Adapting to change and the anxiety that comes with it

‘Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been’ – Iain Thomas

 

A year ago I feared change, I thought it would only bring negativity into my life- but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Change has brought new opportunities, new friends and most importantly, new found confidence. It has allowed me to finally be myself and live my life in the best way and things can only get better from here.

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For people with high anxiety (like myself) change is extremely difficult to deal with. Going into a new year at school, moving to university or even going to a restaurant I had never been to before- these were all sources of anxiety for me. I would over think every single aspect of each scenario to the point where I convinced myself the outcome could only be negative. This was not only exhausting but it didn’t actually achieve anything, it only made me more anxious. For instance, I thought I’d take the ‘going to a new restaurant’ scenario and make a list of everything I use to think of/ question before I went:

  • Will the restaurant have stairs leading up to it? If so how many? Will I be able to walk up the stairs without my legs shaking at any point?
  • Also if there is stairs, I probably won’t be able to wear shoes with any heel on them as it could make me unstable.
  • Where should I sit? If I sit in a seat that is further away from the waiter/waitress than the others, does that mean that they will pass me my food/drink instead of placing it on the table and therefore see my tremor?
  • Are there any stairs to the toilet?
  • Are my hands ok to order soup today?
  • Etc

I know this may seem like a very minor incidence of change to some people, but for those living with anxiety everyday ‘changes’ can be a struggle. I have since realised that approaching change with this many questions is unhealthy. I, instead, do my best to not think about all the different possibilities. This is still something I’m having to deal with but through forcing myself to do things I perceive as change/ things that scare me, I’m able to relax more and fully enjoy myself when put in a new situation.

Also if you are struggling to adapt to change, I would definitely recommend talking to someone. I can guarantee that the majority of people out there have experienced anxiety in one of its many forms and will completely understand where you’re coming from. It can be hard to open up to people about anxiety and I definitely know how hard it is to do. I often find the hardest part is finding the right moment to tell someone rather than the actual opening up about how you feel. Once you find that moment and start talking, I’m sure you’ll find out it’ll all come out at once and you won’t be able to stop. You will realise how desperate you have been to tell someone this whole time and you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier- but please don’t be hard on yourself for this, we are all ready at different times.

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I also had another fear of change that I think many people can relate to. I feared how people would change their opinion on me if they knew I was different. I was scared that people would start avoiding me if they knew about my Essential Tremor. Above all, I didn’t want people to pity me. The thought of people feeling sorry for me was just awful and was one of the reasons why I kept it a secret for so long. As soon as I told everyone about my condition, I realised that they didn’t pity- they wanted to help me. There is a huge difference between the two.

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There may be times in your life where you come across a situation or a person that you can’t change. There has been many times in my life when people have made a negative comment about my Essential Tremor and I have wished I could change the way they think- but you can’t. Some people just need a little bit more time than you- and that’s ok. Maybe they haven’t gone through many hardships in their lives, maybe they haven’t experienced anxiety. Instead of looking at it as a negative moment, I would see it as a way of teaching them and letting them know about anxiety and/ or any conditions you may have. I think if everyone did more of this, it would help society in a profound way.

 

Thank you for reading,

 

Chloe x

 

P.s If anyone is struggling and you want to have a chat with someone, you can always message me 🙂

 

The National Tremor Foundation website:

www.tremor.org.uk

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Acceptance and How Writing These Blogs can be Emotionally Challenging

Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.’Michael. J. Fox

I have been very busy lately. I flew to Germany for 6 days with my mum and sister, which was great. There’s something about Germany that I just love. The food, the architecture, the landscape, the people, the culture- everything about it is amazing. I have also been continuing with my volunteering at my old primary school-, which I love doing! Everyone is so friendly and I enjoy helping the children to learn. I like that every day is different and there isn’t a set routine so I never know what I’m doing until I get there. I could be teaching the children, creating leaflets or even trying to make animals out of various household objects! Everything’s good. Life is good.

Onto the main topic of this blog post… acceptance. I used Michael J. Fox for my quote to start for 3 reasons. 1) It is my favourite quote 2) Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s which is a condition closely associated with Essential Tremor and I often look up to people with the condition as inspirations 3) It evokes a very important message, that I don’t think is talked about enough.

