Shannon became a first time father to a daughter in July last year. With his 13 months of experience, he talks about fatherhood and its influence on mental health.
What were your expectations, ideas and hopes of fatherhood before the birth of your daughter?
When planning to have a family with my partner, I was worried about the thought that we wouldn’t get pregnant and that it might be a difficult journey because we needed to do IVF. However, we were really lucky to get pregnant on the first go, so that was exciting. But I know that many people try for a long time, so we felt very fortunate.
Once we were expecting a child, I was really looking forward to being a father but I was also pretty nervous. There were moments where I was wondering about how I would cope with the lack of sleep. I wondered about how I would be able to juggle everything - family, work, a social life and my hobbies.
I’m a passionate snowboarder. I always hoped that my daughter would be a snowboarder too. Now that she’s here though, I don’t even mind if she’s a skier. We had planned to go to the snow this year but obviously couldn’t, due to COVID. But maybe we’ll get to go next year and then we’ll see whether she’s a skier or a snowboarder.
Another one of my hopes for fatherhood, and probably the most important hope, was that I would be a great role model for my daughter. I did have some concerns though, that I wouldn’t have the energy to always be my best self and I worried that my fatigue might affect the way I was around her.
Were your expectations, ideas and hopes realised upon becoming a father?
The lack of sleep is a real thing and it definitely impacts your mental health. My partner recognises that I need enough sleep for work and I’m grateful that she does most of the hard-yards. But I still do struggle with getting enough rest. It is definitely one of the challenges of being a father.
One of the big things that I realised about being a new parent is that you have to look out for your partner. You have to make sure you’re there for them and have their back because teamwork is really important when raising a young child.
I have also realised the importance of making sure you tend to your relationship and repair any disagreements as quickly as possible. You need each other and the worse the stress is, the harder it’s going to be for both of you.
Now that my daughter is here, I realise how privileged we are to have been successful with IVF. Science is amazing!
I have also realised that I love something more than my dog Freddy, which I didn’t think was even possible.
Has there been a particular moment that really made you feel like a dad?
I really feel like a dad when I get home from work and my daughter is waiting for me. She gets so excited and waves to me through the window.
Other times that have made me feel like a dad have been when she comes over and sits on my lap and gets me to read her a book. Or 10 books in a row. Or sometimes even 10 of the same book in a row.
What advice would you have for other new fathers?
It’s really important to take care of your basic needs as a new dad, like trying to get enough sleep, enough exercise and to eat healthily. This will give you the energy to look after your child, your partner and yourself.
Maintaining your mental health as a new father is also so important. There are so many new challenges that you have to face and with declining mental health, it can be really really overwhelming. Getting help early is so important for new fathers (and for new mothers) because early intervention is going to help with better outcomes. When things get too hard you could consider speaking to a friend, a loved one or even a professional. I got professional help myself when I was having troubles after becoming a dad and it helped so much.
How has fatherhood impacted your mental health?
Early on, just after my daughter was born, I was having a hard time. We moved from Melbourne to Geelong. I was starting up a new business. There were so many new responsibilities as a new father. There were lots of things happening for me. So my anxiety got worse and so did my depression. I got help from a professional and now I feel so much better. Life is a lot more balanced now and I feel like I can manage all the things that are going on.
What have you done to preserve your mental health as a new parent?
Telling my partner how I feel more often has really helped preserve my mental health. I’ve made sure that I take time out when I need it. I’ve made sure to exercise regularly, even if it’s only for a few minutes each time. I’ve come to realise that small changes and habits can equal big results.
What can you tell us about postnatal depression in men?
Postnatal depression in men can be common. Men’s roles change big time after the birth of a baby and as guys, we often try to do everything for everyone and that can come at a cost.
There are many factors that may increase the likelihood for postnatal depression in men. There is the obvious sleep deprivation. They might have to work longer hours to try to provide for their family. They’re not the main focus of their partner anymore, with the little one needing most of the attention. Guys can actually grieve over the sense of the freedom that they perceive they have lost. They might find they lack meaningful social connections because family life has become the primary focus. All of these factors may contribute to a man’s altered sense of identity and his physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, which may include the experience of postnatal depression.
What are the symptoms of deteriorating mental health?
There are many symptoms of deteriorating mental health to look out for. They will be different for everyone but common symptoms include aggression, mood swings, anxiety, eating too much or too little, using drugs or alcohol to manage feelings, concentration issues, lack of motivation, isolating yourself and avoidance. As I said, this is not a comprehensive list but these are just some of the things that could stand out.
