Rambles from my makeup box.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Anxiety and my advice.

Hi guys, today I thought I would do two posts for my blog one for beauty and one lifestyle post about anxiety. There has been a lot of talk about anxiety recently which I think is great because a lot of people who suffer from it can feel alone but it is a really common mental illness which can be helped and treated. 

I have suffered from anxiety basically all my life and unfortunately over the years it has got worse and worse, so today I thought I would share some advice about how I cope and how I am learning to live with it.

Anxiety can be one of the most horrendous feelings in the world.. when I start to panic I feel very sick, I get overly hot, I feel dizzy and faint, my heart starts beating really fast and I can't breath, so overall it just feels like I'm dying. But what you have to remember is that all of these feelings are brought on by the hormone adrenaline and that it can't last forever, as the body can't keep producing it for long periods of time and usually panic attacks can only last 20 minutes.

My most important bit of advice to people suffering with anxiety and panic attacks is to talk to someone and this could be anyone from a family member, to a friend or a doctor, just talk to someone you trust. I know this can be difficult but usually once you have started talking about anxiety it makes you feel better immediately. Also explain to them how the anxiety makes you feel so it can help them to understand more and also help them to look after you.

Also I know it is really hard to go see a doctor if you are suffering from anxiety as it took me years to build up the courage, but you have to remember that anxiety is actually a really common problem and they have probably already seen hundreds of people asking for the same help, but they will be really understanding and will help find the best method of treatment for you. 

Here are some of my other tips for dealing with anxiety:
  • Listen to music - music can be a great distraction, especially if you are out and about or on public transport. I have a playlist of all my favourite songs that I listen to which reminds me of happy memories.
  • Take yourself out of the situation - if you can sometimes I find it's helpful just to find a quite place or go outside so I can cool down and relax and get my thinking straight. I like to remind myself that I am okay, I'm not in any danger and all what I am feeling is due to adrenaline and breathing to fast.
  • Breathe - This sounds like an obvious one but often when you are having anxiety you start breathing too fast, so it is helpful to learn breathing techniques. I like to breathe in for 6 seconds, hold for 2 and then breath out for 8, but do what makes you feel comfortable. Also practice breathing techniques when you aren't anxious so they are easier to do when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Carry a bottle of water with you - I won't leave the house without a bottle of water as I find it comforting to know that I have it, as it helps when I am feeling sick or feel like I need to cool down.
  • Carry mints/chewing gum - This is another thing I won't leave the house without as the main problem with my anxiety is that I always feel really sick, so the mint helps to freshen my mouth and it also helps settle the stomach. Chewing gum can also provide a distraction.
  • Play games - Mind games can be a great distraction and I use these when I am travelling, something like Sudoku or even candy crush can be great at distracting the mind from anxiety.
  • Exercise - When exercising it helps the body to release and get rid of the hormone adrenaline so you feel calmer.
  • Eating healthy - Try to cut down on sugar, caffeine and alcohol as these can stimulate anxiety.
  • Meditation - this can help clear the mind and help you relax, However this does take time to learn as your brain needs to be trained to stop losing focus and thinking of several different things. 
  • Have some me time - It is important to always relax yourself and do what you love to do, whether that be taking a nice bath, reading or cooking, just take sometime to yourself.
  • Reward yourself - even if it's just for making a trip to the local shop, it's important to acknowledge that you have managed to do something you find difficult and that nothing bad happened.
Products I use to help: 

  • Kalms can be a great help when you have something planned that you find stressful. I start taking these a week before I have to go to the dentist or if I have to fly anywhere. You can buy them from most supermarkets, pharmacies and drug stores.
  • I recently have purchased Rescue pastilles from Bach which contains a number of different flower extracts that were meant to help calm anxiety. I have only used these a few times and they seem to help calm me down, and they come in a nice tin which is easy to carry and take out with you. You can purchase these again from most supermarkets, pharmacies and drug stores.

Sorry that this was such a long post, but hopefully it will provide some help. 
I hope you all find your best way of coping and manage better with anxiety.

If you do want to talk about it, or have any more questions I will always try my best to help and lend a listening ear.

Helpful links:
  • Self help for anxiety managment (SAM) - by the university of the West of England.
  • Stress and anxiety companion - by prosper

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