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Acceptance is the key to living your life to the fullest and being the person you truly want to be. If you don’t accept something, you won’t be able to put your full effort into anything, as whatever you haven’t accepted will always be in the back of your mind. This could be (for example) not getting the grades you wanted, not having a successful interview or in my case, not accepting that I have an incurable, regressive medical condition. You don’t need to resign yourself to the fact that it has happened. We need to get out of a mindset that tells us once something ‘bad’ has happened that it is the end and nothing can possibly be done about it. In fact, it is quite the opposite- you can do a lot about it. To start with, you can change your mindset from one that favours resignation to one that explores what you can do next and looks into what your options are from here. You might have to change direction a little bit, but in the long run- does that really matter? Will it really matter to you in 10, 20, 30 years from now?

I didn’t use to accept my Essential Tremor. I found it frustrating and embarrassing and I didn’t want anyone to know about it. There are many things that I regret not doing because I had a tremor, whether this be academically or socially. I should feel no shame in what I couldn’t do ‘properly’ but I have grown up in a world that stigmatises those who are disabled; those who are different and I believe this attitude definitely contributed to my resignation. I had resigned myself to the fact that I had a neurological condition and there was nothing that could be done about it. I only saw the negativity in the condition without bothering to see the positivity in it. It was only once that I had accepted I had Essential Tremor that I really started to enjoy life. Everything is so much better once you embrace what you once could not accept. It is only then that you will be able to see the positive aspects. It allows you to grow as a person mentally and emotionally. With my condition I have found myself to be a more sympathetic person. I empathise with people who are struggling in life and I really understand what they are going through. I have also found that I am very strong, mentally. I have a strong understanding of who I am and how to live positively. I truly believe that this is all because I accepted that I had Essential Tremor, I accepted that I was different. It has taken me all these years to accept who I am but I’m glad it was a long, winding and emotionally challenging journey because without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

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I just wanted to briefly cover something else-,

I often find it emotionally straining to write these blogs. Writing my thoughts and feelings into words after 21 years of keeping it to myself is not only releasing how I feel now but releasing the pain that I went through as a young girl. It truly is a rollercoaster of emotions. It is hard to put into just a few paragraphs what it was like so I’ll try to summarise in a few sentences:

I feel sad for the little girl who was ostracized because she was different.

I feel anger towards the people who made her feel that way.

I feel despair for the people who continue to make people who are different feel like they don’t belong.

But finally for the first time after 21 years I am happy about the woman I am becoming.

I have found that I have often been more negative when thinking about my condition. I would always think of the things I would never be able to do. And honestly it was very upsetting- knowing there are limitations to what you can do has been, at times, heartbreaking. I can’t play 99% of musical instruments. I can’t give speeches in front of other people. I can’t hold a paintbrush steady. The list goes on. It is not until recently that I have realised that I can do all of these things- I just can’t do them to the standard that society wants me to do them to. I can do them, and you know what, I can do them well.

There will be no more apologies if I can’t do something the way someone wants me to do it because of my condition. I refuse to be belittled and patronised anymore.

 

Thank you for reading,

Chloe x

The National Tremor Foundation:

http://www.tremor.org.uk

Why didn’t I tell anyone about my Essential Tremor sooner?

‘You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending’- C.S.Lewis

Firstly a quick update: I’ve been continuing my volunteering as a teaching assistant at my old primary school. I’m starting to really enjoy it there- the children are so nice and with it almost being summer, we’re starting to do more activities outside. Today we did a whole day of activities based on the royal family in preparation for the wedding on Saturday- I think I now know more about Harry and Megan than they do themselves!

