It’s funny how one little thing can send you down a spiral of negative thoughts. Obsessive thinking. For an entire year I didnt know what it was called. Just worrying excessively, constantly, with one worry replacing another in its spot. I’m much better now because of all the therapy I’ve gone through and mindfulness practices.
It helps if I voice those worries or at the least write them down so my brain doesnt have to file it and keep track of it. Otherwise my thoughts will just circle back to it because it thinks it has to “figure it out”. Once it’s written I can forget it. It helps alot… until it doesnt. But, that’s how it goes.
These past 4 months or so I’ve been doing really well. I laugh a lot more and dont take things too seriously. I’m amazed how much it’s helped. I thought I’d never be happy again and I was sentenced to a laugh-less, joyless life. But, slowly I’ve gotten my sense of humor back. And I’m never letting go of that.
Anyways, today something set me off. I started to critically analyze and feel as though all my progress was ruined. That’s not how progress works though. You will never go back to baseline. You have set backs sure but, the longer you work on yourself and have those set backs the faster you bounce back. Sounds cliche but, it’s true.
I got out of the house and drove around for a bit trying to clear my head. I worked myself up and just let myself feel those awful feelings. Then I called up my Mom who I havent spoken to in a long time and vented. We talked for 40 minutes catching up and eventually I went back to the house. I completely forgot about the incident like nothing had happened.
These negative events that reinforce these negative beliefs about yourself arent going to stop. You can only change your perception of these events. Look at it as if this thing happened to someone else as an outsider looking in. And really try. Think of a person in your shoes and what you’d say to them. I think that’s the first step to becoming your own friend. I know a lot of the time I’m enemies with myself and specifically when it comes to those anxiety inducing moments. But, if I were to just have a little smidge of empathy and understanding for myself maybe I’d get through those times easier. That doesnt mean wallowing in self-pity and making excuses, however. It simply means giving yourself a break from the awful critic living in your head.
Try to rationalize with that critic and flip the situation on a stranger. That person is experiencing an presumably awful thing but, how bad is it really? Are you maybe grandulizing it to be something way bigger than it is? Most people truly dont care. Think of all the times you’ve seen someone mess up, embarrase themselves. You didnt pay too much mind and forgot about it later because it’s unimportant to you. You are thinking about yourself and your own worries.
So, stop caring what others think. Their opinion doesnt really matter anyways. Work on the opinion of yourself first. You likely have some work to do. Dont be so critical of yourself and give yourself a break!