Overcome. This is a great word. It’s a word that has changed perception in the human mind for over the past 300 years. Overcome has eluded to getting through difficult physical situations; famine, warring enemies, plagues. It has also evoked the idea of overcoming mental breakthroughs; the combustion engine, nuclear power, harnessing solar energy. If you are similar to the half of American’s who struggle with some sort of emotional blockade such as; anxiety or depression, then you understand the desire to overcome now lies within your emotions.

The problem with emotional issues is that they are a lot more difficult to understand, given their lack of physicality. We can overcome a mountain or river after we study it for a period of time. We can overcome complex math problems after calculating and recalculating. But emotional issues? How do we quantify, calculate or study these problems? There is hope, and it might be more simple than you’d think.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or some other emotional hang-up, you have to become your own science experiment. Studying yourself is crucial. Here are some simple ways in which you can study your own emotional situation:

Recall - One of the best ways to study yourself is to recall. Recall is done well through a timeline. Get about 7 pieces of paper, tape them together, end for end. Then draw a big line down the middle of all pieces of paper. Start filling it in with all the memories you have. Be creative, and try to include as many memories as you can. The more time you spend, the more memories will come to you. Ask family members to help you jog your memory for earlier years in your life.

Observe - Take daily note of your emotions. Anxious? Yes? Note it and rate it on a 10 point scale. Explain the situations leading up to the feelings of anxiety.

Journal - Your journal should be used for mainly writing down a lot of thoughts that don't make a whole lot of sense at first. There is no judgment in your journal. Just start writing.

We have become experts in many areas but our own lives have been lacking. To overcome our hang-ups, we must become experts of ourselves and the information above is a great way to start. As always, if your hang-up is not resolved within a reasonable amount of time, please contact a professional to help.

By: Nicholas Smith, MA, LPC