a conscious step
June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Despair can ravage you
if you turn your head around to look down the path
that’s led you here,
cause what can you change?
– This is Not an Exit, Saves the Day
Three days in a row I sat down to write and share my history with you but I hit a brick wall. Writer’s block came in to protect me from old habits but I just kept thinking there is an important history here that needs to be shared. People need to hear how I struggled with anxiety and depression. People want to know how I finally kicked the Effexor habit and how my mind was healed one breath at a time. They need to hear that even though my mind was being healed I still had episodes of panic attacks and that the cure didn’t come overnight.
Those things are all true and would probably be helpful to some people but as I started to recall those stories I started to feel down. I started beating that old me up with my thoughts. Man, did I really waste all that time being anxious about nothing? Was I really that sad of a person? How could anyone have loved me then? As I recalled more of the details I even started to get anxious that those symptoms could return, and maybe they could but I don’t need to spend today worrying about that. I don’t need to beat my old self up and I don’t need to worry that she could return. Today, what matters is that I am happy, healthy, and anxiety free.
Maybe you suffered from anxiety or depression yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you have to today. You don’t have to identify as a sufferer of depression, you can choose to identify as a conqueror of depression/anxiety/etc. You conquer these things by taking one conscious step forward and never looking back.
What does a conscious step forward look like?
It is a single moment of peace. You might take a minute to breath deeply, focusing on the sound of your breath and not the constant stream of thought. One breath is a step forward. One breath is all it takes to start rewiring your brain. When the voices in your head start up again, stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and take a couple of deep breaths. Tell yourself “one deep breath is a step forward”. In this way you are training your brain to see positive growth even though your brain typically wants to believe that one breath isn’t enough.
Fill your mind with beauty, or insane cuteness. Do you know why all those puppy and kitty pictures are so popular? It’s hard to look at a baby kitten curled up in the arms of a Great Dane and not feel the corners of your mouth turn up. Hard day at work? Open up one of those old emails from Aunt Tina and let your frown melt, maybe even work up a smile. Puppies aren’t your thing? Maybe a flower, or a mountain, a river, or a sunset. Find out what makes the corners of your mouth turn up and keep an arsenal of frown stoppers around. It only takes a single moment of bliss to get you out of your funk. One moment at a time. Don’t get caught up in thinking about how this isn’t working or how bad things seem just let one bit of beauty into your mind at a time. Not convinced? Click This and feel your heart melt. Right?
Enjoy one breath, one moment, one ray of light and the whole world stops spinning just for you.