Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Depression
Chronic Health issues, anxiety, and depression can have a big impact on our lives. That doesn't mean you can't have a life full of meaning and purpose.
If you are dealing with anxiety, depression, or a chronic illness, you undoubtedly struggle with difficult, painful thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. And you probably try with all of your strength to get rid of or avoid them. If so, you are definitely not alone!
Being human, we tend to struggle with painful thoughts, feelings, memories, etc. When a difficult feeling appears (anxiety, fear), and we start to struggle with and attempt to push our anxiety away.
On top of these efforts, we develop emotions about our anxiety (e.g., anger, sadness, guilt, etc.). We start to battle with these unpleasant emotions too, resulting in the cycle continuing.
When we continue struggling with our thoughts and emotions, many of us turn to external sources, distractions, to alleviate our distress about our unpleasant thoughts, emotions, memories, etc. Some of these sources include alcohol and drugs, shopping, video games, etc.
And distraction isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if we distract ourselves most of the time, we use up a lot of energy avoiding how we feel. Moderation is important. When these strategies are used to avoid or get rid of unwanted, unpleasant thoughts, feelings, memories, etc., we often keep using them again and again only to end up stuck in a painful cycle.
In other words, the strategies are creating new struggles as opposed to addressing directly what had been troublesome in the first place. These strategies only create a temporary distraction. The difficult thoughts and feelings will reappear soon enough and the cycle to avoid/get rid of them will restart.
Sounds exhausting, right? What if there was different way? What if we let go of the struggle?
The good news is that we can learn to change our relationship with our thoughts and emotions and let go of the struggle! Without depleting so much of our time and energy in this struggle, our emotional experiences are no longer amplified.
Yes, we will still experience the whole range of emotions, from happiness to sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, etc., but the emotions and thoughts can come and go, rise and fall. I will teach you skills and techniques so you are not wasting your precious time and energy struggling with your thoughts and emotions.
I understand how difficult it is to struggle with intense anxiety and chronic pain. Fear, low motivation, and sometimes struggling to get out of bed. I have lived with anxiety and a chronic illness since I was very young. I know it isn’t easy to deal with the thoughts and emotions and pain we don’t like, but I can tell you it will get better and you can live a meaningful life with joy and vitality.