Cognitive Distortions are All Black and White

My favorite color is grey.

OK, not really. But perhaps it should be, considering what I’m about to say.

I believe that we live life in the grey area. That nothing is black and white, right and wrong, cut and dry. I’ve been working on writing new content for Pacifica (look for exciting stuff soon!) and have found myself coming back to this idea several times. Often when we are struggling it’s because we’re looking for things to fit into boxes, to be neat and clean, and they aren’t. Life is full of exceptions to rules, qualifiers, maybes, and “that depends”.

One of the key points of Cognitive-behavioral therapy, upon which Pacifica is largely based, is that our thoughts have a major role in determining our emotions and behaviors. CBT holds that negative thoughts or cognitive distortions are one of the most important factors in maintaining mental illness.

A cognitive distortion is an error in thinking which can lead you to perceive the world inaccurately. Cognitive distortions are often negative self-statements and typically reinforce negative beliefs you have about yourself, others, or the world. One example would be telling yourself “I’m a loser. No one likes me.” You probably don’t have evidence that this is true, and this thinking trap will undoubtedly make you feel worse about yourself. If you are able to recognize that telling yourself “I’m a loser” is an exaggerated negative thought, you might then be inclined to try to convince yourself of the opposite: “I’m fantastic. I’m great. I’m the best.” But you may or may not have evidence for that either.

The fact is that, for most of life, we are in the grey area. Sometimes we are great, other times, not so much. Everybody has off days and makes mistakes. We also all have days where we feel like we’re doing well and things are going our way. The sum total of all this up-and-down is that we are all somewhere in the middle. In the grey.

gray

The key to accurate, non-distorted thinking is to recognize that nothing in life is simple or absolute (there’s probably even an exception to this!).

Finding Balance

One of the most innovative and helpful aspects of CBT that we’ve integrated into Pacifica is the ability to identify and challenge your thoughts. Once you notice that you are engaging in black-and-white thinking, you can take a step back and start to question whether the event or issue you are thinking about is really all one way or the other, or if perhaps you’ve made an inaccurate interpretation. Reframing or restating those extreme thoughts can be very helpful when trying to find emotional balance. It’s not always easy, but with practice you will get into the habit of seeing your thoughts and recognizing when you’ve fallen victim to a distortion. This often decreases the intensity of negative emotions and makes it possible to move forward.

So the next time you are trying to swing your views of yourself strongly one way or the other, remember that, probably, the truth is somewhere in the middle. An excellent goal would be to identify those balanced, realistic views.

New Year’s Resolutions

The winter holidays and beginning of the new year are a good time for reflection. Many people choose to make a New Year’s resolution, something that they want to do differently or better in the coming year. Losing weight and paying down debt are common choices. I have a few things I want to work on. One goal for the coming year will be to live more purposefully, being more mindful of how I spend my time.

Oftentimes I get most of the way through the workday and look at the clock in surprise, not realizing where the time has gone. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Our lives are so full of demands for our time and attention that it’s easy to lose track of things, to get drawn off our path. I don’t have data to back this up, but I have a hunch that one reason we (well, some of us) get pulled off task so easily is that we need moments to decompress. We need to have short mindless breaks to just breathe and not keep hammering away on the NEXTBIGTHING, so we pull up Facebook or some other thing like a video game or YouTube clip.

This is not to say that I think we need to completely eliminate these distractions from our lives. In fact, I think we need them. My hope is that I can schedule these moments a bit, and try to be purposeful about when I take these breaks. There is good evidence that a similar approach can work for scheduling “worry time” (instead of just worrying intermittently throughout the day) or rewarding ourselves for completing difficult projects (instead of just miserably grinding away). It may also be useful to take little “distraction” breaks between tasks as a bit of a transition.

