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Author Topic: Helping Yourself  (Read 347 times)

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Offline Snowy

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Helping Yourself
« on: April 06, 2014, 06:49:21 PM »
So, with spring coming on, I decided that I didn't want to let these symptoms get me down anymore.  I'm horribly afraid of visiting a Doctor, so I want to see if I truly can make them vanish on my own before being forced to go.  Therefore, I've begun trying to help myself heal.  I figure if I change my mental state, I can change my physical state.

My question to you guys is: What are you doing to help yourselves?

For me:
- I've purchased a couple of books about hypochondria and anxiety. (Waiting for them to arrive.)
- Got some lavender scents and candles I enjoy, which for me are jasmine.
- I've started with some very easy yoga for relaxation, which includes deep breathing, since my problems seem to be muscular. && restarted an old fun workout routine.
- Began getting more magnesium and drinking the suggested amount of water each day.
- Getting out more!
- Keeping a journal full of reassuring things I find online or to note my own habits.  I've noticed I feel much worse on days when I do nothing.
- Bought craft materials to keep myself distracted.

In the meantime, I've noticed that my symptoms vanish when I'm having fun or shopping, doing something that really holds my attention.  At least for a while anyway, until my brain remembers.  Hopefully you guys can try some of these things and have some luck too! (:
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Offline Lam123

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 06:58:21 PM »
Things I do to help myself:
1) try not to google
2) workout for one hour everyday, also gives me some "me" time
3) go for walks and spend time outdoors
4) pray and remind myself what I am thankful for
5) get together with friends more often, only positive friends. I have a friend that is really negative and I have stopped spending time with her
6) meditation
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Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 07:58:52 PM »
Good one- I don't google anymore either.  If I'm curious about a symptom, I search it on here instead.
Being thankful is important too.

I read somewhere, can't remember where, to remind yourself when you start getting scared that your thoughts are just thoughts.  Like, just because you're afraid you have cancer doesn't mean you DO.  That's helped me.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 08:11:54 PM »
I've actually done pretty much everything you listed!

I also have banned myself from using Google, as mentioned by Lam.

Self-talk is something that I use a lot, which goes hand in hand with the telling yourself that your thoughts are just thoughts. I actually used to struggle with thinking that THINKING about having a disease could give me it - self-talk helped me so much with that and sort of taught me to have a sense of humor about myself. For example, whenever I got a thought like that, I would say, "Okay, if that's true, I'm thinking about having 20 toes and a huge mole in the middle of my palm." Do I have 20 toes? Nope. Huge mole? Nope.
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My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 08:38:15 PM »
I find self-talk to be the most difficult one to overcome when I'm depressed as well as anxious.  How do you manage it when you're going through a dark time?  I do fine with it on sunny days but I seem to struggle when night rolls around.
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Offline kcg13

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 11:06:59 PM »
Things I do ...
- vigorous exercise (I find yoga to have a more depressing effect on me)
-make sure I sleep enough
-distraction (reading, writing, singing all help me with that)
-No googling or dr appts for reassurance
-my faith
-positive self talk - very important
-diet
-scents - I will use some essential oils to help my mood - don't know if they really help or if it is psychosomatic, but I don't really care - I think they help!
-vitamins - D3 and B complex
I find it is very important I do these things whether or not I am feeling anxious.  If I fall off wagon and stop doing the above things because I am feeling better or am not feeling anxious, then I set myself up for a minor panic attack if "things line up" so to say.  I have learned I need to be proactive to keep the anxiety under control.

Snowy - in terms of the positive self talk.  I have to say things even if I don't feel them.  So you ask how to manage self talk through a dark time - you just have to say it even if you don't believe it.  "I am healthy."  "I am a positive thinker."  "I am happy."  "I am beautiful." etc.  Trust me.  I say these things and am not always feeling them, but it really does help.  Unfortunately, when I am not feeling anxious, self talk is the first one to slip for me.  I realize it when I start the negative thinking.  Then I catch myself and start the positive self talk again - and at that minute, I am not feeling positive at all.  I also find saying it out loud is helpful too when I am really feeling negative or anxious.  You just have to make yourself say it.  One thing I have learned through my anxiety journey is that our thoughts control our emotions.  So when you are feeling depressed, the best thing to do (and I know, the hardest) is to change our thoughts.  Saying the positive thoughts will help with this.  Maybe make a list of positive self talk thoughts on a sheet of paper and keep it near your bed (since you said you struggle when night rolls around) and just read right off the paper out loud.  I really feel it is one of the best things you can do for the negativity.

Good post - gives us ideas and encouragement!
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Our thoughts dictate our emotions .... in other words, how you think is what you will feel.

Offline stephtronic

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 11:20:35 PM »
I completely agree with what kcg said about positive self-talk. Even when I'm in my darkest days, I repeat to myself, "I am healthy. I am calm. I am happy." After a while, it has become very comforting to me no matter how convinced I am that impending doom is coming. It really does kind of reset my mood 95% of the time. I get to feeling bad, and I repeat that to myself, and often it's like my brain says, "Yep! You're right! Let's forget about it and move on."

I NEVER thought I'd be able to do that!
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My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

Offline kcg13

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 11:24:46 PM »
Good for you Steph!  That's a step in the right direction!   :happy0151:
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Our thoughts dictate our emotions .... in other words, how you think is what you will feel.

Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 11:54:38 PM »
Oh!  I get what you guys mean now.  That's exactly the method I used to help with social anxiety when I first began.  Before I'd leave the house, I'd spend time with the mirror repeating things like "I'm confident".  The whole lie until you believe it thing, like how if you make yourself smile it'll make you feel better even if you don't mean it at first.  Usually makes me laugh just looking at myself forcing a smile.  :laugh3:  Do you find it helpful to do this during deep breathing exercises or just any old time?

It's a great idea to write some things down, I'll do that!  My journal is never far away- though it's almost out of paper. Heh.  Thanks for the suggestions. (:
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Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 05:12:53 PM »
Nudging up for more suggestions. (:
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Offline lauren4329

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 05:47:16 PM »
You have a great list! I am going through my absolute worst bout of HA at the moment and with doctors appointments for reassurance not being an option this time around, I really have to indulge in self help methods. I've started doing 30 minutes of cardio at the gym everyday which helps to remind me that I'm healthy and a truly sick person wouldn't be able to exercise like this. I started taking a class at the gym called Bodyflow, which is an AWESOME combination of yoga, pilates, tai chi, and meditation. I drink a cup of chamomile tea at night, light some lavender candles, and have put relaxing lighting in my room to try to help me sleep through the night. I'm also trying to implement positive self talk and mantras to get me through the day. I'm really relying on these techniques lately because I have a family wedding in NYC this weekend that I was looking forward to for a long time and I really don't want my stupid aches and pains to spoil it for me.
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Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2014, 05:56:51 PM »
Bodyflow sounds like a lot of fun!  I might look that up.  I've never tried chamomile tea.  I usually drink V8, which has green tea in it but I've had to cut that out because of the caffeine. ):

I'm glad to hear you're being pro-active about it all, though!  Hope you have fun at the wedding. (:
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2014, 07:25:03 PM »
Great thread...we need more like this here.

1) Prayer
2) Practice gratitude
3) Help another human being
4) Hang out with those I love and who love me just the way I am
5) Deep tissue massages
6) Dead sea salt baths-as hot as I can stand them
7) Cooking, love to cook
8) Work in the yard
9) Watching funny show or movie
10) Try to get good sleep every night
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline Snowy

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 08:15:03 PM »
Thanks!  I'd love to see more positive threads here too.

I love yard work, I'll be happy when the stores start getting flowers out.  Nothing like playing in the dirt!
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Helping Yourself
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 08:59:26 PM »
Yeah, I think it would help a lot of people if more threads about how people help themselves are around. It's important for people to see that others have had the "symptoms" and gone through all of the loops and that we ARE able to get better and better ourselves - and HOW to do that.

Having the board only be "Reassure me I don't have this" or "I think I have this" etc. helps no one. It's reassurance seeking, which isn't an effective way to deal with anxiety, but if it's all people are exposed to on here, they begin to think that it's okay. They get short-term release from it, but not long term, which is the important one. So being exposed to things that DO help in the long term is really important, and I'd love to see way more of that on the board.
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My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

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