I was listening to the radio this morning and heard Goldie Hawn in an interview talking about anxiety in children - the poor woman was trying to sell her book but the presenter of Woman's Hour wanted to get a bit more of the blonde, Private Ryan, fun, film girl.
In between the conversation about being a ditsy blonde (in which Goldie, very rightly, said that ditsiness has nothing to do with being stupid) she managed to get across a couple of important points about life, anxiety and depression. I didn't agree with everything she said but this I wanted to try:
She said that one strategy for dealing with crippling depression and/or anxiety is to look for positives (not easy) - to actually force yourself to look for 5 things every day that you are grateful of. It takes the focus off the negative stuff - which is what we anxious people are so damned good at honing in on. In fact I could actually be a professional nit-picker.
I'm not totally sure about the word 'grateful' but I get what she means. I would rather just say there are many things that are good in my life that outweigh the bad.
I've been a bit fed-up about a couple of things today and now is a good day to try this Good Things theory out. So here goes...
Off the top of my head:
1. I live in a country that is enjoying a long run of peace time. This means my life is SO much better then those of the poor people in Homs we have witnessed on the news this week. To be deprived of basic needs and loved ones amidst total fear and uncertainty is something I hope I never have to experience.
2. I have a home in a beautiful part of the world, 2 miles from the sea.
3. I have a husband and 3 children that I love. Some people never find love. Some people never have children. It was always very important to me that I had both and I have experienced that, whatever happens.
4. I was fortunate enough to have parents that sacrificed A LOT to pay for music lessons for 2 instruments for each of their 3 daughters (can you imagine the cost!?) and now have the ability to pick up a new piece of music and sight-read it when I want to challenge myself or simply enjoy the feeling of creating a simple sound.
5. I've never had to have a conversation with that annoying TV business woman who goes around bullying small business owners and making them look small and useless. (Yes, she's on TV right now!)
Wow. I've thought of loads more. They'll have to wait.
I wonder if I should do this again tomorrow.
If there was a number 6, it should be 'I'm so lucky to live in blue grass land'
I'd love to hear from anyone who tries this '5 things' thing. Especially if you struggle with anxiety and self-esteem/ sense of purpose issues.