If you follow my business on Facebook you’ll have noticed that I am beginning to run workshops and group hypnosis sessions around releasing feelings of anxiety – well it’s not just a business move, I have a long standing personal history of doing anxiety and I’m going to share my experience with you.
When I moved up to secondary school I struggled. It took about 2 years for me to settle in. I would throw up pretty much every morning getting ready for school, the only solution was to get back into bed. I felt better throughout the day and good in the evenings until the next morning when it all started again. I felt well at the weekends and come Monday morning I would be sick again. If I did get up and out the door I would throw up on the bus journey to school more often than not. My parents resorted to going out of their way to drive me in. I was always fine on the bus ride home. I know, it sounds like skivy-itus.
As an adult I still often go through phases of the same – throwing up in the mornings when I have somewhere to be – feeling nauseous in situations that are outside of my comfort zone, especially if we go for something to eat before being in a crowd – dinner and a show is difficult. Then the thought of being embarrassed by throwing up in front of other people makes me feel worse until I feel like I want to escape.
People do anxiety in lots of different ways – it just so happens that for me it goes straight to my tummy – you probably do it entirely differently. Notice that I talk about DOING anxiety, not HAVING anxiety, not BEING anxious. It is not something I have or something I am, it’s a thing that I do. A subconscious program that I run in certain situations. When I am present enough to remind myself that I can chose a different program I usually get over it pretty quickly. I have a couple of simple ways that help me.
I breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Slowly and intentionally and I pay attention to my breath.
I focus. I pick a colour and name all the things I can see that are that colour. Out loud if possible, in my head if it’s going to make me look a bit mad.
I make a plan. If I need to leave what obstacles are in my way? What’s the best route? Just knowing is usually enough, I rarely have to go.
I allow it. Letting it be stops the downwards spiral.
I got a dog. This really helped but not in the way you expect. Being a responsible dog owner means having little plastic bags in pretty much every coat and bag you own at all times. I feel much better knowing that if I really do have to throw up I’m not going to ruin someone’s shoes.