I’m going to write about an issue that is very personal to me and one that isn’t the easiest for to write those I have touched on it before.  This issue is Anxiety.

For those of you who may not know what anxiety is it feels like fear, everyone has some anxiety at some point in their lives and it’s good for you as it keeps you alert and makes your body ready for action. This becomes a problem when the feelings become too strong and when they interfere with your dailies lives.

You may experience some of the more unpleasant physical symptoms. For example, you might have:

– a fast heart rate,
– a thumping heart (basically you feel like your heart is thumping out of your chest),
– feeling sick,
– shaking,
– sweating,
– dry mouth,
– chest pain,
– headaches,
– fast breathing.

Anxiety is something that can start at any age. It can be brought on by moments of extreme stress or can seem to occur for no apparent reason.
Every personal experiences is different, the trigger can be a crowds of people, confined space, mandarin normal routine and for some it can happen for no apparent reason whatsoever.

For me my trigger seemed to be the mandarin situations when I was working in retail and this was heightened even more when I knew I would be unable to leave the job. Especially if I knew I would be left on a customer service desk on my own, a situation that would really stressed me out.
It got to the point on where it was affecting my mood and I became more and more upset so much so that I was dreading coming in, like I literally would just burst out crying and feel sick.

During that period of my time in stressful retail job,I have found some things that helped me when I feel like I’m about to have an anxiety/panic attack.

I’m hoping that by sharing them with you it may help you cope as well if you are suffering from this.

Tips:
1. Breathe. it seems like the simplest thing in the world but when you are panicking it feels incredibly hard to do. as your heart is racing like crazy By taking deep breaths in and out and focusing on your breathing you are taking your mind off what you are worrying about thus helping calming your heart rate and body.

2. Take a step back from the situation and analyse on what is truly bothering you. Sometime by over thinking the situation you are making it seem worse than it truly is but by thinking it through with a clear head you can see where the issue lies.

3. Take control by saying yes. As cliche as it sound – it does work.  You may  find yourself worry about it for months and then go and wonder what you were even stressing/worrying about to begin with. I have had many situations like this, for examples travelling on holiday or even seeing a friend. By saying yes you are not letting the anxiety take control of you and you can grow to be a strong person.

4. Change your thought patterns.  Start by choosing to think more positively your whole outlook on life will change and it will show through your actions and moods.

5. Smell. There are many herbal remedies you can take to help you calm down, hence why I love aromatherapy as I was mentioning in this post. My firm favorites are lavender and peppermint oil, it’s a good idea to keep a stash of these in your handbag  – just in case.

6Allow yourself to get in touch with your emotions. Holding them in and being afraid in not expressing them is only going to make it worse. If you need to cry cry, if you need to laugh then laugh. It is far better to express too much emotion rather than expressing none at all.

7. Express yourself. I do this through talking to my husband as it really does calm me down and he often has some good advice. However talking with someone about how you’re feeling can help you express yourself and make you feel as though a weight has been lifted.

8. Finally remember you are never ever alone. This is a common problem and a lot of people do have  but sadly it’s one that isn’t regularly talked about. I say this with all honesty, if you ever need a natter or want to get something off your chest then you are more then welcome to email, I won’t bite your head. I will listen to you.

9. Smile. When something in life has got us down, it’s a good idea to take a quick break to get some giggles on. Research suggests that laughter can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, so consider checking out a funny Cat YouTube clip to calm those jittery nerves.

10. The opposite of fear is faith. When you’re anxious, a great way to get out of it is to find some faith – a belief system that thing will get better. Believing that things will get better is sometimes all it takes to make it better. It also helps to never underestimate the power of positive prayer or visualization, if it can cure cancer it can also reduce your anxiety.

Now that my anxiety has lessened since leaving retail and working freelance, I am finding that more and more people I know seem to know someone suffering from this, and they are in the same boat that I was in to begin with.  I am hoping that a few people out there who are suffering and feel lost will read this and find that it gives them some comfort and may even help them on the path to overcoming their anxiety.

(An updated post to coincide with  mental health awareness week )

If anyone wants to leave comments be it about your own experience or just a general comment please feel free to do so.