Now onto the main topic of this blog post…

Trying to put into words why I didn’t tell anyone sooner about my Essential Tremor is hard. Not because I find it difficult to talk about it but because it is impossible to understand unless you were in my position. A lot of people may think I was overreacting and it would have been easier if I had simply let others know. But, I’m sorry, you are wrong. You may think you live in a world full of prejudice now, but try and cast your mind back to 17 years ago, when I started primary school in 2001. The world was a different place then with completely different viewpoints; and back then the world was not a place where individuality was celebrated. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Anyone who was remotely different to the majority would be singled out and made sure to know that they weren’t the same as everyone else. As soon as I started to realise I wasn’t like the other children (in approximately year 1,) I knew I couldn’t say anything. I have touched on this before but children don’t have any barriers when it comes to telling you what they think. And being shy anyway, I didn’t want to bring any unwanted attention to myself- so I just pretended to be ‘normal’ to get through it. It was hard not being able to be my ‘true self,’ even at such a young age- but it was necessary. If the other children had noticed I was different to them, I don’t know how I would have coped.

In high school, I thought it might be different. But honestly, it was much worse. The other students would say they were ok with people who had issues or acted differently to them but after interacting with them for 5 years I can tell you this was not the case. I saw the way they treated the students that were different to them and I just knew if they treated me the same, I wouldn’t have known how to deal with it. I mean… the way that some of them reacted to my tremor without knowing the cause was enough to tell me that they shouldn’t know. Don’t get me wrong- I know a lot of my peers would have been ok with it but I just knew that if certain people knew, I would have had a lot more stress and anxiety in my life.

Another reason why I kept it to myself was because it seemed too personal to share. I had kept this secret for so long that it came to the point where I didn’t want people to know- it was almost like I became protective about it. I was so worried that someone might find out the truth about me that I would actively try and hide it away from people. This reason is particularly hard to explain to people who haven’t been in that position because they can’t comprehend the situation that I was in. Just know, that by telling everyone my ‘secret,’ I feel as if I have shared a part of myself with everyone who has read or is reading these blog posts. (You might say that my ‘secret’ was a horcrux… too far… yeah probably.)

Embarrassment. Do I need to say more? Of course I was embarrassed by it. I was a young girl with a permanent, incurable, regressive tremor. Everything about it just screams embarrassment. Everything I did everyday, I did with the sole intent of trying to not bring attention to myself thus saving myself from embarrassment. This wasn’t just at school- this was everyday. Trying not to embarrass myself was exhausting, especially as I was dealing with the all the usual anxieties and stresses of teenage life anyway. I’ve always been quite a proud person in the sense that I take pride in the way I come across to people. (I guess you could say my eastern European genes definitely come through in this aspect of my personality.) In my head, telling people I had Essential Tremor was a source of embarrassment and it was something I avoided at all costs.

My final reason is my inability to share something that I, myself, had not accepted. I didn’t know what was going on with me, why would I want anyone else to? I had not yet accepted that I had Essential Tremor and that I would have to live with this incurable condition for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to accept this fate and I certainly didn’t want anyone else to think of me in this way. I saw it as a weakness and I didn’t want anyone to see the weakness in me.

With all of this said, I am so glad that I have finally shared my Essential Tremor with the world. Not only because it allows me to be who I truly am but because I can, hopefully, spread awareness for this condition. I don’t have any regrets about keeping it to myself for so long. I wasn’t ready to tell everyone and I have made peace with that. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experiences I have had.

Please know that if you, too, have Essential Tremor, I don’t see it as an embarrassment anymore. I am thriving in life now because I have told everyone about it! Please, please tell anyone you know about your condition if you haven’t already. I know it doesn’t seem like it now but I promise you the world is becoming a brighter and more accepting place…

I no longer see my Essential Tremor as a weakness- my Essential Tremor is now my strength.

 

Thank you for reading,

Chloe x

http://www.tremor.org.uk

The Importance of Growth

‘You do not just wake up and become the butterfly- growth is a process’

I am happy to say that I have experienced a lot of growth recently. I have become much happier and I am more confident than I have ever been in my life. It feels different and it’s a challenge, but a good challenge nonetheless. This is mainly down to me volunteering at my old primary school as a teaching assistant. I have been doing this for the past few weeks and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. Most of the time, I am helping around the classroom and interacting with the children, but there are occasions where I am actually given a small group of 6-8 children to teach on my own. It has been exciting to do things that are challenging me to come out of my comfort zone. I never thought that I’d be stood in front of a group of 8 children teaching them about non-unit fractions on a whiteboard. Not because I haven’t done maths since high school, but because I was able to write on a whiteboard in front of them all, without my hand shaking. And what’s more is that I actually enjoyed doing it. Seeing their faces light up when they finally understood how to do it was amazing, even more so when I had taught them myself. You feel a sense of achievement, like you have done something good in the world. It is also great to be able to help the primary school I went to as they gave me such an incredible start to my education.

