It’s hard to reach out when feeling anxious or depressed.
Depression and anxiety want us to isolate and believe that everyone is better off than us. That we’re alone and that no one understand us. It feels like the hardest thing to do, but we must do the opposite of what our brain is telling us to do. Everything inside is screaming for us to run away and hide. To sink under the pillows. Or to lash out at those we love.
Instead of separating ourselves, we need to reach out and CONNECT with others.
Yes. It feels impossibly hard, but we CAN do hard things. How can we change patterns that we notice aren’t working for us?
Here’s a process I just learned from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map:
1. Breathe – Connect with your breath in a conscious way; try a simple “Boxed Breathing” technique.
2. Connect with your desired feeling – Is it to feel good? Is to feel purposeful? Free? At peace? Whatever it is…bring it up into your awareness and experience your desire to feel this way. The purpose of this is not to ignore or bypass your current state but to notice what else is possible.
3. Reassure and encourage yourself – Even though this is hard, remind yourself that you can do hard things.
4. Focus on the process not the outcomes – Imagine the possibility that reaching out will be a positive experience. Rehearse it in your mind. It starts to re-write patterns in your thinking.
5. Go back to the drawing board – How did it go? Did you make it to the phone or write that text? It’s okay if you didn’t. Connect with what stopped you. If you did reach out, how did that go? Take note of how it felt to try something different. And then CELEBRATE your efforts.
Change IS hard. And we can do hard things.
Reach out! You have people in your life waiting to be there for you. We are more supported than we realize.
Reaching out is hard. And we can do hard things.
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful song of encouragement.