Mental Health Reviews

Let’s Talk About… Anxiety

AD | I’ve always been very open and honest about my mental illness on my blog and have written a plethora of posts around different areas of anxiety in the past, mostly information which I’ve learnt over the years based on my own experience. Because I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist but I do have my own experiences which I’m quite happy to share and if the things that have helped me can help someone else, then that’s amazing and I’d say that’s a job well done.

But today I’m teaming up with Kalms to discuss a general overview of anxiety, which I’m absolutely thrilled about because I’ve been using Kalms tablets for years now and I still take them on a daily basis. Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s certainly never a one-size-fits-all kinda thing.

We all experience anxiety from time to time; a doctors appointment, a school exam or a job interview. But sometimes when those feelings are present every day, even when there’s no trigger, that can be when you’ve stepped across the line of what’s considered “normal” anxiety.

All information provided in this post can be found on various health websites but obviously if you feel like your anxiety is becoming overwhelming and you’re not coping, you should always see your GP.

My own anxiety experience

I’ve written about my own anxiety experience in much more detail here, so if you want the long version, head over to that post. But for those that might be new around here, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2011, after a bout of the flu in 2010 which left me bed-bound and housebound for 2 weeks. Everyone gets the flu occasionally. It sucks. But for some reason, once I was better physically, I just couldn’t get back to “normal”.

It was like a switch had been moved in my brain and all of a sudden, I was terrified of everything. Being in public made me feel like I was going to faint. I developed weird strategies for things and I just couldn’t function anymore. And before this, I was the most outgoing and carefree girl in the world. It was like I’d been replaced with someone else. My anxiety has changed over time. Things I used to be scared of don’t bother me anymore and I’m much better now than I was all those years ago.

I went to the GP and was prescribed medication (which I didn’t take but that’s another story), I went to CBT then eventually to a private therapist who I quite frankly believe I own my life to. I’ve learnt coping mechanisms over the years and I’ve learnt to live with my anxiety, instead of constantly fighting it. It’s been a journey. One I never thought I’d experience.

Common causes of anxiety

My own experience is a bit of a weird one, clearly and is much more extreme than what we’re talking about here. My anxiety affected every single aspect of my life and turned it on it’s head. Mild anxiety shouldn’t do that and if your anxiety is impacting your every day life for more than 2 weeks, there might be a bigger issue than just your “every day anxiety” going on, so go and see your GP.

But mild to moderate anxiety is common, with 1 in 5 people reporting to suffer from it. But the causes and the symptoms are still not widely known or discussed in some cases which, understandably, leaves people feeling confused and alone and not knowing what’s wrong with them. Some of the common causes of anxiety can be:

  • Working long hours, extra stress at work and not giving yourself enough down time
  • Financial strains
  • Losing a loved one, a pet, a break up, a friendship break-down or other personal problems
  • Feeling lonely, isolate or worthless (again, if these feelings are impacting your day to day life, you may be suffering with depression, so go and see your GP)
  • Past trauma and experiences e.g. being bullied, assaulted, losing a parent

How to spot anxiety

Anxiety is far from just panic attacks and worrying what other people think of you. These are two symptoms but there is a huge spectrum of other symptoms that some people might not even be aware are related to their anxiety.

Physical symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea, having an upset stomach or being sick
  • Muscle aches, tension and feeling rigid
  • Racing heartbeat or palpitations
  • Sweating, clammy hands or feeling hot
  • Dry mouth or a tight throat

Psychological symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • A racing mind with poor concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling restless, irritable or agitated
  • Having a sense of dread about everything
  • Fear of losing control
  • Constant worry or fear

Ways to manage anxiety

Like I’ve said 3 times already, if you’re really struggling with your anxiety and it’s stopping you functioning on a day to day basis and is impacting your life in a negative way, then you should always see your GP first to get a proper diagnosis before you find alternative ways to cope. But for those that suffer with mild anxiety and could use a helping hand, here are some other ways you can manage your anxiety:

Kalms Lavender

Assuming you’re not on medication for anxiety (whether you are or not, you should always check with your GP before taking any natural or herbal products for mental health), the Kalms Lavender range is a great option to relive symptoms of mild anxiety. The 1 a day capsules aim to work within 1 or 2 weeks before you start seeing lasting effects, with 70% of those taking them saying they improved their feelings of anxiety at the end of the trial. Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are available in Boots, Asda and online at www.kalmsrange.com.

