Recently, I have suffered with a strong bout of anxiety. Due to a couple of events happening that have been accumulating to create the anxiety I experienced. Most people who generally don’t suffer with anxiety or recognise their own anxiety think that anxiety looks like chaos. They think it tends to be when people are acting chaotic, all over the place and up in the air or loud, but this is so often, not the case at all.
There are those who suffer and it shows externally and those who suffer and become withdrawn as a result and hide it internally.
When there’s too much going on
For me, there has been a lot going on recently with family, running a business, working with vulnerable teenagers, being a mum, being a wife and juggling the whole thing. Over the last month, I’ve been up and down from the hospital to see my dad who had major surgery. The journey to the hospital was an hour and then another hour back. My visiting times, a couple of hours at a time two or three times a week. This has been both mentally and physically exhausting. Even though you don’t think about it at the time, you get on with it and do what you’ve got to do.
On top of that, I’ve been trying to keep things as normal as possible. I’ve been doing a huge amount of work on myself and I have been investing in myself and my business heavily since the beginning of this year.
Working with vulnerable teenagers
I’ve been working with vulnerable teenagers since last September and sometimes that can be very challenging, although extremely rewarding. In the last month things have started to really get on top of me. My self-care hasn’t been as good as it should be, because I’ve been working on so many other areas.
Well this week. My dad came out of hospital after a month and the relief, as you can imagine, brought its own anxieties and emotions. Along with that, I made a mistake at the college, which ordinarily in isolation wasn’t that bad, but where everything else has been going on my mind decided to take this mistake, blow it massively out of proportion, get myself in a place where I was in tears. I got really emotional about it and couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
I went into college the next day, and I totally withdrew. I’ve taken time to recognise the fact that I was in this place of anxiety and to recognise how my anxiety affects me and how I deal with it around others. This is the first time I have fully been aware of my behaviour when in a state of anxiety, but as a result I can deal with it better using the techniques and strategies I have in my Coaching and CBT toolbox.
Recognising my own anxiety behaviours
I realised that I totally withdraw. I become very quiet, loud noise is something that I just can’t deal with. I can’t tolerate people talking about other people or bragging about themselves. I get super sensitive and I totally shut down anything external whilst I’m dealing with what’s going on inside my head.
Now this used to last for weeks or months until I worked out my own strategies for dealing with it. I now use the ‘accept, allow and let go’ strategy.
Firstly, I accept that I’m in this emotion and I have this feeling and this is what’s going on. I don’t try and fight it anymore. I accept it. I then allow myself. 24, hours to have the feeling, be comfortable with the feeling and work out how to separate the facts of what’s happened from the emotions I’m feeling.
After I’ve done that, I then make sure I go and do something for myself, whether it’s going to the gym and going for a run. I find running is great for me It just gets rid of all that negative energy.
Sometimes it’s whilst I’m running and sometimes it’s after, and if there is something particularly going on I will cry for the next few days for what feels like no reason at all, but this is my body’s way of getting rid of all the negative energy that I’ve been storing up.
After that. I’m ready to go again. And by doing that, I am able to let go so much quicker than I used to.
Talking about the taboo
If I’m completely honest, If you’d asked me years ago if I suffered from anxiety I would have told you DEFINITELY NOT. I never would have admitted that I suffered from anything let alone something that people consider a taboo subject.
I truly believe that everybody suffers with anxiety, at some point, in some form, to some level. It’s just whether we recognise that that’s what it is, whether we’re ready to accept it, and whether we’re ready to put the strategies in place in order for us to manage these feelings and be able to deal with them and move forward.
So, with that in mind, please remember that somebody may be suffering right now. Somebody may have withdrawn. Somebody may be very quiet. Somebody may be the complete opposite. Because the opposite to that is that somebody may become louder than usual. They may become more erratic. You may feel like they’re just seeking attention. This is all part of how they’re feeling and how their anxiety may have taken hold. Some people feel a stronger need for control, as they don’t feel in control of their thoughts and emotions, so they project externally on to others.
They may not even recognise that’s what’s happening to them. So be kind. If somebody that you know, somebody you work with, live with, are friends with is showing either of these signs or emotions, just check in with them. Find out if they’re OK. Offer them someone to talk to.
I had somebody at the college this week, who I get along very well with, we understand each other really well and we know when something’s not quite right and she’s been amazing. This week, she’s checked in on me. She’s made sure I’m OK. She’s given me a bit of a talking to. The same talking to the I would give her if she was in the same situation.
We all need support
We all need support and sometimes that support comes from people that you don’t necessarily expect it to straight away.
We all need to look after each other, be more open with our own feelings and what we’re going through, because you will be surprised where that support may come from.
If you feel like you might need help with anxiety, if you need some strategies and techniques to help you manage it, I’m always happy to have a chat.
I offer a 30-minute clarity call where I can give you a strategy straight away to help you begin to manage those more difficult days.
Please don’t suffer in silence.
Book your call here
Unfortunately, there are many times in our lives when stress creeps in and causes great angst. Life is busy and work, kids, school and responsibilities can seem overwhelming at times.
74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
81% of women said this compared to 67 percent of men. 83% of 18-24 year-olds said this compared to 65 percent of people aged 55 and over. (Source: mentalhealth.org.uk)
Do you feel that your stress is getting you down?
