Anxiety Does Not Define Me

I find that People always share the shining side of things, especially in our world of Social Media. Yes, I am guilty. It’s easier to share the highlights of your life than to talk about the negative, but I think it’s also important to show we’re all human, we all have failures, we have things that are more difficult to cope with.

Admitting vulnerability has the ability to connect people. I hope that with this blog I connect with you & give you inspiration.

Everyone has struggles in life – it just happens that anxiety and depression are mine.

Anxiety. At some point in life you will face it. A public speech, job interviews or the first day at your new job, you’ll get nervous, do whatever it is that is making you nervous and then go back to your usual self. This makes me incredibly envious.

The stigma around having a mental health issue causes a lot of people to hide it. That’s why a lot of the time when you find out someone has anxiety or depression it comes as a surprise.
SURPRISE!

I am not an expert on anything. Most days I struggle with being the expert on me, but that is the only thing I come close to being an expert on.

People are puzzled by me — I come across as outgoing but introverted, very social but rarely wanting to go out and socialize. My alone time my safe place.

Despite many physical symptoms of anxiety, I’m a master at hiding it.

While I may not be able to prevent stress or anxiety from showing up at inopportune times, my remedy and a great place to start is by taking a deep breath and remembering I don’t have to have it all together all the time. Or even some of the time. The best thing I can do is live honestly with myself. I’ve also been through a couple of episodes of depression. Luckily, I have had the strength and guidance of professionals to get through them along with amazing support of family & friends.

I think a couple of my favorite pieces of advice for when feeling down is “it’s OK not to be OK” and “Sometimes we fall down because there is something down there we’re supposed to find”

I know this might sound strange, but I am grateful for my Anxiety and Depression even though I would not wish them on my worst enemy, but they have had a huge impact in shaping who I am, and in developing some of my biggest strengths. I’m proud of my kindness and empathy. Being familiar with struggle makes a person appreciate the goodness in life so much more. Life is good, and life is short, and for that reason I will make my journey count.

Anxiety and depression do not define me, but I am truly very grateful for the life lessons I have learned in working to overcome and manage them, and of the person I am.
I have become more proactive to stay healthy, especially when my mental health is at stake and have come to the conclusion that I will never let my most personal decisions be influenced by the opinions of others. I have to believe the right decision lies deep in my heart. I believe in the knowledge I have and trust myself enough to embrace the unknown.

The prescribed medication I take for anxiety attacks does not define me. I am OK with my decision to take medication when needed to help me with my anxiety. A decision that came from acceptance, not shame. A decision that allowed me to start down a new path on my journey.

My one piece of advice to anyone dealing with anxiety is to never let anxiety fool you into thinking you’re not strong enough for something. 8edbf8af8f9b1546b55e86bed33c060b
Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way. This is based on my own individual experience.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. Always stay true to you 🙂  Always remember…Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

 

 

 

Discovering Ecotheraphy

Have you ever thought that you’re not as happy as you should be in your life?

I’m sure you have. We all have at some point in our lives.

