Archives for category: My Anxiety

Many people come to me and say ‘I don’t know why I feel like I do or how it started’ well I was pretty much in the dark myself as to why I seem to get worse and not better over the years and why had these feelings had come on in the first place. Well in most cases it is because of a period of worry and stress, there are other causes but in most cases this is the reason why. I receive emails from people bewildered to why they suddenly felt like this, I then ask ‘Have you been under a period of stress recently?’ they reply with, ‘Well my mother has been ill recently, my partner left me 6 months ago, my daughter has just left home and I lost my job a couple of months ago, not until I ask them do they realise the stress they have been under for the last few months, all this stress takes its toll on the body.

What I had was a nervous breakdown. This basically occurs because your body can only take so much.   When you are going through a prolonged period of stress and worry, your body cannot cope so it sort of shuts down.  It has reached breaking point and has said enough is enough. This may lead to feelings of anxiousness, feelings of panic, and the feeling of detachment. It does not matter what the symptoms are, it is your body saying “I can take no more”.  This is where the word breakdown comes in, because that is really all it is. Now all your body is asking for is a rest and time to rejuvenate itself. Do we give it that time? No!  Through no fault of our own, we then worry about these symptoms, worry we are going mad and wonder why we feel so tired and emotionless. This puts more worry and strain on our already tired body and we may begin to feel worse. We tell ourselves we must get a grip of this thing, so we fight it and worry even more. Well I think you can now see why these symptoms persist. This is exactly what I did for all those years while I suffered. In fact I was worrying because I had been ill so long and my days were filled with fighting and worry.

One day I just accepted that, OK, this is me now. I actually understand why I feel like this. I need to give my mind and body a rest. I need to stop trying to make myself feel better and stop worrying about how I feel. So I started to just accept it, not only that, but I also accepted it may take a long time for my body to repair itself. This is exactly what your body needs – ‘A Break’. It did take time for me to feel better and sort of came bit by bit. Sometimes I experienced the worst day I’d had for a long time, but I never let it bother me. I just accepted the good days and the bad ones. What I did notice over time was that my mind became a little clearer.  The odd emotion would return and my anxiety eased a little. This is when I finally realised I was doing things the right way and it all made sense to me. The feeling of strangeness was the hardest to accept, but I became a master at not letting it bother me. So, remember, it does not matter how long it takes to feel better, just start to give your body the well deserved break it so needs and it will take care of itself.

Since I was a kid, I have always been scared of meeting people, and I have been struggling for many years to solve this very uncomfortable condition.

So how to overcome social anxiety disorder?

The Internet helped me a lot. After much searching, I finally found something interesting that definitely made me take a step forward on my situation, hence improving my self-confidence.

Reading the nuggets on http://www.psychologylive.net/blog/finding-cloud9/201308/5-quick-tips-reduce-stress-and-stop-anxiety/

really taught me a lot and compelled me to take action almost immediately.

Also this helped me http://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/00017762/

Last week I was able for the first time to talk in front of 65 persons at my daughter’s birthday party! (I know it may sound sillhappinessy, but for me it was a very important achievement)

I wanted to join a social anxiety disorder support group to share my own success story and to try to improve my results on how to overcome social anxiety and general depression, but because in my city there isn’t one of them, I felt that writing in a forum may be a valid alternative to share my story (that’s therapeutic for me) and I may have the rare opportunity of helping others suffering from the same problem.

Well, how did I achieve this?

It’s impossible to explain everything in this post, but I will write some hints that will help people get the same results as I had.

Relaxation and “living in the present” are the keys, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, at least it wasn’t for me, a good aid was the book, “The power of now” (I forget the name of the author, just google it and you will find it) it’s quite interesting.

Another practice that made miracles for me was “visualization”, I just visualized myself in those situations that frequently causes me to experience social anxiety, visualizing the situation’s ending with a very good outcome.

I am dedicating about 1 hour everyday to this visualization practice, and I can assure you that it really works if you practice it constantly!

