The craziness called anxiety

Anxiety disorders are very common. Approximately 1 in 4 New Zealanders will be affected by an anxiety disorder at some stage in their lives. At any one time, 15% of the population will be affected”

Health Navigator NZ

Some years ago I had a year of severe anxiety attacks. They came on suddenly, starting as multiple daily attacks, gradually shifting to once a day, then weekly, then monthly, as I took myself back into therapy and used the science of yoga to unravel what was going on and finally break this nightmarish experience.

For those of you who have never felt anxiety at an extreme level, here is a journal entry I wrote, as I was having an attack. I hope this gives you some understanding and compassion for yourself or those suffering around you.

I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack – Frozen, broken, frustrated, angry, sad….all at once. Heart racing out of my chest, sweating, looking from a distance as my body takes over my mind. It’s unreal…exhausted, can’t sleep, 2am, work tomorrow. I am at war within myself and can’t seem to break free.

I’m unable to speak. Shut down, paralyzed in trauma. I want to kick and scream like the little girl I feel like. I’m 5 (ish), mum is dead, dads in the pub, we’re in the car waiting. It’s dark and cold. Flash forward some weeks we’re waiting at our neighbors holiday batch for dad to come home, its cold and icy, no care, no responsibility. He’s dead they said, black ice and beer bottles they said. I’m 5, it’s cold and lonely, lost and scared inside. 

“Who’s going to look after the cat?” I said

I’m back in bed, in the now, living a parallel existence of being both a little girl and an adult at the same time. Reliving the terror of loss and death, the terror of being less important than a bottle. The terror my love, my anchor will die. No care, no responsibility.

This is the terror of anxiety. It is unreasonable. Inexplicable. No matter what reason…sometimes there may seem to be none, which makes it feel all the more ridiculous, it is hell to live through.

I’m Ok now. I sat through each experience, feeling it, harnessing it, not running away as I normally would, but staying and facing my anguish one day and hellish moment at a time.

Freedom from anxiety is possible. It takes courage and determination and with professional help and your loved ones staying strong beside you, loving you because of your fears, not in-spite of them, you can find peace. If not complete freedom, then power to manage the attacks. I know. I’ve done it.

Here are a some things I used and teach my clients when in the middle of an anxiety attack:

  • Breathe – For example, inhale for a count of 4, exhale through the mouth for a count of 5 or 6
  • Aromatherapy – find a good quality essential oil, one that is soothing and calming. I use lavender blends or doTERRA Peace and there are many others on the market that are just as good
  • Yoga Nidra guided meditation and binaural beats or other calming music
  • WALK! This is an incredible way to relieve stress and anxiety
  • Yoga postures and other exercises
  • Talk to someone who you can trust will listen without giving advice or judging
  • SING OUT LOUD at the top of your lungs!
  • Get in the shower and if you need to, have a good cry

There are many techniques to use. Find one that works for you or give me a call so I can help you out 🙂

For further research around Anxiety click here.

Go well. Be strong.