Stress is something that everyone experiences at one time or another. I knew that I had to make some changes when I started getting panic attacks. I was taken to the hospital because I thought I was having chest pains, and I thought I was going to die. After being taken to the emergency room and examined, the doctors were convinced that my heart was fine and that I had been having a panic attack.
I could not believe that. It felt much, much worse than a panic attack, which always seemed to me as if that was for people who were “nervous Nellies”. But a few weeks later I started having the same symptoms and went to my own doctor, and he said the same thing. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When he offered me anxiety medication I chose not to take it, because I wanted to see how I could do on my own, now that I knew what was going on.
The first thing I did was to give up coffee and caffeine. That was one of the hardest things I have done in my life, and I still miss it. But I did some reading and found information that suggested that, while it probably wasn’t causing my panic attacks, it was definitely making my anxiety worse. I do feel much calmer since I stopped drinking coffee.
Next, I stopped hanging around negative people. I knew a lot of negative people at my job. None of us really liked the work we did, so it was easy to be negative–and that’s what most people did. I realized that if I wanted to stop feeling so stressed out, I needed to hang around people who weren’t as negative as the stress they were going through. Some people didn’t understand why I was distancing myself, but I definitely am glad I did.
Then, I looked for a daily practice I could do in order to calm myself throughout the day. I tried yoga, and I tried deep breathing exercises. I tried doing a lot of different things. The only thing that seems to helped me is guided meditation. I find that if I meditate in the morning, I feel much better in the morning, which means I get more things done. And then, I can be happier in the afternoon and evening too.
I also started exercising so I could decrease the stress in my life. Not too much, just a few days a week at aerobics.
I’m taking steps to leave my job right now, as a matter of fact. While I’m feeling much better, that will probably do the trick. As I mentioned, I don’t like my job at all, and I can now see that it is making me ill. I can always find another job.
I know that I still have some work to do, but since making the above changes I feel much better with my life.