Iain Thomas - “And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

There are different ways that I think I could implement this new approach: to-do lists, reminders, even asking for more accountability from others. In addition to planning out little breaks during my day, I think I’m going to try to practice mindfulness on a more regular basis. I want to improve my ability to know what I’ve been doing, when, and why. Mindfulness is intentional, conscious attention to the current moment. It’s not being on autopilot. Mindfulness can be helpful for a wide range of things, from chronic pain to depression, to addiction and ADHD. We’ll have more on this in the future, but for now, wish me luck on my resolution.

Opposite Action

“Sorry Doc, I was too stressed out to make it in last week.” This sentence was said to me by a therapy client, letting me know why they’d missed the previous session. Often times in life, we experience periods of increased stress. Times when we aren’t sleeping as well, or when we’re in a funk at work. Or maybe having frequent arguments with a spouse. Sometimes when we are dealing with greater stress, we feel an urge to withdraw, to pull into ourselves, and stop doing the things that have helped us in the past–like going to therapy and talking about what’s stressing us out, and getting some help with it.

Recently a friend of mine, who has been meditating and using mindfulness regularly, experienced a health scare. This left him with a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions. As I spoke to him about how he is handling it and how he’s feeling, I mentioned that this would be a great opportunity for him to take advantage of all the work he has been doing on his ability to accept his emotions and really use the skills he’s developed. His reaction to my suggestion wasn’t super positive. And I have to say, I’m not that surprised.

Emotions have accompanying “action tendencies” and when we are feeling anxious or feeling like life is uncertain, one common tendency is to go back to what is familiar and what has been comforting in the past. For him, it’s (I’m making an assumption here) worrying. For someone who is feeling overwhelmed by life in general, the action urge might be to stay in bed and pull the covers up. But one thing we know from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) (a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, and heavily influenced by mindfulness and acceptance approaches) is that “Opposite Action” can be what’s most effective. So that, for example, when you have the urge to give up and stay in bed, what might be most helpful is get out there and interact with the world. Will it be hard? Certainly. But it can really help to combat those feelings. It can also give you a sense of mastery for being able to set a goal and accomplish it.

To my friend I would suggest that even though the anxiety about this unknown in his life might be justified, he should do what’s most effective, what will bring him closer to his goals. And so rather than allow his worries to pile up and dominate his thoughts, and then spend effort trying to fight those worries, he should take a nice deep, slow breath, and remember that he can only control what he can control. And that might not be his thoughts, or necessarily what happens with this health issue. But he can control how he reacts to those thoughts: whether he gets stuck on them, or whether he notices them, labels them, and lets them go.

19 Movies for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can be debilitating or isolating, but there are movies out there that capture what it’s like. Even better, there are movies that can help.

We asked Pacifica users to list their favorite movies for dealing with anxiety and depression. Here are some of their favorites:

Movies for Anxiety and Depression

  1. Inside Out

    Inside Out - #1 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Inside Out was amazing. It made me laugh and cry and really invested me in the characters. It really showed me that my depression doesn’t have to be what I make it out to be. You learn through those experiences, and you use them to be happy in the future. Great film.”
    See original post

    “Inside Out has lifted me up a lot while going through the worst of my depression. The importance of having both joy AND sadness in your life really spoke to me.”
    See original post

  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Perks of Being a Wallflower - #2 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It has a great understanding of what being anxious and depressed is like and makes me feel less lonely.”
    See original post

    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower is amazing because it acknowledges hardships like depression, PTSD, and such but it also shows how wonderful life can be.”
    See original post

  3. Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 - #3 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I absolutely love watching Big Hero 6! I can’t get enough of it.”
    See original post

    “Big Hero 6 is just so cute it makes me happy.”
    See original post

  4. Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook - #4 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Silver Linings Playbook never fails to make me feel better about myself and my daily battle with mental illness.”
    See original post

    “Silver Linings Playbook is a great movie. It’s so hilarious, yet genuine and somewhat relatable. It always make me laugh and lifts my spirit.”
    See original post

