What My Anxiety Has Taught Me

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Change is good- Even though change can be very anxiety inducing for people even those that don’t necessarily have an anxiety disorder it’s even more difficult for people that have an anxiety disorder. I personally used to hate change because it made my anxiety a lot worse but now I’ve realised that I shouldn’t let anxiety force me to maintain a routine I don’t want to maintain. Change has a lot of positives too and I need to embrace that.

Give it time- I was recently talking to a close friend of mine and we were talking about our experiences with anxiety and we both agreed that it definitely gets better over time. At first you have no idea what’s happening or how to make it better but eventually you learn what makes your anxiety worse and how to control your anxiety at least to the extent that it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day life.

It’s not worth sacrificing having fun- For a while I let anxiety control me and my life. I stopped doing things I enjoyed just so that I wouldn’t have to face my anxiety. However, over time I have learnt to ignore the anxiety in my head and just go ahead and do what I want even if the few hours before it are anxiety filled.

Life goes on- Even though anxiety is not something that ever goes away permanently there are lots of ways that help ease and reduce it. Eventually you learn how to deal with it and life goes on for you.

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Technology And Mental Health

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

I just want to start out by saying that I know technology has a lot of cons but the things I talk about in this post are just my thoughts on technology and how it effects my anxiety and mental health in general.

For the longest time I’ve been hearing people talk about technology, the internet, social media and how this is effecting the youth or people in general negatively and I agree. The internet and social media can be detremental to a lot of peoples mental health and lead to eating disorders and other mental health problems.

However, for me it feels like the internet and social media really help with my anxiety. If you have anxiety or know anything about anxiety and mental health issues you know that they are not under anyone’s control and you can’t just turn it off. Anxiety just shows up randomly like that annoying family member that never calls ahead (we’ve all got one).

Whenever I do get anxious however, I’ve realised that it really helps to browse through social media and distract myself for a while. It also really helps to look through WordPress and read all the amazing posts you guys put out. I know a lot of people are like you’re generation is always on the phone it’s so disrespectful (which it can be depending on the circumstances) but I just hope that you guys realise that sometimes we aren’t on our phone/laptop because we want to be or because we’re addicted or whatever but because it helps us get through stuff. I hope the next time you see someone on their phone you can try to be a bit more lenient and think about how this person might be panicking about something and is trying to calm themselves down.

Not everything to do with the internet and social media is a bad thing. For me it gives a shy, awkward kid who sucks at real life conversations an outlet to express themselves. It also gives me a break from anxiety and helps me calm down.

Sorry if this sounded like kind of a rant but I had been meaning to write this post for quite a while and I hope it sheds some light into the pros of technology for people with anxiety and other mental health problems.

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How To Help People In Your Life With Mental Health Problems

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Just be there- Sometimes you just need someone to be there for you. Even though you may not understand what they are going through and even though you may not be able to do much to do to help it makes a huge difference just to be there for the person. Try to check up on them once in a while, invite them to things even if they decline and help them feel like they are a part of something.

Don’t try to solve their problems- Even though you are concerned about the person don’t try to tell them what to do, that their problems aren’t real or how to solve their problems. You are not in their shoes and a lot of times people telling you what to do can make the person feel even more attacked or cornered which is not something you want them to feel. Rather try to make suggestions or just be there for them to lean on.

Don’t give up on them- Even though it seems like you aren’t able to help and want to give up on them please don’t. It’s important to have someone who is there for you and there when you need them.

Don’t force them into things- A lot of times going out and doing things are not on the top of people who suffer from mental illnesses to-do list so don’t force them into situations they would be uncomfortable in. It’s okay to invite them but don’t be too insistent on things and let them decide what they want to do. This also goes for seeking help- don’t force them into it

Help them seek help- Don’t force them to get help and make them feel pressured but if you feel like this person is in a bad situation and needs help try to encourage them lovingly to seek help. There are multiple option including but not limited to therapists.

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Quotes About Mental Health

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

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For more quotes click here.

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Six Word Story

Walking briskly but not fast enough.

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Six Word Story

“When will it end,” he sighed.

