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Gratitude is the best medicine for anxiety

In my journey to find healing I spent so much time by myself and had an opportunity to read a lot.

I found a book by Rhonda Byrne ‘The Magic’ and my life has never been the same. The book talks about gratitude and how we can use gratitude to attract how we want to feel in our lives and ever since I started to practice what I learnt from the book I have found it easier to manage anxiety.

Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome which makes it a greatest enemy for people who are trying to follow their calling because everyday we rely on feelings and vibes we go through.

I have proven that gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness because the more I express gratitude, the more I even have more to express gratitude for. Each time I am overwhelmed by the thoughts of worry and nervousness I have learnt to name and count every single good thing that I have in my life, things that we usually take for granted like health, my ability to move my body, my ability to feel, hear and even talk. The life of my family; a place I call home. Love and Peace in my life etc. By the time I reach number 10 I am sure to have a smile on my face and I sure forget about what I was worried about.

It’s true when they say there is always someone praying for exactly what you take for granted. The next time you feel overwhelmed by anxiety remember these quotes by some of the most influencial and accomplished human beings …

1.”Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for all you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig ZIGLAR

2.”….. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

3.Thank you is the best prayer anyone could say.

4.”Enjoy the little things cause one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

5.”Feeling grateful and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it. ” – William Arthur Ward

6.”When I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

7.”The root of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama

8.”There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

9.” Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

10. “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr

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Beat Anxiety to health & wellness.

So we are having such a rollercoaster ride to the beginning of 2021 and I feel anxiety has been a struggle for most as I also have been struggling with it myself. I have even been flooded with thoughts of using smoking cigarettes to help calm my nerves, which thankfully I have not given into. I have also been a source of strength for some struggling with anxiety.

Anxiety is real and I believe it to also be the cause of death for some of the Covid 19 patients who may not be aware of panic attacks and how to deal with them. In the midst of a pandamic that affects ones breathing while being isolated from loved ones for many days. Panic attacks are bound to be at their peak and if one has never been exposed to the nature of anxiety and panic attacks, I doubt they would be able to differentiate between a panic attack and a Covid 19 breathing challenge as panic attacks come as Chest pain or discomfort. Chills or hot flushes. Fear of losing control and fear of dying.

According to http://www.goodrx.com, “Anxiety can feel like a downward spiral — as if our worries are spinning out of control. Getting a handle on those slippery thoughts is tricky, and in many cases it takes professional help.” which I believe to be true. So my point here is how many Covid 19 patients are able to get counseling while in isolation fearing for their lives without any visitations from family and friends when the medical staff is faced its own anxiety struggles as they also lose their lives and lives of loved ones.

I became aware of anxiety and panic attacks in my 30s after I suffered PTSD (post traumatic stress) and for some reason I believed smoking to be helpful until I went for professional help. So my next point is how many people smoke because they believe it calms them down when in fact they are not aware that they are trying to deal with anxiety while smoking their lives away.

Here I would like to share what I believe has helped me to deal with anxiety since the time I had a challenge with getting professional help.

According to http://www.goodrx.com, “When our fears outgrow the actual dangers in our lives. We can’t expect to “think our way out” of medical-grade anxiety, but paying attention to our own minds and bodies can help us be better tuned in to reality.” and I have come to believe this too and find the below practices very helpful.

1. Meditation

Helps to reduce worrying thoughts and bring about a feeling of balance, calm and focus.

2. Visualization

Focus on something specific — an event, person, or goal you want to achieve — and hold it in your mind, imagining your outcome becoming reality.

3. Breathing

Taking deep breaths through the nose enables more air to flow into your body and can help calm your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety.

4. Yoga

Offers a double benefit because it includes aspects of both mindfulness and physical exercise.

5. Reconnect with others.

Connecting with other people helps to arm you against anxiety. This is what support groups are for, but you don’t need a special group to feel connected. Find a hobby, exercise group, religious organization, discussion club, or volunteer activity that interests you and helps you reach out to others.

Keep in mind

Anxiety is an individual experience. Different treatments work for different people in different situations, and what works for you may change over time. Since anxiety tends to come and go throughout life, it’s helpful to keep track of what anxiety-beating strategies work best for you. This will help you put a plan in place quickly if anxiety starts to become a problem again. When you find an approach, method, or medication that works for you, make it part of your life. But don’t despair if it seems to stop working. As your life circumstances change, so does your anxiety. Take a step back and find a new way to beat it.

#neverlatetorestart

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During the 16 days of activism against gender based violance may we also remember the 1st type of abuse….

