If you’ve been talking to me in the past couple of weeks, you would’ve heard me say the word perspective about 8 million times. I’ve been using it a lot whilst talking to my friends. Some may think that I’m turning into one of those loopy spiritual people who are irritatingly positive and whose optimism and life views are impossible to replicate because they seem so Utopian. Others will probably ask “what does she know?” or “she’s way stronger than me, I’m not like that”. I’ve come across both of these statements and they both leave me feeling…I don’t know…upset? Frustrated? Silly?
See, one of my biggest fears is people seeing me as someone who tries to act superior, inconsiderate, arrogant or as someone who lacks empathy and ‘just doesn’t get it’. They see me as someone who is confident, has her life together and who doesn’t have it that bad. It’s sad that these days mental health and life problems have become a competition. Leave the competing to the athletes, not to our internal (or external) struggles. I don’t write these things or give people advice because I’m trying to be a show off know it all being all ‘look at me’, I’m writing this to show you that you are not alone. I’m writing this to share my story and show you that there is hope and that things do change.
So yeah, this thing called perspective. More often than not, it’s something you gain when you’re supposed, or more or less, it’s when you make the choice to want to live a better, happier life. That being said, yes, it takes time. People need to realise this sort of thing on their own and everyone’s journey is different and unique. For me, it started three years ago in year 12 when it occurred to me I had been living with anxiety and hadn’t realised it. For some, they’ve spent years and years with their problems. Some have been wanting to change, others have made excuses.
Personally, what has helped me is that I’ve had goals that I have been determined to achieve. I’m driven and motivated and I owe a lot of my strength to not giving up on what I want to achieve in my life. I very well could have easily just slipped into a state of not caring, of sitting on my laptop all day and not getting out of the house, but I pushed myself. Yes, sometimes I just couldn’t and thought it better not to. But more often than not, I found a way, I found a reason. Find your reasons and you’ll start to see your perspective change.
As I’m writing this, I’ve realised for me it’s all about three words.
Reasons. Choices. Perspectives.
You have your reasons.
You make your choices.
You gain your perspective.
You can either choose to stay where you and continue living unhappily. Or, you could get up, give life a shot and keep going, working towards becoming happier. Saying you want to change isn’t good enough, you have to act on it. Saying you want to become happier isn’t going to work if you don’t actually do something about it. Say how much you want to change all you want, you won’t change until you do something. I think the thing that stops a lot of people from acting on it is the fear of taking two steps forward and then one step back. It’s the fear that things aren’t going to become better straight away and it is demoralising.
But I’ve got something for you- it happens to absolutely everyone. Do you really think I don’t have my setbacks? Do you really think I’ve got it all together and because I’ve changed my perspective, I have my reasons and I make my choices, that everything’s all sunshine and rainbows? No way. I might not be struggling as much as I used to, but I still have days or weeks where I feel like absolute rubbish. Take this week for example. On Sunday night, I almost had a panic attack because I was overthinking the symptoms my body was having. This morning- it was a similar story, as was last night. I’ve had multiple days in a row where I feel like I couldn’t breathe properly and I was concentrating far too much on my breathing- which didn’t help. It happens to everyone and that is exactly where choice comes in. You have the power to decide how you react to it. This is where I’ve seen the most progress within myself. Even though I still have some of the same problems, I now know how to cope with it and it’s all to do with the way I react to it.
Are you going to fall back into old ways for good and not even bother? Or are you going to be resilient, admit that it’s a process and keep on trying? Are you going to sit there and look at Tumblr quotes about anxiety and depression or watching sad TV shows where you know you’ll end up feeling worse, or are you going to make an effort to avoid those and focus on the good?
Oddly enough, I used to be one of those people who would search up quotes about anxiety on Pinterest in order to feel like I wasn’t alone or to mope about in my feelings. It’s something a lot of people with anxiety and depression do and we find/found solace in. Little did I know, that focusing on those particular feelings only made it worse.
Before anyone says anything against that, I just wanted to make clear that everyone is on their own journey and ultimately I believe it’ll all happen when you’re ready. For me, it was a three year turnaround. It only took me three years to get to where I am now and it took a lot of hard work, consistency, listening to the right people’s advice and being determined to get better. When I said I’d do something, I’d do it. I stayed in sync with my intuition when it came to people, distancing myself from the negative nancies who impeded on my vibes and have started becoming closer to those who I see are good influences on me and help me grow, not tear me down to suit them.
What really sealed the deal for me was when I was in Thailand and this elusive perspective hit me. No, you do not need a trip away for this to happen to you. It can happen at any time, anywhere. I had my reasons, I had my choices and after Thailand, I had my perspective and honestly, it’s a beautiful thing.
So what is this perspective? Perspective to me is the way you see and react to things. It’s your attitude to life and the good and the bad that comes with it.
Perspective has been my ultimate game-changer. It’s been the icing on the cake and the equivalent of Darren Jolly and Luke Ball being recruited to Collingwood for the 2010 season. It’s most definitely an aid to helping you overcome your worries and fears and when you realise you have it, you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Yeah cool story, Mon. Now are you gonna tell us how we attain this almighty perspective?
Well yes. Yes, I will. And unfortunately, it’s not easy (as you’ve realised) and it’s not the same for everyone. There’s no guaranteed time frame for when you’ll get it- it could be days, months or years. There’s no set formula that will work for every single person, but there are things you can do to help.
-want it, and I mean really want it
-get out and about
-mix with the right people, mix with different people, talk to people who help you grow
-distance yourself/pay less attention/give less attention to those who you can sense are not good for you, whose vibes don’t match with yours, who don’t offer anything to you except drama, anxiety and doubts
-have a desire to learn, be open to learning new things, want to learn new things
-observe: observe your surroundings, observe others, observe the world from an objective standpoint
Apply these things and you’ll see a change in your perspective. When you’re open to more new things and realise how good life is, you’ll start to realise how important your attitude really is. I always thought it was necessary, but not as much as I do now having learnt the things I have learnt.
Have your reasons.
Make your choices.
Attain your perspective.
You got dis.