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Everyone needs therapy

Since the world opened its doors up again to our race I've been reflecting on the last few months a lot!

For many of us it has been an emotional roller coaster day-in-day-out on what happened when a virus dropped on our planet. Plenty of questions have been asked, opinions and debates but for me mental health has been top of the list. 

The taboo subject that not many like to talk about. I'm glad I can write that this has changed significantly in the last few years. Compared to a decade ago when people didn't like to talk about the state of their mind. Talking about the state of your house, garden and even relationships has never been an issue but everything affects how we think which then produces an emotion of some kind.

For me Anxiety has always been an issue, I don't think I realised what it was till a few years back properly. Ive always been told im too emotional and that I overthink too much. 

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, fear. We all experience it at some point in our lifetime the severity and how often differs of course. And we can go a long time without suffering any. It can be as simple as worrying about an exam or job interview the simplest and even biggest things like moving house can cause anxiety in the best of us.

Stress can play a big part and stress in my eyes is just as deadly as any disease or virus. Stress can cause a lot of illnesses and disorders. It can escalate quickly. A little stress can be good can push and drive us along in life but if stress builds up and stays for a long time something will give way and can manifest in to the physical body.

For me it can be the silliest of things that trigger it and no pattern at all. But you feel it first it's like a bubble in your chest or stomach you can mistake it for a bit of nerves. If you imagine scribbling a dot on a piece of paper slowly then you start to go off that circle and scribble unevenly outwards and keep going till the page starts to look like a scribbled mess. This is exactly how it escalates and is how your mind feels, a foggy mess of thoughts and feelings that you can't unscramble.

You would wonder how someone can function like that right. Irony you do. You get up and do your day to day tasks, perfectly fine with this feeling. Its a bit like that glass with a crack in it that you still fill up, you just hope it doesn't shatter completely because once that happens the black dotted scribble disappears and is replaced with a lot of broken pieces to fit together. Then the dreaded black dog may appear (depression) and no one wants that.

Unless you know the person well, you may never know they suffered. One of the signs is tiredness as carrying this shit around is exhausting. Though the mess your trying to find that little dot that started the scribbled mess to figure out how to unscramble the rest. 

Like any mental illness it can be hard to speak up and say your not ok. Lots of dos and don't are out there. But we are unique and not everything works for each and everyone of us. 

Supportive network of understanding people is so important. If you know someone here are to me the simple things that matter:

DO - Listen if someone is willing to talk it out, open your ears to them. Better out then in, bottled thoughts and emotions just build a bigger pop on the way out.

DONT - Get frustrated, someone with anxiety is fully aware that these things should not bother them, but as hard as it is they can't stop, logic can go out the window for a little while. Some how they need to take control. Be patient.

DO - Spend time with them. Being alone just gives more time to think. So time with others creates less thinking and can break a cycle.

DONT - Bring up the anxiety often. Let them bring it to you. Simple.

DO - Activities. Staying busy is best. Outdoors is even better. When an attack comes on you are told to look around to find 5 things I can see, 4 things I can touch, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, and 1 thing I can taste. It's called grounding. Exercise is so good for you as it releases the happy hormone so go for a walk, run, cycle, get in the gym and of course come on get on the yoga mat how do you think I got here!

DONT - Guilt trip. If someone is anxious it can be hard to get out their own heads for a while, no forever. They want to relate to you, talk to you, be themselves but they can have a hard time dealing with the thoughts they can't control. You can't push them out of it they may withdraw further.

DO - Be proud of them when they improve. They'll be able to see it on your face. Remember that anxiety works thought patterns and can make them think and feel much more negative. Unfortunately means they may interpret your facial expressions negatively, assuming you're annoyed with them or ashamed of them. Therefore making sure to highlight your positive emotions SMILE.

DONT - Give up hope. Anxiety is totally treatable with or with out medication. It can be short lived and not always reoccurring either. This is your friend, family member, spouse. They are not an alien they will come back.

DO - Be yourself. You don't need to change and they don't want you to either. The fact that your close is for a reason. They will appreciate you understanding and being there for them.

Now I am a yogi and I will put the blurb in about this side and how it can help anxiety. 

Yoga simplified is breath and movement. For me to breath and move through my anxiety if i'm not too exhausted starts to help stop the chatter. We have a line of energy that runs though our bodies and if this gets blocked in anyway it can affect how we function day to day. There are 7 points along the line (bit like a train line if one station is out of order it can cause delays) These are the 7 Chakras. 

The third of these chakras is the solar plexus. It sits under the ribs by the diaphragm. The centre point of the body. The solar plexus is tied to the digestive system, adrenal glands and the lungs. Our Sympathetic nervous system plays its part, the body's involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. This can cause us to experience, panic, heightened heart rate, shortness of breath, stomach issues, sweating. The Fight or flight response.

The Solar Plexus regulates our fears, sense of power, and gut feelings. When this chakra is out of balance we experience fears, eating disorders, anxiety, and loss of control.

To balance this area the colour yellow is seen to help, this may sound strange but I love sunflowers, daffodils and I have a lot of yellow around the house; mustard yellow is one of my favourite colours so how do I balance this out without knowing i'm doing it. 

Within your yoga practice lots of twisting can help to detoxify the body you twist to constrict and as you release hopefully create a stronger rush to realise. 

One form of yoga,pranayama, includes multiple breathing variations that may help with anxiety. Some of these include lengthened exhale and equal breathing as well as lion's breath and alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana).

Fasting is also a good way to detoxify the solar plexus. On fasting days drink 2/3 litres of fresh made juice. And guess what the colour should try to consist of.......Yellow so carrots, fresh ginger, bananas, lemons, lemon water is always good for you. One cup a day in the morning.

Just to ensure your all still with me and to bring you back down to earth. Why not go all out and listen to music this is defiantly soothing for the soul. But only song titles with the word yellow in just to mix it up and to focus on something else then the scribble in your mind:

Yellow - Cold Play

Old Yellow Bricks - Artic Monkeys

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

Yellow Submarine - The Beatles

If I haven't lost you maybe I have now. So let's rap this up.

Dealing with anxiety is an uphill battle, but you can get to the top. Of course it does takes its toll on everyone around the person and this can even make them feel worse so be kind to them and yourself. And don't give up, in life at some point...... everyone needs therapy.   

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