Our community has been growing and we could not be more grateful or appreciative to have each and every one of you be a part of this journey. Every reader is a part of our Tomodotchi family and we hope that we are all growing together! As always if you are short on time, check out our TLDR (too long didn’t read) at the bottom!
This post was originally going to be about ways we unintentionally cause anxiety, and was going to focus on ways that people, including us, may unintentionally cause anxiety in others. However, over the weekend, we read an article about Spiderman (Tom Holland) taking a social media break for his mental health. We greatly admire his strength and resolve to prioritize himself and his mental health. We also respect his honesty to push the mental health agenda forward! So, we wanted to discuss this in more detail.
How Superhero/ine's Manage Their Anxiety
For those that did not know, Tom Holland, my favorite Spider Man (Sorry Tobey and Andrew) announced that he was taking a social media break for his mental health. The negative comments are “detrimental” to his mental state and that he “spirals” when seeing negative posts from others. “I get caught up and I spiral when I read things about me online and ultimately it’s very detrimental to my mental state.”
In a move that we completely respect and admire, Tom Holland is taking a break and deleting his social media accounts. In past posts we have talked about setting boundaries, knowing your limits, managing expectations and prioritizing yourself. This is exactly what this Super Hero has done! He recognized the negativity that comments and the judgement of others can bring on him. He knew his limit for how much negativity he could take and decided to remove himself from social media. However, he first explained to his fans to manage their expectations of him and let them know he needed to prioritize himself.
Ultimately, even Super Heroes have their limits and know when they need to step away and reassess their limits. Honestly, the ability for Tom to prioritize his mental health and take the step to set his boundaries regardless of others opinion is his greatest super power. The beauty of this is we should all have this power! So, the question becomes, can we harness this super power?
Harnessing Our Super Power
The answer is a resounding yes! Our greatest power is to be able to understand ourselves and set appropriate boundaries. We need to reset our minds to understand that setting boundaries and prioritizing ourselves is a super power. For us, it helps to truly think of this as a super power that we can control. We focus on what is causing us anxiety and setting a boundary in our mind that can help limit this anxiety. Then we activate this super power by setting that boundary in real life.
We find that when we think about this as a super power, it separates the anxious person from the super hero within and allows us to actually implement the power. A wise man once said “with great power comes great responsibility” and you do have a great responsibility to yourself to use this power.
Encountering The Super Villain
We know, one of the biggest road blocks to using this super power is the fear of negative repercussions. The negative repercussions are brought on by our anxiety; for us it is the fear of the what if or the potential of what could go wrong.
We have been giving our anxiety a persona of the Super Villain. The entity who would have us suffer, have us live in fear and maintain our status quo of living with anxiety. We all have our inner Super Villain that stops us from prioritizing our own mental health. The being that makes us feel like we are not enough, that we are weak. As we give into our anxiety, we give the villain more power. When the villains power grows our super power diminishes.
As we give the villain more power, we lose our own ability to set boundaries and prioritize ourselves. Most of our life this is how we lived here at Tomodotchi; in the past we always let the villain win, we never even allowed our minds to activate the super power and we suffered in silence. We know that this story is all too common in those that suffer from anxiety. Well, what can we do?
Balance In All Things
For all you Marvel fans, we know, “perfectly balanced as all things should be” is a quote from the biggest Marvel villain to date. However, in the context of our inner power and villain, we feel balance is truly the key to success. Your inner villain is not a completely bad person, some anxiety can be good for us. It can keep us out of trouble and it can provide some valid thoughts. However, for most of us with anxiety, we give it so much power and only think of the worst possible repercussion, that we make it into a super villain.
By the other end of the token, giving your Super Power too much power may not always be a good thing. We may start to use it as an excuse to not do anything. We may decide on unrealistic boundaries that stop us from functioning as people; for example, a boundary like not going outside because interactions with others can cause us anxiety, is unrealistic, in our opinion.
Ultimately, much like on a plane, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before putting it on the person next to you. While you prioritize yourself, you still should help the person next to you after. If we give our Super Power too much power, we end up taking the mask for ourselves and not helping anyone else, even when we have the power to help.
What is the solution? Allow yourself balance. Listen to your super power and understand yourself and your limits. Talk with your friends, challenge yourself and determine what is a reasonable boundary to set. Then know it’s ok to have anxious thoughts and to think about the repercussions of those boundaries. Just don’t give either side too much power, don’t focus on only prioritizing yourself to the point where you don’t care about anyone else, but also don’t focus on only the worst-case scenarios. Allow yourself to think on both sides of the spectrum and realize that the middle ground is where reality is likely to land. We here at Tomodotchi strive to be balanced.
Whether we want it to our not, life is constantly moving forward. As life moves forward, we will have repeated encounters with our super villain. Similar to any good super hero movie, both sides will get power ups and both sides will win and lose. Somedays your powers will seem weak and unrealized and other times you will feel unstoppable.
We feel it’s important to recognize that our movies don’t end, and that is ok. Life is about enjoying the ride and experiencing the battles as they come. When we go through these battles, we are not alone. Much like Spider Man, our tolerances change, how we feel changes, and it’s ok to reassess and set limits on things that were ok for you yesterday but not today.
It’s ok to get help from your allies when you feel weak. No matter what you will always have allies in us here at the Tomodotchi community. So, keep up the good fight and prioritize your mental health and set healthy reasonable boundaries! You won’t always get it right, but none of us are perfect and we need to strive to keep moving forward and learning!
Thank you so much for coming with us on this journey. We love being able to write about our stories and our opinions on a topic that is so near and dear to our heart. We hope this helps you realize the conversation of mental health does not need to be a shameful one. We all have our struggles and anxiety, but we have the power to help one another and change the conversation. Tom Holland said it best “There is an awful stigma against mental health and I know that asking for help and seeking help isn’t something we should be ashamed of”.
So, take charge of your super power, prioritize yourself and set healthy boundaries. We here at Tomodotchi can’t wait to see how your story unfolds and we are always here for you! We encourage you to sign up for our newsletter if you want to keep up to date, and definitely like our facebook and engage with us!
Signing off until next week!
TLDR; We all have a super power to set healthy limits and boundaries for ourselves. We have turmoil from our inner anxiety villain who has us fear the repercussions of those boundaries. We need to change our mindset to understand the balance of the two and understand that reality typically falls in the middle. Life will be a constant struggle between the two, but we need to keep up the fight and prioritize ourselves by setting healthy boundaries!