My 8 Favourite Quotes and How They Help My Anxiety

From time to time, I come across motivational quotes. I usually see them on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. It’s amazing what an inspirational quote can do for the soul. Especially when one really stands out, you realise that you’re not alone in how you feel.
So what quotes really resonate with me? What feeds my soul and helps with my anxiety?
  1. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened- Dr Suess. I think this ones really important, it ties in with mindfulness quite well too- during our life we will experience so many different things, some will make us happy and some will make us sad. But say something happy happens like an amazing friendship or relationship or job; when that’s over does that mean it wasn’t a happy thing? No…. so we should be thankful for the past and present. It’s easy to cry because something good has past, but we should smile because we were that lucky to begin with and we should then focus on the future.
  2. Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind- Bernard M Banich. I’m always trying to please people and with anxiety comes a certain form of social anxiety. This can be really difficult to handle at times but quotes like this one do make me realise; whatever I say to my friends and family, they shouldn’t mind and will support me whatever the weather. But if people are finding me annoying/ irritating etc then those are the people who shouldn’t matter to me! If people are going to be negative and drag you down or make you feel embarrassed or bad then they shouldn’t be in your life anyway.
  3. Dance like nobody’s watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like no ones listening and live like it’s heaven on Earth- William W Purkey. I think we need to find more joy in the everyday life so I love this quote because we should be doing exactly what it says! Living a more mindful and joyous life to help cast away negativity and anxiety.
  4. You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams- Dr Suess. I love this, I think I first read this quote when I was falling in love with my husband and it is so true! Two children later and we love our sleep, but I also love our life that we’ve built together.
  5. Be the change that you wish to see in the world- Ghandi. It’s easy to blame the harshness on the World on others. But for me, I want to see more kinds in this World, but in order to see it more, we need to lead the way. By being kinder ourselves, I believe we initiate a change in our lives. We welcome change then and encourage it. We can’t be ignorant and continue to be selfish, we must be kinder ourselves if that’s the World we want to live in.
  6. In 3 words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life; it goes on- Robert Frost. This is a huge one for me. Anxiety can be so consuming and scary. It can be terrifying and when you’re going through a particular difficult patch, all hope can feel lost. So, when I see this quote I realise that everything I’ve endured, I have overcome and regardless of what rubbish situation I have been through in the past, life has always just gone on and things get a little easier each day.
  7. I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one bit yourself and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together- Marilyn Monroe. Again, when you’re in the midst of an anxiety meltdown, this quote has always helped to make me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, when I look back at particular parts of my past, I can actually think more clearly and realise that things did happen that way for a reason and usually at the end of the situation, I can see the reason. Don’t get me wrong, it’s frustrating when the reason is unknown or unclear yet and certainly thats when anxiety feels at it’s worse- because it’s the fear of the unknown that gets me. On the whole though, I do whole heartily agree with this quote and I have to remember it when I am feeling particularly anxious or upset about anything.
  8. You have to let people go. Everyone who’s in your life are meant to be in your journey, but not all of them are meant to stay till the end- Unknown. There are so many similar quotes out there to this one. I think a lot of the time I do feel quite anxious about my social life. I always get scared of losing friends and social media certainly doesn’t help. But, when I read quotes like this I realise that I have to let go and let what’s meant to be, be. Worrying or trying to control the situation does nothing and neither does beating myself up about it when a friend and I go our separate ways; as stated, it’s totally normal for this to happen. I just need to learn to let go.

Quotes can be a fantastic way of making sense of the world. It’s someone else’s pearls of wisdom written into lovely little statements that can be passed on from person to person and now we are able to access a huge world wide web full of them. OK, it’s good not to take them too seriously but they are great for a bit of mindful inspiration and I have found them fantastic for helping with my anxiety and making sense of the devil on my shoulder. For more ways of handling an anxiety flare up, check out this post. 

StockSnap_H5HE9KUGX1.jpg

Why not pop a comment below and let me know what you think? And also don’t forget to sign up or follow me on my Facebook to join me on my journey of tackling the mental health stigma and helping ourselves and others in the process.