I also read another very interesting book, about self improvement and on how to overcome social anxiety disorder.

What’s the story? Countless books promote mindfulness meditation. ‘Just be present’ sounds good, but exactly how do you do that? You try to follow the instructions for ‘relaxing in the moment’, but try too hard and you’re not relaxing at all. In this classic text I read, the writer, who helped introduce mindfulness to the secular West, approaches matters indirectly. Each of his short reflections, interspersed with exercises, is just a glimpse through one face of the multifaceted diamond of mindfulness. Yet, at the end, you get it.

The message: We’re constantly seeking techniques for self-improvement to ease anxiety and depression. But that improved self is always a future self; we’re forever working towards it, rather than getting there. It’s more beneficial to learn to stop. This is simple, but not easy, as we’re all deeply conditioned to do the opposite.

Key quote: ‘It often seems as though we are preoccupied with the past… or with a future that hasn’t arrived yet. We look for someplace else to stand… As a result, we may never quite be where we actually are, never quite touch the fullness of our possibilities.’

Practical lessons I learnt from it:

– Just stop. The simplest meditation technique is just to stop once in a while during the day. Simply sit and become aware of your breathing, without trying to control it. You’ve heard this a million times and always put it off. But what if you did it right now?

– Build in ‘mindfulness reminders’. Choose an activity you perform several times a day

– walking through a doorway or getting into your car – and resolve to bring your attention to the present every time you do it. This combats a paradox of mindfulness: in order to remember to do it, you have to be mindful already.

– Get up earlier. The writer is not recommending sleep-deprivation. But being awake during the hours before others around

Awakening can be magically conducive to mindfulness.

And gently holding yourself to regularly rising earlier is mindful in itself. ‘I don’t want to get up’ is just a thought – you don’t need to let your thoughts push you around.

The downside: All books on spirituality deal with things that are, ultimately, beyond words. The only way to grasp what meditation is really about is to meditate – no book can be a substitute for that.

Why it beats the competition: Mindfulness, in a sense, is boring. The whole point is to counteract the mind’s tendency to flirt around in search of stimulation.

But he meets you halfway. He offers enough intriguing angles and different techniques, to keep even the most distracted reader happy – yet all his paths lead back to mindfulness…

of course all of this MUST be supported by a psychologist to get the proper results.

I took some time to write this post, I hope you got inspired to take immediate action.
that is the key to success in anything. Just starting somewhere like I did.

Cheers

A lot of people who suffer from anxiety experience guilt at the person they feel they have become, like they have failed themselves in some way. This guilt is usually brought on by a feeling that they can no longer do the things they used to, they may find themselves making excuses to go places or to visit people. I myself went through this until I told myself I had nothing to feel guilty about and I was going to waste no more self pity on myself.

It never ceases to amaze me how many different people from different professions can suffer with anxiety and yes I have even had doctors contact me for help. The main thing is to accept that for now you are not the person you once were and feel no guilt about it. Having an understanding partner is also a great help, someone who will not just tell you to “Pull yourself together” I had this support, I told my partner, ‘ you may not understand, but just believe me ‘.

Through my own suffering I felt at times I was playing a role in a film, acting to try to appear normal, other times just trying to hide how I felt. The pressure to keep up this pretence day in day was huge and truly exhausting. So if you see yourself in this way, learn to put yourself first. You cannot keep trying to be the person you once were. You need to stop putting on an act, admit that you are no longer the person you once were and tell yourself that you don’t have to keep this pretence up any longer.

Just to let anyone who reads the blog on a regular basis that I will from time to time keep people updated on what is new on my website . Firstly I have recently added a friendship page where people can meet others, this can be for support or just to build a friendship. The page is pretty new and hopefully will fill up pretty quickly, so if you want to add your details then please feel free.

Something else that will hopefully be coming soon is a anxiety auction page. This will consist of me raising money for charity auctions by way of selling items on ebay and also maybe the odd fundraising day. Details will hopefully appear soon on my site so keep an eye out for that one.

