Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. It refers to the physical and psychological symptoms that we feel when we are anxious. Anxiety is a very personal thing and we will all experience it differently, but symptoms such as nausea, an accelerated heart rate, difficulty sleeping, a feeling of fear, dread, or numbness, an overactive mind and a sense of restlessness are common.
Why do we get anxious?
The trouble is, that for some people (1 in 6 people in any given week, according to the charity Mind), the reaction is being triggered so often that a state of anxiety becomes the norm. There is a lot of information available about the potential long-term effects of living in a prolonged state of anxiety. I came across an article which explains in a bit more detail how you need a balance between the two sides of the autonomic nervous system. It’s an interesting read and gives you a better understanding of the physiological side of anxiety.
This post is more personal - a snap shot of my own experience with anxiety. I want to share with you a bit of my own story in the hope of raising awareness of how anxiety can gradually take over, and that by talking about it, acknowledging it and being aware of why it is happening, you can beat it.
School was the biggest source of anxiety for me. Doing a talk in class was the absolute worst thing. I was very creative at finding ways to avoid doing the things that made me anxious, which was basically anything where I was in the spot-light.
My anxiety mainly manifested as nausea. For years I barely ate on a school morning. I can clearly picture myself in the kitchen before school with my mum, feeling so sick and dreading going to school. When I got there and I was with my friends, I was usually fine, but knowing that didn’t alter how I felt every morning.
The crazy thing is that I just don’t think I realised what was going on at the time. I think I knew it was the worry about school that was making me feel so bad. I rarely felt ill at the weekend, well not until we all sat down to watch Open All Hours, Miss Marple, or some other Sunday night TV. It meant the weekend was almost over, and acted as the trigger for the anxiety to start all over again.
Anxiety in the driving seat
Regaining the controls
I can now say with certainty and gratitude, that anxiety doesn’t rule my life anymore – it hasn’t for years. That’s not to say I’m never anxious, but now it’s just how it should be - a temporary state, not one that takes control. The way I experienced anxiety was unique to me. My homeopath asked about my childhood experiences and the triggers and manifestations of my anxiety to give me a personalised prescription. It changed my life.
Interested in finding out more?
For a few tips on slowing down and taking control of your day right now, you can take a look at my December post :)