What I find challenging about the feeling of regret is that I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I don’t know about you, but I have a bad habit of repeating these memories in my mind. Every time I remembered the situation, it stirred up the feelings of shame and disappointment. Recently, I’ve been learning a new way to respond to these feelings of regret. And it’s very simple – let go of the past and move forward. 🙂 Yep. It’s that simple… but simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. When a friend first said that to me, it was really hard for me to receive. The feeling of regret is usually accompanied by guilt, and I could not let go of the guilt for some reason.
It’s one of those evenings again. I have some free time, and was excited about catching up with chores around the house. As I glanced around at my surroundings, that familiar sinking feeling came back. Just looking at the piles of dirty dishes in the sink had sucked all of the energy out of me. “What’s the use? The clutter is never going away.” I felt defeated even before I began.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned on managing anxiety. In the process, it became clear how deeply personal my journey has been. I wish there’s an “easy button” to banish anxiety for good, but that’s just not the case. However, changing my mindset and learning life skills in the right areas have helped me cope with stress much better. I know everyone has their unique set of challenges. All I can do is share my experiences in hope that it may be encouraging and helpful to those who may have similar struggles like me. Here, I will give a quick overview, highlighting the key elements that made major differences in my life. Eventually, I hope to discuss and explain these areas in more detail.
I had a pretty hectic schedule these last few weeks. We patched up an unexpected leaky roof, filed taxes, and celebrated Chinese New Year (which is kind of like Christmas for Chinese families except kids get “lucky money” from relatives instead of gifts from Santa.) Only now can I get back to my normal routine. Feeling drained, I made sure to take things easy the week after the festivities to rest up. Usually, a few free afternoons are all I need to recover and feel rested. However, last night, when our internet had a slight hiccup, I went into full-on panic mode again. The sudden wave of anxiety shocked me. The week of rest I had before didn’t seem to matter much. Emotionally, I felt like I had not rested at all.
I wrestle with anxiety often. I’m not sure if it’s an Asian thing, but many of my girlfriends also have similar struggles. When I was young, when my mom came home late from work, I would jump to the worst scenario possible and couldn’t shake it off. It’s weird. I remember having a rather carefree childhood. Somewhere along the way, this fearful mindset snuck in.