I Attended An Anxiety Workshop | Part 2

This week is a continuation of last week’s blog post, titled I Attended an Anxiety Workshop. Please check it out if you haven’t read it yet. Thank you! ❤

On November 19, 2019, I attended the last session of “Confront the Discomfort, which is an anxiety workshop offered to students at my university. I’m technically a student but at the same time, I am not a student. I am registered as a student, but I haven’t taken classes since being forced to withdraw in April 2019. I will be starting school again in January 2020. A part of me dreads 2020 because I used to think that 2020 was in the distant future. Well future, here I am so watch out! 🙊

peace-social-text-square-templateDuring the summer, I stopped taking my antidepressant medication. Please do not abruptly stop any kind of medication without speaking with your doctor first. After quitting my medications and significantly reducing my caffeine consumption, I am feeling mentally stronger these days. Hopefully, the progress I have made will be enough once I return to school in the new year. Ultimately, I figured that I had nothing left to lose and everything to gain by attending this anxiety workshop.

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited of what could go right.” —Tony Robbins

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was unable to attend Session 2. Luckily, they were happy to fill me in on the details. Only I showed up for Session 3 (final week) so I got to word vomit all over ’em. Like diamonds, private counselling sessions like this one are incredibly rare, so I interpreted this opportunity as a blessing in disguise.

Here is what I’m having a hard time fathoming: One student in particular made a lame excuse as to why he couldn’t attend the last two sessions. Dude, here are 2 professionals who are willing to help you for FREE and instead, you rather turn down this opportunity? SMH. 🤦‍♀️

Tip of the Iceberg

Using the summary sheet from Session 2, we talked about The Anxiety Iceberg. If you have studied psychology, you’re probably familiar with this diagram. I don’t have an exact diagram to show you since the one they gave me is barren. Basically, the behaviors that we outwardly express on the surface are attached to underlying subconscious thoughts such as fears. What fears are holding you back in life? Why do you suffer from anxiety and what factors may have caused this? Most often, the root causes stem from negative childhood experiences. Our behaviors are a type of coping mechanism we have adapted in order to survive in the real world. In other words, your fears are meant to protect you.  

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What fears are you hiding under the surface?

As I dug a little deeper into my past, I learned that I have a fear of both success and failure. And balloons. I am afraid of succeeding at something that seems overambitious, like nursing school. In elementary school, I learned that peers will dislike you if you are the smartest kid in the class. In high school, I leaned that nobody will notice you if you are extremely introverted. Loneliness followed me throughout my childhood and adolescent years, which added to my depression and social anxiety.

In university, I was an average student. I took a mainstream degree so I could please my parents and win their approval. Unsurprisingly, a mainstream B.Sc. degree got me mainstream results. I stopped trying to stand out or achieve big dreams. I thought that I wanted to be like everyone else, but trying to fit into mainstream society DID NOT lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

“Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy.” —Rihanna, Shine Bright Like a Diamond 💎


Emotional Activators: What is Really Going On?

Instructions:

  • Think of one emotional activator that triggers you.
  • Write it down on the tip of the iceberg.
  • Think of the memories, experiences, thoughts, and beliefs that contribute to this emotional activator in particular.
  • Then write these memories, experiences, thoughts, and beliefs under the water of the iceberg → This is what’s really happening.
  • What can you do to better manage/respond to this activator? Write down 3-5 strategies.
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Drowning to be reborn again as her true self. Source: https://wall.alphacoders.com 

Thank you so much for joining the conversation last week, and leaving such lovely and insightful comments. This week, I plan to finish replying to the rest of your comments. I apologize for taking my sweet-ass time, as I unintentionally got swept away into the addictive world of video gaming. 105+ hours later, I finally beat the game and awoke to the realities of life. As of today, this blog has gained 400 amazing followers which is a HUGE milestone for me. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for spreading the love and helping to keep this blog alive.

𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕪 𝕒𝕨𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖, 𝕞𝕪 𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕤𝕦𝕞𝕤.

