Crazy – Anxiety is my opportunity to shine
Welcome to the next post in my Crazy series, today with a wonderful contribution from the lovely Meegs from Show Me Your Diamond. She’s sharing her experiences with anxiety. I think regardless of what has happened in life, we can all associated with what Meegs has to share as feelings of anxiety and panic can be present in anyone’s lives.
Do you love what Meegs has to share? Leave a note in the comments below!
When anxiety first hit me I was scared shitless. I’d heard of panic attacks before but never really knew anything about them. Until I had one. Then I knew.
It started out with all the common symptoms- sweaty palms, tightness in the chest, shallow breathing- but because at the time I had no idea I was having a panic attack, I actually thought I was dying. I thought my days and nights of partying hard and endless benders had finally caught up with me and something really bad was about to happen. And it was because of these fearful and scary thoughts, that my physiological symptoms worsened. I actually couldn’t catch my breath, I was shaking and my hands started cramping up. It was completely terrifying.
That’s the thing with panic attacks.. It all starts with some negative thinking which stimulates the body’s fight or flight response. But there is no actual threat so all that adrenaline your body just produced just adds to the overwhelming feeling of fear and creates more distressing physiological responses. It’s a viscous and scary cycle that you just cannot escape.
Having anxiety has certainly taught me the power of the mind- for good and bad.
I didn’t quite believe my doctor when they said it was a panic attack. I couldn’t understand..
Me, a panic attack? No I don’t think so, I’m laid back. Everything is cool, isn’t it? Apparently not. Apparently things hadn’t been cool in quite some time . I’d bottled all my real feelings up and it exploded into my big slap in the face hello panic attack. At first having the label of anxiety, more specifically- Generalised Anxiety Disorder- scared me. So now I am a crazy person? Like officially??
I was ashamed. I felt it was something I had to hide and not openly talk about. My mind became a taboo topic which was frustrating because in actual fact, talking about it was exactly the thing that would be most therapeutic and enlightening in my recovery. So for a while anxiety became something that stopped me from going to work, from seeing my friends. And being in crowds or introducing myself to a group of people that I didn’t know.. NO way. Was NOT going to happen.
And it didn’t for a while. I guess you could say I became a bit of a hermit, but at the time it was exactly what I needed to do. I needed to strip my life right back and love myself enough to gift myself the time and space for some self-development. Time to get back in tune with me.
As terrifying as that first panic attack was, it really became a catalyst for change in my life. I see anxiety as a way of your higher self trying to get your attention- for whatever reason that may be. For me it was many reasons, but basically my life had gotten off track and I was no longer in control of where it was headed. I didn’t like who I was anymore and had no idea where I was going. Anxiety became a part of my life because I’d ignored every red flag along the way and it was time for a wake up call. So now I see anxiety as an opportunity. An opportunity to know myself again, focus on my dreams for my life and align my actions and behaviour with the path I actually want to go down, the path that brings me joy.
The best advice I can give for anyone dealing with anxiety would be to firstly, get rid of the toxins. I’m talking alcohol, drugs, highly processed foods, sugar- at least for a while. With anxiety your body is trying to tell you something is not quite right, and we need to be clean and clear to be able to listen up and pay attention. Your brain is an organ like any other and it too feeds off whatever you are putting in your body. If you’re anything like I was, your brain and body become desperate for nourishment. If you are constantly staying up all night, binge-drinking, smoking, and having take-away as your main food group, how can you expect to have a clear and conscious mind?
The second best piece of advice would be to get to know yourself again. Do some soul searching. If anxiety has popped into your life to warn you that something is amiss- give yourself the time and space to find out what that is. Write down your fears and frustrations. Vision board your dreams and desires. What do you want for your life? What do you NOT want? Choose to see anxiety as your beacon of light to get back to you. Take some time and assess every area of your life. Your career, your relationships, your health, your soul purpose. Self-knowledge and aligning your thoughts and actions with your authentic self is the very best defence against anxiety.
Movement and meditation are also key in being proactive against panic attacks. If you can shake off nervous energy with some zumba and calm your racing thoughts with some mindfulness and deep breathing, you are already preventing the onset of anxious feelings.
Having support is also huge. Even though its scary, open up. Tell your family and your closest friends. People you trust. See a counsellor or coach. Even if they don’t fully understand what you’re going through they will listen and support you, and sometimes that is all we need. Talking about it and getting out of your own head is a massive step and probably the most important and beneficial one you can take in moving forward.
Now I can look back and see my anxiety and panic attacks as a blessing! It forced me to STOP. And to look at my life and make positive long lasting changes. I know who I am and what I want and I look after myself now! I nourish my body with nutritious and healthful foods, I move my body everyday, I check in with myself through meditation and listening to my intuition. I do the things that make me happy and my spirit soar. Things that are aligned with my new path so I can move forward in my life with confidence, self-worth, and be crazy passionate in my own power!
Megan is a Holistic Health/Life Coach and Writer who is currently studying with The Institute For Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She has a background in Psychology and Humanitarian work and is passionate about helping people reach their highest potential. She believes everyone deserves to have their dream life become their reality, her aim is to show them how. Megan’s mission is to work with gorgeous souls who are ready to uncover their truest selves and reveal their radiant inner diamond to the world. If you’re ready to live the life of your dreams- full to the brim with health, wealth and passion- connect with Megan now!