When should men seek support for their mental health concerns?
I think everybody should be regularly checking in with their mental health, whether that’s through a professional, a friend or a loved one. It’s a good practice to consistently check in with yourself and not wait until you’re in crisis. Mental health is like physical health - it needs consistent work. It’s best to be proactive and reduce the need to be reactive.
How can men seek support for mental health that is negatively impacting their lives?
Speaking to friends or family about how you’re feeling is a good first step to accessing help. There are many different services that men can access when they’re having a hard time. One service that you can access straight away is called MensLine. It’s a 24/7 helpline for men going through challenges and you’re able to remain anonymous, which may make some men feel more comfortable. Accessing a counselling service will also be beneficial. Create Balance is of course available for face to face or online appointments.
Remember that opening up to the people that you love, telling them how you’re feeling and what’s going on for you is the hardest step. But it opens the door for change and it’s so worth it when you start to feel like your old self again.
You can schedule an appointment with Shannon by calling 0434 415 575.
The staff at Create Balance aren’t personally very active on social media these days. So when one of our employees shared a brain teaser, she didn’t expect many, if any comments. However, over 80 guesses soon flooded in from over 40 acquaintances. Many of these guesses came from people she hadn’t even spoken to in years. So why was there so much interest?
Perhaps it’s all the spare time that people have on their hands due to the current lockdowns in Melbourne, Geelong and regional Victoria. Or maybe people are starved of connection and interaction. More likely, it’s a welcome distraction from the stress and anxiety that many are feeling in their current circumstances. Perhaps it has given people a brief opportunity to achieve a small goal, when so many things are out of our control at the moment. And achieving goals releases dopamine, making us feel a little bit happier.
So is distraction a healthy habit during a crisis? Finding ways to keep your mind off your concerns can give your mind and body a break. It gives you the time and space to recharge, giving you the energy required to deal with the stress, anxiety or grief you’re experiencing. Avoid distracting yourself with alcohol and drugs, as they have the potential to increase issues of anxiety, panic, depressive symptoms or other mental health concerns. Instead, consider activities that have end-goals and encourage targeted focus, such as exercise, home improvement projects, arts and craft or brain teasers. Oh, and how could we forget sourdough baking!
However, it is important to remember that distraction is not healthy for long periods of time. It is important that you don’t entirely ignore or discount your feelings. Without recognising and sitting with your emotions, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to process your thoughts and eventually move beyond the negative feelings you’re experiencing. To help process your thoughts and feelings, it can be beneficial to express yourself, by talking with a friend, a professional or even journaling.
So, try to find a balance between distraction and despair and allow yourself to move between these two states fluidly as required.
To help you with distraction, we’ve designed our own little brain teaser which you are welcome to share around. Be warned, the devil is in the detail. Let us know your guesses and if you ask very nicely, we might even be able to send you a clue. Good luck!
Okay, first things first, folks. These practices are not meant to be any sort of substitute for the ongoing habits that help us ease our anxiety. And by that I refer to perennially unglamorous business of eating well, staying off the booze, going for a run now and then and sleeping long before Stephen Colbert launches into his opening monologue.
As profoundly unrock n roll as it may seem, these are the core practices that'll help us neutralise anxiety.
But for those moments when we find ourselves escalating, here's some simple and easy to access techniques that we can turn to when we want to ride through the fear.
In terms of great things that India has bequeathed to the world, yoga ranks only marginally behind the invention of the decimal point, arguably on par with Palak Paneer and doubtlessly ahead of the game of chess.
Among other things, it’s a brilliant way to lower your anxiety. But if it's not the right moment to break into a downward dog – and for some of us those moments seem to be lamentably rare - you could go a long way just by doing a bit of yogic breathing.
Why breathing exercises can help
When we are experiencing anxiety, it is because the central nervous system (CNS) has become overactive. This is the body's way of preparing us for an emergency, but unfortunately sometimes the body get its timing very wrong.
Breathing exercises activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is our body's system for calming and relaxing us and countering the CNS. But remember to breathe through the nose; because breathing through the mouth tells the body we might be in danger.
Pranayama is a body of breathing techniques that have been practiced by yogis for millenia. They are a great tool to use because they can provide rapid and effective relief from anxiety. But be careful, trying the more complex pranayama practices can be potentially dangerous when it's unsupervised by a teacher.
