Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Friday, December 14, 2018

How to be less anxious



In all of the years I've had anxiety, it's only the last few that it's become chronic anxiety, it swings between mild worry through to utterly disabling panic attacks  and some times it's the most ridiculous things which tip it off. Anxiety is the distorted reality that lives in side of you it's like it's real, it feels real but in the back of your mind you know it's not (hence the photograph above).

The only time I don't have anxiety is when I'm out working and have my camera, weirdly it's like some kind of super power, I'm literally super calm and relaxed, I just wish I could channel this feeling into all of the other parts of my life.

Take this week, I've been determined to get as up to date as possible so I've edited two weddings and 7 photo shoots, this makes me anxious because I always assume that no matter how hard I work everyone will hate everything that I produce, it's completely irrational, I use thousands of pounds worth of photographic and editing equipment, I've been in business for 12 years, shot hundreds of weddings, thousands of photo shoots and 99.9% come back time and time again, people send me kind words, thank you's, some I never hear from again but that's just business, people have busy lives but I think I give so much of myself in photography, maybe I care too much so I have that abject fear of rejection, fuelled by a past of being told I'm not good enough.  Yeah, realistically, psychologically and objectively I can explain everything rationally but that doesn't stop that fluttery anxious feeling which lives deep inside of me and knocks me so sick that I can't leave the house some days.

Just over 3 weeks I started on a supplement called Hempceutix which a company called Natures Plus asked if they could send to me.  I told them that I wouldn't write about it before I got a feel if it was going to work.  The ones I'm taking contain 5mg of phytocannaboids and I can report that it does seem to be having an effect on my anxiety levels, yes I'm still anxious but it's just the start of a long road finding the right type of hemp product that is going to work for me, I know I can increase the dose as these ones also come in a 15mg strength and I think that's my next step but overall I'm feeling much more relaxed in general and I'm getting out for wanders with Holly Bobbins, I even went to a dog friendly post office yesterday with her.  The truth is, I'll try anything at this point as all of the prescribed medications just haven't worked and the medication I've been on long term for bipolar has, I believe made the anxiety worse.

I had a course of CBT last year and I really didn't find it helpful with the exception of one thing the therapist said which was that in every situation we have to ask ourselves when we get anxious "can I do anything to change this situation and if not, is it worth worrying about?"  It's slightly more complex than that but she definitely had a point so now I try to take action where I can and not worry too much about the things I have no control over.

Last week I had 2 evenings of being social and not only survived but had a great time.  I truly hope that this is just the start and that I can just be a little better at accepting myself, at not worrying about money, life, Christmas, my worthiness as a business person and a mother.  I really do want to love myself and I guess I do, a lot more than I did, anyway.

I'm not about to make any miracle claims about the supplements and like most things, what works for me might not be the thing which works for you but I'm certainly willing to explore the world of CBD products until I find the best one for me, at their very worst they just might not work but if they make even a small difference then it's totally worth the trial.
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