We all know the Swahaili phrase “Hakuna Matata” made popular by the 1994 film “The Lion King”. I’ve come to realise that no worries for the rest of my days just ain’t gunna happen for me, this blog post takes a personal turn and ties in with “Time to talk day”.
Every now and again I experience bouts of anxiety or worry. It’s hard to talk about because I don’t know what label to give myself or whether it’s normal, or actually if normal matters atall.
I do know however that it’s a good thing to talk about how you are feeling. Taking that step can mean you talk to one or two people – maybe a friend or a counsellor. Others are comfortable sharing with lots of people, and some prefer to write about their experiences. It’s good to talk (if you want to) but you need to find what works for you and what you feel most comfortable in sharing.
I think that there are a couple of steps before the talking step. The first hurdle is recognition of the issue whether it is anxiety (a lot of worry) or depression (a lot of sadness) or a myriad of other issues covered by the well publicised fact that 1 in 4 experience mental health issues.
The other step which may come either before or as part of the process of talking is acceptance. From what I have observed in others, those people who recognise and accept their very real struggles are most likely to benefit from the silver linings of experiencing anxiety or other issues, and those people actually shine.
Although experiencing anxiety is not atall fun the silver linings I have identified are:
- A degree of anxiety can help productivity and motivation.
- You have empathy for others.
- You can develop resilience.
- Close relationships can form because you share your struggles with others.
- You can channel your feelings into something artistic or creative.
My tips for combating anxiety are below:
- Limit caffeine intake to maximum of one coffee a day, in the morning only. Also decaf real coffee can taste just as good.
- When I have a glass of wine I have it to wind down once the kids are all in bed.
- I make time for exercise including yoga and running and eat well.
- Related to the above there may be times when exercising is too much to fit in, for these times there is chocolate!
- There is a free app on the NHS website called “Catch it” developed by the University of Liverpool. This uses the concept of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you freeze a thought and then reframe it in a more positive light.
- I recommend a sense of humour and a smile (-:
This post relates to my personal experience of anxiety and what helps my emotional wellbeing. It has been therapeutic to write and I hope it helps others.