About a year ago that was me. Not that my life is hard, or that I have a lot to worry about, I have a pretty comfortable life. It was just me feeling stuck .Thinking too much about the past, worrying about the future, just not being thankful for the present. I decide it was time to take some steps to enhance my level of well-being. I started on my journey. I took to the World Wide Web and googled well-being. Here I found a number of new activities and practices that I could take up: meditation, singing, running, performing acts of kindness, mindfulness, yoga and so on. I do a lot of these now, but the one thing I was surprised with was that research had shown of all these activities the most effective thing you could do, according to research, is to take up gardening.  flowers
Gardening? No wonder I always felt so much better after a day of working in the yard. I should tell you first of all that I am not a gardener. I have no idea what the flowers in my flower beds are called, with the exception of the Hosta plant. Oh yes, and the impatiens flowers. All I know is that those plants in the back get nice purple flowers and the others in the corner get beautiful yellow ones. Yep, and that’s how I plant my flower beds.
I read in an article that in the UK, gardening has begun to be used as a therapy for individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. As an alternative to prescribing anti-depressants, doctors in a pilot study are signing patients up for 12 week gardening courses. The ‘Grozone’ project teaches patients basic horticultural skills and encourages them to grow their own plants, which they can take home afterwards.
ECOTHERAPHY! Sweet! I love it! I have always enjoyed being outdoors and soaking up the beauty of nature in general, a walk through the woods, sitting on the beach, stopping by a roadside park. I have used all of these to improve the symptoms of anxiety and to improve concentration and well-being.
So although I have been under the weather with a cold I decided to venture out to the flower gardens yesterday. It’s fall here so it’s time to cut back, transfer and weed the few gardens I do have. If you know me, you will know that I have been on a mindfulness journey and have become very wrapped up in practicing mindfulness because it is such a powerful tool that keeps me staying in the now. So as I was digging in the dirt I found myself absorbed in the digging, lost track of time and the restlessness and chattering of my mind just faded away. I felt alert, alive and my mental energy became more intensified.
dirtI was in the moment! Concentrating on the beauty around me, free from the anxieties of the future.
So today I got lost in the gardens again. I have never devoted much time to the activity. But I’m beginning to think that I should start. Not only did it feel great to get out and do some physical activity it kept me focused and in the now, it gave me a sense of accomplishment too. I know I will have to wait until next summer for all my hard work to unfold but I also know once the snow melts and spring arrives and the first sign of bulbs pop through the ground I will be knee deep in my new ECOTHERAPHY.
And for now I will give thanks to mother nature for providing a day of sunshine. Cheers to another wonderful day outdoors.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

-Luther Burbank

Nature, The Best Medicine

Getting outdoors to somewhere full of bright beautiful colors, the calming sound of the water is so peaceful and is the perfect natural antidote to stress and anxiety.

Muskoka Beauty

The Muskoka Beauty in the month of October is stunning.

I said it before & will say it again, Fall has always been a favorite season of mine. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. Like with fireworks displays.  Hope you are able to get out and explore the beauty of the season and reflect on everything that you are grateful for.

More of the Muskoka Beauty in October.

More of the Muskoka Beauty in October, just can’t get enough. Love it!

Attitude A Choice

21366_560737483983401_2017972483_nLast October I suddenly quit my job. Realizing that the past 6 years with this company was changing who I was. The negativity of the workplace was sucking the life out of me. I was becoming one of the negative employees I once complained about. Not someone I wanted to become. Was it scary, just quitting without a plan in place? You bet it was!

Anxiety & Depression took over my life for a couple of months until I just woke up one morning and said. “I don’t want to feel like this anymore” So I had a choice to make, stay stuck or pull myself up out of this frame of mind. A choice, something we all have.

This is when I realized the impact of choice and attitude on my life and how important it was to surround myself with positive, happy people and to make time for more things that made me appreciate the world.

Spending time exercising and helping others have helped me boost my moods and put me in a better frame of mind.
Working at developing a good attitude is so worth it! It has helped me to improve my health, my happiness, and I believe it will help me live a longer life.
Is it easy? I’m not saying it’s easy, but what I am saying is if I can do it you can too. It’s a choice!
Become aware of your thoughts, when you have a negative thought try to replace it with a positive thought. It takes some time, but what do they say? It takes 21 days to form a habit. 21 one days, give it a try. Choose your attitude, change your life! Change
Since implementing this mentality my life has improved dramatically. My health has improved. My anxiety and depression have disappeared and I have made the choice to stay aware, to practice mindfulness and to only allow people into my life who are good for me and have a positive outlook on life.
I’m at a time in my life more than ever before where I can say “Life is good” I follow my heart.
Here’s hoping this gives you some inspiration if you are stuck.

Starting the day off with a positive quote every day is a great way to reinforce positive changes in your life!