Anxiety comes in many different shapes. Some people have social anxiety, they’re scared of social situations. Some have seemingly random panic attacks and others suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Some break out in sweat, some yell and others turn silent.
To me, anxiety means thinking in worst-case scenarios. It means being worried about everything that can go wrong. It means overthinking all the possible outcomes of any situation. It means being scared of not living up to the expectations of others or the expectations myself. Anxiety means becoming tense in my shoulders, tense in my back and tense in my legs. It means becoming less aware of my surroundings and not being able to think straight anymore. It means failing to translate my feelings into words and it means blackouts. It means being afraid of winning and afraid of losing. And most of all, anxiety means total chaos.
Not that long ago someone told me about the positivity challenge. The point of it is to only have positive thoughts for an entire week. As soon as you start having any negative feelings or thoughts, you will either have to twist them into something positive or try to think of something else instead.
It sounded great and very promising: no more stress or anxiety, no more sadness, no more anger, only positivity. So I decided to give it a try. In fact, I tried it multiple times and it never worked for me. Trying to turn negative emotions around brought even more negativity in my life.
Studies have shown that the more grateful you are, the happier you become. This resulted into the gratefulness (or gratitude) challenge. The main idea is that you have to express gratitude on a daily basis, but I’ve seen it going around in different forms. There are no specific rules for this challenge and it can be as little as telling yourself “Today I was grateful for the nice weather”.
I’ve been doing the gratefulness challenge for half a year now. But does it work? Keep reading to find out.