  5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off - #6 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Ferris Bueller’s Day off’- great teen film. Makes me happy.”
    See original post

    “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off makes me so happy :)”
    See original post

  6. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

    It's Kind of a Funny Story - #6 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “It’s Kind of a Funny Story is so damn relatable, plus it’s adorably cute and always gives me hope.”
    See original post

    “It’s Kind of a Funny Story saved my life.”
    See original post

  7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - #7 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I personally like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It inspires me to go out and explore the world instead of just daydreaming about it! And the soundtrack is BEAUTIFUL?”
    See original post

  8. Good Will Hunting

    Good Will Hunting - #8 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I personally love the movie Good Will Hunting (about a guy that is really smart but wasn’t given great circumstances in his life and gets to know a professor because he’s a math genius. Both him and the professor bond over their troubled past and the film ends in a very happy way despite all the sad moments. There are also lots of jokes).”
    See original post

    “Good will hunting is very inspirational.”
    See original post

  9. Finding Neverland

    Finding Neverland - #9 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “My therapist once recommended the movie Finding Neverland. After it was over, i cried, almost uncontrollably like when you held it in for so long. It was a great experience and a great movie.
    See original post

    “Finding Neverland was the movie that inspired me to keep a journal everyday and just write whatever pops into my head.”
    See original post

  10. Girl Interrupted

    Girl Interrupted - #10 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Girl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, etc. Excellent cast of actors that bring out the depth of their characters who can be flawed, but always-as in life-have some good in them. If you feel like you’re going insane, watch this.”
    See original post

    “Girl, interrupted’ such a beautiful film.”
    See original post

  11. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - #11 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a beautiful movie.?”
    See original post

    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Every single time I watch it.”
    See original post

  12. Dead Poets Society

    Dead Poet's Society - #12 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Dead poet’s society is a movie that always makes me feel just the right mixture of strong emotions and happiness.”
    See original post

    “Dead Poets Society is a classic. Salute to Robin Williams with this post for his role as Mr. Keating.”
    See original post

  13. Lilo & Stitch

    Lilo and Stitch - #13 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Lilo & Stitch – I have such a deep emotional connection to the story. Two unique individuals that don’t fit in find each other and form the strongest bond. I fall in love and cry every time I watch it as it gives me hope that my unique, quirky ways will make me find happiness.”
    See original post

    “Lilo & Stitch always makes me really happy and I love to watch it when I’m feeling down.”
    See original post

  14. Breakfast Club

    Breakfast Club - #14 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “The breakfast club is one of my favorites. It shows the coming together of five very different individuals in a Saturday detention and proving that you can find friends in unlikely places if you just give what your not used to a chance. ? i highly recommend it.”
    See original post

    “The Breakfast Club. Aside from the awesome soundtrack, the realness of each character and those few hours in detention reminded me I was not alone.”
    See original post

  15. Amélie

    Amélie - #15 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Amelie is one of my favorites! It’s especially uplifting for folks who are struggling with the single life, looking for love. It also shows the power of imagination.?”
    See original post

    “Amélie is a French film, but does have English subtitles. It is probably one of the cutest yet mature films I have seen! I highly recommend it if your looking for something different.”
    See original post

  16. Edward Scissorhands

    Edward Scissorhands - #16 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Edward Scissorhands is one of my favorite movies. There is so much depth to that movie. Edward’s character is one I really relate to- he’s an artist, misunderstood and has a deep desire to create but feels all he does is destroy. People are quick to turn on him because they don’t understand him. He longs for love but can’t touch any human like we can. It makes me cry but it’s so beautiful. The music is amazing too.”
    See original post

    “Edward Scissorhands! I love that movie and it always makes me feel happier.”
    See original post

  17. Frank

    Frank - #17 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Frank starring Michael Fassbender. Funny, relatable and uplifting.”
    See original post

    “A really good movie to watch is Frank, It’s on Netflix for whoever’s interested.”
    See original post

