During my teenage years I would suffer excruciating, chest tightening pains to the point that I would lose breathe, burst into tears and clutch at my heart area concerned that I was having a heart attack. After multiple doctors tests and days spent wearing machines that measured my heartbeat, all doctors could tell me was that I had an extremely slow heartbeat. Much to my dismay that solved none of the problems I was currently experiencing.
For the next few years I continued to suffer erratic chest pains. Doctors trialled me on medication, yet I would still continue to experience moments of uncontrollable panic, piercing pain and shortness of breath. I stopped telling my parents what was happening because I knew it would only worry them. I would erratically take my medication which was pointless in assisting anything and I felt like I was in a constant state of worry.
I had seen so many medical professionals over the years who unfortunately couldn't get to the root of the problem, so I sought more holistic help. I sought help from a wellness professional.
After a couple of episodes she sat me down and she asked me, 'are you a worrier? You mentioned that your Grandmother and your mother tend to worry, do you also?' Without a second thought I knew the answer was yes. I worried about absolutely everything.
She ran me through what she thought was happening. She explained to me that worrying can range in severity and what I was experiencing was anxiety. After much research it all made sense - the hot and cold flushes, the tightening of the chest, the snowballing of worries that quickly turned into an avalanche. At first it was hard to control. The panic would still come and go, but at least I knew why the pain was occurring.
Eventually I developed steps and a routine that would assist with my anxiety. For any of my readers that may experience anxiety I thought it would be nice to share what worked for me. Although they may seem quite trivial and basic, it is often the simplest of tasks that make the biggest difference:
- Take time out
- Breath deeply
- Exercise daily
- Eat well
I have unfortunately run out of time and am rushing between jobs to get this up, so stay tuned as my next posts I will run you through exactly what I do to calm myself on a daily basis to get through moments of anxiety.
For those of you out there not coping feel free to touch base, shoot me an email. I understand exactly how it feels and am always here to listen. In the meantime be calm, slow down your breathing and remember this too shall pass.