Negative thinking and anxiety are unwelcome, automatic responses when I’m exhausted, extremely hungry, not getting enough fresh air, not exercising enough, not listening to music often enough or, often, the days leading up to and after social events. (Apparently, the laid-back façade of my twenties was a full-time job).

I believe anxiety (and depression) is a result of negative thinking. Anxiety is worrying about the future, depression is worrying about the past. Currently, I’d mostly describe my states of negativity as anxious, but I’ve been depressed in the past. Depression was the first mountain to climb. It’s apex was when I began to understand and accept my past and realizing the unhealthy coping habits I was using to avoid the feelings from my past (too much wine, people pleasing, perfectionism, crappy eating habits, compulsive shopping). And before I could really address the depression, I had to change my behavior around those habits. The first and hardest bad habit I overcame was drinking. It took two years to fully switch from wanting to drink but depriving myself to not-wanting-to-drink.

After that switch, I was left with the next opportunity to becoming mentally healthier. It was only after I changed my shackling behaviors that I could take the next step and address my depression, but this post is about anxiety rather than depression, so I won’t go into that here.

Now that I’m past depressive thinking, I am faced with the next hurdle on my self-help track: undoing my anxious behaviors so that I can enjoy life with positivity. This is in real-time and I’m addressing my anxiety right now. I find myself being really judgmental toward myself when negative and anxious thinking prevail, so, I’m writing about it. Turning my thoughts into black on white is a surefire catalyst to hopping back on my personal, mental health rollercoaster. Ticket for one, please! Stay seated and keep your hands and feet in the car at all times. Enjoy the ride!

I’m noticing just how anxious I am and how much undoing there is to be done. Also, I have a three-month-old baby. I want to turn my laid-back façade into an authentic state of being, especially as a mother and wife.

“Let’s turn this ship around”

It’s something Sara May said on her Podcast, Help Me Be Me, and it’s a new tool I’ve found really helpful. Whenever, at any time or point in the day, I’m in a state of worry, pity, playing a victim, trying to be a perfect mother, judging myself for not being perfect… I can stop and realize that these thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts don’t have to be my reality. So, I can simply say to myself: “Let’s turn this ship around” and do a 180 on the spot. It sounds too simple to work, but over the past two weeks, as a new mother, it’s been a profound tool for creating more positivity in my daily life.

Another lesson finally metabolized: Anxiety is over-thinking about what you don’t want to happen while feelings of peace and calm are derived from understanding and focusing on what you do want to happen.

I’m in the thick of it right now, but I believe that forcefully and persistently flipping my thoughts from what I don’t want to what I do, my inner life will eventually become peaceful, calm, and content; automatically. A welcomed state of being.