Descriptive Essay: Mastering Your Thoughts
It sounds easy from an outsider’s perspective – mastering your thoughts. Mastering your thoughts. There are plenty of books, articles, and journals out there devoted to teaching you how to do it – relax, keep calm, and count to ten. There are many variations, plenty of tips and tricks but they also essentially point to one key, which is understanding your emotions and processing them before reacting. Free your mind of emotions, write your feelings down, and meditate. One, two, three, four…again and again. It sounds so, so simple, but the reality is far from it, especially when your mind is a knot of thoughts.
As someone dealing with anxiety, things are much more complicated. There is a line between reality and the deception of your thoughts, but oftentimes it gets murky. The line is crossed, and things jump from this to that, making a mess of things. What should I be writing down again? What steps do I take now? How do I clear my mind when I feel so overwhelmed? Even my most memorable and enjoyable memories are draped with the dark cloak of anxiety. No matter how happy I feel at the moment, the next hour a new wave of emotions take over. Sometimes you’re reduced into a fit of crying wreck, with only walls and pillows for comfort – and it gets exhausting.
I was always shy as a child, hesitant and always second-guessing. I was always the quiet one, who only spoke when addressed. A quiet, breathing bundle of nerves, I would nearly pass out whenever called upon to recite in class. I didn’t have that many of friends, as my reserved nature prevented me from bonding with other children. My mother would always urge me to get ketchup packets and paper napkins at restaurants whenever I expressed for them, perhaps in an attempt to “cure” my nature. Many times, I remember, I felt like on the verge of puking. My adolescent years were pretty much the same, as I remained just as reserved and quiet. While my classmates competed for the limelight, preparing for debates, I hid behind curtains. Though things got better, I made sure to avoid recitations as much as I could, and refrained from joining any activities that took my out of my comfort zone.
I have gradually learned to deal with it better, but there are still down days. I still struggle now, especially with emotions. Often I feel everything to the extremes, sometimes feeling so down that I’m unable to function, and then come the sudden feelings of passion, which make me as if I could take on the world. It’s always one or the other, and oftentimes these random bursts of energy leave me feeling drained. I still can’t quite figure it out, and the books I read only point to the same things – master your thoughts, count to ten, process your emotions. How do you master your thoughts, though, when you feel nothing and everything all at the same time? Could anyone answer that? I also find that my frustrations also heighten too much at times, which I later find out to be directly proportional to increased anxiety. I grew up thinking I was too much of this and too much of that – the mere sound of a spoon clinking against a bowl or people talking too loudly was enough to drive me to a fit of anger. The phenomenon has a name, it turns out, called sensory overload, a common thing in people dealing with anxiety.
Being plagued by anxiety has made me a stranger to my own self, and I’m still on the journey of figuring myself out. The concept of mastering your own thoughts is something which I hope to figure out some day, but today I just aspire to know myself. Right now, I’ll find out who I am, and figure out all the things that make me happy, sad, angry, and afraid. Today, I shall deal with my reliant nature in the hope of breaking free from my comfort zone, because there is much of the world to see. Because I deserve that limelight, too. I owe it to myself to understand my emotions, process them, and eventually break free from the shackles of anxiety. Perhaps finally keeping a journal to write my feelings down will help, as with adopting to the habit of meditating. Perhaps counting to ten may just do the trick, and then gradually I’ll learn to sort and process my feelings, as what those books and sources tell you to do. The most vital of it all is learning to forgive myself when I fall back to square one – and there will be plenty of that. Mastering your thoughts isn’t easy, and it never was and never will be. But the first step towards it is acceptance. The rest of the process will fall accordingly. Your healing is yours and yours alone.
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