Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

Wondering What To Read Next?

Anchoring Anxiety - Tales of Annie Bean.

It is reported that anxiety and depression are the most common mental health disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting the diagnosis criteria. Anxiety itself can be experienced in different ways but it's what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid - particularly about the things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.  Anxiety is actually a natural human response when we feel we are under threat. People experience anxiety symptoms through thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. There are in fact 9 different anxiety disorders that you can fall under when being diagnosed by your doctor. 

I opened up about my anxiety disorder back in 2014 (read Having a Mental Health Disorder on the blog) and figured out pretty quickly I wasn't alone. For me in times when anxiety is pretty damn terrifying having somebody near who understands something of what you go through provides comfort and support. Thursday was World Mental Health Day and I wanted to use this week to invite people to chat about their experiences, whether that's as a mother, as a child or even how you handle it in the workplace.

Next up is Annie from Tales of Annie Bean who explains how she's anchored her anxiety over the years - giving hope for many out there who struggle with the condition. 

I've had anxiety for the majority of my adult life, and it's only now in my thirties I'm beginning to understand my mental health, why it happens and how to deal with it. I've accepted it is part of me, and unfortunately, it probably always will be, but it's how I manage myself and it, that makes a significant difference. My anxiety comes in many forms, but predominantly I overthink and worry. I literally take conversations with people and pull them apart in my head, worrying I've offended someone, said something I shouldn't, are they not responding because I've upset them and so forth. It's been so out of control previously that I've sat in a bundle and cried from drowning in this self-doubt. It has impacted my home life, my relationships and my work. It's safe to say me and mental health have had a fiery relationship.

Coping with anxiety

As a fitness blogger, I began exercising as a way to become a healthier person but found that exercise gives me something that I really lack. Confidence. Believe it or not, I'm quite unconfident and have struggled ever since I started school. But when I exercise it gives me confidence which allows me to logically deal with any anxious thoughts I have. Exercising also gives me a daily release of emotions whether they are happy or sad, it somehow caps everything to bring it to a maintainable level.

Zip it anxiety

So what's my anxiety like today since exercising more? I now try to envision an anchor or an anvil when a bad thought pops up, and mentally squash it. I've tried to bat thoughts back and forth with anxiety, justifying them or explain why they aren't true, but that in my experience only feeds it more because it knows you're bothered by it, so I try my hardest to not let it talk at all. I just squash it completely. From there I change my activity and refocus my mind elsewhere! The change in activity really helps me actually, for example, I'll maybe be washing up and get completely swamped by negative thoughts, so I stop what I'm doing squash the thoughts and take the dog for a walk.

Changing thought patterns

Don't get me wrong I still get anxiety with exercising especially during racing, I'll be running and midway through think, oh goodness why have you signed up for this, or self-doubt starts chiming in with, you're never going to finish this, so I sing to myself or for some weird reason I always think about what I'm having for tea that night! I just don't let that doubt come in at all, I'll only allow it to voice up when it decides to start being positive... but that is quite rare.

How exercise helped me

Some people worry exercise can cause you to feel anxious, but I disagree, it's just about finding what works for you. Running for me releases any bad energy and if I'm frustrated or worked up about something, that helps drive it through my legs and not my mind. On the flip side, you have the practice of yoga to help not only via mobility but mentality. Yoga practice can help teach us how to still the mind, something I'm sure everyone here reading wants. I have found yoga to be one of the best practices I could have ever introduced, it's physically stimulating but mentally calming.

Anchor it.

Just point blank ignoring the anxiety and anchoring it has been the best thing I could have started doing. It might seem daunting to start with but we are creatures of habit, and anxiety is a habit we're just used to. It's a bit like giving up something we shouldn't eat, that can be super tough if you eat that item on a daily basis. To start with it is going to feel maybe even impossible, but the more you practice and redivert your attention from it, the easier it becomes. Everything takes time and patience, but just remember when that anxiety pipes up and tries to make you doubt yourself, anchor it and do something else.

Some of the fantastic resources out there for people with anxiety are Mind; the mental health charity and Anxiety UK


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