Stick to the three basic practices as demonstrated in this excellent Youtube tutorial;
Bumble bee breath – Block your ears and hum like a bee, and feel your head clear of all the other noise.
Alternate Nostril Breathing – A simple process of blocking one nostril and breathing through the other that seems to clear the head and calm the nerves.
Ujjayia Breath – Basically a seated Darth Vader impersonation. Sadly bereft of any lightsaber fighting.
Access video here
Basic Drawing or Colouring in
The value of turning to illustration during a bout of anxiety is that it takes your mind off the feeling of dread and attacking thoughts and allows your CNS to calm itself down.
You don't have to recreate the Mona Lisa. Which is probably for the best, because in your author's admittedly underqualified opinion, it was a pretty wonky drawing in the first place.
Instead, here's some basic drawing exercises that'll help you compose yourself.
Drawing lines across a page
Colouring in a mandala drawing
Taking anxiety out of your body by drawing what it looks like, and putting it on a page
Watch Comedy (or get someone to tickle you)
Some important things you ought to know about laughter:
Laughter is one of our body's natural antidotes to stress and anxiety. The simple act of laughing can reduce the stress hormones at work in your body, such as adrenaline, epinephrine and cortisol.
Not only that, it also triggers the release of those sweet endorphins that create a sense of wellbeing, contentedness and euphoria.
Furthermore, the increased oxygen we get from laughing can also lead to muscle relaxation for up to 45 minutes.
So in those moments when all you can feel is that unnameable sense of everything about to go wrong, the best mate you have might be a phone or tablet to fire up some Youtube.
Let a ten minute clip of Sarah Silverman, Bill Bailey, Amy Schumer or Chris Rock cracking wise help you ride through it all.
Or even better, get your partner to tickle you. What better way to trigger a good laugh than some intra-relationship horsing around?
Grounding is the act of calming yourself by focussing on individual senses to bring you back to the present moment. It is a particularly effective tool to have at your disposal, because by its very nature, anxiety stems from dread about events that may happen in the future.
Some useful grounding techniques:
Eating an ice cube – Focus intensely on the taste and feel of ice on your tongue to bring you safely back to the present moment
Modelling something with playdough – Similarly, you can ground yourself by playfully engaging your sense of touch.
Rub lavender oil under your nose – Not only does it ground you using your sense of smell, the anti-anxiety effects of lavender is now a fact accepted by doctors and scientists, and not just your kooky aunt who likes to wear the colourful pashminas.
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique- A trusty old all-senses grounding technique, where you anchor yourself in your environment and identify five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste. A particularly handy piece to add to your grounding toolkit because it’s something you can do anywhere, in any moment, using all your senses.
The Butterfly Hug
The Butterfly Hug was first used by EMDR psychologists in Mexico in the late 90s to help hurricane survivors process the trauma of their experiences. It is now used by EMDR practitioners all over the world to help trauma survivors access painful memories.
However, leaving aside its uses for Bi-lateral Stimulation, it also serves as a very useful grounding tool.
Find a comfortable sitting position and touch your upper chest or shoulders with your hands crossed over each other.
Then touch your body by alternating your hands, imitating the wings of a butterfly
Observe what is going through your mind – the thoughts, feelings and sensations -without judgment or resistance
This video below provides an excellent demonstration
Access video here
For many more techniques like these ones, check out these two threads on the Beyond Blue forum where anxiety sufferers share strategies that they've used successfully in their own lived experience.
Link forum threads
Beyond Blue forum link 1
Beyond Blue forum link 2
Guest blog by- Aritro Abedin
BA Arts, Mcoun, GradCert AOD
Contactable via- Aritroa@gmail.com
Part Two: Some Personal Tips and Recommendations for Mental Health Apps
Now that we’ve covered the practical considerations of choosing an app in part one, part two will look at a few different apps that are available, how they work and what we recommend.
The most commonly available features in mental health apps are mood tracking and symptom monitoring, which can be a logical starting point if you’ve noticed your moods have changed but aren’t sure why. Keeping a log can help you to identify if there is something specific that might be triggering low moods or increased anxiety and may even be useful to share with a healthcare provider, including your general practitioner.
