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Someone told me recently that I strongly identify with labels. Instead of saying, “I’m worried,” for example, I might say, “I have anxiety.” Instead of saying, “I’m down,” I might say, “I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.”

In hearing this, I realized that not only did I begin to associate “I am” with illness, but that a lot of people in my life did the same thing. We were jumping from symptoms to diagnosis. We were categorizing experiences in neat, little file folders like good and bad, as if life could be placed that way.

Just because you received a diagnosis or are labeled as “troubled,” or “broken,” you don’t need to accept and embrace that title. You have an illness. But you are not your illness. Defining yourself by a disorder or illness will end up limiting your life.

You may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety and worry. You may be dealing with a difficult relationship with others or yourself. The key is to let in what is and then let it go. How do you do that? Read on to discover how to be more open to whatever you’re experiencing without putting a label on it.

{Flickr photo by wintersoul1}

{Flickr photo by wintersoul1}

Mindfulness Can Ease PTSD Symptoms
(After Trauma) – PTSD symptoms may make you want to run and avoid the present moment. But research shows the key to reducing these symptoms is to be more present. Learn what mindfulness activities can help reduce stress, anxiety and pain.

A Simple Exercise For Helping You Refocus
(Weightless) – Is the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season leaving you anxious and frazzled? Here are a few tips to soothe a weary and worrisome mind.

Are You Causing Stigma While Fighting Against It?
(Bipolar Advantage) – You think you’re helping the problem, but are you hurting yourself? Judging a diagnosis as something to be rid of instead of learned from could be perpetuating stigma and preventing you from fully living your life. Find out why here.

How to Go with the Ebb & Flow of Relationships
(The Psychology of Success) – Having trouble with your relationship? This post says it might be a normal part of the process. Sometimes the best remedy is spending time in solitude and silence to reconnect, recharge and re-establish the relationship you have with yourself.

Is Social Media a Good Agoraphobia and Social Phobia Treatment? #NHBPM
(Mental Health Humor) – Social media may feel like your friend when you’re afraid of venturing outside of your home. But as Chato shows us it’s in-person contact that can truly heal and soothe a fearful soul.



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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Nov 2013
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Uyemura, B. (2013). Best of Our Blogs: November 19, 2013. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2015, from


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