Life is hard, that is true for every person no matter what culture, upbringing, intelligence or beliefs. Life is full of experiences, these experiences shape our memory and our memories follow us for the rest of our life. We hold onto pain, happiness, grief and so on. We maneuver through future events with those lasting imprints. We all are interconnected, characterized by the need for affection, love and accomplishment. As a child we start off by being curious, ignorant and most of all innocent. Then “life” happens, parents, relationships, health, and our careers may let us down. Some people come out unscathed, some are extremely impacted and others will be slightly impacted. For those of us who are left impacted in the collateral damage of our “life” we enter a journey. The journey: of trying to figure out how to sever the tie between our mental state and being happy.
Being able to separate thoughts and our conscious mind is integral when combating mental wellbeing. Our brain is wired to try and find solutions to problems, the mind presents the solutions and we hold on to the ones we believe are logical. The key thing here is that we believe they are logical, not realizing that the gatekeeper of these thoughts can actually be illogical. For example, lets use negative self talk: “I am fat”, “I am never going to find someone”, “I am not productive”, “I am unworthy” and the list goes on…This negative self talk can be excruciating, and difficult to get out of. The mind starts to play this recording over and over again, and because it feels real it must be real, I must be genuinely not worthy. These feelings turn into suffering and the mind has now impacted our ability to disconnect from these ideas.
I know this because I was there; I never realized that there was a difference between my thoughts and myself. I always believed that if I thought something that it came from me and that it is connected to the core of my existence. I genuinely believed that the thoughts represent who I am as a person. It took me a while to understand why I suffered with panic attacks, intrusive thoughts and constant worrying.
Life with anxiety is extremely difficult, demoralizing and can halt the ability to get up and live day to day. There is also an unfortunate stigma connected to anxiety, I know personally that I felt weak and afraid. I finally hit a breaking point last year when I could not tolerate the agony of my anxiety anymore and pushed myself to start searching for tools to help me with my mental health.
The past year has been a beautiful and life changing experience for me. I discovered incredible books, meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy. I want to provide the resources that helped me so much to others, and try and normalize the conversation around mental health.