  18. Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump - #18 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Watching Forrest Gump. Such an inspirational movie.”
    See original post

    “I fall in love with Forrest Gump every time I watch it. It calms me down, cheers me up, and relaxes me.
    See original post

  19. Into The Wild

    Into The Wild - #19 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Into the Wild is the BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN IN MY LIFE. (I couldn’t stop crying while I was watching, but it inspired me so much).”
    See original post

    “x Into the Wild x fantastic movie about a boy who leave a his rich parents to travel without money to Alaska. He meets the most kindest strangers and the adventure is so inspiring.”
    See original post

The Pacifica Anxiety App Turns 1 Year Old Today!

The Pacifica Anxiety App Turns 1 Year Old!

We wanted to take a moment to thank the 600k members that have signed up to use Pacifica in the last year. We set out to build the best anxiety app available and a year after our initial launch, we have done just that. We couldn’t have done it without the loyal members of our community though.

To celebrate the occasion, we’re excited to announce the release of our companion web app. You can sign in at thinkpacifica.com/app and explore the expanded progress section, including your weekly and monthly reports. The web app includes daily mood and health tracking and all of the guided relaxations from the mobile apps. We’ll continue expanding the web app as we have the resources to do so, so please let us know if you have any suggestions.

We’re also giving away a huge discount! You can use the coupon code “yearone” at checkout for 50% off both monthly and yearly subscriptions for Full Access to Pacifica. This coupon will lock in your rate forever as well (although you can still cancel at any time). Please note: Coupon codes must be redeemed through the web application and are only good until February 3rd, 2016.

Thanks again and here’s to the year to come!

– Chris & Dale

Hacking Your Mood with Pacifica

Hi, I’m Ross Nelson, Clinical Psychologist and Pacifica’s Digital Health Consultant and Advisor. In this blog post, we are getting emotional. Okay not exactly getting emotional per se, but I will be examining the function and benefits of answering the seemingly simple question, “How are you feeling?” We will be touching on: what emotions are, the benefits of monitoring mood, and how to begin noticing and keeping track of your feeling using the Pacifica App.

So, let’s kick this off with that question: how are you feeling? It might be a bit of a challenge, but take a moment to ask yourself “What emotions am I experiencing right now?” Am I happy? Sad? Angry? Tired? Confused? or Skeptical?

How are you feeling?

If you were able to identify a feeling…great! If not…that’s okay too! In fact, for most of us, the process of identifying our current emotional states is challenging. Particularly because many of us were never taught (or encouraged) to notice how we are feeling and/or to talk about our feelings. We may also have been taught that emotions are “bad” and that we shouldn’t express them.

So briefly, an emotion (also sometimes called “mood” or “feeling”) is a complex, but natural psychological state or reaction involving one’s own subjective experience, a response occurring inside the body, and a behavioral or expressive response. Over the course of time, emotions have served the purpose of pushing us to either take action or to avoid it. For example when our prehistoric ancestors crossed paths with dinosaurs, they would experience an emotion (such as nervousness), which would then propel them to take some sort of action (i.e. attempt to fight or possibly run away). So emotions, while at times unsettling, serve a wonderful function!

So here are the top 3 reasons why you might want to begin tracking your mood:

  1. Identify Patterns. By consistently documenting our mood, we can start to identify both positive and negative life influences on our emotions.
  2. Helps With Goal Setting. By identifying your mood, you will be able to establish goals for emotional change and choose specific goals tailored to alleviating a specific mood. (i.e. the Pacifica Deep Breathing techniques help with anxiety, but less so when feeling depressed).
  3. Regaining Control. Research has shown that the process of simply checking in with current mood states can helps us feel better about our lives.

So here is how you can start to identify (and monitor) your own mood using the Pacifica App. Like building any new habit, repetition can be very useful. To help remind you to check your mood, Pacifica will send periodic push notifications encouraging you to touch base with how you are feeling.

