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17 'Little' Victories That Aren't So Little When You Have Anxiety


Last week, a¬†Reddit user made the following statement in the site’s Anxiety subreddit, a space where people can openly¬†discuss and/or find help if they or a friend experiences anxiety:

“As I’m sure all of you already know first-hand it can be overwhelming even to do the ‘little’ or ‘normal’ things in life for those with anxiety issues.¬†It’s about time every one of us bragged about our triumphs big and small in our day to day life.¬†I want you to tell me about your victories – large and small.”

The responses¬†poured in, and The Mighty wanted to¬†compile a few for those who may be unfamiliar with Reddit or just not active users in¬†its Anxiety subreddit. Maybe¬†someone’s answer will help you or a loved one with anxiety find pride in what others may consider a tiny victory. Maybe someone’s answer will convince you to seek help. Maybe¬†you’ll learn a bit more about anxiety. Hey, maybe you won’t relate at all. That’s OK too.

Here are 17 “little” victories that deserve to be celebrated:

1.I got up on time this morning for work, despite feeling anxious and not wanting to face the day!”

2.¬†I finally started attending free counseling sessions that my university offers. This was a big step for me.”

3.¬†I walked to the beach and back without my social anxiety screaming at me to retreat! My emotional support dog may have helped with that.”

4.¬†“Friend asked me to hang out but then said he was busy at the last minute. Ordinarily, I would have thought, ‘Maybe I did something wrong’ or ‘He’s pissed with me.’ This type of mindset may influence further negative behaviors. But I didn’t allow myself to believe those thoughts. I countered the beliefs. I said to them, ‘He clearly values our friendship if he asked me to hang out. Maybe something came up or he is going through something. You did nothing wrong.’”

5. I played bridge last night with seven other people.

6.¬†I just made two phone calls in a row without going mute,¬†and so far no feelings of nausea.”

7.¬†I went to the movies last night with a friend for the first time in months! I haven’t been out of the house for almost two weeks.”

8.¬†I finally went to see a therapist.”

9.¬†I went to a restaurant for lunch by myself today. I really enjoyed myself actually, and it was a real treat.”

10.¬†“Today I was able to work myself through a time of panic by counting slowly as I walked through a busy store.”

11.¬†Went for a jog at the park this morning. This was huge for me considering the amount of people there and my social anxiety.”

12.¬†I started biking again¬†to clear my head, and it’s been very beneficial.”

13.¬†Tonight I’ve started looking into therapists in my area. It may not seem like the biggest victory, but after dealing with anxiety and depression for over four years, this is a big step for me, and I know it’s in the right direction.”

14.¬†“Today, for the first time in weeks, I ate without having a major anxiety attack.”

15.¬†“I got a job about a month ago, and it’s been very stressful, but I haven’t gone home pretending to be sick because I was overwhelmed! I’ve been pushing through! I used to have a tendency to just get overwhelmed and give up, so this is a huge step for me.”

16.¬†I’ve made plans (and actually followed through) with two friends in the past week.”

17.¬†“Yesterday while leaving work, a guy stopped me and asked for directions to another one of my company’s buildings. In the past I would get nervous and just point in the general direction of where he had to go, and as soon as he walked that way, I would walk in the opposite direction even though we were both headed for the same place… But this time, not only did I walk him to the building, I also introduced myself and we both had a wee chat on the way. There were no nerves, no stuttering, no streams of sweat running down my back/chest. I didn’t even realize all of that until after it happened (gotta say it felt pretty good).”

What’s a “little” victory you want to celebrate today? Let us know in the comments below.

Related: 31 Secrets of People Who Live With Anxiety