What is Anxiety?

Let me start by saying that everyone experiences anxiety differently. But in a recently Instagram poll I did you said you wanted to learn more about my experience so here goes…

For me anxiety is the feeling of having a heart attack non-stop, the feeling of impending doom, the feeling of an elephant being sat on your chest, having itchy skin everywhere, not being able to sleep, mental dreams, crying, being angry, feeling sick, being so hungry…the list goes on but those are some feelings of anxiety off the top of my head.

When my anxiety flares up it affects every part of my life; sleep, diet, work, exercise and my relationships.

Sleep 

I struggle to get to sleep. I struggle to stay asleep. I struggle to get back to sleep. I struggle to get up!  Even when I do sleep my brain is working overtime and creates the weirdest of dreams. Sleep is so important and with less than eight hours my anxiety often flairs up.

Diet

Due to my lack of sleep I tend to consume a lot of sugary food and drinks to help with my energy. Coffee is a no go as it stops me from sleeping and makes me feel like my chest could explode.

Or I go the complete opposite way and feel so sick I can’t eat but this only happens when I am really stressed because girl loves good. When I feel sick though I try to eat food that is good for me and I enjoy. Enter cheesy beans on toast it has saved me more times than I care to admit.

Work 

With a lack of sleep work is impossible when you don’t drink coffee. I find tasks quite hard at work when my anxiety is bad. I just try to remember that I am only human and the job will get done. I try and get out of my office when I can to breath some fresh air and go for a walk.

Exercise

When you are knackered from anxiety all you want to do is make a human duvet roll and not leave your bed. Exercise is normally the first thing I stop doing when my anxiety is bad because I have no energy. However, doing exercise is the number one way to rid me of anxiety due to the endorphins it releases.

Relationships 

Finally, when my anxiety is bad my relationships do suffer! I tend to shut the world out and try to just wait for the symptoms to go away. I cancel plans so I can stay at home and not face situations that could make my anxiety worse. But going out could help relieve my anxiety but yet I will always choose to stay at home. Not clever I know but hey I am only human!

I also become very cranky! Hey you try functioning on two hours sleep, lack of food and so many physical symptoms it is too long to list. I snap at people or simply ignore them.

I’d like to thank my family and friends who stay in my corner despite me having anxiety. I often feel like I am only anxiety but I must remember it is only a tiny tiny part of me. When my anxiety is bad I read my one of “those” days blog.

Just remember if any of your friends are displaying these behaviours remember it isn’t them it is their anxiety.

It is safe to say I learnt how to do life the hard way and I am still learning. I intend to share my experiences to hopefully help break the stigma surrounding mental health and help someone who feels alone.
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