There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love and thrive being around people, and those who find it exhausting. I have always been the one who is the life of a party. I am loud and constantly seeking for attention or looking for a laugh. As a teenager who had anxiety and depression, I was still my loud and usual self because it was who I was and I refused to let that go. However, there was a great quality I learned from those who are introverted. That quality was setting a time in the day to just have time to think and be alone.
Taking time for yourself can come in many ways! You can go and see a movie, read a book, or simply ponder while eating lunch. Taking the time to be by yourself gives you sufficient time to really think about what is going on in your life. For me I chose to pray and meditate. Wayne Dyer said:
“Meditation is difficult for many people because their thoughts are always on some distant object or place. One form of meditation is to label the thought as it appears and then choose to let it go.”
Having OCD means that my thoughts are going a million miles and hour and my anxiety makes it so that I obsess over the same thoughts over and over and over and over and over and over again. Its really annoying. But setting aside time each day to just not think and pray instead really helped me realize that everything in the end will be okay. Instead of constantly obsessing over one thought, I learned to let it go and no longer care about it. This helped me to no longer negatively connect the dots (see previous post).
Another thing that helped me as a kid to take time for myself was to be outside. There is something about nature and being outside that heals the soul. It takes all worries away and you can forget about any obsessions that may be causing distress. As a kid, hiking, camping, riding my bike, or just playing soccer was another form of me just taking time for myself. You see, your brain is like a muscle. When you are constantly obsessing and feeling anxious it gets fatigued and just wants to give up. Think of when you have been in a high stressful situation (I always think of taking a test at school) and after that situation you feel completely exhausted even though you sat in the same spot the entire time! Well it is because your brain needed a break. Taking a break to just get outdoors and relax has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111904199404576538260326965724(Click here to read more).
So, the moral of this blog post? TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!!! Don’t be so high strung that you can’t relax. Find the time to relax and really just lose yourself and forget the anxious thoughts. It may take practice at first but with consistent daily effort this can become one of the best tools to feeling hope again.