Self-Reflection: How We Have Grown from 2020

By Laura Vraney, PsyD

As 2021 approaches, one cannot help but reflect on this past year. We have struggled, perhaps like never before – both collectively and individually. In this context, we have also evolved, and grown. Consolidation of growth requires reflection – contemplation of what we have accomplished. To that end, here are some ideas and questions to guide a self-reflection on how we have grown from 2020.

  • Coming Together. In this time of urgency and uncertainty, it seemed more central than ever to unite and support one another. There have been countless ways communities across the world have joined, such as organizing meal rotations for essential workers, volunteering to engage in a socially distanced manner with those who are alone, advocating for a cause, or simply asking others how they are faring. What did your “coming together” look like? How did you actualize our central human need for connection this past year?
  • Prioritizing Self-Care. Taking care of ourselves is a foundational practice that is critical for mental health. Throughout 2020 many people struggled and grow in their commitment to activities of daily living, such as sleep, physical exercise, a balanced diet, and creating a space and time to acknowledge our feelings. Many also created and implemented limits on social media and news consumption. Others found professional mental health support for the first time. How did you make yourself a priority in 2020?
  • Hobbies and Creativity. Many people were surprised to find that they are creative this past year! Whether hobbies involved music, the arts, athletics, astronomy, blogging, home improvement, quilting, or anything else, 2020 was the first year in a long time that many people started to explore their creative selves. Did you start any hobbies this past year, or rekindle your interest in old hobbies? Do you view yourself as more talented or creative than you did in the past?
  • Spirituality. Between furloughs, quarantine, remote learning/working, COVID, deaths, and other incredible struggles, many people turned to spirituality this past year. Some simply reflected on the value of life, their individual meaning and purpose, or the spiritual emotion of gratitude. Others turned more overtly to God and faith, by reconnecting with traditions, or engaging in prayer. How did 2020 impact you spiritually? Did you contemplate the meaning of existing, or your faith, more this past year than in 2019?
  • Slowing Down. For the past several years, our culture has accelerated to an incredibly fast pace. We have grown accustomed to immediate results, and pushing ourselves to work very hard. This past year, many people took a much needed break. Perhaps that was without choice at times, but many people started to channel their energies towards greater balance of work and life. The benefits of slowing down are myriad, including allowing us to reflect on what we have, and making better choices. How did you slow down this past year, and perhaps reflect on the direction you’d like to take in life going forward?
  • Accepting Uncertainty. If 2020 taught us one message it was that life is uncertain. In that vein, we learned to accept the circumstances of life, without approving or enjoying them. This worldwide, and critical, lesson created an opportunity for us to practice acceptance in new ways. Many people willingly let go of their expectations, while compassionately attending to the resulting anxiety and stress. How did you provide yourself and others with the compassion and space needed to become more accepting of life struggles this past year?

We all struggled in 2020, but we all grew as well. As the clock strikes 2021, let’s recall what we have learned, and consolidate our growth so we can continue on an upwards trajectory for many years to come.

Inspirational Message

The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules—but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this; otherwise you are not in a position to transcend them.


