Originally Posted by MoonlitMadness
I really need to start working seriously on getting over my social anxiety, depression and low self-esteem/confidence. I am currently having counselling but I need more than this. I am hoping to go on to CBT again after my final two counselling sessions. I have tried CBT before but always discharged myself from it, not truly believing it could help me..
SO. I need to start helping myself more. Changing my mind set. Making myself believe I have self-worth. So, how can I challenge my negative thinking? How can I change?
And what has worked for YOU?
People above have said a lot of great things.
1. Working out
helps release stress. It has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with my depression and a bit with stress. Most importantly though, my depression went WAY down. ALSO, please look into the FOOD and NUTRITION that you are consuming. Make sure that you are eating well, getting all the vitamins (D, C, etc.). Go to the doctors to see if you are lacking anywhere. Never hurts to check on your physical health once in a while. This is just one way of starting to love yourself and appreciate all that your body can do. SERIOUSLY... sit there and think of how much your body does automatically. It works like crazy just to keep you alive.
It wants you to be happy and living to the fullest. Which brings me to my next point. Working out also allowed me to get out of my house at least 3-4 times a day. My main goal was to get healthy and feel great in my body. Find reasons as to why you want to join the gym and FEEL like you would really like it.. or else you will sign up and never go. If taking care of your physical health is not a good enough reason to sign up then IDK XD hahah... You could also try riding your bike to work or walking to places if you do not like the gym. I do 30 minutes to one hour each day I go. I think 30 minutes should be your minimum with 3 days being your minimum too. Maximum I would suggest is 5 days a week.. you need 2 rest days for your muscles to repair. XD I mean GET PASSIONATE about what you are doing. Read books about it, read online, even better ASK someone who does the same thing as you. Learn from them. Try to avoid spending too much time on the internet.
for 15 minutes a day. Or at least try to squeeze it in once in a while throughout your week.... even ONCE. XD I would take a class with people around... meetups sometimes offer free ones. Also there is a really great one online who says some commentary throughout it. She really helps with bringing your attention with your body and emotions while doing certain poses.
Maybe try out her 30 day camp
helps some and I really encourage it for documenting your process. With this, you can look back at what worked and how you felt during things that didn't. You come to analyze yourself. Observe what needs help... maybe even write an inspirational quote or person that you look up to. You need to find techniques or processes that will help you get up and EMBRACE failure when it comes. IT WILL COME MANY TIMES> One day you will see them as a blessing in disguise. Failure means you are trying and doing something you are not used to. It helps keep you on track of what needs work, like a target pointer. Which is GREAT! That means you can start finding ways to problem solve the situation. Plus, journaling helps with unloading EVERYTHING that you may be holding in. Especially when you have no one to talk to about it. We typically like to look outside ourselves for answers when really they all usually lie WITHIN ourselves. With anxiety we just don't let ourselves be vulnerable like that. We do not give ourselves a chance to feel and FACE the anxiety. I mean sit in a room and FACE IT. Look at it. Be alone with it.... scary. haha. But it is actually the time where you will learn a lot about yourself.
will help with that. It will help you turn the dirty muddy water of thoughts in your head to crystal clear. Meditation helps you concentrate on thing... like the breath coming out of your nose while you sit there in silence for 15 minutes.. It is difficult but it can help with setting those anxious thoughts to the bottom and help you think clearer after. You can also do this in a group environment with an instructor guiding you. I tried a Vipassana meditation retreat for 10 days straight where you only MEDITATE. It was free but you obviously had to donate because they gave you a place to sleep and made you meals (they were delicious). But this was BRUTAL. It did however, teach me a lot about meditation. You can find many books on this topic.
is something that a lot of us DREAD WITH A PASSION. But it is absolutely necessary. You can go to a therapist for YEARS but if you do not put any work, you will not see results. Exposure involves getting yourself into scenarios that bring you different levels of anxiety. But no one said it had to be boring and crap? Make a list of the different things that give you anxiety in order of level 1 being the lowest to 10 the highest. Each week or day(better) practice exposing yourself to these situations. Then go to the next one when you feel comfortable with the previous. Like any process, sometimes you need to go back and forth with ones. Do not beat yourself up if you feel like your anxiety has returned where it wasn't before. FAILURE TEACHES US ALWAYS.. EMBRACE IT. Laugh at yourself! Now, sometimes those level 10 fears are way too hard to expose yourself to. So this is what I have done. I have tried to join activities with people BUT doing things I LOVE. So not only will I meet people with similar passions as I, it helps with building conversations. And if I do not talk much, I at least learn a skill and have at LEAST a bit of fun. Better than jumping into something dreadful. I have learned that when you have FUN you learn quicker. Plus maybe you can let loose... But I believe you should start small and then add different things you can do to update or make it one step better ( better I mean more anxious for you, but remember it will help you... so see it as a challenge that is rewarding). You will reach a point where you SEEK anxiety driven scenarios because you are choosing things that WORK FOR YOU and at the same time.. do not feel like a waste of time/ you gain enjoyment. Yes there are times where you need to do things that are not fun, but balancing it out with FUN and forced situation can help with it all.
6. Loving Yourself
For my low self esteem which I continue to work on, I have found what REALLY works is taking care of my needs rather than pushing through and ignoring them. I treat myself with a healthy snack, I spend more time at the gym, I call a friend and tell them I appreciate their help, I look for things I can do to help with my anxiety. Basically I become the shoulder to lean on, I become my own best friend. I treat myself with respect.. when making decisions or choices I feel best for myself. I do not let other people control me or make me feel bad about myself. I have come up with a number of ways to help with this. Helping other people REALLY helps with loving yourself. Kind of ironic how that works. Reaching out to people, holding the door for them etc.. little things like that.. maybe even volunteering could help (that is actually my next goal in the winter). Set things up for yourself that make you HAPPY. Stop saying I can't. THAT IS BULL****. When people want something they go get it. When you are hungry you go to the grocery store. You don't just role over and shrivel up. You get up and GO. So loving yourself is like that. Look what needs nurturing and fuel. Be patient and loving to yourself when things do not go your way or you fail. Remember what is important to you and do not set limitation. Be honest with yourself!
AND do not feel guilty about what makes you happy. If Saturday all you did was lay in bed and watch netflicks because yesterdays social interaction drained you to the bone XD... THEN DO THAT TO RECHARGE> Make sure it is a really good show or movie though xD HAVE FUN. You only live once and letting anxiety control your life is not living. Your anxiety is like a scared, angry and VERY HURT child. Be there for them and help them through it. LOVE, RESPECT, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSION. Also look at where your habits have become toxic and try to minimize your exposure to them. Be it people, relationships, internet (look for information the old school way A LIBRARY... do they exist still? XD, bookstores, or people - try to GO OUT and practice EXPOSING too), staying in doors, eating food for comfort, texting instead of calling ..just many different unhealthy forms of "comforting" that are not helping your process. Do not beat yourself up.. just look at ways to improve it slowly. Little actions here and there add up... Do not underestimate what a small switch or thought or choice can do. Try to find ways to expose yourself at the same time.. or ask yourself..Could I do this exact same action but it involving people? going out of my house? taking care of my other personal needs such as exercise? **** taking a vitamin D pill, I will walk outside at the park/trail for 15 minutes.. add running or fast walking and then I will be half way done my workout goal... idk.. GO TO THE LIBRARY XD
Always strive for better and push yourself (in a cheerleading encouraging way).