When you're working to recover from something like anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, you might often make things WAY more complicated than they need to be! I know I did! And when you do this, you easily lose sight of the simple, basic stuff that will help you a ton, like spending time in nature.
So in this episode, I'm sharing something with you that has always been a huge passion of mine - hiking and the mountains! And I'm sharing with you how these things helped me in so many ways to overcome anxiety. And I promise, this episode will be super helpful for you even if you don't like to hike or consider yourself much of an outdoorsy person!
How the Mountains and Hiking Helped ME To Overcome Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia
Choosing To Do The Things YOU Value, Instead Of What Anxiety Values!
Anxiety makes us start to fear so many different things. Sometimes, even the things we enjoy the most can start to feel pretty scary. I've always loved to go hiking...But when I was really struggling with anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, it felt so unsafe. I was scared to be far away from the car, reception, hospitals, you name it! It became really difficult to keep doing the things I loved. And even though I kept showing up, things were really difficult.
But it's so powerful and important to choose to do the things you value, rather than allowing fear and anxiety to choose. Because when I kept choosing to do the things that mattered to me, while letting anxiety come along, the anxiety and panic realized it didn't need to show up nearly as much! Although it might not always seem like it, I want to remind you that you have a choice. And I want you to keep choosing to do the things that you value!
Learning That It's Safe To Panic Anywhere
Spending time hiking in the mountains helped me understand and believe that it is safe to panic anywhere. So many of us who experience panic attacks struggle to believe that we can panic in certain places, and this is often because we don't allow ourselves to panic in those places. We will run, avoid, and often do whatever we can to not have to go back to sometimes!
But because I kept choosing to show up to the mountains, despite my panic disorder and agoraphobia, I ultimately had quite a few panic attacks along the way. And, of course, these panic attacks were uncomfortable and not ideal! But when I came out the other side of each panic attack, I started to realize it was safe to panic in the outdoors. Heck, it was safe to panic anywhere! So I want to encourage you to take small steps toward allowing yourself to panic in the places you avoid. Because you are safe to panic anywhere!
How You Can Apply These Lessons To Your Recovery
You don't have to hike or be outdoorsy to get some valuable takeaways from my story! But with my story, I want to encourage you to keep doing the things that make you feel more present and connected. This might look like a hobby, taking a walk through nature, practicing meditation, or anything that you love! And remember, if panic happens to show up, you are absolutely safe to feel it. In fact, allowing yourself to feel the panic just means that you are really brave, my friend!
Tune in and listen to the full episode for all the goodness! Until next time, friend, keep taking healthy action!