If you have a diagnosed mental health condition like bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety, or even if this is all new to you, apps that monitor moods and symptoms can also act as an early warning system to give you time to put some support systems in place including seeking professional help, reaching out to trusted family and friends and putting a suicide prevention plan in place if needed. You are often the best judge of your own needs but we highly recommend you find an app that can provide real time professional support, will encourage you to seek further help if you are experiencing emotional distress and provide some tools to manage your symptoms, not just symptom tracking alone.
If you suffer from anxiety, whether diagnosed or not, apps that offer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), can be incredibly effective, especially when combined with professional counselling or internet-based programmes like Mood Gym, mentioned previously in the earlier Living with Anxiety post. CBT can help to re-train your brain and challenge recurring unhelpful thoughts so having this support wherever you go with an app is fantastic. ReachOut’s WorryTime is a free app uses the principles of CBT to help stop anxiety by providing a place for you to ‘file away’ your worries throughout the day until your pre-determined allocated ‘worry time’ each day, allowing you to get on with your life.
Relationship Break Ups
Maybe you wouldn’t usually identify as someone with a mental health concern but you’ve just been through a messy or difficult breakup and need some extra backup – There’s an app for that too. Breakup Shakeup is a free app developed by the Queensland University of Technology and available on the Apple App Store. While it may be a little simplistic for some, it offers suggestions and prompts for distractions and activities that can settle your emotional equilibrium and get you back on track.
Depression, Stress and Anxiety
Mood Mission is another evidenced based, free app for both Apple and Android that was developed by researchers from Monash University, University of Melbourne and the University of Canberra through crowd funding. Mood Mission can be used to track how you are feeling and then give you personalised recommendations to help improve your mood. It helps you to regain control of your feelings and thoughts so you can manage everyday stress and anxiety and improve your mental coping skills over time. The developers are working on new functionality that will allow you to share information with your healthcare provider so keep an eye out for that feature.
If you’ve heard of mindfulness but aren’t sure where to start, Smiling Mind is a tool that was developed by psychologists to help both children and adults to learn and practice mindfulness to help achieve calm, balance and mental wellbeing. Mindfulness is not as easy as it sounds and may not be suitable if you are experiencing a flare-up of a serious mental health condition but this app is free and only takes 10 minutes a day. Mindfulness is a useful tool to have at the ready to maintain mental wellbeing and prevent recurring problems.
It’s important to recognize that apps are most effective for mild to moderate symptoms and if your mental health condition or symptoms are severe, you will need to seek professional support as well – This is not optional! Like we mentioned in the last post, you need to be aware of some of the disadvantages of apps as well as the benefits, including the potential for over analysis and self-diagnosis and delays in seeking treatment medical or psychological treatment from a mental health practitioner, like a counsellor or psychologist.
Finally, if you’ve been using apps and they just aren’t cutting it (or even if you haven’t tried one yet) but you are struggling and feel like you are slipping beyond recovery, don’t wait and put off getting help. Taking the first step to approach a mental health practitioner is hard and can be daunting, especially if you’ve never seen one before or it’s been a while. Getting help is not a failure, it’s about taking back control of your mind and body and learning how to keep that control in good and bad times. You can contact us here or use the Lifeline Service Finder to locate someone in your local area who can help or find immediate support in a crisis.
Part One: What to Look for in Good (and Bad) Mental Health Apps
You aren’t alone if you’ve ever turned to the online world for support with mental health concerns, for yourself or someone you care about. If you have, chances are you’ve encountered the ever-growing array of apps that claim to do everything from teaching meditation, mindfulness and mood tracking to curing mental illness and hypnosis. Apps can be an invaluable resource to improve and support mental wellbeing and prevent more serious mental health flare-ups, but not all mental health apps are created equal and deliver what they claim. In fact, some can do more harm than good.
So how can you tell the good apps from the bad?
There are a few things to consider from both a practical and personal perspective to help you navigate and spot the good apps from the not-so-good. Because there is so much to think about, we’ve split this into two parts. In part one, we’ll focus on the practical aspects of picking an app for mental health concerns like anxiety, depression and supporting mental wellbeing. In part two, we’ll run through some of the other important aspects like the different features available and some recommendations of evidence-based apps from reliable and respected organisations.
