I don’t think it’s any secret now if you’ve been an avid reader of my blog or follow me on social media that I am someone who suffers from a few different mental health illnesses for nearly five years now. It hasn’t been until the end of 2016 and into 2017 that I began to notice a switch in my mindset. I implemented a few lifestyle changes into my life that helped kick start my recovery and changed my mindset for the better.
During seeking treatment for my mental health, I carried out 6 CBT sessions around three years ago now. At the time, I didn’t find it helped me very much at all and definitely was something I was very reluctant to explore again. Flashforward to September 2016 and has suffered from the worst bout of mental health issues of my journey so far, I knew I had to start making changes and one of them began with journalling.
I used to keep a diary when I first started suffering but soon found that it became more of a safety rather than something that actually helped. If anything it only manifested my worries. This time around I knew why I was journaling and how I was going to do it.
Every night for 9 months, I would sit down a certain time and write down any negative thoughts I had in my head that moment in time. I would then begin to challenge them and create balanced alternative thoughts that combined rationalising my negative thoughts, but also nurturing the feelings side of these thoughts.
As you can probably tell, it took months of hard work and it was no overnight fix. But I began to see improvements the more I was able to get what I was thinking out of my head and in front of me before taking care of it in a reasonable way, especially when it came to facing fears and managing the symptoms of anxiety.
At this present moment in time, I have gone back to journalling again more regularly after I stopped doing it every day when things had improved. Now I’m back in a period of mental health where things have been extremely difficult, it seems to make sense to me to try turn journalling back into a habit again because it worked so well for me before.
When I was at my lowest, I used to get very frustrated at the fact that even when I was still trying to challenge my thoughts and tell myself all the knowledge I knew to switch my mindset, I just couldn’t understand as to why none of it seemed to be working for me.
After having a conversation with my brother about how I felt, he pointed out to me that even though I said that I knew I could get through it and come out of the other side, I wasn’t actually believing it properly. I was just saying it because I knew it was what I had to think.
It wasn’t until I truly began to believe and have hope that I could get through it that I began to see a switch in my mindset for the better. I’m so passionate about believing in yourself and meaning it because belief can take you so far in life. It can help you to achieve your dreams, overcome failure and boost your self-confidence.
Believing in yourself is something that takes a lot of strength and power. Even just comparing the words know and belief, you can feel such a powerful message coming from when things are believable because they mean so much more and come from a personal place.
Instead of saying ‘I know I can‘ start saying ‘I believe I can‘.
One of the more positive things that have come from my mental health issues has been the knowledge and understanding I’ve built up for how the mind and body work. I’ve found it so interesting learning about the way our bodies and minds work together during stressful moments. By being able to understand why I was feeling the way I was, I was able to calm and ease any distressing thoughts and symptoms because I finally got what they were there in the first place.
Without going through what I’ve been through, I would have never have developed such a good understanding. It’s taught me to be compassionate and supportive of others no matter what they’re going through and help other people through hard emotional times. It also helped me to understand myself better and to listen to my body to figure out what it truly needs. By doing this, I’ve seen a massive shift in my mindset as I know what care I need to implement and how to get the help I want.
For a long time, anxiety and depression made me believe that I was going to be stuck the way I was forever and that I was a lost cause. It wasn’t until I began to truly believe in recovery and clung on to an ounce of hope I had left, that I was able to trust myself and my journey.
Being able to trust myself has given me the chance to listen to my own needs, make my own choices and not be influenced by other people, put myself and my wellbeing first, which in time made me start to feel true happiness again. This switch in my mindset was something I never believed in before, but I trusted myself enough to get there and produce the results that stopped me thinking I was unfixable.
What things have changed your mindset for the better?