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I Attended an Anxiety Workshop

I recently joined an anxiety workshop on campus because my cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) therapist suggested that I should see what workshops are available to students. Then she told me that she is happy with the progress I’ve made so far, and that I don’t need to book another appointment until the end of the year. Um, okay.

I have some mixed feelings here: Will I be mentally prepared to handle school in January? What if I have another major depressive episode like last time? Will the progress I made this year be enough to overcome failure? 

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“Confront the Discomfort” is the workshop I accidentally stumbled upon two weeks ago. When I signed up that day, I was innocently checking emails instead of studying, and thus, procrastinating like it was nobody’s business. This workshop takes place every Tuesday on campus and runs for a total of 3 weeks. I was unable to attend the second workshop since my toddler was with me that day, and I highly doubt that they would have wanted her running around and screaming the place down.

Fight or Flight

I admit that I was hesitant to join this anxiety workshop, since I often dismiss the possibility that anyone can help me with my problems. However, earlier this year I surrendered to defeat and accepted the fact that I do not have the answers to my problems. Shocking, right? I have some of the answers, but not all of them. Also, I am usually reluctant to join social gatherings since my natural instinct is to isolate myself from people. Social anxiety is real man, but I know that social anxiety is not an uncommon disorder. To make matters worse, [social] anxiety sufferers are the ones who are likely to refuse help, and thus, unlikely to attend these workshops in the first place. And yet, anxiety sufferers are the ones who are most likely to benefit by attending these workshops.

So far, I have only attended Session 1, and I plan to attend the Session 3 next week. I was unable to attend the Session 2 so I am missing that worksheet. Using the summary sheet from Session 1, I want to show you how to do the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique and the 3-7-8 Breathing Exercise. Both of these techniques are effective at calming your nerves so that you can focus to the present moment. I’ve been using the 3-7-8 Breathing Exercise for months now and can confirm that it works quickly and effectively.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique 

Preparation:

  • Place both of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean back into your chair, and make a mental note of the feeling of the chair under you and against your back.
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • Gently tap your shoulders, alternating one side at a time OR place your hands on your thighs and tap one leg at a time.

Directions:

  • Find 5 things that you SEE in the room.
  • Notice 4 things that you can FEEL in the room (feet on the floor, itchy sweater you’re wearing etc.)
  • HEAR 3 things in the room right now (traffic, clock ticking etc.)
  • What are 2 things that you can SMELL OR 2 smells that you like?
  • Get 1 thing that you can taste (mint, gum etc.) OR 1 taste that you like OR think of 1 thing that you like about yourself.

3-7-8 Breathing Exercise 

  • Breathe in quietly through your nose for 3 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  • With pursed lips, exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle as needed until you feel a sense of calmness.
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It is all about finding the clam in the chaos.

I am curious to know if you have attended workshops related to mental health, especially workshops focused on dealing with anxiety. When you were a college or high school student, were similar workshops available to you? If not, is this something that you would be interested in? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 7.0🌞

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to connect with me! I’m currently out of creative ideas so one of the best ways to kick-start my writing is to work on these Sunshine Blogger Awards. There always seem to be an abundance of them in my drafts because I am slow getting around to completing them. In case you missed my last post, here is a link to my similar yet different blog post titled 🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 6.0🌞

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The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Geneva, for nominating me for the award on August 14, 2019. Geneva runs a parenting blog called cerratomom.com, where she writes about “all things relating to baby, mom, and parenting” from personal experiences.

If these topics interest you, I highly suggest that you check out Geneva’s blog. My first impression of Geneva is that she cares about her readers. She goes out of her way to give encouragement and support to those who seek it. That being said, from a parenting perspective, she has a lot of advice and wisdom focused around dealing with anxiety and depression. 


🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Rules🌞

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favorite kind of weather? Sunny with a chance of rain 🌦️

2. Would you rather read or write? Both! I need to read in order to improve my writing and communication skills.

3. When it comes to food, do you prefer salty or sweet? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was born with a rattle in one hand and a lollipop in the other. This girl has a terrible sweet tooth and still struggles with a sugar addiction to this day. 🍭🍭

4. Have you ever been to Disneyland? Nope.

5. What made you want to start a blog? Mostly boredom and the need to vent about things that were bothering me. Even though my blog is available for anyone to read, I feel like I am not annoying people with my venting and ranting, unlike other social media platforms which feel a bit too pushy and invasive. I appreciate each and every one of you who read my content and leave comments. The fact that you actually want to read my blog means so much to me! ❤

6. Which country would you love to visit? I previously answered this question in 🌞The Sunshine Blogger Award🌞 and to cut to the chase, I would love to visit Japan. I was fortunate to visit Asia in summer 2018 where I spent two weeks in Singapore.

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Luckily, Canada carries Japanese goodies. Image: Ramune soda fizzy candy, pretty origami paper, and a Miku Hatsune key chain.

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Featured here is my Miku Hatsune mug ◡‿◡✿

7. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? I wish I could teleport into fictional worlds, such as books or movies. Admit it! At one point, you probably wished you lived in a fictional world too. Day to day life is often too boring and repetitive for me, and and many people rely on escapism for a breath of fresh air. Being able to physically teleport into fictional worlds would be like escapism on steroids, and a step up from virtual reality. 😅

Escapism – the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

8. Who is your favorite fictional character? I recently had this discussion with Ilona from https://ciccophoto.com, and I told her that my favorite fictional character is Miku Hatsune, a voice bank from the Japanese synthesizing software known as VOCALOID. Even though the software has expanded over the years to include dozens of characters and their corresponding voice banks, Miku will always be my favourite! 

If you’re curious to know what she sounds like, here is a peaceful/sad songs playlist with hundreds of songs to keep you entertained for hours. You’re welcome. ◡‿◡✿

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9. What is your favourite show to watch? I prefer watching documentaries related to health and wellness. The majority of the documentaries that I watch happen to be British, which I usually stream on YouTube. I do not watch a lot of TV so I couldn’t tell you what the latest TV shows are on Netflix. Any TV shows that I watch on a regular basis are shows that Nick introduced me to, such as Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon.

10. What are you afraid of? I have Globophobia, which is the fear of balloons, especially the anticipation that they will pop. Surprisingly, this fear is not as unusual as you might think. A psychology professor who taught at my previous university has a fear of balloons, as well as my mom’s friend. According to Wikipedia, here is the definition of balloon phobia:

Balloon phobia or globophobia is a fear of balloons. The source of fear may be the sound of balloons popping. Generally, globophobics will refuse to touch, feel, or go near a balloon for fear it will pop.

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The phobia has control over you, which is anxiety-provoking at social events. Image sourced from https://pixabay.com

11. What is something you want people to know about you? I don’t have my life together, despite what people think. People assume that I have an easy life and that I get everything I want, but life is not all sunshine and rainbows. As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, I’m slowly coming to terms with my demons.


🌞SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES🌞

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/

https://midnightwander.wordpress.com/

https://theblackprincessdiaries.com/

https://middleme.net/

https://hunidasblog.com/

https://untipsyteacher.com/

https://kathleens-blog.com/

https://seaofwordsx.wordpress.com/

https://journeythroughlife591163021.wordpress.com/

https://mentalhealthathome.org/

https://mochalatteandconversation.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES:

1. What year did you start blogging?
2. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
3. What time of day do you blog most often?
4. Are you a morning lark or a night owl?
5. What is the first thing you do after waking up?
6. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Why or why not?
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
8. Do you drive a car?
9. What does luxury mean to you?
10. Who is your role model?
11. What is your job/career/profession?

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination, as I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world. I look forward to reading your answers if you do decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am curious to know what your answers are! BTW, I am reusing the same questions I asked last time because I haven’t previously nominated these bloggers.

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