Mindfulness

So what feels like years ago I said something along the lines of,

‘I’m going to give mindfulness a go because I’ve dabbled in it and it seems to work’. 

So it was actually Oct 2017 and to be honest I haven’t really got any further along my mindfulness journey which is incredibly disappointing.

Recently I’ve been feeling incredibly stressed and anxious, my stomach problems have been getting worse and I’ve felt quite out of control – which I HATE – I don’t seem to be able to find a diet which suits me and I am struggling to think clearly as my mind fog comes and goes.  Even sitting myself down to write this blog post has been a challenge but I know it is important that I do.

So also about a year ago I downloaded a mindfulness app, it has a feature that lets you put in an alert so that every day you get a reminder to do just 5 minutes (initially) of mindfulness meditation, should be easy right?  Every evening I see it pop up on my phone and every evening I just ignore it and carry on with whatever I am doing – I obviously have no time for that.  Writing this now I know my husband is going to give me a hard time about this, I know alright, insert rolling eyes emoji here.  I also know he only does it because he loves me.

We are very self destructive as humans, we almost rebel against the things we know do us good.  We know we should eat well, exercise, drink in moderation, not smoke or do drugs, we should meditate and sleep for 8 hours each night etc etc.  So why don’t we do these things?  Is it because we think it makes us boring?  I know personally when I start  trying to do all these things I feel very overwhelmed and you have to be very determined as no one else seems to be doing them so there’s very little support.

I went round a friends house yesterday and out on the floor were two cakes and a bag of cookies and then the conversation was all about trying to loose weight.  What is wrong with us?  Does it just take a bit more effort and therefore we can’t be bothered?

Anyway I digress, this post was supposed to be about mindfulness meditation.  So this week when that notification on my phone pops up, an much as I know I’m not going to want to I’m going to try and take that five minutes and tune in with my body because I owe it to myself.

I will let you know how it goes, stay tuned and of course as always,

Stay Strong xxx

 

Hangry

So the definition of Hangry for those who aren’t sure is:

‘bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger’.

Now this is definitely something I’ve been ‘suffering’ from over the last fortnight.  As a result of some intolerance testing I had done (because of my Ulcerative colitis) I was advised to eliminate dairy, wheat, gluten and reduce my intake of some other foods like oats and soya, honestly the list was pretty substantial and very overwhelming.

I hadn’t really expected there to be a mental backlash from these tests, in fact I was expecting to feel quite positive about the outcome, maybe there would be something I could work on to improve my health?

However what I actually experienced was:

  1. The initial depression which hit straight away from having to eliminate so many foods.
  2. Having not seen a dramatic improvement, there’s an element of feeling like I’m making huge sacrifices for very small benefits, very discouraging.
  3. It’s super disheartening when you go out as you can’t find anything to eat and the thing you normally end up having is something you don’t even want just so you can eat something!
  4. but the one that has hit me this last week is the anxiety.  I believe this has come as a result of constantly feeling hungry and unsatisfied and therefore too much adrenaline being released into my body.

When your body feels hungry your adrenal glands release adrenaline to keep you going until you can eat again.  It boosts heart rate, blood pressure and energy levels which is great in an emergency situation but if this is happening constantly throughout the day you’re body doesn’t know what to do and you are just in a constant state of anxiety.  

My anxiety hadn’t been up at that level for a long time, I had no patience, I was teary, snappy, feeling overwhelmed constantly and like I couldn’t cope, getting out was really stressful and to be honest I was feeling like I needed to go to the doctors and get myself on some medication as I couldn’t seem to get my head sorted.

I hadn’t felt like that for years and so I went and ordered myself a big meal full of all the things I shouldn’t eat as a last attempt to feel better and you know what almost instantly my head felt clearer, my stomach not so much unfortunately but yesterday I had to prioritise my mental health and as a result today I actually feel human again today.

It has been incredibly scary for me to feel so out of control after having a good handle on my mental health for a good few years now, I really need to be more careful before making big changes and just removing things from my diet, I have definitely learnt my lesson.

Mental and physical health is such a balancing act, food and eating well is a huge part of this, the last fortnight has been a scary reminder of this.

Stay Strong xxx

My own company

Now this is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember, I really do dislike being on my own and having to sit with my own thoughts, eeek!  In fact I’ve realised recently that I talk out loud to myself all the time and I think it’s partly so I don’t have to listen to my own thoughts and partly so I can separate the important thoughts from the jumble that is my own brain.

I find everything feels a bit more scary when I’m on my own, my anxiety is heightened and I catastrophize constantly, it’s also much harder to just dismiss negative thoughts.  For me this is a working progress and I do believe I’m better at it then I used to be but man I’ve got a long way to go.

So once again I don’t have a nice quick fix for this either, hummm.  I expect if I asked an expert they’d tell me I have to face it and just sit with the thoughts, feelings and inner ramblings.  Maybe eventually something more positive would start to come out?

I think when you have OCD intrusive thoughts it’s incredibly difficult to like yourself and therefore your thoughts, I think the version of yourself you see is completely different to the one everyone else sees and so you can’t understand why other people like you at all and you actually have no idea what they think of you.  Maybe they see more of the real you then you do, the you without OCD – if like me you have Pure O – now that’s a mind blowing thought!

So of course I must work harder on my self love and try to see all of the positives instead of the negatives.  I must push myself to do the things I know make me feel well mentally:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Do exercise
  • Eat well
  • Remove caffeine and alcohol
  • Remove any negative people who make me question my self worth from my social circle
  • Write a list of positives to read when struggling
  • Continue to write my blog
  • Appreciate all the beautiful things I have in my life
  • Live mindfully

So this is my little lecture to myself today to give myself that extra push that I know sometimes we all need.  Recovery is a marathon and not a sprint and boy don’t I know it, so until next time

Stay Strong xxx