By: Eve Johnson, Anxiety In Teens Contributor
Someone today will need to hear this. Is that you? Overcoming challenging emotional feelings and persistent negative thoughts is hard. But it’s not impossible.
You are capable of empathy and compassion.
Your ability to help another human in need despite all that may be happening in your own life is a testament to your ability to relate to and empathize with others. The people who help others are leaders in their own right and demonstrate our advanced ability to make social connections with others (even when we may be self conscious about our abilities to do so!). The good news is each one of us has access to this place. Not to mention, helping someone in need has been proven to reduce depression so keep up the good work for mutual benefits!
There are moments where you directed your attention outside of your problems without knowing it.
It’s easy to get stuck in, “but I can’t stop thinking about what happened yesterday!” (no pun intended). Perhaps you’re adamant that a really distressing re-occurring thought is impossible to get rid of. But wait, you said you went to see a movie with friends earlier today? About Channing Tatum, you say? And does that mean you actually diverged your focus onto something positive for more than three hours this afternoon? It can be hard to remember that thoughts are just thoughts, not reality, but it is possible to start moving forward in your life with the right attitude and tools.
You have willingness to learn and change.
It takes a lot of courage and strength to accept the challenges in your life and then take the next steps necessary to overcome them. Just by learning about the issues you are facing, even if it means a Google search on your mobile phones, means that you are taking steps toward improving your life. It means that, even if you think you have really low self-esteem, somewhere inside of you, you believed that you are worth better. It’s not easy to face our fears, but ultimately doing the the things that make us uncomfortable like therapy and making big, positive changes in our lives will lead to enormous benefits and put us in a place that we never thought possible.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. –Thich Nhat Hanh