Posts tagged anxiety
Feelings are real, but they aren't reality

If you're one of my clients, you may have heard me mention this last week. Dan Harmon, the creator of Rick and Morty responded to a fan's tweet looking for advice about depression. His answer was fabulous - you can read the whole thing here. What I found most remarkable was this statement: "Feelings are real, but they aren't reality." I've been saying this in therapeutic ways for years, but Harmon put it so simply, I had to share.

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Why is growth so difficult? How to get through change, even when it's good.

As the year ends, many of us look back with mixed emotions. Regardless of whether you judge your time as "good" or "bad", the fact remains that you changed in some way. Everyone changes from year to year, even if only minutely. The world is constantly in transition and we are all affected by it. If you lost someone or something, you changed; if you gained someone or something, you changed; if someone close to you lost or gained someone, you are affected because they are.

Being that we are constantly in flux, it seems funny that most of us would be afraid of change, even positive adjustments, in some way. But it's a natural fear of the unknown. We're creatures of habit, so when we don't know what's coming next we get excited, and maybe a bit anxious. Adrenalin pops in to say hello and prepare us for whatever dangers might be ahead. This is why transitions, even positive ones, can be hard to handle.

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As I stated in one of my previous posts, I don't handle change well. What's funny is I get bored pretty easily, so I crave change quite often. But when a big transition creeps up on me, I get uncomfortable and a bit scared. I think a lot of people do this: we swing between periods of excitement and apprehension when we make big decisions, like changing jobs, starting or ending a relationship, moving to a new apartment, house, state, or country, or embarking on a new creative project. I find that I, and many people I know, tend to act as if everything is fine when going through these changes - like we feel that expressions of fear or tentativeness will somehow cause things to fall apart. Sometimes we "fake it" because we know the change is bad for us. Sometimes we "fake it" because we know the new thing is really good for us and we're just afraid to do it. Regardless of the situation, I've come to believe that expressing the nervousness to my partner or to a close friend helps tremendously. I find it offers perspective, usually helping to either ease my mind or encouraging me to contemplate the decision further. Sometimes even just saying "I'm nervous about this" and having someone else say "I know, it'll be ok" can help tremendously.

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