Beliefs are uniquely human. They are the blueprint from which our actions are shaped. Beliefs lend us a hand when we face the chaos of life. When we are stuck and not sure how to proceed, we can rely on our belief system to help us out.
Today, I’d like to talk about four fundamental beliefs that have gotten me through when my depersonalization & derealization were high. These are NOT based on any religious thinking, though if you do follow one, these beliefs fit well within any religious framework as well.
Whether I was having a full-blown anxiety attack or was feeling completely depersonalized and out-of-touch with reality, these four beliefs have always helped me get through the day.
Not only that, they have also given me the power to endure the suffering that I was going through at that time.
Belief #1: The Mind Knows How to Heal Itself
Have you ever gotten hurt? Chances are, you have. It could be a simple cut on your finger when you were chopping veggies for dinner or it could be something more serious, such as a bruised knee or fractured elbow. The one thing that is common to any physical hurt is that they heal over time.
We have developed the ability to heal our bodies through millions of years of evolution. The body can seal a wound that’s leaking blood. It can fight infections through the use of antibodies. A broken bone heals and sets when supported by a tight cast and a sling.
In the same way, our minds can also truly heal themselves.
This is why many folks who have gone through depression, anxiety, depersonalization, or any other mental illness have come out through the other side and felt healed.
Our brains are constantly changing, growing new nerve cells or reworking old connections. This is termed as neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the brain to fix a damaged part of the tissue and rewire itself to be able to function properly. 
When we become depersonalized or experience an anxiety attack, we tend to think that something is wrong with us. We can think that our brains are permanently damaged and that we will never be able to get back to our old selves again. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
Realize that your brain is a product of millions of years of evolution and, in this timeline, it has developed the ability to heal itself.
So then, if the mind can cure itself, why do we suffer every day from our mental ailments?
Imagine one day you were feeling wild and adventurous and you impulsively bought a motorcycle. Because of your lack of experience riding one, let’s say you crashed and suffered a simple bone fracture (I really hope this doesn’t happen to you in the future). What would you do in this case?
You would probably go to the emergency room and get the fracture wrapped in a tight cast. You may take some pain killers that night. What would you do after that? Probably nothing. You would just let the body do its healing work without disturbing the setting, right?
You wouldn’t necessarily worry every day whether it would heal or not. You would know that, in a few weeks, your bandages would be unwrapped and then you’d be free to use that hand or leg again. You’d know very well that the fracture would somehow be miraculously healed.
That’s exactly what you need to do with a mental illness: believe that the mind knows how to heal itself and then move aside and let the mind do its healing work.
This means not unnecessarily questioning whether you will heal or not. Not worrying whether you have permanently damaged your brain. Refraining from googling a hundred times a day about your mental disorder. I mean, would you ever google about a bone fracture over and over again? Illnesses of the mind are no different.
Belief# 2: I am Ultimately Not in Any Real Danger
We are always safe. But in fact, we tend to believe the exact opposite of this. It’s easy to fall prey to the notion that we are in some sort of danger.
We think that one day we will suddenly start hearing voices and become schizophrenic. We become concerned that we are going to die very soon. We always feel like something bad is waiting to happen.
Believing in these fallacies is very common for people who are anxious or depersonalized, yet what is required is a simple belief that, ultimately, we are safe and that there’s no real threat to our existence.
The fear that you are feeling is a product of a fearful mind that wants you to stay safe at all times. The fearful mind tells you to stay indoors, lie on your bed all day, and not go outside because that’s where danger lurks.
When you see through the lies of your fearful mind, you realize that you are not in any real danger. Your brain is not degenerating, you are not becoming schizophrenic, nor are you going to lose your sanity.
Believe that you are safe. Yes, you are feeling scared. Yes, you are feeling these weird new sensations. But know that, ultimately, you are safe.
If you can’t shake off the feeling of dread and danger, get yourself checked out by a qualified physician. If you pass all the checks and still feel this way, know that you are believing in something false: that you are in danger. Change that belief.
Belief #3: I Have the Inner Strength
We do not really know ourselves until we have been tested. What we think we are, we are only a small part of. We may think we are weak and cowardly, but we fail to realize that there is a reservoir of strength deep within us.
But first, to access that inner strength, we must believe that it exists.
It’s okay to doubt its existence, that’s human nature. Let that doubt be there, but start acting as if you are strong and strong you shall become. This doesn’t mean that all of sudden you start lifting heavy things or jumping from a multi-storied building. I’m talking about inner strength here.
Start small. Think that you have the inner strength to walk just one block from your house if you have been housebound for a long time. Think that you have the inner strength to say “Hi” to just one new person a day if you have been socially anxious or afraid of people.
If you have been resisting feelings of unreality or depersonalization, just let yourself fully feel that way. Offer no resistance. Know that you have the strength to bear these weird feelings and sensations.
Strength builds on strength. It grows exponentially. What seemed impossible only a month ago can easily become routine if you commit to it and follow through every day.
Believe that you have the inner strength.
Belief #4: I Will Recover
This is one of the most important and crucial beliefs. It’s very easy to lose hope when you feel like you are being tested every day. But your attitude has a big impact on your recovery.
Scientists have found that patients who have a strong belief that they will recover from an illness have a higher chance of healing than those who think the opposite.
If you feel like you are getting hopeless, take a step back. Notice that it has become a habit to think like that. You have been thinking this way for so long that it has now started to sound real.
If someone who is beautiful or average in looks were to keep repeating to themselves that they are ugly, then it won’t be long before they start to believe that.
Understand that feeling hopeless about your recovery is a state of mind. It can be changed with some daily habits.
When you wake up every day, write on a piece of paper, “I will recover.” When you go to sleep at night, read what you’ve written. Repeat these two steps every day and night.
Reading stories of other people’s recoveries can also bolster your own hopes of recovering. I have detailed my experiences in the past, which I believe have helped some people.
These four fundamental beliefs work. Even today, when I feel like a day has been particularly testing, I reflect back on these beliefs and it helps me get through the day. I hope it does the same for you.