I have also found going to the gym is helping me to become happier as well as healthier. I go a few times a week and it helps me to relax and clear my mind. I have also started doing a few classes and have found them to be a lot better than I thought they were going to be. I have to admit I thought there was going to be a lot of judgement especially as they are sometimes done in front of a mirror. However you find that people are often just looking at themselves to see if they’re doing it right!

As well as this I have experienced a lot of development with my meditation practice. I am now able to go straight into the meditative state without much preparation, whereas it used to take me approximately 10 minutes to even get close. It really has shown me the importance of practice when you want to achieve something. There has been so many times when I have given up on doing something because ‘it’ll take too long’ or ‘I can’t be bothered to wait to see any results.’ When, in fact, you just need to dedicate a little bit of your time each day and you will get there much quicker. I have found that meditation is now in my weekly routine and I don’t feel right if I don’t include it.

Even though I am happy I have achieved so much mental and emotional growth in the past few weeks, it is important to know that we all experience growth at different rates. We all have our own challenges in life that help us to improve and become better people. Don’t feel bad if you’re not content with the person you are. We are all different and special and we all have our unique perks- that’s what makes us human; what makes us individuals. Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same- with the same personality, the same experiences, the same growth. It wouldn’t work. We need to grow from our own experiences- that is what life is about.

 

I thought I’d end this post with this beautiful quote I found to remind you, that you’re all special:

‘Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how beautiful they truly are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.’

Thank you for reading!

 

Chloe x

 

National Tremor Foundation website:

www.tremor.org.uk

National Tremor Foundation Meet up 2018

‘Shine like the whole universe is yours’- Rumi

 

The past few weeks, I have been very busy. I have found myself always trying to do something productive. Not because I want to distract my mind, but because I’m trying to become a stronger, healthier and happier person. I have been going to my local gym 2/3 times a week and have found that it really helps to ease my anxiety and calm my mind a little bit. I enjoy that I am focusing on my body, the music and nothing else. I have found that the whole experience is quite soothing and gives me energy for the rest of the day. I have also been continuing with my meditation, which I have found to be an extremely important part of my weekly routine. As well as doing exercise, I have found that it gives me more energy in general. I even managed to get my sister to try it and she loved it!

On the 17th March, I travelled to Oxford with my family to attend my first ever ‘National Tremor Foundation’ event. The event was an annual meet up of people from all age groups who all have Essential Tremor in common. It was strange to think I was going to meet people with the same condition as me for the first time. I wouldn’t say the thought of it was overwhelming but it did take me a while to actually comprehend the magnitude of the event for me, personally. I had gone through 21 ½ years of my life without ever (knowingly) coming into contact with someone else with the same disorder. I couldn’t quite believe that there was going to be a room full of people who all knew exactly what I have gone through and what I continue to go through on a daily basis.

Essential Tremor meet up

When we actually got there, everyone was very welcoming- especially the organiser, Jackie, who had done an incredible job with sorting everything out. I spoke to people of all ages, and it was interesting to learn how each individual person had adapted to deal with their tremor in their own unique way. There was also a range in severity from people whose tremor you could hardly see to those whose tremor was very apparent, which highlights the fact that this condition isn’t just affecting people with a severe tremor, it’s those whose aren’t as noticeable as well- after all we all feel the same way.

There was also a lot of family and friends who were there to support the people with Essential Tremor. Like all conditions, tremor does not just affect the person who has it, but everyone around them as well. They are the ones who have to deal with your ups and downs as well as the side effects of medication. I took my sister with me and she told me afterwards that she had learnt a lot from the experience and was shocked at the amount of people who actually had it.