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Calmer in the Face of Hardship
I came to the Center for Anxiety for help in dealing with a family member who suffered from extreme anxiety. But I ended up getting a serious illness two months later and started having my own sessions. With the help of my therapist I got through my illness, learned to understand my habits that were making my major life stresses worse, learned to communicate better, taper my anger, and surprisingly I became more calmer even though my hardships in life worsened. Therapy is a lot of work and not easy, but nothing in life comes easy! I became a better and softer mom and (when I practice what I learned) and my kids and home are calmer and happier. I am still a work in progress and have more to work on, but I know I am on the right path. I wish I knew before how my communication style and anger were really impacting my life, how being softer you can accomplish way more then being harsh. I have been to other therapists in the past and I can hands down say that the Center for Anxiety’s approach is really effective. I have even referred a bunch of people to the Center and they have been really happy with the therapists and how much they really care for their patients.
I Tackled a Long List of Fears
When I first came to the Center for Anxiety, my list of anxieties/fears was long! I was scared of getting sick, getting stranded, driving, flying and more. With the help of my therapist, I immediately got to work and tackled every one of my fears. Now the world is open to me and I feel free! I can dream big and accomplish whatever I set my mind to! I am especially grateful that I was able to do all this without having to rely on medication. It was hard work – grueling at times! – but now I have the coping tools within me for life. In fact a family member recently said to me “You are awesome. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to because you don’t let fear stop you! ” Thank you Dr. Rosmarin and the Center for Anxiety staff for helping me get here. My fears no longer limit me and I love my life. Try it, it might turn your life around too!
Highly Skilled and Professional Treatment
When I sought treatment at the Center for Anxiety, the clinic was is in its incipient stages. However, by the time I successfully finished treatment, the Center for Anxiety grew and flourished into a world-class treatment center, offering cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment to countless individuals. The continued success of the Center for Anxiety comes as no surprise to me, with a team that contains such highly skilled professionals who display clinical acumen, empathy, and compassion. When I first entered treatment I was concerned that therapy would be similar to the experiences with past psychologists: a seemingly bottomless pit with no reductions in my anxiety symptoms, but was so relieved when I started to feel less anxious after only a handful of sessions. My therapist created a treatment plan that was tailored exactly to my needs and taught me practical skills to help me work through my anxiety that I still use and practice to this very day.
No More Panic
When I first came in, I was struggling with panic disorder and didn’t even know it, which only made dealing with it that much more difficult. After my first time sitting down with my therapist, however, I instantly started to gain perspective and look at the difficult situation in a different light. Our meetings helped me conquer the issue step by step and get my life back on track. I’d strongly recommend that anyone dealing with anxiety in a way that impacts their day to day life should visit the Center for Anxiety! I know it helped me tremendously.
Free of Obsessions
When I woke up one morning last June and didn’t want to get out of bed, I knew I needed help. The thought of getting through another day with all my anxieties, obsessions and rituals was just too overwhelming. After feeling stuck for years, I just couldn’t anymore. Thankfully, that’s when I found the Center for Anxiety. Dr. Rosmarin and his staff are experts at what they do, kind and professional. After just several weeks I accomplished my initial targets. The change I experienced in such a short amount of time was astounding that I stayed on for a while longer to work on more complex goals. I soon achieved those too. Now, I am free of my obsessions, know how to manage my anxiety, and love my life. My only regret: not having done this sooner. I wish I had known that you don’t have to wait to hit rock bottom to get help.
Depression Lifted
I’m 26 years old and I’ve been suffering from terrible depression for 7 years. In the throws of my sadness I literally wanted to die. Soon after starting therapy at the Center for Anxiety, my depression lifted. My suicidal thoughts began to dissipate. I remember the feeling that came over me as soon as the dark cloud above me left. It was the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. I actually shouted to my friends, family and anyone nearby me “I’m Happy! I am Happy!” I felt free.
Over the course of four years I developed anxiety-like symptoms (tightness in chest, gut, back) that slowly but surely increased in duration and severity. The EXTREMELY uncomfortable nature of the symptoms notwithstanding, I still continued and managed to function. The effort required to do so, however, left me utterly drained. Having always been a very spiritual person I strongly felt that a course of therapy incorporating a spiritual component could potentially work well for me and decided to give the Center for Anxiety a try. Happily, I have achieved significant symptom reduction, tremendously improved emotional/mental health, and above all, Connection. Medication free. I’m no longer just existing, I’m LIVING. I’ve been given a second chance to become the unique human being that I was meant to be.
No More worries
I have wormed in healthcare for 36 years in many different settings, and I have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the Center for Anxiety. When staff says they are going to call, I get a call. From the first contact, I have been very impressed with the professionalism and efficiency. I had a situation and needed to have sessions more than once per week, and my clinicians worked out a schedule to accommodate my needs. I was astounded that they attended to me so quickly and effectively - they made my priority their priority. My clinicians were also excellent at what they do - they have a plan for me each session, and it's clear that they have thought in advance about each session, and that they are listening to what I say and observing what I do, even though our sessions have been conducted via Telehealth. Compassion is a quality that I have all too often found to be lacking in my experiences as a healthcare professional and patient, and this is not the case with the Center for Anxiety. Of all the websites I found on Google, I am so thankful that God guided my hand to yours.

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