Saturday, June 7, 2014

Addressing 'woe is me' and 'why me' thinking

Everybody has good days and bad days. When people with anxiety have bad days, we tend to fall into a “woe is me” and “why me” attitude. Maybe we let ourselves perform a compulsion over and over we know we shouldn’t have. Maybe we lacked the effort to not spot symptoms and correct our behavior. Maybe we are exhausted from a stressful week compounded with anxiety. Living with anxiety can be a struggle at times and, coupled with the usual daily stressers, it can be easy to fall into despair over continuous symptoms.

When I find myself feeling this way, I remind myself that questions about why I have anxiety usually don’t lead anywhere useful. After all, Dr. Low tells us that everyone has anxiety, but we “nervous people” tend to feel the effects more acutely and more frequently, and we have a tendency to overreact to distressing—but not dangerous—feelings that most people dismiss. As anxiety sufferers, we have a chronic condition, not likely to disappear overnight and likely requiring lifelong management.

When days seem dark and times tough, I like to adopt Dr. Low’s emphasis on being a leader in addressing one’s symptoms. Instead of rolling over, lamenting my lot in life, and letting symptoms get the best of me, I decide it’s time to double down, take control, and remind myself that feelings are not facts. Feelings and sensations cannot be controlled, but thoughts and impulses can be. “Woe is me” thinking is indeed under my control. I look back on all I’ve done, endorse myself for my achievements toward a healthier life, and recognize that sometimes there are setbacks—but setbacks do not reset my progress.

Sure, from time to time I get discouraged. But taking what Dr. Low calls the “total view” allows me to put everything in perspective. “Woe is me” and “why me” thinking focuses only on the past. This is a partial view that doesn’t benefit me. Taking the total view, recognizing my progress and projecting a long-term healthier outlook, I feel re-energized and rejuvenated. Yes, I’ll have bad days, and there will be times when I wish all of my anxiety would just go away. But recognizing I am taking a leadership role in my own health, that life is so much better now that I endorse myself for continuous spotting and practicing Recovery, recharges me and provides me with an overall broader, healthier, and optimistic view on the days ahead.


lekan sola said...


It is apleasure to contact you.

I have a wife who has been having depression for over 20 years. She has been usinf EFFEXOR for over a year now and with little improvement.

Now i want her to do Acupunture and use Chinese herbs too. She seems not ready to do treatments now again.

Please how can i help her ,toconvince her to do the treatment?

Please i need your help


A.R Wilson said...

Hey there :)

I also suffer with anxiety. I have been suffering badly for the last few months now. I started my own blog about how I deal with it etc..

Please have a look :)

Doug said...

Lekan, my advice is to consult a mental heath professional. I am not an expert by any means, and professional guidance would be best in your case. Recovery is also open to anyone. See to find a meeting in your area or join an online meeting.

SI said...

Social anxiety was affecting me on a daily basis and living in fear everyday of what was going to happen . After trying a few self help things on the internet that were a complete waste of money, I was beginning to accept that this might be the way my life is always going to be. I wanted nothing more than to find a cure for this.
after coaching session , i realised that anxiety is the symptoms of a trapped emotion energy in the body; can occur any time,
anxiety was affecting me on a daily basis and living in fear everyday of what was going to happen. After many therapy sessions with psychologists , I found coaching program on a blog ; I definitely notice a difference, I’ve become comfortable in busy places, cinemas, cafe , restaurants, concerts,i felt calmer,and in peace

Valdone Tucker said...

Like A.R.Wilson, I too have started a blog about this and that and my personal journey through anxiety. I find that keeping my mind busy helps me to break the worry-loop that I am bent on experiencing. Your Dr. Abraham Low is certainly someone to check out because I do love to academically challenge myself about things. Now, it is anxiety.
If you would like to check out my two entries you can find them on:
Much thanks to be able to read someone else's journey.
Posted by: Valdone

Perspective said...

I am really loving your blog, and learning about how other people also suffer from Anxiety. I always thought I was very much alone, and that nobody would ever understand what it was like. But reading all of your blog posts has made me realize that I am not alone.

I decided to try and document my journey of recovery, so that I could not only look at the bad, but the good and realize how far I may have come when I look back in the future, or help people to realize they are not alone like you have done for me.

If you want to check out my blog it is:

first date tips said...

Consult a psychiatrist once in a while they surely can help.

Anonymous said...

What a big change since 2008. I did read all yours blogs and since you started using recovery tools. Bang what a change. You should endorse yourself for everything you did. All your blogs motivating me. There should be more people reading it(we cannot control outer environment) as this the best tools I ever found. I did CBT , acupuncture, medications and nothing works sbetter as Dr lows tools.

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog. Great food for thought. Many thanks!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LaurenHayley said...

Hi guys, could you please fill in my survey - looking to start a new brand raising awareness and reducting stigma for mental health disorders. Just 10 quick questions :) Thanks a lot

Doug said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for commenting on my growth since 2008. I am honored you've been following my journey. Dr. Low's teachings have transformed my life.

Chris B. said...

Oh my - that "why me" thinking seems every much what I have experiencing lately.
I have been struggling to get my business off the ground, seeing others have success but not me - man that sounds just like what I have been experiencing!

Anonymous said...

I've been suffering for the past two years and I can't seem to fight it without being on medication:(