Jackie

We listened to a variety of presentations, ranging from general information about tremor to the latest solutions in dealing with the condition. There was also a talk by one company, GyroGear, who are actually working on a glove (called ‘GyroGlove’) to help counteract the tremor, which I found particularly exciting. They have already gone through many prototypes of the glove and have found it to have a high success rate. The thought of a glove that could help me to lead a relatively normal life is amazing but I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much just yet- but fingers crossed!

Finally, on the 22nd of April, the National Tremor Foundation is entering someone to run in the London Marathon for the very first time. This is incredibly exciting as it opens up the possibility for more awareness! The runner, Alan Corrigan, has essential tremor as well, which is great as he breaking down barriers on the limits that people sometimes can perceive that we have. If anyone wants to support Alan with any donations or just wants to find out more go to:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlanCorrigan

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Chloe x

 

P.S if you have a tremor too and live in the UK, GyroGear are looking for people to test the prototype of the GyroGlove, if you are interested, there is more information on the website:

http://gyrogear.co/

Once again here’s the National Tremor Foundation website, for anyone who is interested:

www.tremor.org.uk

And also the International Essential Tremor website:

https://www.essentialtremor.org/

Anxiety in the 21st century

‘Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength’- Corrie Ten Boom

Anxiety is a topic that I have heard a lot about in the past few years. It seems as if our generation has grown up with constant fear, stress and worry. There has always seemed to be a relentless flow of pressure stemming from every aspect of life. In primary school it was making friends, weekly tests and SATS. In high school- endless homework, GCSE’s and making sure your uniform was ‘just right.’ In college there was driving tests, coursework and A-levels. In university- meeting new people, keeping up with deadlines and the pressure of working hard to get the degree you want. It’s almost like we haven’t had a chance to breathe; stifled by stress and expectation. There was always something waiting to be completed; always a goal you hadn’t yet achieved.

All of this whilst dealing with a stress unique to our age group- social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat… the list goes on. We’re all guilty of it- asking ourselves why we don’t look like these supermodels that edit their pictures to an inch of their life, wondering how those people can afford to go on holiday every other week- should I be able to do that? Why can’t I do that? What have I done wrong? The truth is that isn’t reality for 99.9% of the people on this planet. We can’t compare ourselves to impossibilities. There are hundreds of ways to edit a picture nowadays. You can even use filters on Snapchat to make yourself look completely different. We all do it- I even check everyday to see what the new filters are- to see what I can turn myself into. The majority of the time it’s just a lot of fun- I mean, who isn’t laughing at themselves as a dancing rabbit? But there is always that danger of seeing people with these ‘perfect’ lives and thinking that it’s real- a picture is just one moment in a person’s life; a nanosecond of what they are doing that day. I know a lot of anxiety comes from social media in a lot of cases. You just have to tell yourself, as hard as it may be, that it doesn’t matter. Likes don’t matter. Followers don’t matter. Social media shouldn’t dictate how you live your life.

For me, personally, anxiety is something that I have dealt with as long as I can remember. I was a very quiet child because I didn’t want to have to deal with the anxiety that came with attention. I hated the limelight and to this day I can’t understand how anyone could enjoy being the centre of attention. There always seemed to be someone judging you, waiting for you to slip up. I remember one time in high school it was our form’s turn to present in assembly. Naturally having Essential Tremor, this wasn’t my favourite time- in fact, it was absolutely horrendous. I stood up and read my part and, of course, my legs started shaking. I tried to block it out of my mind, I tried to forget it ever happened and just got on with my day. However when it came to break time I remember one girl actually coming out of her way to tell me her and her friends had been laughing at me and thought it was hilarious how much I was shaking. How was I supposed to respond to that? What did she expect me to respond to that? This was something that really affected me because it made me think my tremor was more noticeable than it actually was- the sheer anxiety that this event gave me was horrific. And, to think, she probably forgot about it straight away. Since this time I have learnt to cope with my anxiety a lot better, even though I am still a very anxious person by nature. I try not to go over events continuously in my mind, wondering what I could’ve done/said differently. Because it doesn’t matter, you can’t change it so why worry? It is what it is and it has happened that way for a reason. Personally, I believe I became a stronger person because of ‘little’ comments like this.

