Anxiety-and how to WIN

So, todays post is about anxiety. This subject is vast and at times complicated, however, I’m going to use my own experience of anxiety (of which I have a great deal), to try and help you with your experience.

Anxiety is surprisingly common, and to some extent, a normal part of life. It becomes an issue when it starts to take over your thoughts, and stops you from enjoying things you were able to before, or makes you fearful of trying anything new.

I think anxiety has always been with me, but I dealt with some tragedy and loss in my teens which amplified the feelings of worry and stress, and if there’s one thing we know about anxiety, is that it feeds off stress.

I don’t want to make this post about trying to explain why any of us are anxious, because everyone has their own unique experience, and levels of anxiety vary greatly. Instead, I would like to give you tips on managing anxiety, and for some of you, how to beat it into submission.

  1. Don’t try to own anxiety, and by that I mean stop labelling it as yours. Don’t attach it yourself like something you carry around. We do this by saying things like ‘my anxiety’. Its just anxiety, it doesn’t belong to you and it’s not who you are.
  2. Invest in a good guided meditation app. My personal favourite is Headspace- that’s what works for me. YouTube has some great meditation resources, and again I like, ‘The Honest Guys’ and their various meditations, sleep talk-downs and mindfulness exercises.
  3. panic attacks are uncomfortable and terrifying, but NEVER life threatening or dangerous. I went through a period where I had attacks everyday-now they are few and far between.
  4. Recognise your panic triggers and face them. For such a long time avoidance was my technique of choice, and so much of life passed me by. By facing our triggers and inviting the panic, our body stops fighting against the sensations and they pass a lot quicker.
  5. Once an attack starts, accept that it is happening, and tell yourself that it will pass. Tell yourself that although you are scared, you are not in danger. Above all else, focus on that breathing.
  6. Understand that breathing really is the key to managing anxiety. You want to breathe in and inflate your belly, much like a sleeping baby does. Try this: Breathe in for a count of four, then hold for a count of four, and then slowly breathe out for a count of eight. Repeat this until you feel calm and relaxed. This technique isn’t just for panic attacks, you can use it whenever you have some quiet time to yourself.
  7. Try to let go of negative emotions such as anger and guilt. These feelings feed anxiety and they don’t change the situation you’re in, they are damaging and unhelpful.
  8. Make time for people you enjoy being around, and for things you enjoy doing. It is not selfish to put your wellbeing and needs at the top of your list sometimes.
  9. Stay true to yourself, stand by what you believe and live your life according to who you are, not what others need you to be. It is impossible to sustain that for too long and it makes you bitter.
  10. Finally, be grateful for everything you have. Appreciate people, places, possessions and time. Everything is temporary, so enjoy it and be present in the moment. Stop thinking about the past or worrying unnecessarily about the future

I hope this [practical, tried and tested advice helps you, like its helped me. I honestly try every day to live by these simple but effective guidelines and its changed my world.

Welcome!

Hello! Firstly, welcome to my blog :). Let me introduce myself.

I’m Sonia, a mid 30 something, married, mum of two beautiful girls. My children are young and so I’ve spent a number of years working from home- which I love! I’m a law graduate, but I never went into practice, and what I do is completely unrelated to anything legal (that’s not to say it involves anything illegal-just to be clear!)

My motivation for starting this blog is to share and spread happiness. I have been a long term sufferer of anxiety and panic disorder, which I’m sure you can appreciate has made me very unhappy at times.

For a long while, I remember being unhappy all of the time, attached to this constant state of melancholy. Everyday felt stagnant, and there was this continuous underlying anxiety centered around a fear of dying before I had ever really learnt to live or felt alive.

I don’t want to bog you down with any of that though, because things in my life are so different now. I never thought they would be, and I never thought I would be able to experience half the things I do now. I am a true example of how things really can get better, and not just better-but be wonderful.

I’m hoping this blog will be a place where you can laugh, cry, feel inspired, and learn new things.

There will be posts about positivity, motivation, linked to my life coaching service (more info at http://www.focusclaritycoaching.co.uk, lifestyle, travel, family, and food (a huge passion of mine). I’ll be doing product reviews on things I love and giving you tips about pretty much anything an everything that brings joy to my life.

I’ve got parenting tips, stories, anecdotes and so much more to share with you. Join me on this journey and lets see if we can help you find your happiness too. Enjoy!