Tag Archives: play

What happens when you stop fighting?

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After I was diagnosed with “severe anxiety” I resigned myself to a lifetime of panic attacks and mood swings. Once I did that, I stopped having them.

Okay, it’s only been about three weeks since I last broke down in hyperventilating hysterics for no real reason at all, so I hardly think I’m “cured”. But it turns out that things get much easier once you stop beating yourself up about something and start showing yourself compassion.

I stopped telling myself I needed to stop being so ridiculous, and let myself relax. I stopped panicking that I was about to start panicking, and accepted that I probably would at some point, but it would be okay and that I didn’t need to worry about it before it happened. I accepted that I was ill, and I started treating myself more like somebody who needed a bit of help. I went to bed early, I stopped insisting that all my time be productive, I stopped making myself do things I didn’t want to do.

Once I noticed how good this felt I started doing it in other areas of my life.
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How to be playful

I have this vague recollection that I used to laugh a lot more than I do now. I never used to take anything seriously, and now I worry about everything.

It’s difficult to tell whether taking life seriously led to my anxiety, or my anxiety led to me taking everything more seriously. I don’t know if this matters, what matters is breaking the cycle.

In his book Play It Away, Charlie Hoehn explains that the cure for his anxiety was starting to play again. He suggests that we make lists of things we enjoyed as children, and start to incorporate these activities back into our lives.
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