The internet seems awash with information about self care and anxiety. Anxiety is incredibly common. It’s normal to feel anxious in any given moment. It’s when that anxiety starts to effect our quality of life- that’s when it becomes an issue.
I speak from experience, and also from research. I am a mental health nurse and I am currently studying Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
I still remember the first panic attack I ever had. It was in the car, driving to uni when I was in second year nursing. I was in a crappy relationship that I felt trapped in. My brain interpreted this as genuinely being trapped, and would trigger the Fight or Flight response in my body, throwing out adrenaline when I least expected it to. I didn’t know what was happening. I felt the seat belt feel tight across my chest. I felt my heart pound, my breathing struggled and my head went light. I wondered if I was going to die. I didn’t. And despite feeling that way a hundred times after this initial experience, I never died and other than that passing (although horrible) feeling, nothing bad ever happened.
Now, I’m lucky I’m stubborn. I will be controlled by nothing and no-one, and so although I found these panic attacks to be quite fear inducing I worked on restructuring my thoughts about them, remembering that panic attacks can not kill me and that people jump out of planes to feel that same adrenaline rush that I experienced by just existing. I also left the situation that was causing the panic attacks to happen.
They continued to last for about a year, and the generalized anxiety that accompanied it is something that I am always working on. I don’t let it hold me back, though. I mean, we only get one life, so we have to be brave. The more brave we are, the less our negative thinking patterns can effect us.
Our thoughts effect our feelings effect our behaviours effect our thoughts and so on.
Next time a negative thought creeps into your head, stop. Think about if that thought is actually true. Realise that it’s not true. Replace that thought with something positive.
For example, last night negative thinking patterns creeped in to my head. I started to think negatively about my body and my skills as a parent. And then a light bulb went off. My kids love me and I love them. My body works as it should and I am so lucky that it does. I get to dress it in clothes that make me feel creative and it holds the hugs that I so enjoy. Would I speak to anyone else the way I just spoke to myself? No fucking way. That shit has to stop.
Do something nice for yourself for a change and notice how everything else will change with it.
Now, a body scrub may seem a bit boring and a bit useless, but starting small and being kind is the best way to start.
Plus, a coffee body scrub is sensory and can help us to ground ourselves- touch, smell, and sight and even hearing are all the senses that we can use here. It feels good. And while you do it, think about the things that you are grateful for.
Gratitude is the attitude. I read recently, that when we are in the habit of thinking negative thoughts, our brains actually can’t access positive memories. That’s why we get stuck in a cycle of negative thinking. Break that cycle, and you’ll remember all the good times as well.
Mocha Body Scrub.
1 Cup of Brown Sugar.
Half a cup of Coffee grinds (Can be used).
2-3 Tablespoons of Cocoa.
Half a cup of oil- I used coconut or olive.
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder or 2 drops of cinnamon essential oil (make sure that this is good quality essential oil- you don’t want to be buying anything with fillers.)
In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Store in a clean jar and use within two weeks. Can be kept in the fridge to extend the shelf life, however make sure you take it out before you want to use it so that the oil has a chance to melt.
Jump in the shower and get a little wet all over. Turn the water off and start scrubbing all over. This mixture can be used on your face, however make sure to not get it in your eyes. Once you’re feeling all scrubbed, turn the taps back on and wash the mix off. Continue your shower as normal.
And here it is in Youtube form.
I hope that this helps someone today.