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Gratitude - A Mental Health Journey

May of 2021 I was in Knoxville, TN with our softball team playing in the NCAA tournament. After a workout one day I began to feel absolutely terrible. I was nauseous and tired but the workout wasn't that hard and I had only a small breakfast and lunch that day. I thought sleep and rest would help but after a month of feeling terrible I went to the doctor. Turns out nothing was physically wrong but I had a panic attack / I was stressed out. My nervous system was absolutely fried. In fact, just talking with the doctor that day made me feel better. Fast forward to now and it has happened again and again. I go through phases where even doing a warmup makes me tired or carrying groceries makes my muscles want to cramp. ( I have got multiple tests done and there is nothing physically wrong with me). I have no idea what exactly triggers it but I am learning what helps me cope with it. If you struggle with something like this here is what helps me...

  1. Therapy. Just give it a try.

  2. Calm app when I wake up and when I go to sleep. I do a morning mediation and a night time meditation. This has greatly improved my sleep and my breathing. I also read my Bible everyday and use my meditation to thank God for things in my life.

  3. Gratitude. Most importantly I am thankful for my situation, my career, my family, and my friends. Trying to start a gratitude journal.

  4. Breathing. I have two favorite breathing patterns I use to help me calm down. The first is I breathe in through my nose for 4 seconds, hold 4 for seconds, and breathe out through my mouth for 4 seconds. This is a pattern the Navy Seals use in their training and combat situations. Secondly I use two consecutive deep breaths through my nose without breathing out, hold for a second, and then breathe out through my mouth slowly.

  5. I fight against "self care" and focus on "true care". I make myself do chores, workout, meal prep, taxes, etc. Putting those important things off only makes me less resilient.

In life I believe we must hold two absolute truths together:

  1. We don't know what others are going through, so be kind.

  2. We know that humans are designed to be extremely resilient so we should live like it. We must do hard things and go through hard things.

Love yall

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