Anxious Annie… That’s Me!
I struggle a lot with anxiety. I think I always have a little, but now because of all my health issues it seems harder to cope with, as my “irrational fear of death” feels quite justified now.
When I was 24+ I was really struggling with my breathing, especially when walking. Friends were worried and pestering me to go to the doctors, which, to be honest, was exactly what I needed – I should have been more persistent. I was in denial, I think.
We thought that I was having panic attacks when walking because I feared death, but I was just extremely breathless due to the PH becoming bad. To be fair I’m sure that you have done something, running or whatnot that’s made you so out of breath that you think your dying.
Now I don’t tend to allow myself to get to the stage of breathlessness where I am gasping like a fish if I can help it. I’m very slow now!
Anyways back on track Vicki, we don’t need to many tangents where you beat yourself up about things in the past…
I think that anxiety is very normal and common for people who have health issues, so I thought I would share some of my coping methods.
1. Mindfulness, this is very simply about living in the moment and enjoying the little things in life, this can be done in many ways I often do it but just sitting down with a cup of tea and really savouring it – enjoying it from the 1st sip. I look forwards to doing this outside when the spring starts to appear. Warm tea, cold air, and the bird in full song; beautiful! Another way I found to be mindful is crocheting.
2. My lovely psychologist has been teaching me Safe Space meditation. This is where you make up an imaginary or real space in your mind where you feel safe and loved. Mine is a hut in the woods (kind of like Hagrid’s) lovely open fire, always a cup of tea ready and lots of blankets of course, with the rain taping on the windowsill and the smell of the damp woods. So cosy, so happy, so safe and so loved. The greatest thing about this place being in your mind is you can go there any time anywhere.
3. Another tactic I find very helpful is the name 5 things. You start with 5 things you can see, touch, feel, smell and so on. This one is good for when your brain starts to spiral, they help ground you.
4. Journaling is another good way of helping with anxiety sometimes just writing down what I’m feeling means that I don’t have to think about it anymore.
5. I have also found reading books on the subject to be helpful to, it helps you understand that you are not your anxiety.
These are my top two recommended reads. (Well I listen to Happy as an audio book, but it counts!)