Having a mental disorder- how to thrive and not just survive

There's no doubt about it, having a mental disorder is hard, whether this is anxiety, depression or OCD. But coming from a person who has experienced a number of obstacles in their life, I promise you, not every day is dark. Here's my tips on how to stop your disorder from taking away your happiness.

1). Own your disorder- Over the years, stigmas surrounding mental health have made us believe they are a bad thing, but this isn't always the case. Although disorders like anxiety may lead to us overthinking, needing reassurance and being sensitive at times, they actually create some amazing characteristics too. My anxiety and sensitivity means I put others first, I care so much about others feelings and I am very understanding of others. Own your disorder, it is a major part of your journey!

2). Remember that from the darkest days come the brightest lights- If we really let it, our disorders could take away everything...but we can't let that happen. It's easy to sit and dwell on the bad days, but we have to remember that these days don't last forever. The bad days make us stronger, more resilient and braver. See the bad days as a positive, because from here, the only way is up. Don't dwell, excel! Learn from today and be hopeful for tomorrow. Reaching your destination is far more beautiful and appreciated when the journey was a rocky one.

3). The good days are more appreciated- We know what it's like to be sad, but we know what it's like to be happy too. When you suffer with a mental health disorder, the little things in life seem even more beautiful. To laugh with a loved one, to cry with happiness, to have a day with a quiet mind or to step out your comfort zone, these things become magnified for me. I remember all the bad times I have survived, and to me, I have seen miracles. Days I didn't think I could get through, I survived, and on the days I have won my battles, I have been in awe of everything in my life. I am more grateful for the little things.

4). Remember that none of this is real- The intrusive thoughts, the feeling you are not good enough or the feeling you are having a heart attack, none of this is real. Keeping this in mind should help to bring great comfort to you. As hard as it is to believe this, it's true. When your day is about to be ruined by your disorder, remember, this isn't real and everything is okay. Keep those demons away today, you deserve to be happy.

5). Let it open a new door- Once again, rather than focusing on the negatives of your disorder, see the positives. Due to experiencing anxiety disorders for most of my life, I have always had an interest in the topic area, and from this, I have developed a passion and future for myself. I began studying psychology 5 years ago and haven't stopped ever since. I also created my own blog site last year and have now helped a number of people suffering. Without my own stories or experiences, who knows what career I would have chosen....but for me, this one is perfect, and I couldn't see myself doing anything else. My scars make me who I am and I am proud of how far I've come.

6). Don't be fearful- The more we fear our disorders, the more we feed them. It's important that whatever our disorders are telling us to do or think, we do the opposite. Don't be afraid, stand up for yourself and don't give in to its power. The more we take back control, the less power they have. Remember you are in control and nothing has the right to take away your happiness.

7). Open your life to new opportunities- Without my anxiety disorders, I would never have discovered meditation, yoga or so many other amazing things. Rather than letting your anxieties hold you back, let them open new doors. When the day is hard, get out and try something new, use your disorder to teach you more about yourself. Overcoming battles has taught me who I am and what matters in life.

Thank you so much for reading guys, I hope that anyone struggling can really find some comfort in this article. Remember, you don't have to just survive, THRIVE, and remember that you are in control. Hope you all have a great week and I'll be back with some more writing soon!

Article by Louise Oak

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