How is your mood?

These helpful reminders direct you back to the app where you note your current emotional experience. Pacifica offers common mood states that you may experience in a day, but you can also enter in your own identified mood state (by clicking “NEW”).

My mood is great!

If you are having having trouble identifying your mood, try to distinguish if you are feeling on the “Great” end of the spectrum or “Awful” (or somewhere in between). This can be a nice starting place for identification of what it is you are feeling.

This first step of becoming aware of your mood sets the foundation for you to start utilizing tools to help you overcome your stress, anxiety, depression, or any other distress you may be experiencing. We encourage you to practice often and to not judge yourself for having emotions. Simply become aware of what is already taking place.

How have you enjoyed monitoring your mood using the Pacifica App and do you have any tips/tricks for how you become aware of your own emotional states? Please comment and share below!

For questions about mood monitoring, please feel free to contact me on twitter @RossNelsonPsyD.

Pacifica 2.0 has Launched!

We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the response to Pacifica over the past 6 months. We launched the app because we know personally how difficult anxiety, stress and depression can be. Providing a convenient and effective way for folks to access relief on a day-to-day basis was incredibly important to us. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Meditations, we did just that – we built Pacifica to include tools that can be used daily for stress and anxiety relief. Whether you’re a college student overwhelmed by tests, or a young professional anxious about your career path, or a mom stressed out by the busy bustle of raising children – Pacifica can help you!

Over the past 6 months, we’ve gathered helpful feedback from the community (you!). Many have provided valuable suggestions for improvements. And we listened carefully. Taking that feedback and learning from you, we’re happy to announce Pacifica 2.0!

Pacifica 2.0

Without removing any of the tools that users love, we modified the app and streamlined a few key areas to make it even easier, helpful and enjoyable. Here’s what’s new:

  • After your first MOOD entry each day, we’ll suggest a corresponding activity to help. You can also set a reminder for later in the day.
  • You now have the ability to comment on COMMUNITY posts. We are excited to watch how the conversations unfold!
  • We revamped GOALS (formerly EXPERIMENTS) with hundreds of daily challenges for you to pick from.

Download Pacifica 2.0 today, available on both iOS and Android. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or feedback at chris@thinkpacifica.com. We hope you enjoy the update!

PS – Most of the tools in Pacifica are available every day such as MOOD, HEALTH and now GOALS. In Pacifica 2.0, access of some of the activities rotate each day as well, such as RELAX, THOUGHTS, and MEDITATIONS. If you want to ensure that all the tools are available whenever you need them, upgrade to premium. We made the cost $3.99/month because we want it to be easy for users to afford.

Chris’s Weekly Update – Mindfulness

Weekly Update - Mindfulness

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to talk about mindfulness. Heard of it? It’s been in the news a lot lately.

It’s been said that anxiety is worrying about the future and depression is dwelling on the past. Well, mindfulness teaches us to stay in the present moment. How does this help with anxiety? When you’re mindful, you learn to put space between your thoughts/feelings and observe them without judgement. In other words, instead of immediately reacting to a thought, you can respond more sensibly. Remember, just because you think something does not make it true.

We recently introduced three mindfulness meditations for our premium users within the RELAX activity: Senses, Observe and Breathe. These are designed to help you get familiar with mindfulness through very simple meditations.

Have you tried these yet? Next time you’re feeling anxious (or curious), give them a try and let me know what you think. Our monthly upgrade includes a 7-day free trial, so what are you waiting for? As always, you can reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com with feedback.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

What We’re Working On

This week, Dale and I are working on…text thoughts! You’ve all been asking for them, and we’ve been listening. I think you’re really going to dig this.

We also have a release pending approval that includes custom feelings for tracking your mood, the ability to reorder health items, and private chat within communities. Email me at chris@thinkpacifica.com if you want to test this before it goes live.