Speak to someone

Aside from your GP, sharing your thoughts and concerns about how you’re feeling can be really helpful. I know it’s the last thing we want to do sometimes but confiding in someone can really help take a load off and even distract us, if that’s what we need! A parent, friend, partner or even ringing the Samaritans is a great option.

Write it down and recognize your triggers

Keeping track of how you’re feeling and why is also a really useful tool. For mild anxiety, this can work really well by helping us recognize our triggers, our physical and psychological symptoms and also how to deal with these triggers when they arise. Remember, avoiding your triggers can be counterproductive. I learnt that the hard way.

Find ways to help you switch off

And finding something we love and are passionate about is a great way to distract us from those anxious thoughts and feelings and channel our anxious energy into something more positive. Something like reading or playing a video game is an amazing distraction and painting, drawing or something else creative is a wonderful way to express ourselves emotionally.

Learn some basic coping mechanisms

This will be different for everyone but having some basic but effective coping mechanisms in your back pocket is so helpful. For example, keeping a packet of Kalms tablets in your bag to take when you need something to take the edge off. Learning breathing techniques which work for you (I like the 7/11 technique), visualization, listening to relaxing music or anything else which helps you manage your anxiety.

Anxiety is so common and in today’s society? I can’t say I’m surprised. There’s constant pressure on us from a younger and younger age to do the right things and look the right way. Social media no doubt has played its part in that too. I love social media and the online world (I wouldn’t have a job without it) but it definitely heightens my anxiety from time to time.

If you have anxiety or think you might have anxiety, remember that help and support is out there. Not everyone might understand what you’re going through but a lot of people will so please don’t stay quiet because you think it’s silly or irrelevant. Your mental health matters just as much as your physical health does. So take care of it.

My comments section is always a safe and monitored space for you to share your own anxiety stories, so if you have anything you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it!

* This is a sponsored post
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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

63 Comments

  1. Hi girly! I loved this post. I too struggle with many different forms of anxiety and relate to this post SO much. You aren’t alone. I’m praying for you!

    1. Thank you x

  2. My anxiety has been a little better recently and I think the nice weather is helping x

    http://www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

    1. That’s good to hear x

  3. Anxiety sucks! I too have suffered with it for years now and like you say, am always noting down my triggers and trying to avoid things that set me off.

    These are really good tips! 😊 although I’ve never tried Kalms myself, I have heard of them so will have to give them a go one day.

    Love Lozza xo
    http://girlygabble.com

    1. I’d definitely recommend! They’re great 🙂

  4. Such a great post and so detailed too.
    Anxiety is such a dehibilatating thing when it comes on.
    http://littlemissmelanie.com

    1. Thank you, it sure is x

  5. Anxiety is such a struggle for me, but this is a beautiful post my darling!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Thank you x

  6. I remember being very bad as a teenager and couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to take any medication so I got lavender spray. Can’t stick the smell since then. Random story, sorry. These do sound good and a fan of anything natural.

    1. I’m not sure if these have a smell at all!

  7. I wonder if kalms could work to ease anxiety enough to then get them to the GP. As that’s my biggest hurdle with my husband, but he won’t go and open up to a gp though he needs too

    1. Perhaps! You should definitely try something with your husband x

      1. Thank you I think I will x

  8. nicolaniemc.co.uk says:

    I think you’re going to get a lot of positive reactions in your comments! I especially like your point about learning to live with the anxiety, instead of fighting it. Anxiety is like a bully – if you don’t give it the satisfaction of a reaction, then it should (hopefully!) go, or at least lessen. If you do try to fight it, it snowballs in your mind into something much bigger and more terrifying than the original trigger. I felt like such a failure when I eventually went to see my doctor, but then afterwards I wished I’d gone sooner!

