My anxiety setback was awful. I fell out of my routine of practicing my social and speaking anxiety maintenance towards the end of last year due to circumstances that needed my attention more.
It hit me hard the first week of January. I initially kept questioning – how is my anxiety still here after all my hard work and enlightened mindset?
Although it was a fraction of the anxiety I used to feel at my worst, it really jolted me. I hadn’t experienced anxiety sensations like that in many years.
I have all the tools, why couldn’t I use them myself? I have no problem teaching them to others! I was stuck in my own tunnel vision.
My old automatic anxiety-ridden thoughts came flooding back – as I hosted support and networking groups, attended an all-day interactive networking event – even as I went through simple daily routines.
What did I do about it?
I began to focus on acceptance even more. I went back to Step 1 – Acceptance.
I committed to attending various events, workshops, and Meetups in the upcoming weeks and months. As the organizer of 3 Meetup groups, I scheduled meetings every other week for the next 6 months. When I host an event, there’s a huge factor of accountability. I will be there no matter what!
While practicing acceptance, and getting myself back into the swing of things again, the anxiety symptoms lessened significantly with each event.
I thanked those old, familiar thoughts for stopping by to check in and told them I don’t need them to try to protect me anymore.
They didn’t overstay their welcome… just long enough to remind me just how far I’ve come.
This really shouldn’t have taken me by surprise! I preach about maintaining progress all the time. Time and time again, I see people returning to my support groups and workshops, sometimes a couple of months later, sometimes years later. They gradually started avoiding things again, and stopped catching their automatic negative thoughts (ANTs), without even realizing it.
Please read about the importance of maintaining your progress; it’s a short blog.
Not familiar with ANTs (also known as cognitive distortions) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?
I created a tracking sheet to change mine and to monitor my progress. Click here to receive these informative documents and tracking form.
It’s all about the tools, mindset, and keeping active in facing your fears!
I am so ready to start facilitating the intensive 16-hour weekend workshop tomorrow morning!