This Week’s Community Playlist

In our second week of Music Community song suggestions, Twenty One Pilots continues to dominate. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (keep them coming).

Pacifica Top Songs June 19

This Week’s Reads

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It’s Good For Your Mental And Physical Health
by Amanda L. Chan via The Huffington Post

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain
by Christina Congleton, Britta, K. Hölzel, & Sara W. Lazar via Harvard Business Review

Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress
by Julie Corliss via Harvard Health Publications

June 14 – Chris’s Weekly Pacifica Update

Weekly Update - June 14, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to answer some common questions I get about Pacifica. Check these out below. Remember, you can always reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com.

Meanwhile, Dale and I have been listening to your feedback/ideas within the Communities and are hard at work on the next release. Stay tuned…

If you haven’t downloaded the update, what are you waiting for? Get it now in the App Store or Google Play Store.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

Your Pacifica Questions

What do I get by upgrading?
A premium subscription gets you full access to Thoughts & Experiments each day. You also get additional mindfulness meditations in Relax as well as unlimited private groups.

Can I get a 7-day trial?
Yes, our monthly subscription comes with a free 7-day trial on both Android and iOS.

How do I remove Health habits?
To remove a Health habit, just swipe the row left to reveal a delete button. Health habits can always be re-added again later.

Can I customize my Health goals?
Yes, you can. From the main Health screen, just tap the gear in the upper-right corner. From here, you can set your own daily goals.

I forgot to enter my Health data yesterday. Can I still enter it?
Yes, you can. On the main Health screen, you’ll see a left arrow at the top. Tap this to move back a day (or however far back you need to go).

Can I add text note to a Mood entry?
Yes, you can. When completing a Mood entry, look for a note icon in the upper-right. Tap this to add a note describing any specifics you’d like.

Can I edit/delete Mood entries?
Yes, you can. From the Mood History view, just swipe a mood row to reveal delete and add note buttons.

Can I turn off the goal sound?
Yes, you can. Just tap the Account gear on the Home screen. Then tap NOTIFICATION SETTINGS > GOAL ALERT > Off.

You can also check our support site at help.thinkpacifica.com for common questions, discussions, and upcoming features.

This Week’s Community Playlist

We introduced the Music community this week and the response was overwhelming. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (we’ll be doing this each week so keep posting).

Pacifica Top Songs June 11

This Week’s Reads

9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety
by Kady Morrison at VOX

‘Coming Out’ as Anxious
by Scott Stossel at The New York Times

Mindfulness May Be As Good as Meds for Staving Off Depression
by Linda Searing at The Washington Post

June 7 – Chris’s Weekly Pacifica Update

Weekly Update - June 7, 2015

Hey everyone,

With over 215K users, we’ve introduced two new social features this week:
Private Groups & Public Communities (see them in action here)

So far, everyone has been so positive and supportive. Keep it up. In this first weekly email, I’ve selected some of this week’s top posts. Check them out below.

As a sneak peek, Dale and I are working on adding private chat to the Communities, so stay tuned… Remember too, you can reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com with questions or feedback. I’m all ears.

If you haven’t downloaded the update, what are you waiting for? Get it now in the App Store or Google Play Store and check out the community. We’re all in this together.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

Gratitude

Today I’m grateful for finding this app and seeing that other people struggle also. Not that I want anyone to struggle – sometimes I feel alone. Knowing other people are out there and getting through the mess is helpful.
Nennie

Today I am grateful for my body. Once ravaged by chemo, radiation and surgeries…now in the process of being rebuilt and strong. Also, for coffee and Fridays, naturally!
Kris

Your Stories

I panic whenever someone randomly stops texting me. Like “Oh my god, did I say something wrong!?” “He hates me.” “She hates me.” “What did I do?” And then I start freaking out and texting them so many times and then I realize what I’m doing but it’s too late I’ve texted them like a hundred times “hello” and I end up having a lot less people to talk to which only makes it worse because then that person has to deal with all my freaking out.
Amerida