Hopefully soon my website will be getting a facelift, there is just not enough space on there for what I need, so a few extra buttons and maybe a sharper design. The website will be changing on a regular basis, this comes from what people want and comment on, so keep it in your favourites and keep popping back in to see whats new

Many people through anxiety, including myself can go through a stage of depression and self-pity. This in turn can bring on feelings of fatique and a lack of motivation. They can also develop a bad diet and a total lack of fitness, what is the point when I feel like this they may think. In my own recovery I put little importance on foods and excercise, but it turn out to be a large part of how I felt overall, again it is not the only answer, but it can have a large overall effect on how you feel.

I went out no matter how I felt, depressed, anxious, panicky, I was sick of anxiety ruling what I did and did not do, so I went walking, running, swimming and also looked at what I ate. The improvement was easy to see, our body is like a car and the more we look after it the better it runs. Not only did I feel better, it also gave me the extra confidence I needed to address my other problems, it gave me the motivaton to really move forward in my struggle with anxiety. Instead of sitting at home wallowing in self-pity, I began to take more of an interest in other things, something else took over my thoughts and my day.

I always tell people the importance of going out in the fresh air, taking up a new hobby, something to break the chain of self-pity and depression, exercise is one of the best mood lifters there is, it also helps burn all the stress chemicals that can build up during the day, some people ask me how they feel stressed and irritable when they are sat still? The answer is they are filled with stress that needs a release, it needs an outlet and excercise gives it this. So no matter how you feel, take control of your life and do try to go out there and do something, you never know you might just enjoy it.

Through suffering of anxiety most people also develop depression, this can then lead to feelings of self-pity and make the person feel worthless. The feelings of depression can occur because anxiety has a tendency to crush our spirit and make us feel emotionally spent, also we begin to see no way out from the way we feel and have nothing to look forward to. I also went through depression with my anxiety and got caught in the cycle of being depressed because I was depressed. I realised that if I was to recover from anxiety then I was to have no self pity, if I felt down then I felt down there was nothing I could do about this, what I would try to do is not be filled with self-pity and make myself worse.
The best thing you can do with feelings of depression through anxiety is to tell yourself the way you feel is temporary and start to invite new things into your day, don’t let how you feel dominate your day. I started to take walks and go for a swim to shake the cobwebs off how I was feeling, this helped me greatly and it gave me anotdepressedher focus to my day instead of focusing on myself. I believe that nature and a natural diet can be great mood lifters and also ease the feelings of anxiety, going out for a run or a walk, taking some daily exercise is far better than sitting at home brooding on how you feel. Exercise in itself releases endorphins which are great for lifting your mood, also exercise burns off all those stress chemicals than can built up through the day.
Your thought pattern is also very important when over coming anxiety and depression, too many people think negatively when they feel how they do, this is understandable but is counter productive and becomes a habit, the habit to always think negative which in turn makes us feel worse and crushes are spirit even more. Watch out for all the negative thinking and try and change your thought pattern, instead of saying ‘This is me now I just want to curl up and hide’ say ‘I don’t feel great at the moment but I am going to make the changes and come through this’ instead of saying ‘I have nothing to look forward to and I hate my life’ say ‘Life is what I make it from now, the only person that can make changes is me, this is just a  part of my life that I will come through’. There are many different things you can say to yourself, but the main thing is to try and have as little self-pity as possible, to see the good in the day instead of all the bad, to come through this time a better, stronger person.
I came through my depression and it was because I made the changes above, these changes also helped me after my recovery, I am a far more confident person than I was before my own suffering and I tend to always see the good in my life. This all came about because I understand the importance of being positive, this now has become my new habit and my life is so much richer for it. I am also very proud that I stayed positive and came through this very tough part of my life; this has given me a new inner strength, a strength that I can overcome anything. I now no longer worry about anything I cannot change, if I learnt one thing it is that worrying is the most useless emotion we have and serves us no purpose whatsoever.