Mindfulness. I have to share it because it has helped with anxiety enormously. If you do nothing else try focussing on breathing in through your mouth and outa through your mouth very slowly, fill up your stomach and really concentrate on the sensations- air going in, is is cooler than air going out, th sound of your breath etc. When your mind wanders gently bring it back to explore the breathing sensation again, and again. Apparantly this works because when you are breathing slowly, your brain thinks you are not panicking and stops producing adrenaline- which it's been doing overtime since diagnoses. Then I lie or sit several times a day and listen to a our tube video by john kabatt zinn. And just follow instructions. There's loads of videos out there, but as he ' invented' mindfulness...and what I like is it's all been done in hospitals and is medically researched so it's not just some mad hippy nonsense. Apparantly it's proven to be just as effective at helping w depression as medication. heres the address of another other one I find very good. They are different lengths so I just listen to a 3 min. One when I am very anxious, and that calms me down enough to do more. http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations an app called insight timer is fun to explore too. i hope this helps. Even if you make a cuppa try being really aware of all the sounds and feelings and sights. It's about really seeing what's happening at the moment because apparently when you think of the past you get depression and when you think of the future you get anxiety, so gently think of now. and then sometimes you can get so that you can observe what you are thinking ( it's rankle awe inspiring how much twaddle I can think continually. No wonder I'm exhausted! ( and bored!).). And THAT means you can be aware of, for example,' oh I'm thinking about that yellow mug which reminded me of Fred which has made me think of how I ate his last biscuit which is making me think how he'll be cross when I see him in the future which is making me anxious...but oh! I haven't actually seen him, I'm not actually in the future and I'm just making a cuppa and right here, right now there is nothing bad happening .' Phew! Really hope that helps. It's helped me, though it's still bloody hard. Added benefit is I'm now observing my thoughts when I talk to people more, so i was able to observe, talking to my hubby, that I was getting irritated, that my voice was getting higher pitched, that I was getting hot, and instead of being swept up in feelings of irritation, I was able to observe the signs that I was getting irritated and then choose to not go there, but to take a deep breath and stay calm. Thus avoiding a massive row. Hurrah! Doing that again! It also helped me during treatment- if you start with your feet and ' go inside yourself' and see how your feet feel, then your ankles etc etc all the way up to top of head, consciously sending each part of you love and relaxing it. It takes your mind off what's happening outside you. Can even make things relaxing! long old post! Just found it so helpful I wanted to share! Really worth trying. i also have quotes to look at and for me, one about, 'I'm not superwoman, but I'm kicking cancer, so I'm close'. And a friends whose is,'I'm still here, ha!' The other thing I found incredibly useful was the explanations of what's actually happening to you that I got at Maggies. It gave me a context and a logical explanation when I didn't understand why I had these feelings and was getting more and more terrified. It was mainly..your body has been over producing adrenaline since diagnosis. Deep breathing fools your brain into thinking it's calm so it stops producing adrenaline which gives you a rest! Excersises, however little, helps burn off the adrenaline you have produced. In life you go through several 'doors' one is fear of death, the others fear of being alone, oh pants, chemo brain. I can look it up if anyone's interested, but basically usually you go through one door or maybe two at a time through life, but with cancer you go through all four at once so no wonder you get overwhelmed, confused etc. And, you need to grieve for the you that was, for your life before diagnosis and the best way to do that is just to take yourself off and let yourself cry, which burns off the cortisol, another stress chemical your body has been producing in buckets since diagnosis, so that gives your body a rest too.phew! Hurry up with the app! hugs to everyone. This sucks actually.
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