Emotional Abuse is the 1st and worst kind of abuse.

The 1st and worst kind of abuse is emotional abuse because only you can feel it when no one else can see it so it is always up to you to get yourself out of it before it becomes physical abuse.

Emotional abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors.

The abuser could be your spouse or romantic partner. They could be your business partner or a parent.

If you’re wondering whether it’s happening to you, here are some of the signs:

*Yelling


*Name-calling


*Saying insulting words or otherwise ridiculing you


*Attempting to make you question your own sanity (gaslighting)


*Invading your privacy


*Punishing you for not going along with what they want


*Trying to control your life


*Isolating you from family and friends
*Making threats.


If you’ve been emotionally abused, know that it’s not your fault. There’s also not a “correct” way to feel about it.

No matter who it is, you don’t deserve it and it’s not your fault.

You might be in denial at first. It can be shocking to find yourself in such a situation. It’s natural to hope you’re wrong.

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Taking my life back from anxiety …

One day I walked into a store at a shopping mall and while going through the clothing rails I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out and when I looked around they had no chairs inside the store. I felt like I was losing air and I became scared for what could happen if I passed out and strangers had to come try find out what is wrong with me because when you have an anxiety attack you feel like you are losing control over your life or going crazy. You have trouble breathing or may feel a choking sensation.

But I knew then that I could not let anything happen to me, I knew I had to find a way to walk out of the store and through the mall without passing out or looking crazy…..

I started to think of all that I had read about anxiety and panic attack and I knew I could still save myself. I started to take deep breaths and walked slowly out of the door and to my surprise as soon as I was out of that store I started to feel much better like I could still go inside another store. Then I realized anxiety does not have power to control my life, it needs me to know that I attract what I think about and that I have the power over how I want to feel and what I allow in my life.

Here are some ways one may experience a panic attack….

  • Sense of impending doom or danger.
  • Fear of loss of control or death.
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat.
  • Chills.
  • Hot flushes.

And all of that could be caused by

  • Family history of panic attacks or panic disorder.
  • Major life stress, such as the death or serious illness of a loved one.
  • A traumatic event, such as sexual assault or a serious accident.
  • Major changes in your life, such as a divorce or the addition of a baby.
  • Smoking or excessive caffeine intake.

I personally have since adopted the below steps to bring myself back from any thought or anything that wants to interfere with my thoughts and how I want to feel….

The below steps have done a lot more for me than I think medicine could have….

  • I use deep breaths
  • Start by recognizing that I might have a panic attack
  • Close my eyes as I take deep breaths
  • Practice being present and being aware of my thoughts
  • Find an object that I can focus on
  • List things that I am grateful for
  • Think of people or situations that make me happy
  • If I am home nothing beats going out for a light exercise. During the warm up I already feel my mood lighting up.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has the ability to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Or, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood. – unknown

Do not use exercise to change something about your body; use it to show love to yourself and your entire wellbeing.

Wellness is a daily process of choosing yourself over and over again.

Love and Light

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Taking back control…..

One day I woke up and I felt scared for my life. Every night I saw something dark wanting to come towards me and take my life. My life did not feel like my own life anymore. I was scared I was going to die. I was scared I was going to just stop breathing. I felt hot & light headed. I was scared I was going to die and leave my son behind to suffer. I did not want to die but death became a part of my daily thoughts. I could not leave my home to go out in the streets because it felt like death was waiting for me to come out so it could take me. I could not just get in the car and go anywhere, death thoughts haunted me everytime I wanted to do something outside my home. What if someone came & shot me? What if I got into a car accident and just died?

Everyday I felt like death was out to get me and nothing was going to stop it. If people die everyday it meant it could be me any day. When I heard of someone who had died I wanted to know what killed them and how they lived their lives or what they believed in or never believed in to make out why death was coming for me.

Everytime before I left the house I would pace up and down thinking about what if I never came back. What if someone had to come into my room and see all that I left in it, what would they think about me? What would they think about how messy the room is? So I would try tidy a bit.

I tried to look at my actions for the day to make out whether it had any death signs. When someone looked at me I wondered if they were seeing death on my eyes; I wondered if they could tell that I was about to die.

I knew I had to find a way to stop death from taking me away from my son. When I heard my son cry for anything it would hurt and feel like that is how he was going to cry if I die and I could not let that happen.

That is when I found the words anxiety & depression. That is when I knew I was not mentally okay. I knew I had to find a way to stop these thoughts from controlling and taking over my life…….

Exercise is the best medicine when it comes to controlling anxiety and depression.
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Wellness is a daily process….