While most apps are available for both Apple iOS through the App Store and Android from Google Play, it’s worthwhile thinking about the device you are going to use the most to access the app. It’s hard to go past the convenience and omnipresence of your smart phone but it’s a good idea to make sure whatever devices you use are secured with a pin and not accessed by others (if you don’t want them to). Data security is also really important and you are generally in with a better chance of maintaining privacy and anonymity if you choose an app from a reputable organization, like a well-known university or health care provider. The other benefit of using an app from a university or healthcare provider is that it’s more likely to be evidence-based (and less likely to waste your time or cause you harm). ReachOut has a list of evidence-based mental health apps aimed at young people (under 25) and students but it’s worth a look for people of any age, especially if you are a parent and exam time is looming for your child. Before downloading an app, check to see whether it requires an internet connection and how much data it’s likely to use. If it doesn’t use data, it may be more difficult to access real time help and support if you need it.
Whether you need to pay for an app is not necessarily an indication of quality or safety. In the end, it comes down to the features and tools that you need and the level of support that fits your situation. Apps that target more than one type of mental health concern are useful, as we know that many mental health challenges like anxiety and depression often occur together and the last thing you need is multiple apps to use and keep track of. MoodKit has been highly-rated and offers a one-stop-shop for mood and thought tracking, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and journaling although it does come at a small cost.
Avoid apps that make outlandish claims, like being able to cure mental illness. Apps that only offer mood and symptom tracking without providing assistance or strategies for symptom management should also be used with caution and generally only to complement care provided by a mental health practitioner, like a counsellor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist.
Some pitfalls of using apps for mental health to be aware of include the dreaded and crippling over-analysis, the dangers of self-diagnosis and the potential to delay seeking professional help.
With that said, free mental health apps are a really good place to start to explore what’s out there and work out the kinds of features you want without making a financial commitment. If you need immediate crisis intervention, you can contact Lifeline here.
Everyone will experience a level of anxiety at some point in their lives - it’s an inescapable part of being human. From an evolutionary perspective, anxiety was necessary for survival. It helped our ancestors to stay alert in dangerous situations and have appropriate reactions, like fight or flight. However, for some people, this natural emotional and physical state can become all pervasive, uncontrollable and a hindrance in everyday life. Unlike our ancestors, we don’t need to live in constant fear for our safety, but that feeling of a racing mind, shortness of breath and butterflies in the stomach can still be useful, like helping is to prepare for a job interview or public speaking.
But for people that suffer from anxiety, they’ll tell you straight up that there is nothing normal or helpful about what they think and feel. Living with anxiety is like fronting up for that job interview every single day, but instead of feeling that rush of relief when it’s all over, it just goes on and on and the thoughts that constantly roll through the mind like “what if this, what if that?” are exhausting. “What if I’m not good enough”, “what if I make a mistake”, “what if I’m not doing it right, what then?”.
For some people, it can be almost impossible to tell that they have anxiety. In someone who is highly-functioning, anxiety can easily be misinterpreted as a drive for perfectionism, a simple lack of confidence, intolerance or impatience or maybe you can’t even tell at all. On the outside it’s like a duck gliding over the top of a pond, what nobody sees is that underneath its legs are moving like crazy, just to keep it all above water. Many people with anxiety describe a deep, dark feeling in the pit of their stomach of pure dread. It feels incredibly real and true, like a premonition that something horrible is about to happen but they can’t tell you what. This in-turn can manifest as anger, irritability, a lack of concentration or depression (anxiety and depression can often go hand in hand).
As humans we are trained to listen and trust the messages that our body sends us, and we treat those signals and feelings as ‘gospel’. You might not realise it, but your thoughts are actually based on feelings. If you are suffering from anxiety and you get that familiar feeling of dread and fear, you’ll have a thought that seemingly comes out of the blue, like “how am I going to cope today?” or “I’ll never get through the day”, and of course you believe it. Your body talks to you every day and tells you the truth, why is this any different? Without realising it, you’ll find yourself behaving as if the thought is true, struggling through the day and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But what if you could challenge that thought? Slow down and ask, “why do I think this?”. What was the feeling that came right before the thought and what evidence do you have that the thought is true? It’s likely that you don’t really have any evidence for the feeling or the thought – You’ve made it through every other day, why not this day? Don’t get me wrong though, this is not easy, and you can’t learn this skill overnight. But online programs like Mood Gym can help you start that process.
Sometimes, there is not much point throwing a drowning person a book on how to swim, they need a life-jacket right in that moment, so recognize if you are in too deep and seek out a professional. This won’t necessarily mean turning to medication if you don’t want to, but the professional can guide you through the process of challenging your feelings and thoughts until you get the hang of it on your own.
