art yoga stress

You know it is so important to take care of yourself when you are stressed. And often underlying that stress is anxiety. The more you do to hide and deny it, the more it rears its ugly head. So you keep being busy doing and pretending to ourselves and the world that nothing is wrong.

Often you don’t even know you are living in constant anxiety. The symptoms are there, but you ignore them. Furthermore, there are different types and levels of anxiety. And in this blog, I am going to talk about general anxiety and from my experience only, because I think it is important that we talk it about and share with each other to get validation, understanding, and support.

What is general anxiety? This is where you consistently experience excessive worry which is unrealistic, even if there are no obvious signs to provoke this anxiety.

You know there is no reason to feel so anxious, yet it is there.

You can be experiencing some of the following:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Not being able to be still and calm
  • Cold or sweaty hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations

I was definitely experiencing the top 3. And they were debilitating and holding me back from truly enjoying my life. One the hand I knew there was no recognizable reasons for me to feel this distressed, yet it was undeniably there, even though I was trying desperately to deny it in every which way. Until I finally hit the wall.

However, when you dig deeper, there is often an underlying issue that you haven’t thought about or connected your anxiety to. This is what happened to me just recently. I could not understand over the last few months why I was getting more and more anxious and running on adrenaline. It was like I had to constantly run away from myself as I felt such a failure, overly fragile and emotional.

It was such a relief to hear from a professional that I was still suffering from PTSD and also experiencing menopausal symptoms. Wham! There it was. I burst into tears upon hearing that. There was an actual name for all of this. There was a reason. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. And furthermore, I didn’t realise there are so many symptoms for menopause, other than the obvious physical ones.

No one had told me that. No wonder I thought I was going nuts. In the old days, women were locked up when displaying these menopausal symptoms. You do feel you are going insane. However, that does not mean you are insane.

And it does not define you. It is only a part of you. Not the whole of you.

So how can you go about supporting yourself, once you have established what is happening for you? Exercise, art, eating well, sleeping well, meditation, writing, creating rituals, among other things. Art and yoga are mine for the moment with writing.

When you are focused on something other than your stress, you can truly be in the present moment.

I have never been more aware of this than in the last few days, despite meditating and tapping for years now. This experience has opened me up even more to the power of practicing mindfulness in your everyday life. When you are being mindful you are not in your mind where your thoughts are running amuck.

When you are in the now, you only experiencing what is right here and now. It gets you out of your head and into your body. It gets you into enjoying what is right in front of you for that time. You see beauty around you. You have beautiful moments of pleasure and presence. And you can build on that.

Whilst I was doing my art, I was in this most amazing zone for a couple of hours. It was liberating and fun. And I was stunned at what I produced. There was very little thought, just being present with what came through.

And of course, yoga. I have been practicing yoga for many years now. And it is only now that I have gone into a deeper awareness of its power. My beautiful yoga teacher, Deb, sent me this quote through by Thich Nhat Hanh about all aspects of yoga:

Pranayama (the breath), asana (physical postures) and dhyana (meditation)
bring us to the present moment. The Present moment is the only moment available to us and
is the door to all moments. 

Like with anything, you need to find what is right for you. I use these as a support as I get professional guidance on understanding what I am going through. One thing I have learnt is that you don’t need to go it alone. Share, talk, and find ways to assist yourself to be able to lead a beautiful life.

Namaste – from my beautiful soul to your beautiful soul.

meet chantal

Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au

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