Replacing dread with joy and excitement #mentalhealth


In a way it has been as simple as the title suggests. A year or so ago my life was centered and preoccupied with worry, anxiety and depression. When I was going to go do something all I could focus on was what part of it I didn’t like. But now I have slowly come around to fixating on the fun things and exciting things I have to look forward to. And this is not just for big events, it is every day life.

A big part of it is adding things I love back into my life. And then finding ways to enjoy them more. And then slowing down to appreciate the little pieces of fun that crop up from unexpected places. For example, the other night I was putting Emily to bed, which is a daily ritual. And it was full of the usual little annoyances, little time wasters to put off the moment of turning off the light: where is my stuffed animal, changing into PJ’s, can you get me this etc. But when I finally got her in bed and then leaned down to give her a kiss, I gave her a little tickle session, taking a second to savor the giggles. That wiped away the frustration of all those little delays.

An example of adding things back into my life is role playing, painting, and possible miniatures games. This weekend is my Denver game, and I have been looking forward to this for four weeks! The wasn’t much of that in my life a year ago. I liked running, and the races were a challenge, but they were more milestones to be crossed, not events to get excited about. But this, this I can really get excited about. I am more productive with my writing because of this, which is something I also enjoy doing.

Another example, the new Games Workshop edition of Fantasy table top game. And for the first time in a while I am actually excited and interested in this. So yesterday I was printing out the rules and army lists and getting excited about building forces and then taking the rules home to show Jimmy and Kim. And then teaching the boys how to play the game at home. There are truly so many exciting things to do now, and I get to share them with other people in my life.

Heck I am even kind of excited about getting into some different exercises soon. It won’t be the same as running, it will be different, but it is something different to look forward to. So long as I make sure to not let that consume my life again.

In that is the real key. Find good things to look forward to, that give me joy and I get excited about. But get as many of them as possible, instead of having just the one thing that gives me joy. And then when I go to something, be it work, home from work, a big family event, scout event etc. Find something in that to look forward to, and use that to replace any anxiety I am feeling about the pending event.

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