 

How to Begin Tackling Anxiety

Anxiety is scary. It is terrifying. It can easily begin to take over your life through your thoughts, feeding on your fears and stopping you from going where you want to go in life, even if it is just into town to meet a friend. It makes you question your life, yourself and everything else. It leaves your mind curled up in a never ending tangle of thoughts, what ifs and whys. Before 4 years ago, I had never experienced anything like it. And those first couple of years of suffering with it were overwhelming and I felt like I had no control over anything. It was the most frustrating thing, being young and wanting to get on and do things with my life but fearing what would happen each time I even tried something new or even something old at times. I was ridden with worry. So how did I begin to tackle it?

I have already written a few posts about my anxiety, from Me Against Anxiety to How To Cope When Anxiety Flares Up.

In this post, I want to show you how I started to tackle the dreaded monster that sits on my shoulder, whispering to me why I can’t achieve something and telling me all of the possible ways an event could go wrong.

You see, there’s something anxiety hates. Something that a lot of people don’t realise. It’s something fairly simple. But it can make a huge difference. Anxiety hates it because it diffuses it’s power over you.

It’s like putting a glass over a giant spider. The spider’s still there, but somehow it’s easier to deal with beneath the glass. It’s a little less daunting.

So what is it? How can you begin to tackle the anxiety that you have been living with?

By talking.

It sounds daft. You talk all the time right?! Maybe you do even talk about the things that worry you. But I mean really talk about it.

I have seen so many terrible news reports on suicides this year. It breaks my heart that these people felt that they had no where else to turn, no one else to talk to. That this was their only answer. Why is mental health still not talked about enough? Perhaps people are afraid of what others will think, that they have to put on a show and a brave face. I’m saying we need to talk about it more. Don’t be afraid.

Honestly, I think if more people talk about it, soon we will realise that some of those crazy irrational fears we think we have turn out to be normal worries that a lot of people are thinking in their head but are too afraid to say it.

Let’s be open.

I used to hide my anxiety. I had a couple of friends that didn’t, and still don’t quite understand how I feel. They don’t realise the huge impact this can have on someone’s life. Yes, I have pushed myself and I have worked hard on battling it and getting somewhat better, but I still suffer. But the difference is, whether people understand or not, I talk. It is horrible when a friend doesn’t understand, but I realise now that that’s more of a flaw on them and their kindness then it is a flaw of mine.

If you speak to people more openly about anxiety, it takes anxiety’s power away. It’s no longer that secret monster on your shoulder whispering hurtful and frightening things. It’s an exposed monster. One that crumbles when it sees the light of day.

Whether it’s a friend or a family member, Samaritans or your doctor. Please just talk. Tell them how you feel, how you’re struggling and you will soon begin to see the anxiety monster get smaller and smaller and easier to deal with.

I’ve met some incredible new people lately… mostly Mums as we arrange play dates. All of them know I suffer with anxiety. I told them. I didn’t ‘bang on’ about it, but I did openly confess that it’s something I suffer with and that at times I get nervous and overwhelmed. Turns out, they’ve been through similar. Now I don’t need to mention it unless I feel the need, because by exposing it, I felt more comfortable. And now I can enjoy these lovely people’s company knowing that anxiety isn’t there- being my dirty secret. It’s exposed, and these people seem genuinely caring and understanding. I felt better for telling them.

We need to raise awareness. 

It’s surprising how common anxiety is. And I truly believe that the more we can talk about it to friends, family and our partners; the more we can tackle this together and raise awareness for mental health so that it becomes far less of a problem in our lives.

If you feel that you have no one to turn to, then please reach out to your doctor, or phone the Samaritans. No one is going to judge you for this. And no one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed. Mental health affects so many people throughout their lives. It does not make us any less of an amazing human being. It just means that sometimes our brains get tired and need a little help, whether that’s as simple as talking to someone, or something more. We should do what we can to look after ourselves.

After all, a lot of people will talk about their physical pain- from migraines, to back pain, arthritis to tooth pain. Our mental health is just as important, if not more important than our physical health. So, we should just as openly talk about when we are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, scared or ridden with anxiety.

