Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A sense of calm

From my time in the bloggersphere, I know a fair few of you suffer with anxiety. I often feel like my brain is made of thick, stodgy mud. My thoughts all pile on top of each other giving me no rest. It is a proven fact that more and more people of this generation are anxious. I've spent the last three months or so trying to get a grip on what sets me off: what I've termed 'spiralling'. Spiralling is my own label for when I can feel myself taking one worry and almost magically turning it into five, ending up with a broad generalisation. For example a couple of Sundays ago I woke in the night to hear someone's bass. The train of thought followed:

Oh god I hear bass > on a Sunday! No one has a party on Sunday! > the people in my block are throwing a massive drug party > THIS WILL HAPPEN EVERY SUNDAY!!

I got so worked up I started panicking and woke Lee up by telling him Sunday was a sacred day. I laugh about it now, but the next morning I gave myself a chance to stand back and see my spiral, to recognise I'm being irrational and trying to forget about it for the rest of the week.

To my surprise, it only bloody worked. In the past few months I've been forcing myself to watch my spiral, training my brain to not let itself multiply the worries and allow them to almost float by. If you had told me I'd be spouting this shit 6 months ago, I wouldn't have beloved you. I was in what I call the dark times for my brain, it was like someone had turned out the light and I couldn't get back to feeling myself. I was just scrabbling around there in panic all the time.

As well as taking the time to recognise when I feel the spiral coming on, I've been working hard to spend a few minutes everyday just being still, and letting the thoughts pass by. This can be in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, before bed or on the train to work. It is important for me to focus on the present, not on all the 'what ifs' and 'what now?' I suggest using an app like Calm or Headspace which I heard about from Davina McCall on twitter which now has both our stamps of approval on!

These are my own personal thoughts and feelings; I was wondering if anyone out there feels the same? Also, if anyone has a nagging sense of time running out. I constantly feel this way, especially on the weekends. If I plan a lunch or something my brain freaks out thinking I won't have time to do anything else in the day. If anyone does, I'd be keen to hear.

15 comments:

  1. The running out of time thing is something i do all the time. Worrying about getting too old to do things, worrying that i'll not have enough time to enjoy the weekend or that i won't be able to get everything done in a day or the one that i'm doing right now is worrying that things wont be sorted out before this event or that date.
    It drives me nuts.

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. I drive myself mental with it as well. Both the getting old and the over busy weekend xx

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  2. I can really relate to this Becca - especially the time running out thing. Sometimes when I'm at home for the day I don't seem to get much done in the morning and once it gets to lunch time I start really panicking and feeling guilty that I've done wrong by not doing much even if I don't have anything pressing to do if you know what I mean? I keep getting really anxious and worried about pointless things at work too but I find it so hard to take a step back and stop myself :/ Thank you for sharing this post though, it's given me a good idea of how to stay calmer in the future!
    Love Holly x

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    1. I totally understand what you mean, I'm forever feeling guilty about how little I've done. I hope it does help, even if you just do a couple of deep breaths xx

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  3. I know how you feel.. The spiral, for me, gets set off in different ways so I haven't identified a cause yet. However I have started on working on calming it down - what generally works for me or helps at least is to breath in and out very slowly and to concentrate on the rhythm of the breathing. Thank you for sharing this post, I will have to check out those apps! Xx

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    1. I totally agree, deep breathing is such a simple and quick solution, especially if at work or in public x

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  4. We've discussed this before but I really love how you've put the feelings into words. Woooo anxiety buddies! :P Headspace is such a lifesaver. Thanks for mentioning it xxx

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    1. Any time! Such a good app to get you started on clearing 10 minutes and calming down x

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  5. I totally relate. Especially to your example! Why is it always the absolutely ridiculous in 10seconds flat! I think it's the typical 20's problem. I've also found that finding a really tall building and just looking up at it is really calming. There's something about the change of perspective that is really grounding for runaway unnecessary thoughts.

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    1. I love looking at tall buildings, totally with you there! Also looking at airplanes helps me feel nice and small! xx

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  6. yes, I can related to much of this. Me and time don't get on at the best of...er...times but I think I've finally started to mellow out. I used to not be able to plan anything on sundays because it was nearly monday (I know, completely ludicrous). And as for spirals of worry - that is basically me. Concentrating on something - knitting is helpful - or talking things through with the boyf, or, like you said, just focusing on the present, calm me down a lot x

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  7. i can definitely relate to this, i suffer from quite bad anxiety too and i've tried medication but i've found mindfulness exercises really help...some of them are pretty similar to the things that you've found have helped you. It sounds stupid but sitting with you feet really rooted to the floor and feeling the connection and yourself being weighed down can really help to calm me down x

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  8. I know how you feel! I've had to train my brain to stop repetitive thinking. And also, to breathe deep when I feel like time is running out and remind myself that the only moment that matters in this one, right now. Thanks for sharing! X Jane http://janeheinrichs.blogspot.com

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