As I watch students pass by our busy street, I was curious of what do they have in mind that they can go wherever they want effortlessly? It is peace of mind. As they walk, they are not troubled by any danger/social/ anxiety/panic problems in specific along their way. They are not worrying a thing. So what’s causing me to worry when I go out? It’s because of the trauma, bad experiences that we encountered. We are sadden, ashamed, disappointed of how we reacted or felt in the past. Worrying about the past only makes you preoccupied about it in this present moment and keeps you from moving on.
It’s time to move on. It’s time to change. We deserve to smile and be happy. There is this fact that those stars at night the one star we are looking now actually don’t exist anymore. It has already exploded or collapsed only that its light has taken so long to get to us. It’s like our past experiences. We are worrying and watchful about it. We might not know but it may be already gone.
Go out and find out if it’s gone. Deciding to go is important. You can feel this inner will, self confidence, self esteem and strength shining through you if you have already decided. You know you can do this. I know it’s hard at first and those times you have panicked again. Difficult doesn't mean impossible. It simply means that you have to work hard. You might not or might get anxious and cold sweaty hands but it doesn’t mean that you’ll give up that easily. You know you can do this. We have to dedicate ourselves to go out at least everyday. And, sometimes we have to kick our butts out due to laziness or boredom.
Sometimes, we feel out of energy, not excited, unenthusiastic, bored, ain’t looking forward about going out due to stress, trauma, burnout or we simply don’t want to go. We have to have this extra effort to get us going. We have to motivate ourselves. One way of encouragement is immersing myself outside my house like moving the chair almost outside the doorway when watching tv, spending time to your garden or balcony for a break, etc. Anything under the sun will do. This will make you feel good and connected of the outside. It feels like going out is okey instead of feeling down for the rest of the day.
Every time we decide to go out and even at least try, I would be very proud of myself and you. Before going out, we have to put our mind in peace which means we have to settle it down. First, we have to acknowledge the way we feel about going especially negative feelings. In these negative feelings, there is a thought behind it. We have to stop and think why am I feeling this way. For example, I feel anxious and afraid because I think going out is scary, I will get dizzy, I will faint, I will not be able to breathe there. We are catastrophising things. These are unhealthy thoughts and bad habits. Next, change this negative thought to a positive thought and add up your supporting statements like “this is the day, I can do this, I did it there and I can do it here, etc”so that as a result you’ll be in a good mood or happy feelings. For example, going out is fine for me, I will not get dizzy +, I will not faint +, I can breathe + and then smile to the world it’s a beautiful day. Notice that if we keep thinking negative we are feeling bad. The way we think affects the way we feel. Think positive cause we deserve to be happy. Do this everytime you feel bad and you’ll see a difference. You’ll find yourself smiling pleasantly.http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/Panic-03_Thinking-Feeling%20Connection.pdf Here is a site where you can practice more about thinking-feeling connection.
Be when you’re outside be happy. Don’t delay this gratification every step of the way. Set this mood in you. Whenever you feel anxious, immediately change that negative thought and be happy again. Say to yourself its feels great to be here. Give thanks for every opportunity that is given to you to cope.
Quantity and variety of exposure are also important. Quantity of exposure will give you your foundation. Everytime we succeed or achieved regardless with symptoms or not, this increases your strength, confidence and self esteem. You have now faith in yourself that you are capable of visiting those places. We might be scared in going there again but there’s this calmness in our hearts that we know we can do it again. Variety of exposures will give you answers to your doubts about the places you avoid. After I established my foundation and confident of what can I do, I came to a point that I pushed myself further more. I have not walked meters long at the specific street because I know in my last memory I got dizzy. I told myself I can do it. Holding my faith with me and my strong foundation I went through it. Whenever I get dizzy I stop for a while and continued to move. I told myself if I reach that lamp post I can go home but this faith keeps me to push through. Post by post I passed. I doubted myself but my mind is telling me that I know I can do this. I was really determined to do it. Then, I can’t believe that I made it. It’s like a dream came true and its very real. It’s like I indeed chose the correct answer and achieving that big red check mark.
I have read some success stories and some suggestions. One is meeting all of your friends in facebook one by one at a time. I saw her video and she was really happy being outside, meeting her friends and gaining new interesting experiences to them. Second is talking to a friend on phone that is doing an exposure also. Third, tell yourself that you can do this that it will be done very soon. There are many other conventional techniques, stories and suggestions out there.
