After a few days of not feeling quite like myself, I’m starting to feel good again. I know what my unhappy triggers are and as much as I try and stay in my ‘happy bubble’ life doesn’t always quite work like that.
I noticed my anxiety taking a physical toll on me about 4 years ago when I would have several panic attacks night after night. I had internalised so much worry and emotional trauma, my body could not cope. One of the many ways I would try to feel better if I was feeling particularly anxious was to drink excessively on nights out, or eat a ton of food I didn’t even enjoy.
For a lot of people, I think this is quite a common way of dealing with stress and anxiety- you almost punish yourself.
The brief moments of pleasure would soon give way to thoughts of shame and worthlessness and when I eventually felt like myself again I would vow never to handle my emotions so negatively. This would of course not be the case because something would happen in my life and I would be right back to partying like a Rockstar at the weekend and then suffering from some type of alcohol induced brain fog or feelings of shame after binge.
I know that some of my biggest triggers involve surrounding myself with people who do not have good energy in my opinion. This may be old friends, work colleagues or even ex flings/boyfriends. Self-preservation is important to me so I no longer willingly put myself in positions to be negatively affected by people who bring nothing to my life.
It’s easy to just ‘get on with it’ when it comes to dealing with negative people, especially if they are family members but remember that your wellbeing is everything. How can you be useful, and functional and there for the people who need you the most when you are getting depleted of your awesomeness by people who don’t care about your well-being? I’ve learned to distance myself from people, places, things that don’t serve me well. You know that one bar that holds all your sordid, embarrassing memories from when you were 21? Yea don’t go there. That boy you’re hoping will finally see your worth and how special you are- yea don’t speak to him. That friend that can’t wait to compete with you for everything? Don’t indulge him or her.
Another trigger I noticed could set me off for days or even weeks would be comparing myself and my journey to other peoples. One evening spent scrolling through IG or Facebook and suddenly my perception was that everyone was doing better than me. Better life, better career, better everything! And we all know that’s false. We all show our highlights reel and not also our behind the scenes.
You can’t get caught up in what someone else is doing. If feelings of ‘being left behind’ give you anxiety, switch off. Switch off the noise, switch off the voices in your head that say so and so is doing better than you and you’ll never get where you want to be. Throw yourself into uplifting literature, look back at your achievements, tell yourself ‘you’re the shit’ especially on the days when you don’t even believe it!
Everyone’s journey is different; you are special and you are unique. Whilst I don’t relish in anyone’s misfortune, I am well aware that all that glitters is not gold. I’m happy with where my life is going and all the positive things that are in it. I’m happy to continue taking risks and living my best life possible.
Unhappy triggers come in many forms. I know all too well what it feels like to not want to get out of bed. To be down in the dumps, feeling alone and like you won’t ever feel better again. I’m surprisingly enjoying learning what my triggers are, and even when I can’t avoid them or make the mistake of walking straight into them, I am also aware that the bad times don’t last forever. I come away from situations, people and places and make a mental note of how I feel afterwards.
Fill your bubble with all the things that make you happy and feel whole. Go to the places where you are celebrated and loved. Find that person that will listen to you- judgement free. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s you can do it, you can do it, you can do it- you have been doing it.
Okay so bear with me on this cheese overload, but I wrote this quote for myself about 6 years ago, stuck it on my wall and it’s quite easily one of the things that keeps me going on some horrible days:
‘I am brave and I am strong, my body is a temple, my mind a work of art, when times get tough and my legs get weary, I fix my eye on the prize and it’s a sprint then on’
You can do it.