What I have been trying to say is that even if you have anxiety and stress in your life- you can’t let it decide how you live. You’re not on your own, I can guarantee there are hundreds, even thousands, of people worrying about the same thing you are. Talk to a friend, your parents, your family, your teacher even your doctor- someone will be willing to help you to overcome this hurdle in your life. And speaking from a lot of experience, you will overcome it.

I thought I would end like I did in my last post, with quotes from famous figures, this time that have faced anxiety. I, personally, find this very helpful as it emphasises the fact that you are not alone:

“The tough times, the days when you’re just a ball on the floor—they’ll pass. You’re playing the long game, and life is totally worth it.”- Sarah Silverman

“I openly admit to having battled depression and anxiety and I think a lot of people do. I think it’s better when we all say: ‘Cheers!’ and ‘fess up to it.’Lady Gaga

“I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage. My heart feels like it’s going to explode because I never feel like I’m going to deliver, ever.”- Adele

“Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself.”- Zayn Malik

“We have a lot of anxieties, and one cancels out another very often.”- Winston Churchill

“You think of something and it just seems too much, too hard. That’s how it manifested in me.”- Glenn Close

“If I don’t get sleep, I found that I get really bad anxiety”- Ashley Benson

“(Slow breathing) is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won’t make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes.”Russ Harris

“Physical comforts cannot subdue mental suffering, and if we look closely, we can see that those who have many possessions are not necessarily happy. In fact, being wealthy often brings even more anxiety.”- Dalai Lama

“It’s sad, actually, because my anxiety keeps me from enjoying things as much as I should at this age.”- Amanda Seyfried

“As I got older, I did experience anxiety, doubt, judgment, and it’s so easy to lose yourself for a second.”- Jennifer Lopez

 

I hope you found this post interesting!

 

Chloe x

 

Once again, the National Tremor Foundation website:

http://www.tremor.org.uk

Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy and Meditation

‘You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour’

 

These past few weeks I have been trying to find a new method to deal with anxiety/stress. I’ve been testing a variety of different suggestions as well as researching possible new ones to consider. I thought I would run through the three main ones I have tried and let you know how helpful they have/ haven’t been:

1.Acupuncture

When I first tried acupuncture I wasn’t entirely convinced that it did anything; I thought, perhaps, it was a placebo effect and someone was sticking needles in me for no reason. However after trying it for 6+ weeks now, I have to say I definitely have noticed a difference, especially immediately after the sessions.

I mainly have it done in my ears and on my head, which sounds terrifying at first, but trust me- it’s not! After having gone to 10 + sessions of it, I’ve just gotten used to it. In fact, some of them can be quite relaxing- which is a completely strange feeling, considering I’ve been terrified of needles for as long as I can remember.

Before starting acupuncture I wasn’t aware of its history, uses or popularity. It’s just after researching it that I have become aware of how useful it is as well as how essential it is to some people’s lives. I was shocked to see how many acupuncture points there are on the ear alone never mind the entire body:

ear acupuncture

Acupuncture derives from Chinese medicine and it is their belief that each part of the body is connected to another and by putting needles into it you can relieve said other part. For example if you were suffering from a cold they could put a needle in the part of the ear labelled 23 (on the diagram above) and that should help to give some relief to the lungs and therefore help with your cold symptoms.

Although I think it is something that is useful for my anxiety, it is something that I had to have multiple times before I found there was a great effect (most likely due to the fact that I was concentrating on the needle part too much.) But once I got over that, I did find that I was immediately relaxed. So if anyone is wanting to try it, I would suggest giving it a chance for a few sessions and don’t just give up if it’s not working after just one or two.

 

2. Hypnotherapy

I have to be honest here; hypnotherapy is something that I haven’t tried in the last few weeks but rather approximately 6 months ago. However, I did think it was a method of relaxation that is not commonly discussed and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about it and its effects.

I did 4 sessions of hypnotherapy and have to say my reaction is very mixed. The first couple of times I went, I felt very relaxed but didn’t think I had been hypnotised. Although it is impossible to tell because that is the whole point of hypnotherapy, for the hypnotist’s suggestions to just naturally come into your life. I did think the third time something might have happened because I felt odd when I ‘woke up,’ but again I can’t be sure, I could have just been quite sleepy. The fourth time for me was the most effective as it made me feel the most relaxed. Although I’m not sure if this is good reflection on how the hypnotherapy actually was but rather how calming the hypnotist’s voice was.

Overall, even though I don’t think it had much of an effect on me, I know it helps thousands of people around the world, so it is always worth giving it a go if you know you are susceptible to that sort of thing/ like the idea of it.

3. Meditation

For me, personally, meditation was the method I was the most sceptical about yet have found the best results from it. I have to admit (like with the other two methods) I didn’t really feel anything the first few times I did it- I just felt like I was closing my eyes and just daydreaming about nothing. But after doing it 3/4 times a week for 6 weeks, I felt myself gradually getting into that meditative state that everyone talks about. For me, it was quite scary. It was a feeling I’d never felt before and if I’m honest I found it truly terrifying. The first few times I managed to get into it, I woke myself out of it because I found it too overwhelming. Eventually, after doing a lot of research, I decided to just go with it to try and see what happens and once you get past the initial overwhelming feeling, it becomes incredibly relaxing. I usually do it for about half an hour at a time and find that I am really refreshed after it, sort of like giving your mind a rest for a while, so it can calm down. And contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be sat in the famous lotus position to meditate- many people just do this to maintain the right posture (you’re not supposed to have a slouched back when meditating as it can, apparently, lead to your mind wandering.)

meditation_sun

The more research I did into meditation, the more interested I got. I was fascinated to learn it had been around since at least 5000 BC (this was the first known recording of it.) To me, its incredible longevity just proves that it actually works and is doing something to calm down the brain. I mean, if people have been using it for over 7000 years, surely something is right. I also found out how popular it is with the majority of Asia. I already knew it was big because of its association with Buddhism but I didn’t quite understand how big it actually was. It is so imprinted into the routine of many in south East Asia, that it is common practice to have a ‘meditation break’ in their workplace. It is believed that meditation helps both the physical body and the mind- it is even said to help the immune system!

I was also surprised at how many celebrities practice meditation on a daily basis. I thought I would include some quotes from a few to give more insight on the effects that it has on people. I struggled to narrow these quotes down as there are so many celebrities who do it and I wanted to include as many as possible:

“In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity”- Sir Paul McCartney

“After your morning stretch — which everyone should do — meditate. You don’t need to be able to levitate. You can just do it for 30 seconds. I leave my body and look at myself, like, ‘Ru, what do you want to do today?’ And I say, ‘Let’s do something.”- Rupaul

“Meditation is helping you to tap into something that’s already inside of you… that’s you, in essence. That’s something that was super-empowering for me once I grasped that.”- Cameron Diaz

Now I meditate twice a day for half an hour. In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it.”- Hugh Jackman

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”- Confucius

“Twenty minutes, you just notice the difference! When I get lazy and don’t get it in, I can feel a difference in the day. So I try to meditate first thing when I wake up.” Jennifer Aniston

“I meditate before going onstage – it helps me focus.”- Harry Styles

“The personal experiences that I learned from meditation have helped to change the way I live my life by modifying my perception of myself and of others.”- Keanu Reeves

 “Meditation was a turning point for me. It helped me deal with a lot of stress and has given me a lot of relaxation.”- Mike Love

“I meditate every day. I do it in the mornings for about 10 to 15 minutes. I think it’s important because it sets me up for the rest of the day.” Kobe Bryant

 “If every 8-year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” – Dalai Lama

These are just a handful of hundreds of quotes from celebrities from now and throughout history that support and endorse the use of meditation within daily life. I find it all incredibly inspiring and I hope you do too!

I thought I would end with a favourite meditation quote of mine:

Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied, “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.

Thank you for reading,

Chloe x

Once again here’s the link to the National Tremor Foundation:

www.tremor.org.uk