#Tip 3 Be Harry Potter. Defeat those dementors with positivity.

Hello Anxiety,

Yep that little cloud has caught up with me again. I’m pretty sure that if I let it I would receive a proper drenching. It’s days like this when all you want to do is stay in your misery coma (at least that is what it’s telling me). There is nothing else my body seems to want to do, but drown in it – bask in array of the poor-me’s in the hope that guilt which stirs in my veins will go away.

Here’s a metaphor for Harry Potter fans! The lowness is like a dementor which feeds off sadness. In a way it’s like the dementor has a grasp of our soul or rather our true selves. And although, Harry was cured by some sweet tasting chocolate which most of the time can help with the blues. A square or two too many can leave us with a guilty food baby or rather ironically back to square one which was feeling low to begin with. That is what JK was getting at. I have heard many a time that dementors were symbolic of depression, and you can definitely see why.

But, chocolate was only a temporary cure like comfort eating or the bad habits we end up in. Bare with I’m not a Potter buff but have watched the movies. How does JK have Harry overcome these demons? With positivity, of course. Now, I know such a word has been used many a patronising time, but it is true. We like the character Harry have to make a decision to either let ourselves be leeched by anxiety and depression or we can realise the power that we have and give them a shove off. At the end of the day Voldemort was really defeated by love. A love that he didn’t have. All he had was fear. A power run by fear is know true power at all!

So, how do we stop those dementors or cloaking darkness from attacking us? Well this tip is simple. Though perhaps harder to follow. The sooner you realise that you hold all the cards in your life. No one else. When you look at what you have rather than what you don’t (it doesn’t matter how big or small it is – as long as it is important to you), be thankful. You are loved. If you don’t feel that way then here is a virtual hug (   ) we love you! Remember all those times where you did something you never thought you could. Look back and hold on to that proud feeling. You can do anything. You can achieve anything. Don’t think, I am not like that person so I can’t become a famous painter or whatever it is you aspire to be. They had their troubles too. You just didn’t see it. I’m struggling with writing my book. I can feel crippled with self-doubt. But, I got to keep telling myself I can do it! Keep going. Aspire for what you want to do. 

Those people that you want to be like or have been jealous of or simply inspire you. They were people who felt the fear and did it anyway. Simply they were the ones that didn’t give up.

So neither should you. And although, I wasn’t expecting to do such a long Harry Potter metaphor. Here it is #Tip 3 Be Harry Potter. Defeat those dementors with positivity.

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Throw away those thoughts

By the time I think of how to put this into words I will have finished the tube of Smarties that are sitting at my desk. Perhaps it’s my kiddish side thinking that with each time I’m not typing or thinking about thinking that having a ‘smartie’ will give me a smart idea. I can’t quite decide whether this ideology is right or wrong, either way I’m typing this down.

Yep the Smarties have now officially gone – I’m sorry you should have asked if you wanted me to save you one. Anywho, I have shredded my anxiety. Literally shredded. Like it has been torn into little tiny shreds in a monster machine that has gobbled them up. And I’m not going to lie it was a bit of an anti-climax. There was no-one singing or a rainbow shooting over my head, but it still felt pretty darn good.

So, it all came about when someone decided to give me a message in the form of a little reading. Believe what you will, but it felt like there was some reason that it caught my eye. Funnily enough it talked about casting off your anxiety, do you see the irony now? Well, not only did it talk about throwing away your woes, but seeing your common worries as if they were an annoying mosquito. And what do you do when you see that mosquito? You normally slap it off as soon as your brain has registered the beady little thing that it was you were staring at. It told me, this is how we should view anxiety. When in the scenarios such as the mosquito or in fight and flight, we don’t spend time doddling about in our thoughts, we deal with instantly. Just like when we touch boiling water, our instinct is to jump away – not to think. Therefore, that is just how we should treat anxiety.