Here are some tips to help deal with stress and its after-effects.
Stress has become a major cause of anxiety and panic attacks. If not dealt with, it can have an incapacitating effect on your life. More often than not, most people with A-type personalities are prime candidates for stress induced symptoms. The perfectionism they seek in everything they do never quite measures up to their expectations. This is not a perfect world; and it’s time those who live in it realize they aren’t perfect either, and nor should they be.
Most people deal with stress in different ways; either they ignore the initial problem which caused it; retreat within themselves or fall apart. However, those who recognize the signs nip it in the bud before it completely takes over. Using simple exercises can relieve the onset of stress. For example: While sitting at your desk at work, breathing exercises can bring you back to a calm state. Going outside for some fresh air also helps.
Walking or running for 20 minutes can release endorphins which relieve stress. Listening to classical music lowers the blood pressure and brings calm within.
Sometimes, however, stress reveals itself in other ways. Light headedness, an inability to focus, feelings of pressure and palpitations are all symptoms of stress. Moreover, continued stress can produce anxiety, panic, and the fight or flight syndrome. Here is one such case of how stress can simply overwhelm and, in some cases, debilitate.
A secretary was called into her administrator’s office, which was quite large and comfortable. As she was taking dictation, she suddenly found it hard to breathe; began to lose focus; and a queasy feeling in her stomach emerged. She could no longer concentrate and left the room suddenly.
Unbeknown to her, she had just experienced an anxiety attack brought on by stress. However, while there was nothing stressful going on at the time, she later identified the cause. An unpleasant thought had entered her mind while she was taking dictation, causing fear to take over forcing her to leave the office.
Upon further examination, it was determined the stress in her home life simply became too much, and filtered its way in to her working day.
This happens all too often and vice versa, where work stresses can filter in to your family life causing arguments. health issues and in some cases total disconnection from your loved ones!
If stress is getting you down, examine the cause. Determine the origin and discuss it with a professional or a loved one. Stress, if not acted upon, can cause serious health problems. Avoid it wherever and whenever you can.
You can learn more about reducing stress in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.
If you need any further help reducing stress or creating healthier habits to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you create the success you deserve.
You can also come and join us over on Facebook in The Positivity Hub, where we talk all things, mindset, confidence and positivity.
We all experience it at one time or another; this trespasser called stress. It is perhaps the number one cause of most health problems in our society today. Here we explore 6 ways you can deal with the stress of life in a healthy and effective manner.
* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Talking is a great way to release the inner stresses of a situation and help you gain a better perspective on the situation that is the cause of your stress.
* Exercise often. Go for a walk for 20-30 minutes either every day or at least every other day. Exercise relieves tension and produces a calming effect. Perhaps joining a gym would work better for you. Remember it needs to be something that you will do regularly.
* Yoga is not only a great form of exercise in general for creating body strength. It’s also well known for quietening the mind and creating calm. Sit in a quiet room alone and begin breathing exercises.incorporate meditation in this and you have a powerful combination for relieving stress in the mind and body.
* Music is known to calm the stress beast. Listen to something that either relaxes you or gets you up and motivated. This is a great distraction technique that works wonders.
* Healthy meals can become an important factor in limiting your stress. Ensure you eat three meals a day, and make an effort to avoid too much caffeine and sugar. We’ve all heard the term ‘hangry’ and we’ve all felt it too. Skipping meals isn’t good for either your physical or mental health. Too much caffeine will send your head in to a spin, it over stimulates the brain and can cause what I term as the fast spin on the washing machine affect.
* Sleep deprivation is a big cause of stress. Go to bed earlier. Seven to eight hours sleep can make all the difference when possible. I used to stay up later as it was the only time I got to myself when the kids were younger, but it wasn’t doing me any good in the long run. In fact it was having the adverse effect.
Coping with stress can be challenging. Every day you seem to be pulled in every direction, trying to accommodate others, living in what feels like chaos. The first priority is to take care of YOU. YOU are the thread that holds your family together. If you’re stressed, you won’t be much good to anyone. You need to fill your cup first. You need your cup to be over-flowing so that your over-flowing cup then fills your partners and your kids cups. If you fill theirs first, then there is nothing left for you.
Give yourself a break every now and then. Buy a new outfit; go see a movie; do something you’ve always wanted to do. Your family can take care of themselves for one day. Alone time is just as important to you as it is for everyone else. Think of yourself as a gas tank; eventually you will run out of fuel.
Laughter is a wonderful release. You’ve probably noticed those times when you’ve laughed so hard, you cried. This is probably due to the fact you haven’t laughed in a while, and the tension released through laughter is the best cure-all method for dealing with stress-related issues.
Avoid stressful situations whenever possible. If you are a working mom, it’s probably not the job but the people who are causing you the most stress. Take everything in your stride and remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
If you can’t finish a task, don’t worry about it. If dinner doesn’t turn out as you expected, improvise or get a take-away. We stress over so many things that really don’t matter! No-one is judging you anywhere near as much as you’re judging yourself, so give yourself a break and stop being so hard on yourself.
Life is too short; and stress can reduce it even further. Nothing is more important than your health or state of mind. Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, “No one can make you a victim without your consent.” She was right; it is, after all, up to you.
If you’d like help managing your stress then feel free to book a FREE 30 minute call with me where we can discuss how I can help you further.