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What is it really like having anxiety?

by Hannah Grady, Virtual Assistant

My name is Hannah, I'm 31 years old and I have anxiety. Everyone's experienced some form of anxiety at one point in their lives. You've probably experienced butterflies in your stomach or tightness in your chest. Anxiety is that feeling you get right before a presentation at work, a big exam, or going on that first date. These are all normal situations that deserve a small amount of anxiety but sometimes anxiety can present in other ways and not be so easy to handle.

I think I've had anxiety all my life but as I've got older and experienced so much trauma my anxiety has just progressed and got worse.

When I begin to feel anxious I feel spacey, out of control, my heart races and I feel like I need to get back to my safe space. Anxiety can take over your life, make everyday tasks difficult. Sometimes my day can take me through so much anxiety: I just woke up, I'm going to pass out any minute now! Standing up now, I must eat or I will die! Shower time, I'm going to pass out in the shower. It's horrible and scary living life in constant fear. I have learnt many techniques from a therapist, one of them is breathing and I find this massively helpful. If I feel very anxious and think my anxiety attack could turn into a panic attack I focus on my breathing and it prevents an attack, it helps me get back grounded and feeling more together. The other day I went to the dentist, I find trips to the dentist extremely difficult, a year or so ago I wouldn’t of even sat in that chair! I have recently found my experiences there easier to manage, I don’t feel as panicky anymore which is a huge step for me. I feel more control and it’s a great feeling, I come away feeling super proud of myself!

If I could give someone else advice it would be to talk to someone, a friend, a family member, talking will only make it better. People knowing that you struggle and find certain things hard will make it easier when certain situations arise and they’ll know how to help you cope when things get tricky..

So many people suffer with anxiety but it's just not spoken about enough, it's a taboo subject and needs to be spoken about more to make it "normal". Anxiety is very normal, it can become a problem when it is hard to control, occurs for months, and interferes with your life. If you're worried about how your anxiety is affecting your day-day life then book an appointment with your GP or find a therapist, they are really understanding and are there to help us. It has honestly helped me so much opening up to someone who understands my worries and fears.

Dr Marianne Trent's evidence based course helps adults with anxiety to learn strategies to soothe and understand themselves. For more information click here.
To find out more information about or buy The Grief Collective: Stories of Life, Loss & learning to Heal click here.


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