If you read my Story about a girl, you kind of get I’ve been going through a rough patch. Some of the chapters are more fiction than a complete truth, but essentially they all rise from personal, very real experiences and feelings.
That said, I’ve been experiencing quite a roller coaster of negative emotions and anxiety in the past few months. It wasn’t my first time though. My head always had a dark part, although I’ve managed to keep it under control these past few years. But it got too much recently. The feelings are coming and going and the only thing I can do about it, is to control my reaction. The thing is, my brains are very tricky thing and things that would work 4 months ago, now don’t help at all. Going through something like that can make a person feel very alone. But you are not, I am not.
That’s why I’ve decided to open up. Writing short stories was the first step and now, I also want to share few tips of how to get through.
1. Find the triggers
Bad mood is triggered by certain events. PMS, a broken glass on the floor, complaining of a coworker, spoiled food, stress… It’s a reaction of your brain to something that happened. Try and stop to think what the trigger in certain situation might be. Chances are, it can be avoided next time.
2. Reality check
Almost every second bad mood starts with a disappointment. Our expectations are incredibly tied to our moods, which would suggest that there is some good logic behind keeping your expectations in check.
3. Return to optimism
Our thoughts are the most powerful tool we have when it comes to mood control. Did you know that it’s actually physically impossible to think about two things at once? Practice thinking optimistic thoughts as often as you can.
That’s living. Right now. Gratitude can also help us to reframe the inevitable disappointments of life. The next time you’re feeling disappointed about a situation, challenge yourself to see if you can change your mood about it.
One of the simplest ways you can raise your mood set point is by incorporating daily exercise into your life. I began by walking our dog and finally started to work out again. For the first time, I’ve done a proper yoga class (I felt especially rough that day) and it helped a lot. I will now incorporate it into my workout routine for sure.
6. Cherish small happy moments
If flowers make you happy, get yourself a bouquet of tulips just because. Eating breakfast on the sun, blasting music, having a Friday evening completely free to lay on the couch… All these little things can bring you happiness, so do them as often as you can.
7. Stop, breathe and accept
Accept that sometimes the world just feels strange. It might be just a day or a whole month, but denying the truth will only make it worse. Even though right now it feels like everything is falling apart, even when nothing is happening, know that that too shall pass eventually. Maybe not today, maybe a week later you’d want. It’s okay. Maybe none of the above will help in that moment. In that case, stop what you’re doing, take few moments to just breathe and accept the situation.
8. Share only when ready
Not everyone needs to know what’s wrong. It might help if you tell the closest people around you that you’re having a though time, but they don’t need to know the details. Share only when you’re comfortable talking about it and choose what you want to share. Ask for support if you feel like you need it.
Accepting that anxiety is real and will not go away by itself can be hard, but it’s the first step to regaining control. I had though time accepting that it’s a part of me and will never really go away, but over the years I learned to ride with it. I’ve opened up to my closest and the feedback was heartwarming. I just hope that a part of my story will help you conquer it too.