Anxiety is not a way of life and it’s probably holding you back from reaching your full potential, so don’t put it off and just take the right first step for you.
How do I know if a man in my life is suffering from anxiety and how can I help?
Or how can I tell if I’ve got anxiety and is there anything I can do about it? Anxiety is one of the most common health conditions in Australia, in fact one in 5 men will suffer from anxiety at some point in their life, so it’s by no means out of the realms of possibility. If you’ve found your way here, chances are that you’ve noticed some behaviour in yourself, your mate or your loved one that just doesn’t seem quite right. But anxiety can be harder to pinpoint in males than females and it often manifests itself in physical symptoms that are not always obvious and can be easily confused with other physical and mental conditions, like depression.
If you or the man in your life have started suffering from mundane physical symptoms like headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, insomnia or even gut problems, it might be a sign that something is going on mentally, rather than physically. Men will often describe a feeling of being out of control and the symptoms of panic attacks like chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath can be a frightening experience. Anxiety might be the root cause, especially if you’ve been to a General Practitioner and these problems haven’t resolved. If you’ve noticed a change in behaviour, such as short temper, irritability or impatience, withdrawal for social activities, poor performance at work or a lack of interest in hobbies or other activities that used to be enjoyable, it might also be a sign that anxiety may be starting to have a serious impact.
There are risk factors that predispose men to anxiety and they include:
If you still aren’t sure whether anxiety may be playing a part in your life or someone that you care about, Beyond Blue has a fantastic range of resources. You’ll find a quiz which will help to give a better insight into what might be going on, as well as information specifically to support men who may have anxiety and/or depression or who may just be going through a rough time. Also check out the Better Health Channel from the Victorian Government.
It’s important to realize that every one of us will face significant mental and physical challenges in our lives, it’s part of being human and its part of being a man in the 21st century. But needless suffering in silence is not a normal part of being a man. We aren’t talking about assigning labels or shouting it from the rooftop but we do need to talk about it, whether that is with a professional or just starting off with a trusted friend or family member.
If you think you or your loved one may not be at that stage yet, there are plenty of confidential tools that can be used to give a boost and get started. As well as Beyond Blue, Mood Gym is another free Australian based program that can be done any time of day or night to help combat some of the negative thoughts and feelings that can start to infiltrate everyday life. There are also some really simple techniques that a professional like Shannon can help you with and I’d encourage you to have a look at his Anxiety Guide here.
If you are worried about yourself or someone else, it’s important that you do something about it. Take a small step or a big step, it doesn’t matter which, just get started. It’s not something that is going to go away on it’s own.
The more time you spend in the inner world, the better you will feel about your outer world. At first, looking inwards and slowing down is uncomfortable because we are conditioned to always have a distraction and when we don't, it's challenging. The process of going into the inner world is like peeling an onion, each layer that comes off represents a part of you that no longer serves you.
Sometimes the reason we can't do something is not because of our skill set, it's because of our beliefs that are deep within us.
A new skill set can be learned and growth can happen. But if we don't change our beliefs about our wishes or life aspirations, we will continue to come up against the road blocks that come from self sabotage. Our beliefs hold tremendous power and can keep us from reaching our full potential
Reach into the depths of your being and evaluate the beliefs you have about yourself. Once we become aware of a belief, we then have the power to challenge and change the belief to be in line with our true purpose.
This process takes time but it's worth the effort. It's worth being released from limiting beliefs about ourselves.
Anxiety can happen for many reasons but until we are prepared to start going deeper than just our symptoms, our anxiety won't change.
For myself, I experienced anxiety about public speaking and would hate doing it. The symtoms were shallow breathing, tightness in my chest and an inability to think clearly.
I knew that there was more to this fear than just my symtoms and started asking myself the hard questions. What is it about public speaking that I am afraid of? Why do I feel this way? Along with many other confronting questions. Everything I asked led me back to beliefs that I wasn't good enough and people wouldn't want to hear from me.
Anxiety is different for everyone but usually, at it's core, there is a belief that is keeping the anxiety in place.
My anxiety for public speaking didn't just disappear but with a new level of self awareness, I'm able to challenge this belief and take action anyway. That's one of the keys to working with anxiety; it is taking action anyway, even when the anxiety is saying the complete opposite.
I love helping people uncover the hidden beliefs that are keeping them trapped and giving them the opportunity to step into their own power. You can do it too! Ask yourself the hard questions, listen deeply to what comes up, take action despite feeling anxious.