Sometimes it's all about the little things

Monday 17 September 2018

I have anxiety. I've had it for years, and thanks to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) it's mostly under control and doesn't impact too much upon my life. However when life gets stressful or sad, my anxiety tends to rear it's ugly head, and right now, it's affecting me.

I recently tried to attend a local festival and lasted about 10 minutes before I had to leave. The crowd and the noise was overwhelming for me, and rather than try to fight through it, the best thing for me to do was remove myself from the situation. I went home to my dog and my cats, put on some movies and my Momma came to visit me. I felt a lot better for being out of the situation causing my anxiety. I've been going out less lately, and finding comfort in familiar places and people.

One of the things CBT aims to help you with is how to assess what is making you feel anxious, why it is making you feel anxious, and to identify the reality of the situation. So usually for me this means looking at the large crowd or new location, trying to understand why it is making me anxious, and then to push myself to see why that isn't actually an issue. It breaks down a larger issue into smaller ones to make them more manageable small parts, so I can break the cycle of my anxiety.

I'm normally pretty good at this, but when I am struggling more than usual, like I am right now, the other thing I do is focus on the little things. I look at the little things in my life that comfort me, that make me happy. I keep an eye out for rainbows, I listen to my cat's purring, I take the dog for a gentle walk, I play Pokemon Go, I window shop, I curl up with my husband and watch a TV show we love. The little things help take my focus off what is getting to me so I can enjoy life. 

Frivolous little things are sometimes just what you need. It's OK to not be OK and just need time away, or time spent doing things others might consider to be a waste of time. Sometimes those are the things that get you through when times are harder. It's OK to slow life down and just do the little things that make you smile. I know that my anxiety is something I can manage because of my previous time with a therapist and with CBT (which I highly recommend), so right now while I am struggling and needing comfort, the little things are what get me through.

Much love,
Kitty xx

ps. That beautiful double rainbow appeared the week after my Grandfather's death, and seeing it felt like a little sign from the universe to look for beauty around me. The cute kitty is our little old lady Patches, who is somewhere between 14 and 18 and is a real cuddle bug who loves to ask for kisses on her forehead.


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