Hamish Edmund's simple tips on anxiety

Since I was a child I have suffered from severe anxiety. I remember looking out of my window, about 9 years old, crying wondering when this horrible anxiety state would pass. I was bright, fun and happy generally but these anxiety states would ruin my life. Later my condition manifested into bipolar and throughout two severe breakdowns I have been forced to take my self management very seriously.

After some very hard recovery I now have a wonderful job, a lovely home and am very happy. I want to share some things that helped me through my life and my recovery.
Firstly anxiety is a nasty cruel thing. It often comes for no reason and lingers for what feels like an eternity. I want this blog to help you to manage these feelings and practically manage your life and to acknowledge a very simple phrase: "it will pass."
There are some amazingly simple things you can incorporate into your life which if you do regulary will change your life: 
Todays message is 'be good to yourself,' but you also have to do a little bit of work.
So I want you to practice these five things:


  1. 1. Every evening write down three things to look forward to the next day. Do them the next day and focus on enjoying them!


  3. 2. External-focus is so important. Whether it is continuing to go to work, seeing friends or doing volunteer work at the local church. It will give you a sense of integration and you won't spend so much time worrying about your personal struggles. For those of you really bound by anxiety, I have been there - it's horrible - but try and get out and focus on something positive.


  5. 3. Exercise. This one changed my life. Remeber keep it balanced but a little bit of cardio and weights or swimming will get rid of the cobwebs and boost your endorphin levels., (little tip: dark chocolate cacao and tukey breast also good for the dopamine levels.)


  7. 4. Low stimulus: No excessively late nights, 7.30-9 hours sleep. No bad movies. No hectic places. ( I recommend a luke warm bath for 20 mins just before bed which will lower your blood pressure and help you drift off to sleep.) And no drink and drugs - full stop!


  9. 5. Be good to yourself. Surround yourself with loved ones. Share your problems with friends, but don't talk about it all the time - let your friends distract you with fun things as friends should. And if you're up to it treat yourself to a little night out - just don't overdo it.

When I was young I used to say to my mother nobody understands. She would say: "I know darling. You see people with a broken leg will have a cast, but no one sees mental health difficulties." This stuck with me and its importance for those who really really suffer is that you are not alone. Depression and anxiety is insular, isolating and ruthless, but remember you are not alone so always reach out. If in doubt - reach out!



Will Van Der Hart, 22/11/2015
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