So I feel like I’ve made some real progress not in terms of absolutely mountainous steps but apparently concrete progress. Over the last few days I’ve had situations triggering anxiety which would have normally put me ‘out of action’ so to speak for a full day causing a lack of focus in work and in general situations. This time , because I’ve started to take CBT seriously now, I recognised the thought patterns I was having , where I was having negative thought patterns – I was ‘mind-reading’ which is when I think I know what the other person is thinking and assuming they think I’m weird or a bad person or something when this is usually way way off what they actually think. ‘Catastrophising’ is something I’ve recognised that I also am doing – this is pretty much thinking worst case scenario, which is extremely unlikely to happen. I catastrophised the other night when last minute plans changed and thought oh FFS here we go again with anxiety however I recognised what I was doing and reacted by meditating and talking about it. I’ve now got a coping strategy in place at work for the future which was joint between me and my boss.
Something else also helpful was the suggestion by the same person to create to do lists of my goals for the day which I’ve found helps to break down what I need to do and more manageable and less anxious.
Something else I’ve done is set myself a few small goals, and creating an ‘exposure diary’ where I purposely go into situations that will trigger anxiety and the idea is that gradually my anxiety decreases and I feel more comfortable in confronting these situations. My first goal I’ve set myself is eye contact in conversation. Now , eye contact is something I really struggle with and I have come to realise I need to start dealing with making eye contact in social situations. I’ve initially started by practising with my boss in conversation because it’s someone I trust and shell encourage me. This week I’ve started to find it easier and am now trying to increase the time length that I’m making eye contact for, I feel like real progress has been made with this and I’m going to stick with it and keep trying.
Something slightly more odd or random now. I always feel like I’m really awkward with other people and physical contact situations. By this I mean , well I don’t really know how to put it but that I feel odd hugging people. I suppose I’m getting at the fact that I really appreciate a hug when I’m struggling and will accept hugs in situations but feel like others sometimes won’t approach me to give a hug should an appropriate situation come up. I don’t know whether my body language is a bit off or I’m just mind reading but it’s a random thing. So please hug me (haha!)
I mentioned at the start about handling a situation well, and this situation usually sees me winding myself up to such a crisis point where I end up having an anxiety attack. I won’t deny that I wound myself up but somehow I managed to talk it through with someone and just talking about how I felt melted some tension and I from that point managed to calm myself back to a background level of anxiety.
So yeah. Pretty proud of the progress made so far.