I have been battling Anxiety for almost 2 years and have been in therapy a year and a half.
It all really started about 2 years ago, I knew I suffered from it before then but not to the extreme it got to. It was so bad that I thought if I was dead then I wouldn’t have to feel like this anymore, Of course, I wouldn’t do anything like that, they were just thoughts and I would never leave my children and family. I wouldn’t go out and I still avoid busy places as they really cause me stress and I panic. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that no one cared.
Our good friend Kim from Soul Happy really pulled me from a dark place and helped me feel normal again with Reiki and hypnotherapy, I was really sceptical of it before I tried it and I learnt a lot from it. I had a few sessions with her and started to feel better but then over time, I started to feel low again.
I went to the doctors in tears telling him how I felt and how I was scared of everything, He advised me that I should try counselling and that it would really help me. He also prescribed me sertraline and booked me an appointment for a few weeks time. I rang the number he had given to me, they took all my details and asked me why I feel I needed counselling and that someone would call me back on a planned day and time with a self-assessment appointment which would last an hour to see if It would benefit me.
Long story short I was approved and I soon started my first block of 6 sessions. This block of sessions helped me overcome the trauma of being mugged but then it led to health anxiety following a scare I had.
Every little niggle, feeling or anything that just didn’t feel right was it for me, I had convinced myself I had weeks to live, I would have panic attacks and couldn’t breathe, It was horrible. My therapist thought I shouldn’t be discharged yet but I was to be followed up with phone call appointments, 2 appointments later the lady on the phone said she didn’t feel this would help me at all and referred me for Cognitive behavioural therapy. I didn’t have long to wait until I started my new block of therapy (8 sessions) where I met Ellie who has helped me through so much.
She taught me a lot about Anxiety and how it works, we did various exercises, quizzes and paper task sheets that I completed at home when I felt anxious.
I really listened and took in everything she said, I tried everything she suggested and even though I know I am not cured or will ever be cured, I now know some techniques to deal with it and calm myself down and I really wanted to share with others because it does work.
- Guided relaxation -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cstdBKVZ6B4
- A hot bath using bath oil
- Long deep breathes
- 5 senses- Look around you and use your 5 senses, What can you touch, see, smell, hear, taste
- Have a look at your surroundings and describe in your head or out loud what you can see to take your mind off the anxiety.
- Post it notes -When you are feeling anxious, write each feeling on a separate post-it note and stick it on a cupboard door so all of your feelings are up there for you to see. Go to another room and sit down with a drink and biscuit for 20 minutes and then return back to the cupboard and remove the feelings you no longer feel. I have done this a few times and it really works. It took me 3 days to get rid of them all.
- Use a shoe box and turn it into a post box, write your worry down and post it and It is like taking the feeling out of your head and getting rid of it. Never look at it again.
- Rationalise- If you are like me you catastrophise everything. For example, Yesterday I saw 2 lads with hoodies on heading from the shops to my daughters pre-school where I had just dropped her off. I was convinced they were going to the school to kill all the kids. I was going to turn around and check but tried to get out of it by calling my partner. I even asked him If I should drop call the pre-school to see if they answered cause if they did it meant they were alive. He tried to make me think rationally by explaining that maybe they were in hoodies because it was cold. Maybe they were heading towards the pre-school because that is where the car-park is, obviously this made sense but me being me did not see it like that.
- Write a list and keep a Diary.
- Read a book or do Suduko, wordsearch or crosswords.
- Take your medication at the same time every day if you are prescribed it. Unless you are against them.
- Keep yourself busy, when you have to much time on your hands is when you are most vulnerable and overthink. This is why my sisters brought me this website.
- Go for a walk and leave your phone at home or don’t touch it in your pocket.
- Avoid caffeine, drinking
- Learn to relax
This is just a few things I have found that help me, however, I still have a long way to go. I hate that I still feel like this but I am learning to keep it under control, I have tried everything above and it does work and I now just have to practise everything and take some time out for myself.
I really hope this helps all of you that suffer from this.