Stress, Anxiety & Staying Mentally Healthy

Stress, Anxiety & Staying Mentally Healthy

We all have stress in some shape or form, it's part and parcel of life, some have it good, some have it bad, it's just how we deal with the stress we have that is key to our mental and physical health.

Stress can be brought on from any kind of changes, worries or demands that we face everyday. Stress simply starts with a rise in pressure on us, this pressure builds, so does the stress both internally and externally.

High of stress over a prolonged period​ of time leads to anxiety

We all have inside of us what I like to call an “emotional box”, in this we chuck our emotional baggage, our stress, until soon if not emptied, begins to overflow and this is when the trouble can start if not dealt with and cleared properly.

That box needs emptying, when it is not we then develop the tale tale signs of high stress and into anxiety which will then lead to physical issues, depression and disease. 

With this stress, we tend hang on a knifes edge, in a constant state of high alert to everything around us. Never shutting off from what's going on in our heads. This leaves us in a constant low level state of fight or flight, being triggered many times throughout the course of our day, even over mundane things that would probably never bother us before.

This fight of flight is brought on by the nervous system releasing huge levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This leaves our body in panic mode and can lead to serious health problems.

Signs of stress & anxiety…

  • Irritable & Angry
  • Overwhelmed & Over Burdened
  • Nervous & Afraid
  • Anxious
  • Can't Relax or Switch Off
  • Crying For No Reason
  • No fun In Yourself
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Hard To Laugh Or Smile
  • Little Interest In Activities Usually Loved
  • Easily Wound Up
  • Lack Of Self Care (hair, make up, clothes, weight, self talk)
  • No interest in day to day necessities
  • Wanting To Run Away And Hide
  • Feeling Numb & Intimidated
  • Loneliness
  • Depressed

It can feel like you are going crazy, but this is all normal. Millions of people go though this everyday.

It's Not Your Fault!!

You are not alone.

Getting 'mental healthy' for 2015

Posted on 06/01/2015 by Dave Chawner (stand up comedian) from MIND website

New year, new start. Dave talks about what he plans to do in 2015 to get 'mental healthy'.

I was in a bar when I heard it. Two blokes having a drink a couple of days into the New Year.

"Any resolutions this year Steve?"

"The usual. I've signed up to a gym. This year I want to get mental healthy!"

I couldn't help but laugh at the phrase. That is exactly what I am doing too.

We think about health more at the start of the year than any other time. People talk about getting physically healthy, but hardly anyone talks about thinking healthily. Up until last year it was something I’d never considered either, but recently that's changed.

I’d always assumed people with mental illness knew they were ill. But when it happened to me, I didn't. I was trapped in the day-to-day. It was like trying to look at a massive picture when you’re only inches from it.

Unknowingly I sunk lower and lower into depression. It happened without me realising. Slowly I became numb to everything. The world became intimidating. I felt trapped with no way out.

Looking back, it’s really hard to find the words for what I felt. Something was wrong but I didn’t know what. That's the problem with mental illness, it is entirely subjective - you only ever see its effects and as I could never compare my mind with anyone else’s, how did I know I was mentally ill?

This made getting help daunting. People are generally reluctant to go to the doctors anyway and I am no exception. Each morning I’d go to call but convince myself I wasn’t that ill. I never felt ‘ill enough’. I didn't have any bruises I could point to or any cuts I could show off. I wasn't covered in bandages or have a cast anyone could sign. So, I was worried people wouldn't take me seriously.

It was this fear that stopped me getting help sooner. Fear I was a fraud, attention seeking or unable to cope like everyone else. I was waiting for something to happen so I could class myself as ‘ill’. If I found a lump on my body, I wouldn’t wait for it to be the size of a melon before I went to the GP. So, what was I waiting for?

In the end, when I did get help, it was a massive relief. I have anorexia which lead to my depression and for me getting a diagnosis made it so much easier. It means I now know I am not attention seeking.

If you are looking to get 'mental healthy' in 2015, and you haven't talked to anyone about how you're feeling, I recommend that as a first step. It doesn't have to be from your GP if that feels too scary, maybe you could first of all talk to you parents, your partner or a friend you trust?

If you're a little bit further on in your journey, or perhaps like many people you're on a waiting list for treatment and are looking for ways you can help yourself, here are some of my tips for 2015. Enjoy!

  • Meditation – I clean my teeth twice a day, so why would I not clear my mind twice a day? It’s easy and doesn’t have to involve candles, incense and whale music! There are loads of different types – transcendental, musical, mindful – and there are loads of free websites, podcasts and drop in sessions you can go and try. Find out more about Mindfulness from Be Mindful.
  • Honesty – nobody can ever truly know what’s going on in your mind so give them a helping hand. If you’re having a bad day, tell them. If you are feeling tired, say it. Letting people know how you are feeling is as difficult as it is rewarding. Believe me, once you start it gets a whole lot easier.
  • Socialising – believe it or not chronic loneliness poses as significant risk for your long term health as cigarette smoking! Meet up for a coffee with a friend, go to the cinema, do something you used to love doing. Anything.
  • Advice – in the words of an amazing song, ‘advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it’. Look anywhere and everywhere for people who've been through similar things to you and listen to their advice. Find what works for you. And when you do share it!

Other things to help with stress…

  • Reiki bring peace & balance to the body
  • Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT) to remove emotional intensity from issues. A quick easy fix to empty that emotional box
  • Yoga feels great & has so many great benefits for mind & body
  • Meditation is great for stilling the mind
  • ​Exercise full gym session or just a stroll, anything that gets you out and moving is beneficial (this is key for many people)
  • Mindfulness, take a walk and just look at the sky, the trees, just be
  • ​Doing something you love that gentle but focuses you
  • Talk to someone
  • Write down how you feel, it's just the release of getting it out
  • Put the radio on & have a dance
  • Practice just smiling at yourself in the mirror, go on, really force that smile, do this for 1 minute at a time
  • Do my energy exercises, they are the best for feel good, let it go
  • Put on a comedy (this has to be the best for me, it works every time)
  • ​Sit down, do nothing, just put the to on and watch nothing in particular
  • Eat healthy, it's hard, but it's one thing that can make you feel better in the long run, one less stress of putting on weight!
  • Counselling (no where near as effective as energy healing)
  • Avoiding Caffeine (or at least cut down to 2-3 cups per day)
  • More Restful Sleep, or rest, power naps are great!
  • A hot candle lit bath, some soothing tunes

Marvel and be grateful of the beaut​y that is in abundance around you

About the Author Jeani Howard

Jeani is an award winning therapist, healer, author and speaker. Jeani has on her own journey of healing overcome PTSD, clinical depression and agonising anxiety. A mother of 4 who suffered with birth trauma and pre and post natal depression, now prides herself on having worked with 1000's of adults, adolescents and women through pregnancy, labour and their transition into motherhood.

follow me on: