A Walk in the Woods – Looking for Shinrin-yoku.

“A tree with strong roots laughs at storms” – Malay Proverb

We all know that getting out and walking is good for our mental health, but for that bit extra help in feeling better take a walk in the woods.

Walking among trees is really good for our wellbeing.  You must have felt it when you’ve been for a walk in woodland; the feelings of relaxation and grounding, of feeling more peaceful?  The Japanese call this feeling shinrin-yoku, or forest breathing.

I will be exploring more about why walking amongst trees is so good for us, but for now I want to share a couple of my experiences with you, and yes….. this is when it gets a bit woo woo, but bear with me. Read more

Gardening to Aid With Anxiety & Depression.

Since moving house I have loved spending time in the garden; I have found that it really helps my mood (unless Leo is busy digging holes in the already struggling lawn).  I can feel super stressed but just going outside to sweep up some leaves or do a bit of weeding can help reduce my anxiety and stress levels.

Not having a garden was always a down side to living in London.  Some of the flats I lived in had a balcony or some sort of outside space, however this was no substitute and whenever we visited our friends, the Saunders Family, I would love being in their garden and it always made me long for one of my own, and now I have it….. wooohoooo!!!

As Kim and I are renting the house there is a limit to what we can do, however we have already achieved a lot when you consider the state it was in when we moved in.  A lot of pruning and trips to the recycling centre later, and now it’s a space that we all love to be in, especially Leo. Read more

Time Pressures and Amended Goals.

One of my biggest anxiety triggers is time pressure.  Most people will be able to relate in some way to this because modern life is run at a fast pace, and we don’t seem to be able to take a break.

For me most of the time pressure came at work, I was snowed under and never felt as though I was on top of the workload, I always seemed to be playing catch-up.  E-mails were the biggest problem for me because the time taken for people to respond was pretty quick.  It is the speed of modern communication that causes a lot of additional stress at work because people can respond almost instantaneously, or jump on the phone as soon as they have seen your e-mail (sometimes without reading it properly…..)

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The pressures of time also spread to my home life; working Monday to Friday, it only left the weekend to do homey things, such as cleaning.  I had so much I needed to squeeze into a weekend that it was Monday before I even knew where I was. Read more

Time to Set Some Serious Goals

One of my biggest problems has been feeling lost, and having a distinct lack of direction.  I have ideas, and know what I would like to do, but it all feels so far away and overwhelming.

I have decided that I need to try and set some goals that I can focus my mind to working towards.

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”  

                                                                                                             – Muhammad Ali

One trigger for my anxiety is time, and feeling that I never have enough time to do everything, so I am going to try and keep these goals fairly open to start with and see how I go. Read more

Anxiety and the White Knuckle Roller Coaster Ride.

I’m not sure I always feel like I’m in the seat. Sometimes I’m only holding on by one hand and flying out behind the roller coaster. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel that way. – David Morse

Everybody experiences stress in their lives, and life is always full of ups and downs; how you deal with these challenges is important to your health, both physically and mentally.

In the past I would have said that I was pretty good at riding the rollercoaster of life, but since I have been struggling with anxiety and depression the ride has become terrifying, and I often feel that I am just going to fly off the rails and crash into the abyss.

When you suffer with anxiety and depression you forget that life has its struggles and that anxiety is a natural reaction to some situations.  It is very difficult to gauge what is a normal level of stress and how much is attributed to your condition. Read more