For a lot of people struggling with anxiety, there is the constant dark cloud of not being good enough and talking down on ourselves. I was and sometimes still am one of those people.
My psychologist gave me one task almost a year ago, the task made me feel like I was in the first grade again – but it worked!
It was called:
I am good enough – book.
All I need was a blank notebook, I went out and bought a pretty one. Mint coloured with pink flamingos on it. I call it the flamenco book(yes, I know they are called flamingos!). And a pen.
I got a few sheets of paper telling me how to and what to.
3 Positive things:
First I had to write 3 positive things about myself. Considering I couldn’t find any I was told it was ok to start with one the first week and then progress. I really had to put my mind to work.
First day looked like this “I am good at making pizza”. It then progressed to being things like “I have pretty eyes”, “I am a good friend”, “I did not have a meltdown during a panic attack today, “I cleaned the house today”.
Anything that is positive qualities about what you did today or anything that you are good at, will work!
3 Thank you/Grateful’s:
This was also hard in the beginning, but I got there eventually.
“I am thankful for my job”, “I am grateful for not having any panic attacks today” (if you had any you can be grateful that it was only 1 or 2 instead of 40, at least I would be in my case), “I am grateful for the people who support me”.
We always need help and sometimes it’s hard to ask for it. Write down one thing you would like help with.
“I would like help to learn how to talk to others without analyzing every piece of the conversation afterwards”, “I would like help to learn how to breathe”, etc.
How long did it take me, what where the effects and did it work?
It took me a few weeks to get the hang of it and a few months to stop beating myself up over everything (around Christmas last year).
Okay, so I wasn’t able to give myself positive feedback or if I did I wouldn’t listen to it, but at least it was more silent and nicer than before. Since the point of it is to become positive towards yourself you just have to keep going.
The positive feedback to myself that I would actually listen to just happened a few weeks ago. But I got there. I sometimes have to say things out loud so if anyone was close they could actually hear me, but I listen and I take it in.
Will it work for me?
Well, I’m not a psychologist – but how do you know if it’s not going to work if you don’t try? It worked for me, so why shouldn’t it work for you? How about gaining the self-confidence we want, by being positive towards ourselves?
I can’t give you the promise that it will work, but at least give it a try. And don’t give up to soon!