Too often we tip-toe around ourselves in an obvious game of hide and seek. Too many times do we try to shove what we fear to the corner of our minds like quickly closing the doors of a wardrobe that has too many clothes in – then running away. We know what is going to happen. That the clothes are going to fall out and everything is going to be a mess. But we choose not to face it. We say not now and do not look back. However, now you realise if you had dealt with the wardrobe in the first place, if you took some of the clothes out and dealt with them, you wouldn’t be faced with the seemingly bigger problem later.

I suppose it is like the time when you know something is going to fall out the fridge when the next person opens it. But, you don’t have to deal with it – so you close the door quick. On the day this happens to you, you are the one who has to clean it up. Just like with your mind. If you keep putting your worries aside. If you keep giving them fuel by not dealing with them straight away. Then you, yes you are the one who has to clean up. That milk carton has spilt everywhere and now instead of putting it somewhere else you have to clean up and perhaps bin some of the food it has leaked over.

So today I got a piece of paper and wrote numbering all the thoughts and worries I had. Once I had done this – read them aloud. I realised just how silly some of them were or how blinkered I had become. It made me feel selfish and ungrateful to read these things. This in itself made me realise that they were wrong. It put my thoughts in perspective rather than let them grow further. Then at last I did the deed. I shredded it. My thoughts were wrong. They were not me. Now do the same. You might be relieved to get some revenge on those nasty thoughts!

"Life is like a box of chocolates"

As a film junkie who has a habit of quoting films like some form of dictionary. I like the classic Forest Gump saying Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get [in a thick Southern accent]. Of course you have heard of this film. If not – how can you not have watched it? They have repeated it on Channel Four like a million times.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure if this were true, I would have devoured the whole box by now. But, what if I kept getting that chocolate that no-one wants. You know like the Milky-Way or Snickers that are left in the Celebrations tub at Christmas (if it even survives till then). Everyone else having beaten you and nabbed all your favouriteones **Cough Malteasers. Darn it next year we should just pick out all the best ones and hide them. And if you are one of the few heckling me over Snickers and Milky-Ways, stop moaning at least you get them all to yourself! Well, at least in my house you would! You waited too long, letting everyone else take that sweet opportunity. Now you are depressed and have no chocolate to stuff in your gob.

So, back to the point. What is my point? Oh, well I suppose if you think about it the quote explains us. Life is unpredictable – you can’t always get those pack of Cadbury milk buttons which are so – yummy… dreamy… mouth is watering…

I know what you are thinking. This quote is a bit inaccurate. Come on, the little menu on the inside of the box. Hello! The menu that everyone hogs for about a few seconds – hmming and harrring reading a bit of the description before finally picking. Then the next person snatches it from you – outraged you have made them wait so long. Granted that is true. So, think of it as a pack of Revels or better yet a big bag filled with all kinds of different chocolate – this time you’re blindfolded. Don’t cheat you are not allowed to peak, just pick one.

This time you can’t predict what you are going to get. I suppose as anxious people we like to think we know the menu. To us we know that having the bite of the hazelnut chocolate is going to send us nutty or the toffee keeping our words stuck in our mouth. But, sometimes they can surprise you perhaps the one that looked disgusting had this lovely chocolate centre.

Therefore, I can conclude that life is unpredictable. Unpredictability being the true nemesis for people like us with anxiety. The rules of the Chocolate Box SLASH Life game goes as follows:
1.      Don’t wait and let someone pick the chocolate you wanted and then get jealous. Go for it first!
2.      Go for something different. You might find your new favourite chocolate – a better and knew thing in your life.
3.      Fight the urge to get your crystal ball before taking the chocolate dip, chances are you could be wrong. And no you pessimistic creature it could be for good things too.
4.      Never let them expire. It is never good to let a good chocolate or opportunity go to waste.

They say chocolate should only be eaten in moderation. So the chocolates you pick out act as the big events in your life. Or rather screw it, you deserve to have a chocolaty life! Write down your goals or the chocolates you want eat (this figure of speech) and eat and enjoy them all. Why shouldn’t life be a sweet treat you get share with others, but this time try not to give everyone the ones you don’t like. Yep, I saw that. Every once in a while it is always nice to let someone else have the Malteaser one (or other that is your favourite).