The ‘A’ Word

Anxiety.

A lot of people lately have commented on how calm I am. For those of you who know me well you will know that this hasn’t always been the case. I will also share a few things that only my family know about only because this is something I feel is important to talk about at the moment. I’m seeing/hearing from a lot of people who are panicking with the current global situation and I felt it might be time to share my story. 

Being positive and relaxed isn’t the natural state I was born with or grew up feeling, it’s taken a lot of personal work, healing, research and soul searching to get to this point. Thankfully though, I firmly believe that it doesn’t need to take years or even months to overcome. I feel fortunate to say that feeling calm now is my (most of the time) natural state of mind. I can tell you it feels awesome!!!

We’re all human and can allow ourselves a few blips of course… but what’s key is not to overthink these emotions and give them a separate form in which we identify ourselves. I used to do this, for example; I told myself ‘I am someone with anxiety’ it got to a point where I would wake every morning and wait for the anxiety or I woke up immediately feeling in that state already. Guess what happens when you look for something? … Yep you guessed it. You find it. Be it good, bad, happy, sad.. you CAN choose what you assign yourself to. If you’re looking for this anxiety you’re fuelling it, creating it, giving it energy and all the time you do that it will remain. It’s there because at some point in your life you gave way and let these unhealthy thought patterns creep in. Now I’m not trying to discredit your feelings at all. What I’m saying is you hold all the power within you to start to change things.

How do I know this? .. Well because at one point in my life I lived in a constant state of debilitating anxiety. So bad that I ended up in hospital, twice. I couldn’t even stay up after the children had gone to bed in the evening because everything made me anxious. Relaxing, in particular, made me feel extremely on edge. These emotions were exhausting me to the point the effect manifested in a completely physical and scary way. I was burned out, stressed and worried virtually all the time. It was like I was living my life on a constant cycle of waiting for something bad to happen and if It did it added validation to my irrational thoughts. I’d think “See I knew this would happen and that’s why I was worrying.” Until one day I broke down in-front of my family and told them how I lived in this constant state of fear and worry. I asked why wouldn’t I worry when “bad things” happen all the time, and my brother said to me “because you can’t live your life like that” .. I knew it was true. It’s literally as simple as that. I had to sort my shit out for the children’s sake and my own.

Looking back it’s one of those situations where I feel as if I’m writing about a totally different person. I’m so grateful I put in the work to overcome my irrational thought patterns. To benefit myself and everyone around me. I’d say changing my mindset is probably THE best thing I’ve ever done for myself. 

I wouldn’t say that it takes constant work but it does require you to remain conscious, by conscious I don’t mean breathing but being MINDFUL. The other day I was waiting in the queue whilst food shopping and I felt the same old familiar feeling creep back. Rather than try to overanalyse why I felt anxious instead I tried to ground myself. The best way I believe is to become present – stop letting your mind control you. The grounding technique is where you use your senses, look around you for something you can SEE, listen to what you can HEAR, find something you can TOUCH, and SMELL. Try and think about your breathing or do whatever works for you to forget about these thoughts. Remember that they don’t serve you, they aren’t helping you. YOU have to decide to let them go. Don’t let it define you, especially when there’s so many beautiful things about you.

Again, I’m not trying to discredit your feelings, there might be something to worry about.. but when your mind tries to run away – catch it before it goes too far. Everyone has good in their life, sometimes you’ve only got to look for it. Focus on all the positivity, this might sound cliche or irritating but it’s true! If you want the good you have to channel it. Appreciate the small things, because they’re often the big things. Show gratitude. Sometimes there are big things we can’t control but we can ALWAYS control how we react in the situations, sometimes it takes work. But I promise, it’s worth it. Let’s all try and make peace with the here and now. 

A few ways to help boost your mood and positive vibrations:

  • Laugh. EVERYDAY. Sometimes you have to put on your favourite comedy show or even watch a few minutes of a comedian you love and see how much it cheers you up!
  • Music. What helps me is to go back to my favourite music I used to listen to when growing up and reminisce.. Old Skool RnB anyone??!! .. Or another personal favourite –  old movie soundtracks, don’t be afraid to dance around and laugh at yourself.
  • Be Open. This for me is huge, the minute I say how I feel it lifts a weight. I try not to dwell too much on what upsets me because chances are that will all be gone by tomorrow. If I say to myself I’m upset today and I need to cry, fine. That’s great. Cry, let it out but don’t OVERTHINK it. It’s temporary. 
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.. there’s a time and a place of course, but are your favourite people in life ever the super serious??! 
  • Do something you love.. reading, cooking, writing, play a game. Whatever it is. Allow yourself this time everyday. Don’t feel bad, you need this.
  • Exercise, this ones obvious, endorphins make you FEEL GOOD!
  • Meditate … Now this one I NEED to work on, I’m still getting to grips with it, but I feel we could ALL benefit from a little meditation in our lives… by the way if you have any tips on this one I’d love to know how to fully get the best out of it.

Keep channelling your positivity and remember perspective is everything – you can choose how you spend this time and craft it into your own experience. If you’ve got little ones at home it’s not always easy and they’re all getting bored but the best thing we can do for them is to take care of ourselves and provide them with a great example of a grounding force. I’ll leave this here as my reminder too. We can do this, let’s inspire our children and raise each other up. Sometimes we all need a little lift and I’m here for you as many of you are for me too. Lots of love Yasmin xxx

Published by FourUnfiltered

Wanderlust ❤️

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