This is quite a personal post for me, but I wanted to share it with you in case anyone reading has also felt this way. I truly believe that this year I have improved in terms of my mental health, and I want to share a snippet of my experience with you. I remember I used to cry every week, every few days. The only way to express this is that it drained my soul. I used to feel a certain level of fear when I knew I would be going out. I’d have a panic attack several times a month and it was debilitating. If you’d like to have a better understanding about what a panic attack is and read about my experience with anxiety, depression and panic attacks, please feel free to read more here.
I have far less panic attacks than ever before, and I wanted to share some changes I made in my life in order to take control. What made me want to write about this, was because I recently had a panic attack after a long period of not having one, and I was experiencing suicidal thoughts again. In the past, this would happen too often. I can’t express how important it is to speak out about it even when it feels incredibly hard. This time I realised how much more I love and care for myself, and knew I needed to go to the counselor again since my last time going four years ago. It’s never wrong to seek help or speak out about how you’re feeling with someone you trust.
If you ever feel you are having mental health problems, please see a doctor. It’s very easy for someone to throw the term anxiety, depression and having a panic attack around and self diagnose. It’s easy for someone to say “I’m feeling depressed” but they may or may not be just feeling sad. What I’ve found helpful is to write an anxiety diary for one week, to see what makes me feel anxious during the day and to decide what I can do about it. The best thing to do is to see a healthcare professional. They would have a talk with me, let me take a mental health test and ask me questions on my experience. This will clarify many things.
The advice I received from the counselor was very helpful, and the counselor told me that at the core of anxiety, there is always a reason. I found this extremely important, because there are times where I forget that. One of the ways I’ve improved my anxiety these past two months have been going out for long walks for 2-3 hours. I finally bought new trainers recently, after walking in my boots and wearing their poor soles out. This has really helped with my breathing, appreciation for being alive in this world and just learning to face my fears and go outside of my comfort zone. It also releases stress and allows me to think properly.
It’s so important to love yourself and be kinder to myself. We can sometimes be the hardest on ourselves. We can be kind and loving to other people, but forget to be kind and loving to ourselves. This is so true for myself, because I found that negative self talk is the same as talking to someone unkindly. No one deserves to be hurt. The more love and kindness we pour into ourselves, the more we pour out into the world. Our thoughts create our life. Creating a habit of gratitude has truly helped more than I can express, and realising the power of our thoughts and how our thoughts create the life we want to live, makes me realise that we all deserve to live a good life.
Remember to eat healthy and good foods and drink enough water. I can’t emphasise enough how much food and keeping hydrated affects our mood, mind and body. A few years ago I would resist going outdoors even when the ones I love were constantly giving me advice to go outside for a short walk. The more I resisted, the more fear it built. Now, when I go for a walk, it’s natural and I don’t feel any fear anymore. I remember being invited to networking events in Sydney, and I’d always turn them down. I’d miss the opportunity to meet amazing people. We create opportunities for ourselves, when we face our fears. It makes life more exciting to go outside of your comfort zone.
If you ever feel depressed, anxious or you have a panic attack, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help. A few years ago, I was feeling negative and attracting negative people and situations into my life. Remember, your thoughts have so much power. The more good thoughts we have, the more we attract good things into our lives. It reflects the law of attraction and the radiating power of positivity, love and kindness. Surround yourself with good people and be at present in this world with the feeling that makes you feel good. If someone is being unkind, don’t resist or react, just let them be. The way we react to things comes down to ourselves.
I’ve recently been reading a book with these wise words and I want to share some with you. We have so much love to give, and the more that we give, the more we receive. Life is mirroring back to you what you are holding inside you. Take a moment to think about all that nature gives to you every single day so that you can live. And yet nature never asks for anything in return. That is true giving. “A feeling that greater possessions, no matter what kind they may be, will of themselves bring contentment or happiness, is a misunderstanding. No person, place, or thing can give you happiness. They may give you a cause for happiness and a feeling of contentment, but the Joy of Living comes from within.” – Genevieve Behrend (1881-1960).