Other things that I am trying to do, one is while strolling appreciates the surroundings. Use your five senses like how beautiful are the surroundings, the delightful smell of freshly bake bread, how sour the candy is, how rough is the cement, or the sound of people talking. Seek for these new experiences. Another is remembering today. We tend to react according to our past in situations instead of accepting it as a new memory, a new journey, or a new day. Try to remember today than to remember the past. I always appreciate the every new day.
After my exposures, I tend to de-stress myself. I think its important so that I can loosen all that tensed and stressed body. I listen to music. I sing. I play games. I buy my victory food. I can enjoy more and cherish my achievement in a relaxed body.
These are the things I want to share to you. I hope it will help you in one way or another or support you. Feel free to comment and also give me more suggestions like how to motivate me to go out everyday, etc. I know I got more to pass through. More power to all. Think positive. Be happy. God bless us all.
After confessing my agoraphobia to my mother, I was hesitant to go outside. I feel like if I'll fail I could disappoint her. Accepted that thinking and I told myself this thought will not keep me down nor keep me fro trying. Today, I went outside alone to buy medicine for myself and my father.
I decided to go today. I told myself that this is the day that the Lord has made. I can do this. I am a winner. I remember the drama that I watched last night. I quote "There is nothing more urrgent than now. Because later might never come. Life isn't long enough to speak of the next opportunity, rather than the now that's before our eyes.
With a positive mind and enthusiastic heart I went on. On the way, I just think positive that everythings gonna be alright that I can do this that this is the day that I deserve to be happy and I just smile and positive.
I arrived at the pharmacy. There were times that my mind would like to back out. But I told myself that I have panicked few times already at few places. I can do this. This is the day. I have survived and coped well on those instances and I know that I can do it again. I was ambivalent on continuing to buy. My mind was trying to be positive about everything. I told myself that I can do this. Its okey.
The staff at the pharmacy were very slow at work. But I just waited patiently for my turn. Encouraging myself that this is the day. I can do this. and smile. One should never delay happiness. Be happy already for the fact that you tried. While doing your task be happy about it. Be enthusiastic about it. Seek for the goodness about it and cherish it in your mind. then smile.
While waiting for my medicine I walked away confident that I can still get it because I have my name on it. I walked away not to go home but to unwind myself from the stress and anxiety. The moment I went back I got my medicine. I was so happy that I push it through I just keep all the positive thinking in my mind and be happy about it. The next thing I went buying mangoes and plate for my dog. I never thought that I want to go home but instead I want to be here outside. I was so happy to be outside. I love being outside. i feel so connected outside. It was like a dream make true. It felt like being outside was okey.
I know I was afraid but never did I surrender. I never forget to be positive and smile. I am very glad of this day. More power to all and be positive. Dont forget to smile.
I was happy on the past few days that I was able to go out and at least somewhat conquered my fear. I thank God for the opportunity and ask God for more of these good happenings in my life. Then suddenly, my mother texted me to pay the phone bill. weew! that was fast. I immediately got worried but I ask for this. I just thank the Lord again for another opportunity. Good or bad things happens for a good reason.
On the day, I just told my mind that I don't have a problem going to the mall. But I got anxious when my father told us that he need biopsy to make sure its not cancer. Well, I decided i shouldn't be anxious because there's no problem yet. Let the confirmatory test speak first. I'm just catastrophising things and wasting my worries for no definite thing. I just prayed that things happen because God has His own hidden reasons. I just silently cheering my dad that I know my dad can do it. He can pass this.
Then, I went on to the mall to pay. Of course, I was anxious. But everytime worries came in my mind and heart I just told the Lord that fear is attacking me... guide me. Somewhat like that in english hehe. I was a bit dizzy can't focus. But I just went on. I told myself its just anxiety. I just got to go through it. Anxious but I finished it. Boom! done paying the bill that was fast. I'm just enjoying the rest of the day now. I bought my victory food yummy siomai and also 2 lottery scratch cards. I won! Not that big but enough to celebrate. :)
Yey! Enjoy everyone. Forget that one negative happening. Have a nice day. More power to all!
OMG I wasn't able to publish my almost an hour create.
anyways here's the end result at least :(
End Result: I may have a bounding palpitation last night but it doesn't mean that I will have another nor a heart attack. It was not to harm you nor frighten you. It might be God is just fixing your heart. It might be also a warning to stop dwelling on one bad thing happened which made your heart stressed. If it happens again then be it. I know what to do. What's important is you live your life not in fear but fighting, winning, wise and happy.