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Six Word Story

Some people never change do they?

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Six Word Story

Hurtful words. Masked Pain. Crying inside.

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I’m Feeling Twenty-Two💃

So I am officially twenty-two years old! Wooooohooo I’m officially old and greying…

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I feel like twenty-one was one of my most successful years and I had so much fun with it. I tried so many new things and let go of a lot of things that were holding me back.

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I also learnt how important it is to say “thank you for your apology” instead of “it’s okay” when someone apologizes because when you say it’s okay it makes the person think that what they did is okay. I know this doesn’t work for all situations like if someone bumps into you please don’t say “thank you for your apology” but it really makes sense for some things and I think it’s important to know your value.

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I also took some time this year to really focus on myself and what I want and I’ve realised that it is important to be selfish sometimes and do what makes you happy. I have really tried to work towards my bigger goals.

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As for this blog and my social media pages I am happy to report that they have grown a lot and I was able to talk to so many amazing people and meet so many new people this year which in my opinion is the best part of blogging. I seriously so look forward to your comments!

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Thank you all for making 21 so much fun for me and let’s hope 22 is even better!

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Overcoming Fear One Gear At A Time (Guest Post)

I was huffing and puffing on the stair master at the local gym when I got the call. I had been looking for a new vehicle. I needed something cheap and reliable. Good luck finding something like that right? But my prayers were answered. My next door neighbor called me and said another neighbor was selling his 1999 Mazda B2500 green truck. It had like 17,000 miles on it. WHAT!

I got off the stair master as we spoke. I was excited and scared all at once. Why? Because I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. The green truck was a stick. GRIEF! The price was too much for me to pass up: $1,500. You can’t beat that. So I said “YES.” A had no idea what I was getting myself into.

A few days later I had the title and the truck was sitting outside of my house. I didn’t drive it there, my neighbor did. I think the truck sat there for a few days. I didn’t know how to drive it. I had some decisions I needed to make. For some reason, I had always been afraid to drive a stick shift. I never had any bad experiences previously. Growing up, we never owned a stick. From where did these fears arise? To this day I still don’t know. But I learned somehow someway I would need to overcome them. There was no way I was going to let that truck simply sit out there. Besides, we needed another vehicle. So, I needed help. I asked one of my colleagues at the time if he would help learn how to drive it. He said he would.

When the time came for me to begin learning how to drive the truck, I had so many fears.

  1. Would I stall quite a bit?
  2. What about stalling in a big intersection?
  3. What if I had to stop on a hilly street? Would I roll back not knowing what to do?
  4. Would people laugh at my driving skills (or lack of skills)?
  5. Would I hurt myself or someone else in this truck?

Some people say, “Don’t worry about your fears because most of them won’t happen.” WRONG. All of them came true except for #5. WHEW! Yep, that’s right. Most of my fears became a reality. We began my truck training in a high school parking lot. It was brutal. My friend got a big kick out of me jerking back and forth. His wife had a few laughs as well after I had to drop him off and try to back out of their driveway.

The first month was pretty scary for me and maybe for other drivers as well. But then something amazing happened. I began to get comfortable. I began to get a little more confident. The fear was slowly going into the background. It was still there, but just not as strong. At times it would creep back up in certain situations. I had to work with it and control it. As I drove the truck more I wondered why I had so many fears. Why did I refuse to even consider getting a stick shift? Why had I limited myself so much? HHHMMMM. Indeed, it is a great mystery.

Fast forward a few months after I got the truck. It’s fall and I’m headed to Mexico to learn Spanish. That was another great fear of mine that I decided to try and conquer. I went in the green truck. It was going to be about a 12-hour drive. Would the truck get there in one piece? Would I get stranded? More FEAR. But this time none of my fears were realized. I certainly did panic when I saw the battery level gauge say low. I had the battery checked while on the road and it was fine. That gauge stayed in the same place for the entire time I owned the truck. I made it to Mexico (Presidio Texas to be exact which is three miles from the border). I had been studying hard trying to learn Spanish. I was scheduled to preach a sermon there in Spanish. More FEAR.