I still suffer with anxiety. Some days are worse than others. Some days I still feel alone, even when I know I should talk to someone. I feel like a burden. But then I realise that if a friend or anybody came to me saying they were suffering, I would want to help. There is too much sadness and suicide in the World. We need to talk and to listen. We need to raise awareness. Ask anyone you know, “Are you ok?” and listen, and don’t say their worries are silly. Because to them they are a mountain, even if it is a mole hill. With time, and your help, they will tackle that mountain until it becomes more manageable. So, I talk. I talk and I blurt it out, without worrying about judgement because I know how important it is to talk. And my goodness, does it feel better afterwards. So yes, I struggle at times still, but now I struggle with people around to help me. Or I struggle alongside someone else. But knowing you are not alone, is amazing.

Check out resources. 

There are some fantastic groups online for mental health too, check your local Facebook groups. Talk to people that are in the same boat. It really does make all the difference. There is hope for us all- we can do this. But please please, begin tackling anxiety by talking about it.

Follow my blog on Facebook to see some positive, motivational and honest open posts from time to time (link above). And please do comment and follow the blog to join me on a journey of tackling mental health.

You can call the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123. This phone number is free to call. 

Visit Mind for more resources and information on mental health.  

alone-2666433_1920.jpg

 

 

 

 

Me Against Social Media

Social media is such a difficult subject to touch on. But I think it’s a really important one. I have really mixed feelings when it comes to social media, in particular Facebook.

Without it, I wouldn’t have what I call an external memory drive for my photos, should my laptop or phone ever break at the same time. I wouldn’t have a way of communicating with some people. I wouldn’t be able to see how school friends, uni friends, family and all the other people that have passed through my life are getting on. I wouldn’t get entertainment or news or articles so fast.

But then I also wouldn’t compare quite so much.

I wouldn’t worry about my social status through the perception of how many likes, comments or friends I had on there.

I wouldn’t be scrolling in a quite happy and content mood to see something that evokes jealousy, sadness or hurt which then instantly throws my mood upside down and makes me sulk into myself, barely muttering a word to my husband for the rest of the evening when he has done nothing wrong.

Some of the happiest people I know are those that barely use their social media or don’t have it at all.

Yes, it’s great for a cute video on cats or celebrity memes to circulate but is it great for your mental health?

This is such a complex issue. I have a love hate relationship with it. I enjoy social media, but I don’t enjoy the effect it can have on so many people’s mental health.

I watched the most insightful video last year about Facebook and the endorphin dopermine it realises in the body when you get a like. It is proven to be addictive. Which is scary. Maybe a more realistic view of social media is what I need.

One golden rule to happiness is to not compare your life to someone else’s. But how hard is this when social media is right there at our finger tips? When someone has anxiety, and you feel low about something, naturally your brain will then pick up on other things to support your upsetting mood and anxious mind. So a trip on social media is the worst thing. Soon enough, I find myself comparing everything. From how successful others appear to be, how happy they seem, how social, how much they go out, what holidays they go on, where they live, what job they do. And my humble little life seems so small, so insignificant. It doesn’t seem good enough.

But when I am in a good mood, I am so proud of everything I have. And pull me away from all of those comparisons, how do I feel then? I love my life. My family. My friends. I really truly do. But Facebook is everyones highlight reels. How many times do you see uplifting posts compared to negative ones? I’ve had friends knowingly be upset and they have spoken to me about why they’re upset but they put a post on Facebook saying the complete opposite thing- according to their posts, they appear to be happy, in love, successful, motivated and like nothing is bothering them. When I know it is.

Despite this knowledge, despite being guilty of doing this myself and seeing friends do it, I often forget that it is a highlight reel. Not many people put their dirty laundry on Facebook.

I’ve even sat there and pondered, why does x have more friends on there? Or even in real life? Why does y get more followers on their page? Why does z have more comments and likes? They have thousands, why don’t I?

