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Anxiety and Me – Taking Baby Steps

Anxiety has a nasty habit of getting in the way of life, which our next individual knows all about.

 

Our contributor this week shares with us all their useful practices, tips and techniques to avert anxiety and tells us how it is helping them move forward in their life.

 

Waking up

 

Anxiety really affects my sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night, grinding teeth episodes and anxiety dreams all prevent me from getting a good night’s slumber.


I find a morning walk in the fresh air becomes a necessity to calm me down and help clear my mind. Sometimes this can work wonders, especially when I take longer walks when there are blue skies. If I am walking alone I try to be mindful and take in all the nature, especially the birds in the sky. 

 

Daytime

 

Sometimes, during the day, I can get anxious for no reason. One moment I am chatting with family and the next a panic attack will appear out of nowhere. It could happen when I’m watching a film which I am thoroughly enjoying, eating in a restaurant, at a birthday party or if I walk into a supermarket. The worst experiences of panic have happened around busy traffic as a pedestrian or whilst eating.

 

Square breathing exercises are becoming a regular part of my day and I also practice talking positively to myself.


I always try to remind myself that the anxiety will eventually stop, that I will feel better and that tomorrow is a new day.


Mindful eating has also been helpful, which involves thinking about where the food on my plate has come from, eat healthily and chewing food more slowly.



I began Tai Chi Classes last year, it's been incredibly soothing for my anxiety. Nine times out of 10 I enjoy a great sleep that evening. Also chair yoga (with Kindred Minds) is equally helpful.

 

In addition, chatting with friends who share the same anxiety symptoms is also good for me. I seem to be able to spot the signs of the 'inner beauty' in other people. I also participate in half hour relaxation classes at the PSS Wellbeing Centres. I find the relaxation classes and exercise (which for me, includes cycling) helps lessen my negative thinking and repetitive thoughts.

 

Evening

 

In the evening relaxing music or rain sounds, meditation (Insight Timer App) and a gratitude journey have all been very helpful to ease my anxiety before bedtime.

 

In General

 

My anxiety can make me feel so negative about myself, it has an impact on my confidence and my self-esteem. Although I do believe I am improving - and I feel I am heading in the right direction -when anxiety strikes it makes me feel like I can’t do anything at all. Anxiety will have me avoiding friends or things I used to enjoy. It makes me spend periods alone, which is hard, but I am making progress as I am learning to accept my anxiety far more than I ever did in the past.

 

Weekly massage sessions have helped me massively and cured my regular shoulder and back aches. I had never previously tried massage before but for the rest of the day it would really help to calm me.

 

Special family moments aside, 10 sessions of Art Therapy worked wonders for me. Although it was extremely hard work with low moments, feelings and emotions as I dug deep into my life, I believe long term this will benefit me enormously. I was able to visualise in drawings the changes in life I would like to make. Goals were set in my mind without me realising and, with baby steps, I am moving forwards and make changes in my life. It doesn't matter to me if I do not achieve all my goals. The enjoyment for me is that I feel a journey has begun and the destination isn’t set in stone. Whether my anxiety comes with me only time will tell, but if it does reappear at least I have my Tai Chi, Yoga, Brisk Walking, Massage Sessions, Cycling, Mindfulness, Relaxation Classes and Art Therapy to help me along the way.

 

 My Helpful Tips

 

Try Art Therapy, Mindfulness, Relaxation Classes, Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, Massage Sessions, Brisk Walking, Cycling and Volunteering.

 

 

 

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