I studied and practiced and studied and practiced for a few months. On a Sunday I was given a chance to preach two lessons in Spanish. Needless to say, it was BRUTAL. But the brethren were really kind. When my time there was over, I got back on the road. Less FEAR on the way home. I had a lot more confidence. The truck survived and so did I. Looking back in 2016, I had no idea I would have a green truck and preach two sermons in Spanish. I’m glad I did.

I have learned some things from the Green Truck that I would like to share with you. Maybe they will help you. If they do great. Please let me know.

I learned a lot about overcoming fear one gear at a time. I have broken this experience into seven different thoughts. At the conclusion of this, you may want to get a sheet of paper and write out the fears you have. Identify what step or gear you may be at this moment.

  1. OWN IT.I literally owned the green truck. It was mine. There was no escaping it. I couldn’t return it. This is something we must do when it comes to the things we fear. We need to face them head-on. Own the fear. If you’re afraid of public speaking, own it and sign up for a public speaking class like Toastmasters.
  2. START IT.  I had to take those initial steps with the truck. That meant that I had to open the driver’s door, sit down, and start that bad boy up. That was a big deal with the fear I had. But I embraced it and you will have to do the same with whatever the fear you may have. Take the first step so you can begin to conquer the fear.
  3. GEAR 1:  This was where I had a lot of stress, pressure, and fear. I had to somehow have the right touch with the pedals so I could get things going. This is where I stumbled probably the most. There was a lot of hesitation on my part. There was a lot of doubt. What if I didn’t get it right? Most of the time I didn’t get it right. I stalled. Others saw my failure. But it was another necessary step. Whatever it is that may be holding you back, gear 1 will probably be the most challenging. But you will not get to any other gears without this one. Maybe you can skip this part of the process, but long term it will not be good. You will be frustrated as you seek to do and conquer new challenges. You will want to quit. But you can’t. Here’s why.
  4. GEAR 2: It took me a while to get to this gear but when I did I began to feel much better. I started to really move and get some momentum. When you get to this gear (in your public speaking, starting a company, writing a book, etc.) it will be a great feeling. And it will continue to get better.
  5. GEAR 3: I was so excited when I punched it into third gear. I was the big dog on the road. Okay, okay, that sounds a little cheesy, but I don’t care. It was a big accomplishment for me. It will be a big accomplishment for you as well. If your fear is something like public speaking and you decide to sign up to Toastmasters, then sign up for that first talk, write the talk, and then get up to present, rest assured you will feel great. Now you will have to keep going. That’s what I did.
  6. GEAR 4-5: Now I was in beast mode. There was nothing that was going to stop me. I could now drive on the highway and keep up with everyone else. I was on the freeway to SUCCESS. As you overcome your fears one gear at a time you will eventually hit the freeway of SUCCESS. Maybe it’s public speaking or preparing for 1/2 marathon. You will eventually reach a point where everything feels smooth sailing. Most of the time it will be. Until it’s NOT. You see, the green truck taught me something.
  7. YOU WILL HAVE TO GO BACK TO GEAR 1:  I couldn’t always stay in gear 4 or 5. Eventually, there was going to be a stoplight, a stop sign, or some slow driver in front of me. Now I had to go back to gear 3, 2, and then 1. And then I had to start all over again. NOOOOOO! LOL. YEP. That’s right. The green truck constantly humbled me. I had to keep proving myself. And so will you. It’s good to be able to give a public presentation. But can you do it again and again? I know you can. But it will require you beginning again and again. It will require you confronting any fear that may still remain. In life, we will have to continue to conquer and show up. We will constantly go from Gear 1 to Gear 5 and back and forth. That’s good. It will keep us humble. It will force us to stay hungry.

I’m so glad I bought the green truck. It was a great blessing. Who knew one could learn so much from a truck. I’ve learned a lot. What fears are holding you back? What fears are really not your own, but someone else’s? Let them go and begin to SOAR.

Let’s GO.

I CAN DO and SO CAN YOU.

Let me know of your great success.

Originally posted here. 

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Instagram: icandobenlee

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