noun: anxiety; plural noun: anxieties
1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
"he felt a surge of anxiety"
synonyms:worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, consternation, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, perturbation, fretfulness, agitation, angst, nervousness, nerves, edginess, tension, tenseness, stress, misgiving, trepidation, foreboding, suspense;
2. strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
"the housekeeper's eager anxiety to please"
synonyms:eagerness, keenness, desire, impatience, longing, yearnin
Motherhood can be stressful, in fact I believe life in general is stressful these days. There is always so much pressure on us to do more, give more, be more and achieve more that it leaves us highly strung because we feel like we can never keep up or do enough.
This is where anxiety comes in. Anxiety is a natural feeling, in fact it can be quiet beneficial to have a certain level of anxiety in certain situations because it can make us more aware, attentive and our response time quicker but it is when the anxiety turns in to something more than a small worry but starts to take control of your feelings and your life that it becomes a problem. Even just sitting here writing this is giving me anxiety as my anxiety heightens at the thought of having anxiety - fantastic right?
You might be thinking why am I putting myself through this then? Well for me I have learnt many ways of coping and managing my anxiety over the years. I have spent a large amount of time, money, energy and tears to learn these techniques, master them and to be in a place where I can say that I am coping and controlling my mental health. But what I have seen since starting my blog and connecting with women all over the world is that anxiety seems to be at an epidemic rate and many women just do not know where and how to start to controlling or managing it.
If I can help just one person by writing this then I feel it is worth my time. I am not an expert at all and HIGHLY recommend seeing a psychologist to help you too. The best decision I believe I have ever made is seeking professional help. It took many years to find the right person but for me, she has been my saving grace and I have a lot to thank her for in becoming the person I am today. If you are going to seek help or if you have tried in the past but failed you should keep trying different therapists until you find someone you can put your trust in to help you overcome these mental health issues. I promise you that it is worth it's weight in gold when you find the right person for you.
Below are my 5 top techniques I use to control my anxiety and panic. I have many more but I believe these 5 are things we can all master and are quick to do.
MY TOP 5 TECHNIQUES FOR ANXIETY CONTROL:
Sounds simple and too easy right? Well it can be. The more anxious we become the shallower our breath becomes. In our busy states these days we are constantly in a rush and the majority of us breath from our chests which naturally makes our breath shorter and shallower causing extra stress on our bodies and in turn anxiety. If you can feel anxiety coming on or you are in a state of panic stop sit or lay down and focus on your breathing.
What I do is hold my tummy with the palm of my hands and focusing on nothing but breathing in through my nose for 5 slow seconds and feeling my tummy fill with air and then breathing out for 5 slow seconds feeling the air releasing from my tummy. Repeat 5-10 times.
This is actually a great thing to practice even when you are not anxious to help you feel happier and more energized instantly.
2. SENSORY AWARENESS GROUNDING TECHNIQUE:
This exercise helps you to be present in the moment rather than letting your thoughts take you away somewhere else.
I find this particularly useful when I am feeling overwhelmed or a panic attack approaching or in the past when I would have night terrors or couldn't sleep from anxiety.
What to do:
Name 5 things you can see in the room around you - lamp, desk, bed, clock, TV.
Name 4 things you can feel - like the pillow on my neck or the blanket touching my body.
Name 3 things you can hear right now - like the wind outside, the TV in the background.
Name 2 things you can smell or if you cant smell anything name two things that you like the smell of that bring you happiness or a good memory.
Name 1 thing you are grateful for in your life.
3. REALITY AWARENESS:
Like the one above I find this particularly useful in time of overwhelming anxiety or panic.
When you feel like you're spinning out of control lay on the floor or sit in a chair or wherever you can and breath and ask yourself these questions:
1. Where am I? (In my Room, in the care, in bed ect.)
2. What is my full name?
3. What day of the week is it?
4. What month and year is it?
5. Who are my family?
6. What is my address?
7. What is really happening right now? (I am laying in bed and its 10pm)
I know these sound like strange things to ask yourself they are helpful to remind you of reality - repeat them a few times if needed.
4. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION:
I find meditation is not only great to relieve anxiety but a great preventative for anxiety occurring. All you need is 10 minutes to stop and allow your mind to rest.
I like to use YouTube and just search "10 minute meditation" - find an option for mindfulness or anxiety relief.
I personally find that meditation is done best at a lower level of anxiety as I find it hard to relax enough when I am highly anxious.
I find to help anxiety when meditating is to focus on your body and how it feels , where its tight or where its sore and where I need to focus on relaxing rather than trying to forget my thought I try to distract them.
In this fast paced digital world we live in I honestly believe we become so anxious because we have our lives, work, friends, family and everything right there on our phones which are constantly attached to us. It can be so easy to get caught up in social media, comparisons to other people on line, work deadlines, emails, missed calls or text messages that we forget to stop and enjoy life. When you feel a little anxiety coming on or even when you are feeling overwhelmed, put down your phone, switch off the laptop and head outside for a walk in the fresh air with or with out your babies. Take your kids to the park and see them smile and laugh at the simple things like a swing or a slide. It honestly helps so much with your anxiety to see someone else smile, to be disconnected from everything else and to just be.