I’ve been lucky enough to work with Spink Health and Kalms to raise awareness for anxiety but the opinions and experiences are my experiences own and have not been influenced by these brands!
Did you know that 1 in 5 Adults in the UK suffer from anxiety or depression? That means that most of us will know someone that is suffering now. But there is still a massive stigma around having a mental health condition and people are left ashamed, embarrassed and suffering in silence.
I know that silence too well, it’s like whirlwind that suddenly sweeps in and turns your world upside down. A weight that crushes your chest whilst your heart beats so fast it feels like it’s going to explode and leaves you feeling sick to your stomach and gasping for breath. Anxiety and Depression is like a huge dark, heavy cloud that hangs over you. It chases you like a shadow.
The science part
Anxiety symptoms can occur when nerve cells in the brain become over stimulated, due to the excessive release of neurotransmitters – the brains chemical messengers – such as dopamine and adrenaline. This leads to hyperactive nerves which are excessively ‘switched on’ – an imbalance which can result in symptoms of anxiety.
What is anxiety ?
The terms stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably, but can you recognise the differences? The term stress usually describes feelings experienced when the demands made on an individual are greater than their ability to manage, and we often know precisely what it is we are feeling stressed about, e.g. starting a new job, sitting an exam or attending an interview.
But anxiety is an unease about something with an uncertain outcome – and that unease can exist even when the cause of the worry is gone. Symptoms of anxiety include feelings of worry, apprehension and uncertainty. Sufferers might find they are worrying all the time, perhaps about things that are a regular part of everyday life or things that are unlikely to happen – or even worrying about worrying! Anxiety can also affect the body, causing issues such as a racing heartbeat, nausea, headaches, and muscle tension.
Anxiety can become problematic when it is excessive or present over a long period of time. Long term, anxiety can impact on quality of life and wellbeing.
I didn’t realise I had anxiety and depression until it had become so bad I couldn’t leave my house because I felt like such a huge burden to everyone, not just my loved ones but the whole world. I started having bad panic attacks that made me sick or pass out and I struggled to sleep properly because my mind would spin with a million thoughts all at once.
Everything started to deeply worry me, the fear of my loved ones being involved in car accidents, terror attacks, falling off of horses because my children and my mum ride. Plane crashes, anything that could hurt them I feared everyday. I’d check on people more than normal and declare my love for them in case something terrible happened on a daily basis. I’d cry at the thought of it.
I’m not proud of my behaviour but I admit I’d take extra pain medications to numb me and in a bid to calm my brain, to stop these awful thoughts and fears from drowning me. That didn’t work because I just felt even more distance from people, more alone.
Things got much worse and after being forced to see my GP I was given medication for anxiety and depression whilst seeing a counsellor. Talking to a stranger helped me because I couldn’t tell my family the truth because I knew it was upset them which in turn would make me feel more guilty for being such a let down than I already did. About the same time I started writing things down when my mind was racing out of control. Getting the negativity and fears out of my brain and on to paper was very therapeutic. I could take a step back and be more objective about it and work out why I was feeling or thinking that. What would trigger it? Afterwards I’d rip them up and chuck them away, once I did that I could move forwards.
Read more on my anxiety and depression here My story
A helping hand from nature
Deep breathing techniques help me a lot as well. Focusing on breathing distracts you from the bad stuff and it can nip an attack in the bud before it gets out of hand. Inhale deeply to the count of 7 and focus on the feeling of your diaphragm moving. Next exhale slowly to the count of 7 and repeat until you feel better. Meditation is also very good at calming your thoughts. Pilates and yoga can also be a gentle way to make yourself feel better.
Kalm Lavender Oil Capsules
I decided to try out something natural to help my anxiety and I came across a new product by Kalms.
Kalms lavender oil capsules are a natural treatment for anxiety. Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. I’ve been using these for about a 3 weeks and they have helped take the edge of my anxiety and I’ve been able to carry on in my day to day life feeling less on edge and I’ve had less intense emotional reaction to things which has been great.
What do Kalms Lavender oil capsules do?
Research into the uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil – which is the active ingredient found only in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules in the UK- suggests that it can reduce the overstimulation of nerve cells leading to an improvement in symptoms of anxiety.
The results of over 15 clinical trials have shown that a daily capsule of the uniquely prepared lavender oil can relieve the symptoms of anxiety, with benefits notable in just one to two weeks[i], and the benefits are comparable to commonly used anti-anxiety medications[ii],[iii]. One study found that symptoms in 70% of those taking the lavender oil capsules were rated as ‘much’ or ‘very much’ improved when reassessed by researchers at the end of treatment.
Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are available in Boots, Asda and online at Kalms.com RRP £6.49
You are worth it
There is no cure for anxiety and depression but there are a lot of resources that can help to manage them. They don’t 100% disappear from your life but once you work out what things help you, what things act as triggers, you should feel more confident that you can control it better.
Never feel embarrassed, ashamed or alone because you are suffering from a mental health condition. Always seek help as soon as it starts to impact on your health and wellbeing.
I bet if you talked to a friend or a family member they would either have a similar problem or know someone that does. Just remember that you are not a burden and that you deserve a healthy, happy full life because you are worthy of love, laughter and anxiety and depression do not define you!
Here are some contact numbers that may help you:
MIND info line 0300 123 3393
Samaritans 116 123
Anxiety UK 08444 775 774
No Panic 0844 967 4848