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Women Wellness Adventures

Hike at 1000 hills – exploring Isithumba mountain💚

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Inspiring Wellness….

As women somehow as we grow older we tend to forget about ourselves and live to take care of our children and partners. We forget about hobbies and all that we did when we were young and free that made us move, active and kept us inspired. We are always forced to look out for others’ wellbeing than our own. 24 hours in our day always seem never enough for us to do anything beyond our adult responsibilities and the only thing worth squeezing in can only be a side hustle because a side hustle is the only thing worth doing outside our official work and home responsibilities while neglecting the very core of our existence, which is our WELLNESS.

Seems like everything we do has to produce set results at a set time and can never be just a lifestyle choice e.g. we change our diets to lose a certain weight by a set time and go to gym for more or less the same reason which I believe is a greatest downfall for women.

WELLNESS is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than losing weight or exercising; it is a dynamic process of change and growth. A state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

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Journey to Wellness

As we grow older I realise that we are not born to make a living; we are born to serve.

We are required to walk our own road and then stop assess what we have learnt and share with others. only in that way can the next generation learn from those who have walked before.

– Mama Albertina Sisulu

The beauty scars of emotional abuse…

In my life journey I have come across a lot of experiences; pleasant and unpleasant, worthwhile and unworthy, positive and negative etc. Through it all I can say emotional abuse has had the most impact because it taught me a lot about life and pain and the meaning of mental health. A few years ago if anyone asked me about mental health I would have just referred to it as the difference between someone who shows signs of needing to go to a mental institution and someone who shows no signs of needing to go to a mental institution.

Often times, the world both directly and indirectly tells us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves if we don’t fit certain beauty standards. Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only one look, shape, size, or colour. It isn’t even always tangible. It comes in an endless amount of forms and we need to recognize that.

– Alessia Cara

Now I believe and know it’s much more than that and I have committed my life journey to going deep in search of mental wellness, what it means, its effects and taking care of it.  I believe emotional abuse is a major contributor to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression in women. A lot of times we are told to look out for physical abuse in relationships as the deal breaker while emotional abuse is left not accounted for. Emotional abuse is as powerful if not more damaging as physical abuse and I believe in most times emotional abuse comes before physical abuse which may mean that for someone to have waited for physical abuse to take place, they have long been psychologically damaged.

I have seen women try to look like other women, competing to be liked more using their looks, wanting to be praised for their beauty and wanting to feel wanted for their looks, using their looks as a means to make another woman jealous etc. I always say “being beautiful is the last thing I want to be remembered for.” Never mind if you see me to be beautiful or not, remember, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” hahaha

I think very less attention is given to emotional abuse, far less than is required; meanwhile it is the cause of most of the suffering women go through. If women are taught to put their worth in how they look, how far would they go to make sure they look a certain way to feel worthy? And how much of that would they believe contributes to how they are treated in a relationship? Women generally assume how you look means much more than what you think because being attractive gives you an advantage to being wanted and cherished. Then we have all women trying to look like one woman they think men find attractive then when a man starts making you feel like you are unworthy you start believing that the reason is because of your fading beauty when beauty is the least of what makes or break a relationship.

To me beauty is every women’s 1st scar of emotional abuse.

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Woman I hope you know…

Woman you are not born with the task to prove yourself to the world

You are not born with the task to prove yourself to a man

You are born worthy

The world knows your worth

The world knows you have the power to multiply anything

The world knows without you there is no life

The world needs you to shine a light

The man needs you to make a life

You bring life to a man

You bring hope to a man

You bring peace to a man’s life

You do not need to prove yourself

The man already knows

You do not need to be better than any woman

Your man already knows that you are better than any woman

You do not need to look pretty to feel worthy

You are born worthy!

Your worth is proven by what you think in your mind

What you say when you open your mouth

What you do in every situation

What you allow in your life

You are born a princess

And you blossom to a queen

Your crown is your words

Your crown is your actions

Your crown is your peace

Your crown is your soul

Your crown lives within you

The world need not see your crown to know it exists

The words that come out of your mouth must be gold

The work of your hands must be gold

The feet on the ground you walk on must leave it golden

Woman if you knew your worth……

Everyone knows you are worthy

You are the one everyone is waiting on

You are the one who does not know

You are the one who does not believe

You are the one who needs to realize

You are the one who needs to act

Woman if you knew your worth…..

You’d smile more

You’d laugh more

You’d cry just for a while

And you’d know your tears are worth more than Gold.

  • Ntobeko M.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are Powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be beautiful, Brilliant, talented, fabulous, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened by shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson