Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Self-care strategy #4 -- Give thanks when I start feeling anxious or develop angry/sad thoughts

Feeling insecure and ruminating about "what should have been" are my brain's default programs. They get triggered whenever I'm alone (either commuting or at home), or whenever someone innocently says something trivial that triggers my shameful sore spots, I feel an intense emotion and then try to suppress it, and then angry, anxious, and/or sad thoughts come up right after that. This seems to be my pattern.

Strategy to deal with fear/anxiety/hurt/shame:

- If circumstance permits, sit cross legged, close my eyes, clear my thoughts and just focus on breathing and body awareness

- If it's not possible to go into meditative mode, think of three things to be immediately thankful for.
1. I am thankful I am an independent adult now and no longer needs to answer to my mother and my grad school thesis supervisor.
2. I am thankful I have so much freedom in my life. There are so many available options to me right at this moment and from day to day. People can say hurtful things to be but the words do not have direct consequences to my life situation.
3. I am thankful I am surrounded by so much beauty. I have so many friends who do not judge me and like me as who I am.

This helps me to shift my attention from my anger/fear of inadequacy to the options I do have available to me.

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