  9. Julie says:

    This is a great post. Increasing awareness about anxiety, how it might present and sharing ways to cope is so important. It’s necessary to have several “tools” in the tool box to use when needed! I have a few go-tos, but am always open to new suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Definitely important to not rely on just one thing to manage!

  10. Lellalee says:

    This is such a fabulous post. I have always loved how open you are about your anxiety issues. It’s great that we can talk about these things openly. The list you have provided on how to spot anxiety is brilliant. This would also be useful to help spot anxiety in others. Some people have had so little experience of anxiety and mental health issues that when it happens to someone close to them, they have no idea what’s happening or how to help them. I have never tried Kalms but they have worked wonders for one of my friends. Another great read. xxx

    Ashley
    https://lellalee.com

    1. I totally agree, it’s kinda sad that someone could be suffering with anxiety but because of the lack of education and awareness, nobody around them knows what’s going on. In fact, that kinda happened to me. But I hope that the awareness has improved quite a bit since then!

  11. Fantastic post. I got slammed with a mixture of anxiety and depression when I first dropped out of uni. Thankfully, I’ve finally (nine years later) reached a point where I feel like things are more under control. The depression is so much better and in general, so is the anxiety, but there are still things that flare me up and make me realise I’ll never go back to who I was before. This is a very thought-provoking post and there are some great tips and hints here about how to make it a manageable thing for every day life. Thank you!

    1. I feel very much the same. I’ve never had depression (although I’ve definitely had bouts of depressive episodes – like what I’m kinda in now – but I never wanna say I feel depressed because I feel like it’s disrespectful? Hope that makes sense) I know I’ll never, ever be the same again too, sadly.

  12. 34yrs of both anxiety and depression, most of which was spent keeping it to myself. Not a good thing to do at all. This is such great advice though and I really wish I could have gone online when I was a teenager so that I knew I was not alone feeling how I did.

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post

    1. The internet has its faults but you’ve just pointed out a very big benefit of it!

  13. Anxiety definitely comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s interesting to realise that things like headaches can also be a part of it. I do sometimes get anxious, to the point where I wonder if it’s the sort of anxiety I should go to the doctor about, so this was really insightful in terms of tips and tricks to manage it!

    Rhianna x
    http://www.tsundokugirl.com

    1. It definitely can’t hurt to see a doctor, at least for the peace of mind! I’d always suggest going than not going and it getting worse 🙂

  14. I’m a big fan of Kalms, I’ve taken them before and sometimes I still do when I’m feeling pretty bad. I like the idea of writing down your triggers, I think for most things, writing down lists etc can be really helpful, I’ll always use my journal to write down 3 positives every day – this also helps me with my anxiety because if I’ve had a bad anxiety day, when it comes down to writing down my 3 positives at the end of the day it makes me feel a bit better knowing that there were some things that made me smile and feel good that day.

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    1. I totally agree – I have a page of “nice things that happened this month” for every month in my journal so it always feels nice noting those small little things down. Even if it is just getting a McDonald’s haha!

  15. amazing post jenny, i’m glad you’ve decided to be so open about your own struggles with anxiety because it will certainly help others feel less alone. it’s nice to see people talk about things you also go through because poor mental health is very lonely. i’m sure it’s because i’m in the US that i haven’t heard of this product, but i will have to check out if there is something similar that i can get here in the states! thanks for sharing such an informative post xx

    mich. x
    simplymich.com

    1. Possibly – I’m not sure if it’s available in the U.S. Maybe have a research online?

  16. This post os just so informative with such great advice. I suffer from both depresion and anxiety. The combination of these two can be hell sometimes. Its like caring about everything while not giving a s**t about anything. So your post really speaks to me. I will get together with my GP and ask about Kalms to see if it will a good thing for me.

    1. I’ve never suffered with depression really, so I can’t begin to imagine how difficult the two of them combined is. You’re a warrior.