At the end of the day, none of that should really matter. A friend sent me this interesting quote;

IMG_7804

I think this counts for all social media. And I can totally relate, I know people with hundreds of followers, or ones that get hundreds of likes, yet live a very humble and quiet life. Then I know some very social people that either don’t really use their social media, or when they do, they don’t get much “attention” on it, shall we say?

A huge thing with comparing your life, be it your on or offline life or how many likes and friends on there you have, is that everyone is unique. That is what makes life so interesting. We have all had different upbringings. And particularly with the age we are at now, we have all been through such different walks of life already; whether some went to university, some travelled, some had babies early, some had a career. So how can we possibly compare? Some have friends that enjoy engaging in social media everyday. I know the tight circle around me doesn’t. Which I think does help to keep me grounded actually. Not many of my friends or family engage on social media, whether on their own or commenting or liking mine. It doesn’t mean they don’t ‘like’ me, it means that our connection goes deeper than that. In a world that is being taken over by technology and social media, I am trying my best to focus on REAL connections rather than false likes.

The worst part of social media is when you try to be genuine on it, you try to comment and like friends from the past’s posts. And it is a kick in the teeth when it feels like it is never reciprocated. Sometimes I wonder why I bother? Why do I like x’s post when they never like mine? Why do I follow what they put? Why do I try to message and engage in a REAL conversation when it is never returned?

I don’t really have an answer for any of that. I don’t know why. But it boils down, once again, to everyone being different. We don’t all have the same heart, time or priorities. We don’t all use social media in the same way, so perhaps an old friend from school may see my posts, appreciate them but not like them as they don’t feel the need to. Why do I? This is where I need to step outside of the social media bubble and think…. do I really want to let this tear me down? Make my anxieties worse? Or do I just want to rise above it?

We know it is a highlight reel, we know that likes, comments and followers aren’t a real reflection of someones life and social circle. Although I don’t know why effort on social media doesn’t go both ways, I do know that I can only be myself. I will continue to like posts, to comment, because that is just who I am. I care. Everyone I have on my social media, I have had some sort of connection with in the past and to me, if they’ve been a part of this scary but wonderful journey of life, then I care. You can never regret being kind and friendly. Even when it isn’t returned. Especially when it isn’t returned. My anxieties have turned me into a far more thoughtful person and that is my silver lining.

The other thing about all of this social media madness, is that it makes me realise that this blog and the awareness I am trying to give to mental health and anxiety is more important than ever. I want to show the raw side to life. It isn’t always peachy. It isn’t always the highlight reel that you see online. No, I do not douse my social media in depressing posts. But what I will do is continue this blog and my Facebook page- because if anyone else feels this way, I want you to know that you are not alone. We can all feel sadness and hurt from social media. Whether its from the issues above, or whether its because seeing past friends moving on with their life can hurt. Social media is a constant reminder of what was, what could have been and what now is. Sometimes this quite frankly sucks.

Social media though, can do a lot of good too. Some of my close friends live hours away and social media allows me to keep up with their lives and lets me keep in touch via messenger. It allows me to see what family and friends are up to and to be able to tag them in comical memes or share events in the local area.

But now, it is time to put boundaries in place.

From now on, I am to never allow social media to tear down a happy mood again. Mindfulness has taught me that I can feel hurt when I see something, but that I should let this feeling happen and past, instead of absorbing myself in it. Instead of allowing a status or photo someone has put up to consume me. It’s time I let myself feel a pang of hurt but let it go and focus on REAL life.

I will never compare my REAL life with that of someone’s social media life. To not compare likes, friends, followers and comments- as we all know, our lives and friendship circles are different so that will naturally reflect. I promise to never use social media as a weapon in friendships.

What I will do is be more REAL on my social media. And focus more on REAL life, real friends, real family and real connections. To not consume my time and energy online but to indulge in the everyday normal simple pleasures in life. And I will continue to try and help anyone else suffering with anxiety.

smartphone-1957740_1920

Does any of this resonate with you? Does social media get you down? Follow me on Facebook (link on the page) to follow how I get on with a month of putting these new boundaries in place. Will they help? Will using social media get easier? Will time away from it help? Comment below, I would love to hear from you.