Sunday, 1 January 2012

Weekly Challenge 3 - Week of January 1 – 7

Weekly Challenge 3 - Week of January 1 – 7

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012!

Today is the start of the third Conqueror's Weekly Challenge! I hope you enjoyed last week’s challenge! If you have just started reading, see this page to see what you have been missing out on!

Now that I have used up my daily allotment of exclamation points (!) let’s discuss the challenge this week.

In your new wellness project or on a piece of paper (or even on your bathroom or hallway mirror!) write down 10 things that you enjoy doing or used to enjoy doing. They can be as simple as watching a movie, or jogging/walking with your dog; or they can include traveling and writing books. After thinking about these positive things I want you to commit to doing at least one of them this week. Choose one that you haven’t been able to incorporate into your life for a while, it will make it more rewarding. If you are feeling up to it, incorporate 2 or more of your activities or things on your list into your life this week. It might even be fun if you and your spouse or friend came up with lists of things to do together that you haven’t done in a while, and do them together (like going for dinner, or walks together).

One of the most difficult things about coping with anxiety and depression is that it robs you of your ability to see the pleasurable things in life, or enjoy the fun things that you do or used to do. When negative thinking and associations colour your perspective, it’s no wonder that even gathering the motivation to do something fun is hard.

The challenge this week is to turn the wheel the other way, out of the negative patterns of thinking, and force yourselves (doesn’t sound very fun...) to at least do things that used to be enjoyable.

What generally tends to occur when someone is experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, or a low pit of despair and depression is that they recoil into themselves and shut out the world. It might be hard for someone who is introverted to know when they are withdrawing from their passion because they tend to enjoy solitude over the company of others, however, if you are feeling hopeless and lonely when you would usually feel enlivened and energetic in your own company, you might be sliding down into a depression trough (like the waves of an ocean).

 Recovery from depression and anxiety is hard work. There is no "cure" because it's not an illness with one list of symptomology. It's a large body-system reaction to prolonged stress and internal and external cues and events. Everyone's symptoms are different but there are some similar experiences. And you can reach the point where you can enjoy life and your successes. Many people have trouble with depression and anxiety at some point in their life; knowing how to cope with it is what makes the difference between someone who suffers and someone who conquers. I am not trying to say someone who has depression or anxiety is lesser than someone who doesn’t - not at all! What I am saying is that the perspective of someone who is in the throes of anxiety/depression is very different from someone who isn’t.

The challenge this week will help you to modify your behaviour to break you out of your shell and get out into the world a bit more. It may be hard at first, but if you take it slow and take small steps at a time, it will be a manageable and rewarding experience. Having fun when you feel awful is not going to be easy, so don't feel hard on yourself if you aren't laughing and giddy when doing the things you used to enjoy doing. The key here is just to get back into the swing of doing enjoyable hobbies and activities. You might find you feel more refreshed afterward. Also, this challenge gives you the opportunity to connect with others in a meaningful way. Perhaps you enjoy or used to enjoy speaking with your friends and family over the phone or on Skype. Maybe you can go for a coffee or walk and talk about the positive things in your life. It is important to stay connected.

If going out and doing one of the ten things on your list is too difficult at this point, drop it down a notch and work at compiling a list of happy and inspiring things - 10 or as many as you can think of. The action alone of thinking about happy things will be positive and inspiring. Eventually you can work your way up to completing one of the ten (or more) on your list.

                                                             Conquer on!

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to Conquer The Clouds

No comments:

Post a Comment