Including the cringe worthy label “mental health”.
It can stop you from really living, it can stop you from doing the everyday things and it can paralyse relationships. It can leave you feeling frustrated with yourself and frustrated with your friends and family.
My clinical practise is bursting with anxiety clients every day and I have noticed some patterns.
When it comes to discussing anxiety, countless women that I speak with can predominantly fall into one of two categories, awareness or fear.
The first is that they are unaware of what anxiety actually is. They do not recognise the feelings related to anxiety. It is not until we uncover their symptoms and piece it all together that we can see what is actually happening.
The persistent worry- “should I park my car here or is that too far from where I want to go, will my car hang out too far or should I just find another spot?”
The sleep disruption- unable to go to sleep due to thoughts like “If I had just said it this way instead of that way, or if I had just said nothing at all the whole situation would have been better.” Or waking at 2am replaying the whole scenario as though by pure thought alone, you could change the outcome.
The feeling of impending doom- “Im not sure if that is a good idea,” even when doing something safe or familiar.
The indecision- “Where do you want to eat, because I really don’t know what I feel like today.” Their head is cloudy and even a simple and straight forward decision becomes a larger issue.
The second is that speaking about it makes it more real and there is a common fear of judgement and shame. Expecting someone to tell them that they are “being silly” and that it is “all in their head,” trivialising their physical symptoms can feel demoralising.
The heart palpitations, the sweaty palms, the feeling that something is not right, the butterflies in their tummy, the heaviness in the limbs, they are all real, you just cannot see them! The dryness in the mouth, the tunnel vision, the inability to carry out a conversation, it can be difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced this!
So when we sit down and have a rather frank discussion, get it all out on the table and marvel over how many others feel the same way, it can be an incredible relief. So many women are incredibly surprised to hear that they are not alone.
Mental health, whatever that means…
I believe that there is a significant amount of hiding when it comes to mental health, even the term mental health can cause some to cringe with discomfort.
When I discuss mental health in my practise, it is not a negative term. We are simply recording your thoughts and any particular emotions that create a physical feeling in the body, especially if they are stuck on repeat. The way that our mindset works, be it positive or negative is intriguing and actually exciting. My absolute favourite thing to do is work out where those feelings started and how they relate to your everyday. Your mindset can impact your energy levels, your motivation, your ability to start and complete a challenge and the way you interact with the ones you love (and the ones you don’t!)
Every emotion is actually felt on a physical level, it simply depends on the level of awareness that you have. Many describe anger as feeling hot, a tightness in the chest, a prickly scalp or pressure in their head. Whereas anxiety can feel like your are incredibly internalised, checking and double checking that you brain is remembering the simple steps. Talking yourself through the details again and again. It can feel like tightness in your belly, dizziness in your head, difficulty taking a deep and smooth breath. There can be a feeling of heaviness in your limbs, or a feeling of panic where it feels like a bucket of cold water has just been washed over you.
What are we going to do about it?
Since we simply can not SEE the physical symptoms, it is up to us as individuals to communicate what our body is telling us.
When there is a fear of judgement, there is the possibility to become even more secretive about what is going on for you. This leads to a further increase in symptoms as the fear of being found out brings a feeling of imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud.
THIS. MUST. CHANGE.
It is my absolute mission to bring the mental health label to its knees. There are so many different causes to being impacted by stress and anxiety, including biochemical imbalances.
There are nutritional requirements that we literally burn through at every stress response that we encounter, be it perceived stress or trauma. This then leaves us with a decreased stress resilience creating a more complicated symptom picture and even more depleted than before.
There are hormonal imbalances that trigger anxiety, I can see you nodding your head, that intense premenstrual anxiety syndrome is not “all in your head.”
There are blood sugar regulation issues, you know that snickers add “just not yourself when you are hungry!” When we haven’t been eating regularly, a dip in our blood sugar causes a feeling of anxiety in some.
There are so many more causes and NONE of them start with “Its all in your head!”
Lets create change! Lets smash this wide open and start talking anxiety.
You never know who you could help by simply sharing your story.
You can find my story here
Should you feel drawn to get in touch, you can book in for a free 20 minute chat to see if it is time for you to create change within yourself. Maybe it is time that you stopped saying no to those social events, that promotion you would like or the opportunity to have an adventure.
If you are ready to dip your toe in, lets get the ball rolling. Its just a phone call!
Alternatively if you have heard about my incredible three month intensive program, where I literally hold your hand the entire way through, check out the link below.