HOW I STAY POSITIVE WHEN EVERYTHING IS WRONG.

Recently, it has felt like my entire world has been crashing down around me.

I’ve been trying to find a job that would be easy enough for me to manage (with my bipolar disorder and severe anxiety), but I haven’t found one. I was taken to the hospital about a week ago and they (almost) sent me to the psych floor, but they let me go home with strict rules I am still following today. My sister was supposed to have a mass removed from her throat on Friday; she went to the hospital, they poked her several times trying to find a vein and they finally got an IV in her radial artery which caused a lot of nerve pain, and then they cancelled her surgery last minute for a silly reason. And now, I am struggling with a possible case of Bell’s Palsy for the second time in my life.

It’s safe to say, lately I have felt pretty hopeless. I have felt like a piece of paper being torn into shreds.

But, I am starting to come out of my “funk”, finally.

Here are a few things that I’ve done that has helped me become a more positive person. I hope you can learn something new, something that will bring you out of your sadness or anger or disappointment or whatever it is that you’re feeling.

ONE: ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL.

Every time it storms, it stops storming. Every time the sun goes down, it comes back up. Every time you get hurt, you heal. If you’re happy right now, that’s great! Enjoy your joy. On the other hand, if you’re angry or depressed or anxious, remember that everything in life is temporary. Don’t avoid your emotions; embrace them. They won’t last forever.

TWO: PUSH YOURSELF TO TAKE ANOTHER STEP.

This is the most important thing, for me. As someone who has suffered through being suicidal, and as someone who deals with anxiety and depression every day, I have learned that doing something new and brave helps me feel strong.

For example, I am overweight (and I am working to change that, but that isn’t my point right now) and I wore a two-piece swimsuit in front of my aunt and uncle and cousins today for the first time. That was me being strong and brave and proud. That was a huge step for me.

I’m looking into gym memberships and I’m hoping to start one up in a few weeks. I’ve never worked out in front of strangers.

I set goals, and I work to meet those goals. Personally, if I have nothing to look forward to, I focus on only the negativity in my life.

THREE: CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS.

I’m still working on this one myself.

I think more negative thoughts than positive ones, every day of my life, but I know that if I change those negative thoughts into thoughts of happiness and love and light, I will be a much more joyful person.

Instead of thinking, “I’m so fat and ugly – that’s why I’m single. That’s why I can’t find a partner”, every time I look in the mirror, I should think, “I’m beautiful and kind and loving and I deserve to be happy. God will send me someone when the time is right.”

If I tell myself that I’m “fat and gross and unlovable” every day, my mind is forced to believe that it’s the truth. The same is factual for positive thoughts. And I’m learning to accept the fact that the positive should always overpower the negative.

FOUR: LOOK FOR SOMETHING SMALL TO APPRECIATE.

If you don’t have a great job, or you don’t have a body like the girl on the cover of your favorite magazine, or you’re single; you can still find something to appreciate every day. And you should.

A silly example; I appreciate the fact that I am getting a new tattoo in a few months. I appreciate the fact that it’s going to be a memorial tattoo for my four beautiful grandparents. I appreciate the fact that I have a house, and food in the pantry, and clothes on my back, and comfortable shoes on my feet.

Find at least one thing to smile about in every day.

AFTERTHOUGHTS…

I have found happiness, and then lost it, and then found it, and then lost it, time and time again. And every time I find it; it’s more incredible than the last time.

YOUR TURN…

What makes you feel good during life’s difficult moments? Leave a comment below and share your tips and tricks! I’d be glad to learn something new.

xoxo, Megan

HOW-TO: LIVE WITH DEPRESSION & ANXIETY.

Six years ago, back in 2010, when I was twelve, both of my grandpa’s passed away. My mom’s dad in January, and my dad’s father in July. Six years ago, when I was twelve, depression and anxiety introduced themselves to me for the first time.

I’ve been seeing my psychologist for two years, and I saw two other counselors before I found her. I’ve been going to therapy for, more or less, five years. And in those five years, I’ve learned a lot. I truly hope that some of these tips and tricks help you as much as they’ve helped me!

  1. SAY A PRAYER. This is quite possibly the most important lesson I’ve learned. The Lord is the very best medication. Praying, reading the Bible, going to church, listening to uplifting music, really does help more than anything else. Trust in Him, and let Him help you. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?
  2. BREATHE. In through your nose, and out through your mouth. I know you’ve heard this one. It’s simple, but it does the trick.
  3. TALK TO SOMEONE. Keeping everything inside really weighs you down. Getting that elephant off your chest is beyond helpful. Speak to your mother, or your best friend, or your teacher, or a therapist, or me. I’ll listen. Or, if you don’t have anyone you could talk to, write about it in a journal. Writing down your thoughts and concerns can be just as helpful as saying them aloud.
  4. ESSENTIAL OIL. Lavender oil, specifically. I’ll put a bit on my wrist, or on the collar of my shirt, and when I notice that I’m getting nervous, I’ll take a whiff or two and somehow it calms me down. It’s like magic. I’ll never understand it, but it works, and I suggest you give it a chance. You may be surprised.
  5. EXERCISE & EAT HEALTHY. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t explain why it works, I just know that it does. Exercising and eating healthy meals doesn’t only take care of your body, but it also takes care of the mind.
  6. LEARN WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR ANXIETY. Panic attacks, for me, are more severe when I don’t understand where my anxiety is coming from. For example, I had a panic attack a few years ago at our church hayride because I was surrounded by way too many people. At the time, I didn’t understand why I felt so bad. Looking back, I know why I had the panic attack and I know if I go to our hayride next week, I’ll realize that I shouldn’t stay with the large group – I should stay off to the side with my friends and sisters.
  7. GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, sit down and close your eyes. Imagine that you’re in Hawaii, or your bedroom, or on the moon. Any place that would make you feel safe and comfortable. Don’t open your eyes until you’re calm.
  8. REPEAT A MANTRA. When I’m afraid, or upset, I like to repeat 2 Timothy 1:7; “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” It brings me such peace.

Again, I’m not a doctor nor do I know for a fact that these things will help every single person who is dealing with anxiety and depression. However, I know without a doubt that they help me, and I pray that they’ll help you as well.

xoxo, Megan