After my acupuncture treatment, I went on a holiday and had a few panic attacks even though I was in a completely stress-free environment.
After I came back from the holiday, I went through a week of hell. I had to adjust to work again, in the heat wave that hit Europe, and the whole world was sort of spinning around me. I was anxious, sensitive, but I was also very lazy and tired. I was more tired than before the holiday.
After that week (the week of hell, that is), things gradually got better and it’s only now that I’m able to point to the things that have helped me be stress-free!
N°1 Coffee-free life
I love coffee. No, I loooooove coffee! Coffee was my day starter. Coffee was my way of keeping my body awake aaaall day so it could execute whatever my mind intended for it. Coffee made me feel energized so I could take on the world.
When I started drinking coffee back in my early 20s, I quickly realized that more than 1 coffee a day could give me heart palpitations, and when I drank it after noon, I wouldn’t be able to sleep — yes, I’m THAT sensitive. So, I limited myself to 1 coffee a day, at 8am and that was “perfect”!
Until I started having panic attacks early this summer, and noticed that having coffee was perfect ground for it. Coffee was great, but when under pressure or stressed, it made my heart beat faster, my whole body hotter and my stomach, a bit upset. So, naturally, I stopped having coffee on days I had appointments or meetings, to prevent panic as much as I could. And then, little by little, I stopped all together. I didn’t decide to stop, it just happened naturally.
So I drink tea now! I love tea. No, I looooooooove tea!! It keeps me awake, it’s not aggressive on my stomach, and I haven’t had a panic attack since I switched.
I recommend the Migros’ YOU tea POWER or WAKE UP, made with delicious things like ginger, mint, reglisse, cinnamon and lemongrass.
Hypnosis is a guided meditation to reconnect with the positive in your imagination.
I tried hypnosis with an experienced nurse at the end of the lake. I highly recommend going to someone with a medical background. It’s important that she understands the science behind hypnosis and is trained to deal with your reactions, no matter what they may be. Also, knowing that she’s used to this and knows how to provide a safe environment for you, makes diving in the imaginary easier.
I was very skeptical and at the same time, very nervous that I’d lose control. It wasn’t like that at all. Hypnosis is guided meditation, in a state of dissociation, where your body is in one place and your mind wanders elsewhere. You reconnect with your imagination, and encourage it to be positive and create a world where you are your best self, happy and joyful!
In my session, I was running in the forest, sun on me but not too hot. I was running and breathing in and out fresh mountain air.
After the session, I started integrating jogs in the forest in my weekly routine. Like I re-discovered an activity that I used to love growing up. I’ve also practiced hypnosis myself, simply intentionally escaping to my imagination and telling myself a story in which I found more positive images to contemplate, always hoping for the best, and wishing it, and being grateful for it.
TIP: one way to do that is prayer. Prayer does not equal religion. I’ll talk about this in more detail in another BBP.
N°3 Your bed is for sleeping
“I’m going to sleep” means going to sleep.
I know you know what I mean. When you’re getting in bed with your phone in one hand and your book on the nightstand. You’re going to spend another 45 minutes on social media, and probably 15 on reading a few pages of your book. Well, I get you. That’s what I did until I was sent worksheets about sleep hygiene from my counselor on Better Help — great app by the way.
You’re not tired? You want to check your emails? Notifications on Facebook? Write to friends? Read your book? Then, STAY in the living room! Stay on the couch until you’re really tired and ready to sleep, and then walk to your bed WITHOUT your phone or book.
The first thing I did to encourage that behavior was to buy an old-fashioned alarm clock. It doesn’t even light up during the night, and it doesn’t even have a snooze function, which is perfect because snooze is a terrible disturbance to your sleep cycle, and sleeping in a dark room is one of the best ways to increase sleep quality.
N° 4 Setting the record straight
Set the record straight with yourself: your pillars, your goals, your time.
If you’re like me and you like to be productive, and make good use of your time, then one of the reasons you’re anxious is probably feeling like you’re not doing enough, or that you’re not doing enough according to your values and beliefs.
I came up with a step-by-step system — which I’ll share in a next BBP — to break it down and know what you want to do. Then, to get started, I’m a total advocate to the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins. 5,4,3,2,1… GO!
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