When struggling with anxious feelings, it’s so easy to dwell on them, making you feel miserable and even worse. Believe it or not, it is possible to stay positive whilst struggling with anxiety. Staying positive is a key aspect of any kind of recovery and is absolutely necessary when you a suffering from bouts of extreme anxiety.
In my experience, the less optimistic I was, the worse I felt. It sounds obvious, right? It is. If you’re suffering from a major panic attack, it’s rather difficult to think positive thoughts. The trick to practice positive thinking before it gets to the panic attack stage.
Staying positive is easier said than done, but there are some effective ways I have found useful to enable me to calm down my emotions and get them to a level where I have control:
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1) Put positive notes around your room or at your desk at work.
This trick really helped me when I was struggling. Sometimes you’re so deep in negative thought you need external help to remind you to stay positive. I also found it helpful when I began putting up pictures of myself as a little girl on my wall at home because it made me want to get better. You would never want a little girl to suffer the same feelings you do now.
2) Do things that make you happy.
It’s hard to stay positive in life when you’re not doing things every day that make you happy. Find things that you enjoy doing – whether that be hanging out with friends, reading, exercising, listening to music, playing video games, or even baking. These kinds of activities can help take your mind off of your anxiety and give you the positivity boost you need.
3) Talk through your emotions with people close to you.
It’s so easy to get so deep into your negative thoughts you begin to dwell on them, making yourself feel even worse. Talking to people about how you’re feeling or even just talking to them about something else can help you feel better. Whether it be a friend, family member, or a counsellor, an outside voice can help you to make sense of your thoughts and bring you back down to earth.
And last but not least…
4) Fake it ’til you make it.
You hear this often and for a good reason: it works. Even though I don’t believe some of the things I say to myself when I’m feeling anxious, my positive words do seem to help. Try telling yourself you’re going to be okay; you have everything under control. Repeat it over and over again. Again, you may not believe you’re going to be okay, but the truth is you are.
I used to find I felt more positive and therefore less anxious after having sessions with my counsellor.
This was because I was able to talk her through how I was feeling and she was able to rationalize my thoughts in a way I wasn’t able to do myself. My counsellor would then give me tools to enable me to bring my anxiety down, which made me feel as though I was more equipped to handle my anxiety by myself. If you’re not already seeing a counsellor/therapist, I highly recommend you look into it.
Staying positive while struggling with anxiety can sound very difficult; it takes a lot of practice and patience to actually begin to feel positive.
You will have days that seem easier than others, but you just need to remind yourself to think positive thoughts and have faith in yourself. It will get better.
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