Facing anxiety is not always easy. But knowing that everyone experiences this terrible mental ambush in life. It also helps to know you are not alone and you are not the first to experience it, as awful as it feels. It can effect our mental health and our quality of life.
In this two part blog and also podcast, Mark and Fiona explain what anxiety is and how to start the road to overcoming it. In part 1 its all about understanding anxiety and learning to face it head on. Anxiety Part 2 Understanding & Overcoming Anxiety is about the strategies that can help. Make sure to chit out after you finish part 1. Read on or listen to the podcast just below here.
A part of being a human is the fact we will experience anxiety. It is when anxiety effects our quality of life is when we need to address it and face it. Anxiety is debilitating but it is fixable. The start of overcoming it is to get guidance in facing anxiety. It is easy to avoid it and practise habits that make us feel safe, but avoidance is actually feeding your anxiety.
Sometimes people who suffer anxiety on an ongoing basis feel they are weak, or there is something wrong with them. The truth is its a thinking pattern that needs altering, and changes in how we think and perceive things. I thought I was going insane and there was something wrong with my brain, because I couldn’t switch it off. I experienced constant ruminating, catastrophe thinking, and feeling anxious all the time physically.
Anxiety creeps up on you slowly and then then it eventually boils over. For me it was a process of being super busy for long periods of time with little rest. Till eventually it took over me and I felt tense, lost my appetite and started to over analyse myself, my thoughts, and my health. It completely broke me down and fear came out of nowhere and ruminating on anxious thoughts took over. I explain more in the podcast up above.
I wouldn’t go on medication but medication can help. It just wasn’t for me. If I created this problem then I could fix this problem. But it took a very long time to get there, in fact it was almost 2 years till I had it under control. I thought I was going insane as my thoughts where running rampant. I got to the point I googled insanity. Then I learned this…
“People insane don’t know they are insane, and they certainly don’t google it”Mark Fennell
I got to the stage I was working till midnight and then up again at 6am to hit the gym. But one morning I felt a mild pain in my chest. I also got extreme light headedness and almost collapsed. So I lay on the floor in the toilet (which was not nice), got myself together and then headed to the hospital.
The doctors did all the tests and found nothing, so after a few days I went home. A few days later walking my dog I felt the pain again and I presumed it must be a heart attack. This was when fear took over.
Anxiety kicked off, it went from thinking I was having a heart attack to fearing something else and one thing after another. I was a shell of my former self, anxiety took over. I had to rebuild myself and understanding my thinking. I explain more in the podcast but it tool a long time to eventually overcome anxiety.
Facing anxiety for me meant understanding it, talking about it with my wife, and not fearing it.
The reality is now I am completely over anxiety and it never effects me like it did back then. I am in control not fear or anxiety. There is alot more I could share on it, but take from this and in Part 2 that you can get past anxiety. It all starts by facing anxiety, and by that I mean taking the brave position of not being afraid of it even when it feels awful. You can overcome it and you can learn to overcome it and control it.
Anxiety is a state we get into when we fear a perceived threat or fearful situation. I overcame my fear of elevators for example and through exposure to the fear I overcame it step by step.
Fear wants to grow, and when you allow anxiety to either make you do something or stop you from doing something, that is how anxiety grows stronger. Anxiety then compounds and grows stronger when you facilitate it. This makes anxiety more difficult to overcome.
Anxiety In Kids
Children may not know what they are going through when they are anxious. So watch for the signs of upset tummy, or difficulty sleeping, or any signs they aren’t themselves.
These maybe signs of anxiety. Children don’t know what it is so they don’t use words to express anxiety, instead they describe the symptoms of it. There is a lot more and I will write on anxiety in kids again. But I felt to mention it, because I didn’t know it was anxiety, I just knew the symptoms I was feeling until I assessed it.
Also kids watch you for what is safe and dangerous so be careful not to spread your anxiety to your children.
I hope this article and podcast helped and do connect with me and let me know your story and what helped you. Stay safe.