Let go of the rocks!

I’ve had a hard time letting go throughout my entire life. With people, with things, with memories, with actions or behaviors… it’s just hard for me to let go. I’ve always held on so tightly that it affects my own mental health, and if it’s holding on to a person, it doesn’t affect them. And that affects me too. I would get angry that I was hurting and they didn’t care. I would get angry that I check on people but nobody would check on me; honestly, sometimes I still do.

I’ve learned a lot in therapy over the years, and there’s not a session that goes by that I don’t learn something else new or that I am reminded of. But one thing that has stuck with me since I heard the metaphor from my therapist: some people are rocks. Yep, rocks. You can ask a rock to move and it won’t. You can cry in front of a rock and beg it to love you and accept you and it won’t. You can ask a rock to check in on you from time to time just to feel some validation and it won’t. You can yell at a rock and ask it to do anything for you to help you feel loved, and guess what? It won’t.

People, their behaviors, their attitudes, their lack of love, and situations can all be rocks. Friends, family members, romantic partners, bosses, whoever… they won’t show us that love that we fight for because they’re rocks. They won’t do it because they can’t. And they certainly won’t. So let’s help ourselves out and realize that rocks can’t change. Rocks can’t show love. Rocks can’t reach out to us and check on us from time to time. I can’t say why some people are like this because I’m not some superhuman behavioral scientist that understands all people, but I can tell you that when you’re own mental health starts getting affected, it’s time to let go. You’re… we’re… not going to get the love we desire from someone who is a rock.

It’s so difficult to remember and to realize when we have to let go, but we have to do it. You know that photo that depicts a hand holding tightly onto a rope, but the rope is cutting the skin and making the hand bleed? (I’ll post it below) It’s so accurate, isn’t it? Once we let go of the rope, our hands aren’t bleeding and sore anymore. Same with the rocks in our lives… when we let go, we won’t be hurting anymore. We won’t keep expecting results when the rock can’t and won’t produce those results for us.

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Once we let go, we won’t suffer anymore. We’ll learn to provide the love we want so desperately for ourselves or we’ll even find a person that can provide it.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to let go. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and I’ve even lied to myself and said I let go when in reality I didn’t, and then when I wanted those people to love me (again), I got hurt… again. So yes, letting go is so so difficult, but it’s vital to our mental health.

One of the best decisions you’ll make in your life is letting go of something that will not change. Wish them the best (or don’t say anything, whatever is best for your situation), delete their number from your phone, and move on. Take it a day at a time, but watch how much better you’re going to feel once you do it.

Ali

Is This Our New Normal?

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Is this the new normal?

There’s no way to know that, but there is hope in knowing that this virus will die down. One thing that is important to remember: if we want to flatten the curve, we have to listen to the guidelines given to us. There are a lot of people out of work, so this causes a lot of anxiety for the future, but especially for the present. We are in a time when we do not know what tomorrow will be like; will it be better and the curve is flattened, or will it be bad with a lot more deaths?

These thoughts can definitely cause some anxiety. That’s normal. So if you’re experiencing some anxiety, stress, depression, etc., find some positive coping mechanisms to help you get through the days. For some, that might be tending to a garden and for others, it might be playing video games. There’s a lot of hobbies or things to do. Find something you have been wanting to try and do it and remember it’s okay if you’re not good at it in the beginning. Don’t let that stop you from trying. Do what it takes to keep your mental health as balanced as possible.

Some things I do are play video games, read books, watch movies/tv shows, go for walks with my dogs, write, go for rides with the dogs, sit outside and listen to music and/or natural nature sounds, and take pictures of blooming flowers. These are my regular hobbies, but especially while quarantined, they help keep my mind off of any negative thoughts that may be trying to develop.

Practicing meditation can be extremely beneficial as well. Meditation can be anything that puts your mind at ease: mindfulness meditation, prayer, even relaxing on your front porch.

It’s okay to admit that you might be experiencing anxiety. It makes you human. But making sure to distract yourself from those anxious thoughts, taking proper precautions to help flatten the curve, and even getting help from a professional are things you can do to help reduce those anxiety levels. Also, making sure to only share accurate information regarding the virus can help reduce anxiety levels.

The CDC has a lot of great information and list of resources to help you during this difficult time. Read it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

This way of living does not have to be our new normal. If we take those proper precautions to reducing the spread of this virus, we can get back to living our normal lives. Remember, we’re all in this together.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

I wrote about mindful meditation pretty recently (click here to read it), and to continue on with the topic, diaphragmatic breathing is essential in meditation. I’ve learned so many different techniques to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in school so I feel it’s my duty to pass them on to you, too.

Diaphragmatic breathing can be done anywhere – in fact, this is the type of breathing the doctor suggests when a woman is in labor or in birthing classes. This technique only requires that wherever you do it, you’re comfortable, you can concentrate, and you can incorporate visualization. If you have all three of those things, you’re good to go.

I battle with panic attacks and sensory overload, and this breathing technique can help with them. I never realized that this is the type of breathing exercise I do when trying to come out of a panic attack, but it helps. It immediately calms me down; I can breathe again, my body gets less tense and numb, and my brain is thinking clearly again. That fight or flight response chills out a bit, too.

So I urge you to practice this type of breathing, especially if you battle with panic attacks. It helps so much. Here is a link describing it more in detail and guiding you through it so you can hopefully be more mindful of this breathing technique when you’re working through a panic attack.