I first experienced anxiety 3years ago, after my last tour with Take That. I decided after that dance job, to stop touring and fully focus on my coaching career. Little did I know that I would have to fight myself first before even getting started
I was so scared about what would happen to my career, that I paralysed myself with fear. Paralysed because I literally couldn’t do anything, sleepless nights, panic attacks and tears for months before getting myself out of it. It was so intense and looking back I realise that the first big mistake I made was to not reach out for help.
So today,I want to share with you 5 things that I have immensely helped me manage my anxiety over the past couple of years
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- Daily stretch and meditation.
This is one of my non-negotiable morning rituals that has helped me a great deal, kick anxiety out.
Why stretch ? Because the physical manifestation of Anxiety can be really damaging to our body.
By starting your day with a gentle stretch or yoga (if you are a yogi), you’re allowing your mind to connect to your body, but you’re also relaxing your muscles and waking up your body gently. Stretching is also a great way to ease yourself into meditation, because your mind will be already present in the moment.
I usually go for 5min of stretch and 5 to 7 min of meditation.
When it comes meditation, though I have been practicing it for a couple of years, I’m still learning a lot, and exploring different ways of meditating. I have a more detailed explanation (step/step) of my mediation process in my free e-book lifestyle. Download it here. It’s free 😉
Write your thoughts down. Anything and everything that comes to your mind. Write it down. Especially those fears that create the stress and the anxiety. Write them down, because that way you will realise that most of them are often irrational and just needed to be let out. Feel free to throw the paper away once you done ;-).
Writing your thoughts down will also allow you to narrow down the source of your anxiety. And that again will help you manage it better in the long run.
This weekend on my way to Italy for my man’s birthday, I was feeling really heavy and tense but, I couldn’t put an exact word on my mood, nor a reason. So after work, on my way to the airport I quickly popped to Paperchase, grabbed a 3£ notebook and poured my mind and heart! It felt so good! Plenty of things came out that I wouldn’t admit loudly because I felt ungrateful and maybe a bit embarrassed. But, the Truth is we can’t ignore our feelings. They need to be let out. They need to be expressed . So If you don’t want to scream your emotions to the rest of the world or share them with a friend, write them down. Then Let go of them.
This is vital for anyone and everyone. Anxious or Not anxious. Get yourself to the gym my friend! Dance, Swim, Run, Walk, Jump on the trampoline, Waltz, Boxing, do anything you want but do something If you aren’t yet. It will change your life ( and for once I’m not even being dramatic….)
I have danced professionally for 12 years, but it’s getting myself to a routine workout at the gym, that helped my anxiety. Again having a structure and doing repetitive movements really really helped me. And I’m so grateful for my partner for pushing me to they gym. I used to absolutely hate it and think it was for boring people who didn’t want to be creative in their workouts. But the truth is the focus, and repetition is exactly what I needed. Today I’m a proud gym rat! AHAH. Like me don’t judge before trying!
ps: Have you ever heard someone going to the gym or any type of workout club and feeling worse? ???? Nah..me neither.
- Reach out
You are not on your own. So many of us suffer from anxiety, some people more seriously then others, so it is important to share our experiences to help and lift others. The more you keep it in, the harder it is. And don’t think people will judge you, because you are probably judging your self and beating yourself down for it. Let go, reach out and take some steps towards feeling better.
If you don’t want to reach out to your friends, partner or family about it, ask your doctor to refer you to the right specialist.
Im serious. Breathe. I never used to breathe when I had panic attacks. If you are having a panic attack indoor, get out for some fresh air and a walk ,and do some easy deep breathing exercises. A classic one will just be inhale through your nose for 3secs and exhaling through your lips for 5.
I hope these 5 tips will inspire you to take action towards feeling better and dealing with anything that is causing stress or anxiety.
Have I forgotten something? Share your tips to manage anxiety in the comments below