Hi Lovely Human,
A recent study in the UK found that some 6 million people suffer from anxiety (3 million with depression as their primary problem) so if you suffer with your mental health - you are not alone!
I wanted to share my own personal journey with anxiety and depression with you, how I came to suffer from both and most importantly, how I overcame them.
WHAT LEAD TO MY BURN OUT?
In my last work place I experienced complete and utter burnout. I was a happy, super positive person but over the space of 7 months my mental health and self esteem plummeted to rock bottom.
Our manager had left suddenly just before Christmas and we were left completely unsupported in our roles for 5 months. For some people, not having a boss might be great, but for me, having a manager that supports you is vital for my wellbeing.
I began to severely over-work, I was living and breathing work from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I was completely exhausted and my amygdala was being triggered almost constantly. I started to struggle with social anxiety (something I’ve never experienced before) worrying what other people thought of me, my memory began to quickly decline and I found it really hard to focus.
My stomach was always tight, I had really bad digestive problems, my mouth was always dry, I had regular headaches, my shoulders muscles were constantly painful and I was getting colds all the time - stress was taking a damaging toll on my physical health.
I began to have issues with a newly appointed manager who was extremely critical towards me. My anxiety began to skyrocket, my self-esteem disintegrated and I started to have panic attacks. It felt like my brain was in a constant tumble dryer at full speed and I’d lost my ability to vocalise sentences properly.
My anxiety was so bad that by this point that it had lead into depression. It felt like I was stuck in an alternate universe - you know you’re alive but the world around you looks different, like it’s coated in sadness. I felt completely helpless and lost - hitting rock bottom in the mental health department. Luckily a very kind doctor signed me off work after assessing my wellbeing.
MY ROAD TO RECOVERY
It was during my time off that I went and did the hugely transformational Hoffman Process, which is a retreat filled with visualisations, guided meditation, movement work - all of which transformed my mental health. It was here that I saw the true power of guided meditation to improve your wellbeing.
It was also here that I was able to grieve for my dad who very sadly killed himself when I was 7 years old, due to depression. This for me was the REAL transformation. Little had I known that the un-processed grief was living on in my nervous system as anxiety and a constant feeling of not being good enough.
It was after processing the grief that I’d held locked inside for 25 years, that both my mental and physical health transformed. I no longer felt anxious or depressed and my digestive system completely changed. When you look after your mind, the rest follows. I began meditating regularly everyday, and quite quickly my confidence, self esteem, focus and memory all started to improve and grow.
I realised my true purpose in life was to help people of all ages improve their mental health so I retrained to become a meditation teacher and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner - two very powerful tools for looking after your wellbeing and releasing negative blockages. I now have an entire tool box of calm to help me navigate any difficult situation that life throws at me. You can listen in HERE to an interview I did with the lovely ladies at Project Love if you would like to hear more on this. You 100% don’t need to change career to start nurturing your mind. There are many things you can do right now to help you start feeling better straight away.
CONQUERING YOUR MIND
You don’t need to have a traumatic childhood to have anxiety - every human has fear. Let’s say a teacher severely criticised one of your projects, that could live on in your subconscious as a negative belief of not being good enough or being stupid.
Irrelevant of where things come from, the first step to conquering anxiety is calming your nervous system down and telling your amygdala that you aren’t about to get eaten. The more you deepen your breathing, the more you engage your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and relaxation).
Here are a few things you can do to combat anxiety and depression:
SPEAK - to a professional, friends or family if you need help. My friends and family were pivotal in me getting better.
PRIORITISE your mental health. Find time every day to calm your nervous system, even if it’s for 5 minutes in the morning your brain is the most important part of your body.
MEDITATE - every day to strengthen your prefrontal cortex (area of the brain connected to self regulation of emotions)
STOP looking at your phone and flooding your brain with unwanted information, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. An anxious brain does not need any more information!
PAUSE - everyday to deepen your breathing and soothe your internal world
LISTEN - to your body and where you are holding your anxiety. Breathe into the areas you feel anxious as regularly as you can
EAT CLEAN - gut functionality is just as important to your mental health as your mind so stop eating any processed food
TAKE - yourself out of any situation that is making you feel anxious or depressed as much as you can. Set healthy boundaries with people who drain your energy.
HYDRATE - yourself regularly. The brain needs water to function properly so stay away from too much alcohol or coffee
PROCESS - any grief or trauma that might be an underlying cause of your anxiety
HAPPY HEADS SUPPORT
If you are currently struggling with anxiety or depression and can relate to anything I’ve spoken about please do get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for a private session or sign up to my 8 Week online Course - Reducing Stress & Anxiety
Your mental health should always be a top priority in your life. I teach people of all ages, simple mindful tools and techniques that empower you to live a happier, calmer and stress free life.
Life doesn’t need to be overwhelming - it's time to make your head happy again.