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Self Help Articles

Recovery Always Involves Change


Phobias and Panic Attacks are understandable reactions to too much stress.

With practice, these unpleasant, debilitating feelings can be overcome!

CHANGE your thinking: Think positive - Learn to control your thoughts.

CHANGE your attitude to the problems: Accept that you have a problem which has to be dealt with by you. If your attitude is "Why me", or "Life isn't fair", or "I'll never recover" - then with this attitude, you won't! Changing your attitude to the problem will make it much easier to deal with.

CHANGE your perception: See things as they really are, not what you imagine them to be.

Look at your life-style to see what is causing you to be unhappy, and do something about making necessary CHANGES. Stop blaming others for the way you feel. If there are people in your life who are causing you problems, respond to their attitude in a different way, a way which will result in a better outcome for you.

CHANGE from being so passive to being more assertive and start to stand up for yourself. Try to deal with conflicts without getting too upset and over-reacting with anger or agression.

CHANGE your expectations of yourself and others. Don't anticipate the outcome of a situation or event in advance and keep your expectations low when starting to work on your problems.

Don't look to others for approval to give you a sense of your own self-esteem and self-worth. Build up your own confidence and be proud of yourself.

Sop "shoulding" on yourself! "I should be able to cope better", or "I should have a better job", or "I should be a better husband / wife / mother / friend"... - These are all unrealistic expectations which you unnecessarily put on yourself and which in turn cause heightened levels of anxiety as they produce stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, worry and a host of other negative emotions. Just do the best you can, and that's all anyone can do or expect you to do.

STOP trying to be perfect! What does it matter if things are not done perfectly? No-one can achieve perfection and this attitude produces a lot of added anxiety.

STOP feeling guilty - about anything! There's no need for it and it brings about added anxiety and is a great burner of energy. Anxiety is tiring; adding guilt or other negative emotions just means that you are exhausting yourself even more. Don't add guilt to your list of symptoms - it does no good and the only thing it ever achieves is to cause you more misery and more anxiety.

STOP worrying so much about things which are trivial and of little importance. Ask yourself - "Did any of the things that I've worried about and made myself ill over during the last year actually happen?" Even if they were to happen, you will cope: adding useless worry never makes a situation better. Take a step back from the situation and ask yourself again, "Did worrying myself half to death over this actually achieve anything?" If you're honest, you'll find the answer is always "NO!".

Try to let your view of past events fade into the past - where it belongs. It's probably not even relevant now, so try not to let past events hold you back from making progress to improve the present - only then you can begin to create a better future for yourself. Put any anger or resentment about the past on the back burner for the time being, until you are recovered and better able to deal with it in a more reasonable and logical manner.

DON'T bottle up anger - Another neagative emotion which increases anxiety levels. Talk over your feelings at the time you're having them. Don't bottle it up and let it stew or fester so it gets blown out of all proportion. Whatever or whoever is making you angry - sort it out, do something about it and get it off your back!

DON'T think yourself into being ill, or label yourself. Be willing to accept that you are getting better.

CHANGE and habits you have built up.

Be willing to take a few RISKS when working to free yourself from phobias / obsessions.

Try to deal with SETBACKS in a better way. Accept that they are a necessary part of recovery and try to LEARN from them. Remember: You cannot have a setback if you've made no progress in the first place.

Have CONFIDENCE in your own abilities.

Look out for your STRESSORS and avoid getting into situations which stress you. Try to mix with people who relax you and make you laugh. Avoid people who are negative, who don't want to change and don't want you to change.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. Put yourself first and have some "quality time" to yourself each day to do something you enjoy and can look forward to. Make time for exercise and to practice your breathing and relaxation.

TALK TO YOURSELF! Be your own best friend and give yourself praise and reassurance. We all have an inner voice (and an inner strength) to get us through the difficult times. Think what you would say to reassure someone in a similar situation, and give those comforting words to yourself to reassure yourself that you will cope. Give yourself treats for your achievements and don't forget to give yourself lots of praise.

CHANGE YOUR DEMEANOUR. Watch your posture. Walk tall, shoulders down, chin up, and try to look confident even if you don't feel it! ACT AS IF! If you practice it long enough it will gradually change from being an act, and will become your natural behaviour which won't require extra effort.

Make no mistake about it, the power to make all of the above CHANGES lie within your own hands.

DON'T BE AFFRAID OF CHANGE! Change will help you to stop being a victim of your own behaviour and habits, and help you to grow as a person, and so move forward in life.


Wallsend Self Help Group 2015 Rob Rolls

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