A common question that I ask during the process of therapy is, "What do you want your life to look like?" The answer to this question can come in many forms. If you have been feeling sad or anxious for many years, or maybe your whole life, the answer to this question could be, "I don't know." After all, if you have been trying each day not to feel sad or anxious, where is there room to think about having fun? If you have racing thoughts that seem to take over your mind every day, where is there room for exploring goals or reaching out to others to build relationships? And if you have been feeling sad or anxious for several years or maybe for as long as you can remember, how would you even begin to feel something different?
Whether you have been on your journey of change for one day, one month, one year, or one lifetime, the questions of what you want your life to look like and where you go from here are important. Although it may feel scary, dreaming about what you want your life to be is not only OK, but it is healthy and necessary.
You may say, "Well I know that I don't want to feel anxious any longer, but I don't know what that looks like or how to get there." OK, let's start with that and build from there. Are there times when you don't feel worried, sad, or upset? How does that feel? What are you doing when that happens? Are there activities or people who help improve your mood or make you feel calmer? Start there. Spend time with people who bring out the best in you. Participate in activities that help you feel relaxed, calm, happy, and fulfilled. Over time, think about longer term goals such as your career, bucket list, and relationships. What do you want to change or improve? Is there a place you'd like to travel to that you've always wanted to see? Are there relationships you'd like to be part of, but have been afraid? Start small and build your goals and dreams over time.
Try participating in something that you enjoy for 15-20 minutes twice this week to get you started - and let yourself have fun!