      1. Thank you Jenny. I have 4 somebodys to be a warrior for now. That makes alot easier to fight both.

  17. Such a useful post to read and I always find things are easier when I know I’m not alone and suffering x

    1. Oh me too for sure! I hate that other people suffer from it but its so comforting

  18. These are great tips, Jenny! I’ve never tried Kalms but it sounds worth considering and it must be so reassuring to have something to take when anxiety is high. Writing things down is a good suggestion and something I need to get better at, it really helps to put thoughts and feelings onto paper. Thanks for sharing lovely, very helpful post! <3 xxx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Thank you 😌 Kalms are great, I’d definitely recommend! Also Bach’s Rescue Remedy is another amazing herbal option which I find so useful!

  19. Jenny,

    I really enjoyed reading about your experience and appreciate your transparency. You are a good resource for others by the support you are providing through blogging about your experiences. I too have suffered from anxiety. It is more common than we give credit and I fully support offering knowledge to others on how to identify it. I believe that many people suffer from anxiety but are un-diagnosed and we often sweep these feelings under a rug like it is a normal way to life when it really isn’t.

    Continue to be amazing!

    1. I totally agree. If it passes the point of feeling like “normal” anxiety, then it’s always worth looking into.

  20. I’ve tried Khalms before they don’t always work. I’ve got a smear test tomorrow so might try them to help me then. I have anxiety issues and have good days and bad days. I really should find a coping exercise to do. When I have good days I forget about it and assume it’s gone but then it creeps back I guess. I try to meditate and do yoga more now for prevention but still get blips at certain triggers. Annoying

    1. It certainly is annoying. I have anxiety 24/7 as I have generalised anxiety disorder but some days I don’t feel it but I know it’s there. But I’ve learnt to live with it instead of against it now, which is good.

      1. That’s what I need to do. Accept it and manage it. You’re right it is always there. I think I have generalized anxiety disorder but I haven’t been diagnosed I don’t think. I give up with doctors

    2. I’ve never suffered from anxiety other than the ‘normal’ anxious feeling of a first day or dreaded appointment somewhere or something so this post was really informative for me. Interesting reading about the different symptoms and how it manifests differently for different people x

      Sophie
      http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

      1. Thanks Sophie x

  21. There’s some really fantastic advice in here! I definitely suffer from mild anxiety but I try and ignore it. I might have to give Kalms a go, they really helped my mum 🙂 xx

    Holly | http://www.gollymissholly.uk

    1. Kalms for mild anxiety are really useful! I’m glad they helped your Mum! 😌

  22. Thank you for sharing this post and your own personal experiences.

    I recently suffered with anxiety for the first time (for about a month) around the Christmas period. I still have no idea what triggered it and found it impacted my everyday life in very physical ways – I kept having rushes of adrenaline and feeling I was going to faint!

    Thank you for sharing your advice, I’ll definitely be bearing it in mind should I have another experience.

    P.S. Love that picture! Where is it?!

    – Rachel

    1. Sadly it’s a stock photo from Pixaby – I can’t take credit for such a gorgeous photo!

      I’m sorry to hear you suffered with anxiety, I hope it’s passed a bit now? Take care of yourself!

  23. This is all amazing advice! When I first got diagnosed with Anxiety I had no idea what was going on and what it was so I know a post like this would have been so useful to read. I’ve used Kalms in the past too and have found they really help when I’m having a really anxious day xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. Ah that’s great to hear! I still take them every day but I’m keen to try the lavender ones!

  24. Thank you for sharing this. I recently got put on medication for my anxiety and I suffer with bad migraines so hoping it will help reduce them too xx

    1. I hope you get some relief from the migraines!

  25. Wonderful advice in this Jenny! Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest with us.
    Anxiety is a terrible thing and I feel for you sister! You are not alone in this struggle.

    – Nyxie

    1. Thank you <3

      1. Liz Brannan says:

        Such a lovely post and great advice! I’ve been lucky enough to not have anxiety however my boyfriend has it, so I see how it affects people on a day-to-day basis. Well done for opening up about your anxiety, I’m sure you’ve helped loads of people recognise the issues they have and hopefully get the help they need.
        Liz x

      2. Thank you 😌

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