Have you ever heard someone say, “Anxiety is normal. Everybody feels it sometimes”?
Today I realised I have heard many people say these words to me, many times throughout my life…(family, friends, acquaintances, therapists, doctors), but I never truly listened! Because I was absolutely, 100% convinced that my anxiety was different. There was something wrong with me! 😖
Well thinking that way has never helped me.
So why have I now come to the conclusion that my anxiety is normal?
Well, let’s go back to basics….
What is Anxiety?
“Anxiety is a normal response to something dangerous or stressful”.
There is a part of your brain that thinks it needs to protect you from something, so it switches on! This tiny part of the brain is called the ‘Amygdala’. 🧠 It’s job is to make you ready to run away from something dangerous, or stay and fight (otherwise known as ‘Fight or Flight’). It immediately does things to your body to make you strong, fast and powerful! 💪🏻
What does Anxiety physically feel like?
NOT NICE! 😫
So, as you can see there are very real feelings which you may experience, but a very logical explanation as to why they happen.
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BODY!
🛑 If you’re anything like me, when I’m in the middle of a panic attack, I find it very hard to see past the ‘feeling of doom’ and see a way to stop it! 🛑
“But hang on a minute, aren’t I already doing that, like, too much???? 😥”
Slowwwwwwww it downnnnnn……..
Breathe in for five slow seconds and think ” I Am….” and breathe out for five slow seconds and think “Okay….” Repeat 10 – 15 times.
(Your mind is clever, and will try to wander! Catch yourself out and come back to focusing on your breathing).
2. DISTRACT YOURSELF.
Anxiety driven thoughts will try and trick you into thinking something catastrophic is going to happen 😳
Don’t believe everything you think!
Do something else! Go for a relaxing walk, sit in the sunshine, listen to some calming music, have a cup of tea, tidy the house, write in a journal, draw a picture, make a phone call to a friend, watch a movie, etc. (I find my kids are a great distraction! I love burning off some nervous energy playing ‘cops and robbers’ in the sun!)
3. DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF.
Have a quiet bath 🧖🏻♀️
Take a nap 😴
Eat some chocolate 🍫
Paint your nails 💅🏻
Burn a Lavender candle 🕯
Whatever makes you happy and feel good!
4. FORGIVE YOURSELF.
Don’t be so hard on yourself!
In fact, what you are feeling is most likely normal and anyone you speak to will know exactly what you are talking about…. because they have most likely felt it too!
Like everything, this feeling will pass.
You will feel back to normal (sooner or later) and be able to get on with your day 🙂
I say this again….. THERE IS AN ‘AFTER’ TO THIS FEELING!
Okay, so you felt anxious today. Maybe it came out of the blue at the shops, at a friend’s house, having a coffee at a cafe, in the middle of a hair cut… Who knows 🤷🏻♀️
This DOES NOT mean that it will happen again tomorrow! Or the next time you come to this same place! Even if it does, no, it doesn’t feel nice… but it won’t last! It is not the most important part of your day, it’s just a feeling.
If you do find that you are feeling anxiety for no apparent reason and it is starting to affect your day-to-day life, reach out for some support!
Remember, anxiety is going to try and trick you into believing there is something wrong with you…. there’s not. And you don’t have to live with anxiety forever.
Stay well 🙏🏻