Even though over the years I have been taught to bombard them with positive affirmations often it is too late, I am in its midst and I am experiencing a terrifying panic attack again. I feel that all my life has been a failure, even though to everyone else it hasn’t. I will die alone, homeless, unloved and unfulfilled. I sweat profusely, I shake, I can’t breathe, and I feel I am going to die, but it’s all irrational.
It goes without saying that Brent Pope has shown immense courage in his article in today's Irish Independent about his struggle with mental wellbeing.
Pope has spoken before about suffering from anxiety and a lack of self-confidence throughout his life. He has credited his move to Ireland as something that was hugely positive but of course, it did not mean that his struggles simply went away.
He writes as part of the Independent's 'Mind Yourself' series, and while you can read more about his demons here I think it's worth concentrating more on some of the practices that have helped him.
I try and picture myself in the ocean with the waves gently lapping up against me, rhythmically calming myself. I ask myself, “What’s the worst that can happen here?” And I work backwards from there.
So, if I lose my job, I will find another one. If I lose my house, I will find another one. I tell myself that this will soon pass, it has before and that my negative thoughts are just that - mere thoughts, not reality.
While he is not alone in his struggles his experience can be invaluable for many.
He also references his practice of keeping a journal every day where he writes down five things he is grateful for, 'Easy, you may say. Not so - on some days I can’t seem to find even one. But each day I do it religiously. In the morning I look at my list from the day before and say to myself “yesterday was not a bad day, today can be even better.'''
This ritual is actually scientifically proven to help people into a happier place.
You can read Brent's full column on the Independent here. It's well worth your time.