Random Fact 003:
Reading time: 10 minutes.
Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope everyone is settling into the week nicely.
Today’s discussion is about anxiety versus gratitude. I have decided to discuss this topic today because it’s something that I am very familiar with. If you read my post on Monday I shared to you how crazy my head can become at times.
I started off my week this week with my anxiety already at a peak point. It all started, when my fridge broke. I mean, it’s just a fridge right? It shouldn’t be a big deal, however immediately I was so stressed out and worried about all the food, and how I was going to repair it, and if I couldn’t repair it where I was going to buy a new one from let alone find the funds for it. Ps, it was 5:33am. ugh. I had a hectic day at work, came home my water bottle leaked everywhere in my bag, learnt I had a huge fine to pay, and I *nearly* smashed a wine bottle.
I suppose it’s an understatement to say that I had a pretty shitty Monday!
I have to consider that not everyone will know what anxiety is all about, because some people a) have never experienced it and/or b) have such mild cases of anxiety it doesn’t affect the day-to-day. If thats you – well done.. honestly. I applaud you.
I’ll start by what it means to have a diagnosis of ‘anxiety’ (please note, I am not a health professional of any sort, if you feel you might be suffering from anxiety or any other mental health issue, please seek clarification from your GP). Anxiety is when those anxious type of feelings don’t go away – when they’re ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren’t easily controlled. (Information from BeyondBlue)
How does anxiety affect people? Basically with anxiety it can be broken down into 3 seperate categories:
- Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy
- Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking
- Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life
For me personally, it is various things from each category. For example, when I am in a peak moment of anxiety I have panic attacks, my heart races, my chest tightens I am incredibly wound up and on edge. Then this leads to excessive worrying, I obsess over my thoughts and if it’s too a point where I am having a ‘mental health’ day I avoid my friends, my work and literally stay under covers until it’s night time again. It’s terrible.
I have a few friends that suffer from anxiety as well. It’s more common than we like to admit. There are many different types of anxiety as well – I won’t get into them here but if you want some more information check out this site.
Now, let’s talk about gratitude! Most of us associate gratitude with saying “thank you” to someone who has helped us or given us a gift. From a scientific perspective, gratitude is not just an action. Gratitude is a positive emotion, which is really important because it serves a purpose. Positive psychologists contend that gratitude is more than feeling thankful for something, it is more like a deeper appreciation for someone (or something,) which produces longer lasting positivity.
Expressing your thanks (not just to others, but to yourself) can really improve your overall sense of well-being. It can help in so many factors in your life, such as, relationships, overall happiness and optimism, better physical and mental health and a more fulfilling life.
So – we’ve talked a little about anxiety and we’ve talked a little about gratitude. Let’s talk about the tools that are available to us everyday. What actually works? (This is all from personal experience)
A Mantra is a sacred utterance, a sound, a syllable, word or group of words believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning.
So, what mantras do I use? I often say..
“Even though.. *insert what is currently causing me grief*.. I completely love and accept myself” <– ( I learnt this from my psychotherapist)
“Everything happens for a reason..even if we don’t understand the reason”
- Pacifica – This app helps track your mood, has daily challenges and the handy little tool of thought recording / journaling.
- Calm (personal fave) – This is purely for meditation. It gives you guided meditations for different stages of your day, such as ‘sleep stories’, ‘daily calm’ and a option to just ‘breathe’.
- Daylio – This is in the format of like a calendar. It’s almost like a ‘calendar of feelings’ – it gives you options of ‘good’, ‘meh’ and ‘fugly’. It has a diary entry option as well.
If you’re like me, food is like my favourite thing on this planet. One of the main reasons I actually get out of bed. I am an emotional eater though, so apart from me not being the healthiest person I do appreciate what is actually good for my body.
Spinach – cashews – chamomile tea – avocado – bananas – blueberries – dark chocolate – leafy greens – oats – salmon – whole grains
Just to list a few. Pinterest has SO MANY recipes you can try as well.
Phew! Did you make it through all of that? If you’re still with me, thanks for sticking around. I promise i’m nearly done..
Two things that help me through my day each and every day is my journaling, and my support network. I have a great group of friends, an amazing husband, a loving family and genuine work colleagues. Check out my journals that I have, one is purely for my anxiety and the other is purely for documenting what I am grateful for. It really helps!
Just to end this huge post I have a link to some great TED talks about mental health. I found them via Sarahrosecoaching blog! Definitely go check them out.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this post. This is an issue that is close to my heart and personally affects me.
Let me know what you all think. Do you suffer from anxiety? Do you know someone that does? Let’s start a discussion. Sometimes all it takes is to just say “hey” to someone to open the door to help.
Until next time.