I’m finding my anxiety to be much improved. I’ve been dealing with it for years. So far I’m really loving these thought tools on Pacifica. So glad I found this app and looking forward to using the communities in the future.
Joe

Quotes

You have two choices: to control your mind or to let your mind control you.
Sylviaplath

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
Eveeluvs

Experiments

To conquer my fear of driving, today I will sit in my parked car for just 15 minutes.
Joe

Laugh wholeheartedly three times.
Eveeluvs

Pacifica Talk & Tips

So happy with this update, want to hear and read stories. Remember you’re not alone.
Yaaz

I really enjoy the updates. Encouraging to see other posts and remember you’re not alone. The bar graph for health is perfect. If nothing else, I’m already remembering to drink more water and make more time for me.
Em

Anxiety

I wish I could comment on people’s post to tell them we will be alright. Anxiety isn’t going to kill us and it can only affect us as much as we let it. Surround yourselves with people who care and understand, it ma mean cutting some old ties but trust me that it is necessary. Support and encouragement is important.
MisterManChild

REPEAT AFTER ME: My current situation is not my final destination
Air

Work Stress

Building a startup has been a challenge to say the least. I’m also lucky enough to be getting married this summer, but it provides an added amount of stress that has been difficult to handle at times. What has kept me grounded is being able to acknowledge that negative thought is just that; it isn’t based in rational thought. Sometimes those thoughts take hold and it’s hard to pull away from but every time I do it helps me acknowledge just how lucky I really am.
Dale

I work as a supervisor at a local pet store. I love my job and the ability to help people learn new things about pet care. I am damn good at my job. But some days, the rotten rich people, the awful coworkers and stress of trying to keep our numbers up gets to me. It’s hard some days to bring myself to come here. I wish this wasn’t the case as I want to be here and help out rescues. I try my hardest on those days to remember why I am here.
Gray

Depression

I just want to say to anyone who has any sort of mental illness, you can do this mate! I believe in you. You are a beautiful human being and are valuable to the world. I love you and keep your head held high! You are worth it. Even though I may not know you. I care about you a whole lot. No matter your past. Just know that I care for you <3 Stay awesome guys!
Liora

I’m falling apart and I’m terrified.
Anonymous

Insomnia

It really stresses me out when I can’t sleep knowing I have work or school early the next day. I know me worrying about me not being able to sleep doesn’t help at all, but I don’t know what to do.
LifewthPanicDisorder

I’m afraid I’ll become dependent on sleeping pills but what can I do? I need to sleep at some point.
Misa

Health

Going for a bike ride helps me. I like to go really fast, the air whipping around me makes me feel free of everything. I’m lucky to live in the country side so for me it’s a regular tool!
Zoe

I drink tea – several cups a day. It has an amino acid called l-theanine, which helps promote relaxation and alertness. The process of waiting for the water to heat, using my favorite pots and cups, and watching the leaves unfurl is a meditative experience!
Tuocha

Fears

My deepest fear…ending up being alone in life with no friends, or any support, and failing to accomplish the goals I set for myself.
Beth

I’m afraid to fail someone who depends on me… And I’m a massive pushover so I agree to loads of stuff and I can never do it all and then I’m afraid that they will be angry or disappointed… Any advice?
Faraway

My deepest fear is life going by too fast.
Fishy

Weekly Reads

15 Things Anyone Who Loves A Woman With Anxiety Should Know
by Emma Gray at Huffington Post

I Was An Anxious Kid And Now I’m A Let It Go Mom
by Samantha Rodman at The Washington Post

4 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Wellness
by Dr. Matt Goldenberg at Huffington Post

10 Things You Should Know If Your Partner Has Anxiety
by Adelaide Maria at Thought Catalog

How to Handle Someone Else’s Anxiety or Panic Attacks
by George Tinari via Medium