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

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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

Originally published: May 25, 2015
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