a sunset over the mountains.
- Your home – having a place of your own, somewhere you can call ‘mine’.
- Your health – if you are in good health you should always be thankful, even more so if you also have the time and get to enjoy exercising and keeping fit.
- Your time – that you have time to call your own, where you can do the things you want and share it with the people who are important to you.
You may not have all of these, but of course you may have others you can think of too.
However, it only takes a few to be able to appreciate what you do have. To realise things could be a whole lot worse, especially when compared to how some people have had to live and in some cases still do.
The most important one is your time, and the way to be thankful for that is by making sure you make the most of it.
That’s why it is so important not to allow your thoughts to stop you doing what you want to do.
So when you are feeling down and the anxious thoughts roll in, take the time to be thankful for the small things, those things in life you may otherwise have forgotten.
Use those thoughts to raise your spirits, improve your mood and then you can begin to build upon what you already have.
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