Re-rate emotion: 40
Re-rate hot thought: 10 :)
This is related on my previous post about going to pay my house bill. Before going, I had a lot of mental and emotional preparations e.g. looking @ the picture where I'll go, reading my balanced thought statement, etc. I was a bit tensed. Then, I remembered one of my learnings, the longer we avoid fear the worser you'll get. So, I prepared my self, confidence engaged, and proceeded to go.
In summary, riding the public transportation was fine. After I went down, I was amazed by myself that no major anxiety nor dizziness happened for the 1st time. Although, there was a little bit of fear but is okey. A little bit of anxiety is natural as human beings.
Next, I went into the building. The moment I sat on the chair to wait for my turn, boom! I panicked. My throat was tight. I was tensed. (I told myself OMG heehhe). I told/asked myself these... its okey I can go home; do I really believe that I will not be able to breathe?; Lord,help me; everything that I prepared myself will be put to waste when I'll actually go home, people here are now you're friends if something bad happens they will be concerned at you, if worst comes to worst your mom will leave anything and go to your side, etc. I was really afraid. I also said to myself that its okey to go home or its also okey if you'll just get the statement of account and go home. After all the things that went to my mind, I stayed for a while confident that I can go home if I can't take it anymore and to see if I can still calm myself or whatever.
Then, I remembered another learning from a person whom comment in one of my status here. It was "it will be done soon and you'll be walking out here in no time". I kept repeating these words. What's on my mind was " you'll see once the statement of your account is already printing you'll be okey now ...you're already done and be walking out in awhile".
So, I waited a bit having this in mind. Got my turn. Saw the printer printing my statement of account and boom! I'm done ....got my statement of account... no more panic nor anxiety. What I have learned here was I should endure the discomfort for its is only temporary. It is only a product of anxiety. We should endure the pain for there will be victory. I was really thankful that I did not kneel down to fear. I was really proud of myself.
And then, I decided to pay the my account of statement. If I can't make it then its okey to go home. Receiving the account statement was already a success for me. So I went on and waited for a while. I figured out that there's a specific situation that will trigger my panic. I told myself once the number at the cashier before mine is up, I'll get nervous.. I will endure.. but its okey it will soon pass.. you'll see once the printer is printing my receipt will be fine again. I succeed on this technique I can do it again. So I was a little bit afraid while counting my money infront of the cashier but the moment that I saw the printer printing a big smile went through my face. I was really really happy that I did it... I actually finished paying the bill calmly as I promised myself. I took the receipt and cheerfully thank the cashier lady. And I cant erase the smile on my face while walking out the room. I was really happy until now.
I bought my victory food but it taste awful haha but its okey it was a very nice day for me.
Activating Event: Tomorrow, I'm going to pay the house bill somewhere a bit near.
Consequences: Stressed 80, Fearful 85, Anxious 85, Sad; Low energy, Tensed Shoulders and Throat
Beliefs: > I will lose myself and will get angry for all the negative thought that I will think of.
> I will not be able to breathe → panic → act stupid → lose my composure → humiliating 80 (I cant imagine I believe in this.)
Unhelpful Thinking Styles: Predictions, Catastrophising, Over Generalising, Black and White, Ignoring the Positives.
Detective Work & Disputation: Factual Evidence for My Hot thought - I cant breath effortless - I can feel my throat tighting
Factual Evidence Against My Hot thought → This is due to tension and overstress. I am thinking negatively. Thus, making my throat ,neck and shoulders tense. Relaxing my shoulder will help. Staying this is natural body response stress while doing calming breaths. Calm myself. There is no danger. I can get through this in just a moment of time.
→ I experienced many episodes and thought of not breathing for a year already. While thinking that I cant breath I just made myself panicky, cold hands, tight throat, but I can still breath and alive despite those. I am actually breathing. Stop thinking negatively already cause its useless and pointless.
Disputation Question: The situation shows that I can breath. Symptoms like throat tightness shows because I'm just anxious and fearful. So, I should start relaxing. There would be calmness. Realistically, this would not happen if I'm not anxious. Thinking negatively and catastrophising all things outside doesn't give good out of it. So based on the facts and experiences, it is pointless to be afraid about this.
End Result: I am stressed about going a bit far from home and that might be why I'm feeling tensed shoulders and tight throat. I might feel throat tightness, but it doesn't mean that I can't breathe. These symptoms are part of our natural response when someone is experiencing fear and anxiety. Bear in mind that they are not harmful. Do not catastrophise these and they tend to subside after awhile anyways.
Re-rate emotion: 40
Re-rate hot thought: 10