When bad days and difficult emotions present themselves, it’s easy to feel like giving up. I am on my on journey to overcome these bad days and embrace these emotions, but have been learning some awesome things along the way and practicing something so simple that has started to rework the way I approach life daily.
I was listening to a podcast focused on recovery for a specific type of anxiety disorder, OCD, and the therapist being interviewed talked about one of the best analogies I’ve heard for facing your fears and working to overcome the type of anxiety that couples itself with OCD.
I feel like this analogy is super relevant in everyone’s life even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or OCD. All of us have specific fears, reservations in life and absolutely everyone comes face to face with bad days and difficult emotions.
The therapist started to talk about the difference between cows and buffalo when a thunderstorm is coming their way. She said, cows being scared of the storm, start to run from it hoping they can ultimately avoid it altogether. The ironic thing is, that no matter how fast they run, the storm catches up and they still get stuck in it, but are now exhausted from running. Oppositely, buffalo decide to run towards the storm, knowing that if they run through it they will get out of it faster and will be able to rest sooner. How funny? I thought this analogy was so perfect for embracing fear, those bad days, and difficult emotions we can push down and bottle up. It is also so counterintuitive to how we are wired as humans, to run, to take flight and most of the time avoid what scares us.
I’ve been trying to fully embrace this idea in my life of running towards the storm. Another therapist puts it this way, “It’s a great day to do hard things.”
I decided to write down short mantras/ideas like the ones above I can read and absorb each day. I took some sticky notes and placed them all over my bathroom mirror. This way I read them and let them sink in more and more. At the top of the sticky notes I have the word Perseverance written. It’s the word I chose for this season of my life and it has been so life giving as I am reminded by it daily.
There is something so powerful about placing words that empower you to keep going where you can see them. It is a retraining of the brain, to run towards the storm, to read positive words even when you don’t feel like it, and to keep going, to keep persisting even through the worst of days and the most difficult emotions.
Some of the mantras I have placed on my mirror are:
Run towards the storm
It’s a great day to do hard things
Trust in God
Even when you feel like you can’t, press on
Press through the pain
Practice Self-love & Compassion
You got this