11/02/2018

Anxiety Update February 2018



For the past few years anxiety has been a big part of my life and still is. I thought that today I would sit down with you and catch up on how my anxiety is now as I haven't spoken about it in a while. I started having anxiety when I was around 15/16 I would say. Although a few things did happen around that time that probably triggered it. I did go to therapy for around a year but that was more of a short-term fix rather than a long-term.  

At the time my therapy was free on the NHS as I was not an adult, however, this meant that I only got a certain amount of hours free before I would have to start paying. I knew that paying wasn't an option as it was just too expensive. In the end, I began to learn myself what coping mechanisms I could use when I felt anxious. These were things like apps that I could use to calm me down such as the "Calm" app. Other things I found worked and continue to use are bottles of ice cold water, minty chewing gum and the Bach Rescue Remedy Spray. 

I would say my anxiety is split up into three different areas. I can get really anxious on a crowded tube which means that sometimes I have panic attacks on them. This is the area that affects me the most physically as when I have a panic attack I feel extremely sick, hot, sweaty and almost like the space I'm in is closing in on me. The second area is social anxiety although to many people I seem like a confident young woman who can handle talking in front of people, meeting new people or going to new things. I overthink things a lot when it comes to social situations "Will they think that I'm stupid", "What if I get food down me", "What if they don't like me because of what I'm saying" etc...

The third trigger is restaurants especially fine dining restaurants. I can also say that eating in front of new people makes me anxious as well. I always think "What if I spill food on me", "Are they analysing the way I eat?" etc...Over the past year since around this time last year, I have worked really hard on my anxiety by focusing more on the positives rather than the negatives. 

Although this is hard at times I did find that it really helped my anxiety. Of course, I still have bad days where I feel extremely anxious but these days happen less often than they used to. I now find that I have more good days than bad whereas around a year and a half ago I would have more bad days. I wouldn't say it's been easy as I have had many awful panic attacks in the process but it does get better in the end.

I am fully expecting my anxiety to continue to ride this rollercoaster that it's on as anything bad that may happen in the future can easily trigger it again. But for now, I'm in a good place when it comes to my anxiety. Of course, it's a daily battle as certain things such as a packed tube can cause me to have a panic attack. I still get nervous when the train is busy and I often wait until the next train in the hopes that it won't be packed. 

My advice to you if you suffer anxiety is to work on it all the time. Research about it and some things that can help you when you are feeling anxious. I have spent hours researching breathing techniques, herbal remedies I can take and so on. This really helped me as it made me feel calmer because I knew there were things out there to help me when I'm feeling anxious. It's not something that can be fixed over night as it does take a while to get under control but it does get better...

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1 comment

  1. It is good to focus on the positives. Although, like you said, it can be difficult at times. I use the calm app at night to help me sleep. Otherwise my brain just goes round in circles!

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