Anxiety & Panic Attacks – Do’s and Dont’s

Anxiety & Panic Attacks – Do’s and Dont’s

Whether it be an anxiety attack or a panic attack, I thought I would do a post with some tips on how to help comfort someone during this time. Also some very important things NOT to say or do.

I know when people are having an attack, sometimes people around them do not know what to do or how to respond. Hopefully some of these will help, so when/if it happens next time you are with someone who suffers you will know what to do.

After speaking to many people who suffer with anxiety and panic, I have learnt that we all like to be dealt with in many different ways.

Some people like to be left alone and some like people around them. It’s all personal preference, it’s what ever makes you feel like you can overcome this attack the best way. Many people feel claustrophobic and crowded when they are panicking – I suffer with this.

I have collated a bunch of ideas on how to help and also by what I like and speaking to other anxiety suffers to get an idea on how they like to be dealt with.

DO:

  1.   Comfort – There is nothing worse than having an attack and not feeling comforted by someone.
  2.   Just do what they ask of you – If they want you to move away. MOVE. if they want a drink. GET IT.
  3.   Make them feel safe – Tell them they are fine and safe.
  4.   Be reassuring – If you have to repeat things then do, “you are fine” “nothing is going to happen”.
  5.   Just stay – If this person wants you to leave, don’t, always stay close by.
  6.   Move them to a quiet place – If this attack happens in a busy environment, just get them out of there.
  7.   Patience – This is so important. Please be patient no matter how hard it is. I promise it means everything to us!
  8.   Some people like to be touched – Hold hands, rub their back or hold their knee.
  9.   Suggest going for a walk – Some people like to try and walk anxiety off.
  10. Distraction – try talking, about absolutely anything. Distract their mind.
  11. Breathing – Try to get them to focus on their breathing. This will really help slow everything down.

DON’T

  1.   Do not panic when they panic – That will make everything worse. We can sense when you are panicking too!
  2.   Do not sit in silence – Unless they want you to.
  3.   Do not suggest anything medically wrong with them.
  4.   Do not say calm down.
  5.   Do not keep asking what they are panicking about.
  6.   Do not leave.
  7.   Do not make them feel like they are an inconvenience.
  8.   Do not keep asking what is wrong.
  9.   Do not get frustrated – we can also sense that.
  10. Do not say that they are overreacting – What ever you do, do not say that.
  11. Once they have calmed down – Do not speak about it. Positivity only now.

Hopefully this helps you, if you have someone who suffers with anxiety and panic attacks in your life. Plus you never know who you are going to meet along your journey, reading this information could come in handy somewhere along the line.

Enjoy! xxx

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

I decided to try my hand at a bit of bread making as I have never made home made bread before. This gluten free walnut bread was surprisingly easy to make.

I like to eat gluten free as I suffer with a few issues if I eat heavy stodgy foods. Gluten free products do not give me the same horrible feeling I get if I eat foods with gluten in. So in my eyes its gluten free all the way! I’m forever buying gluten free bread from my local supermarket which when I go to have a slice generally has huge hole in the bread and I end up chucking half the loaf away due to the fact the bread looks like a crater has flown through the middle of the bread which then makes it unusable! I’m sure my fellow gluten people can relate to this.

This was very tasty warmed up with some butter and jam, or what ever topping takes your fancy. If you are interested in baking this bread gluten free or not, below is the ingredients and method:

Ingredients:

  • 325ml semi skimmed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 450g gluten free bread flour – plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 1/2 7g sachet of dried yeast
  • 3 table spoons olive oil
  • crushed and cut up walnuts – optional

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Warm the milk in a small pan over a low heat, then leave to cool slightly. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the vinegar, then gradually stir in the warm milk until combined.
  • Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in another bowl, then, using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it forms a sticky dough. Add the olive oil, then bring it together with your hands into a ball, adding a little flour if it’s too sticky.
  • Place onto a lightly oiled baking tray, cover with a damp tea towel, then leave to prove in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size
  • Once risen, place the tray in the hot oven and bake for around 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool slightly on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve. Delicious with hearty stews and soups, or toasted and served hot with butter and jam

I found this recipe so easy to use and it made such lovely bouncy bread.

Enjoy xxx

Don’t Put It Off

Don’t Put It Off

So, you find something odd on a part of your body. What do you do, see a Doctor or leave it and hope it goes away?

I found something on my body 5 years ago, I never said anything to anyone, never saw my Doctor about it. I just hoped it would go away but it never did.

I suffer with health anxiety which makes anything to do with your health tricky. I had sort of just accepted this was something really bad and it was going to be a horrible ending. I was petrified about going to the doctors, I didn’t want to hear bad news. This ‘thing’ I was dealing with was something I had never ever seen it on anyone else and never heard anyone talk about which is why I presumed it was something awful. I had totally convinced my self that I was terminally ill and there was nothing anyone could do.

As you can imagine 5 years of worry and dread has built up inside me. Making my anxiety a million times worse. Eating away at my sanity daily. Every time I would feel unwell for what ever reason I put it down to the fact I had this secret ‘thing’ and it was that which was causing me to feel unwell. Which just made my mind spiral out of control.

About 2 weeks ago I was sitting at work, browsing through Facebook as you do and I saw an article, the picture in the article looked like what I had. I clicked on the article, filled with dread and fear. I was reading, my heart was pounding out of my chest, all the symptoms were exactly what I have been having over these years and I read the words “not harmful”. I was filled again with hope that this wasn’t something dreadful. I burst in to tears once I read the article, all this time worrying about something that was not harmful and not deadly. I felt so relieved.

I made a Doctors appointment that day, I wanted to confirm that what I had just read was true. Luckily the Doctor had an appointment the next day.

I went to the Doctors riddled with anxiety thinking what if this isn’t what I have read, what if it is something else. My dad actually came with me to my Doctors appointment as I am not so great at doing medical things by myself. The Doctor called my name and I felt a huge wave of sickness hit me. I went in to the room and explained what I was wrong. The Doctor had a look and confirmed that what I had read was in fact true, it is not harmful and there is no cure its just something that will be on my body forever. Turns out 1 in 4 people have this, who would have known? This ‘thing’ had a name and was not a ‘thing’ any more! The felt a surge of relief run through my entire body. I could not believe what I had kept inside for all this time and worried about like crazy is nothing. The black cloud that had been following me for 5 years has vanished and a huge weight has been lifted.

Moral of the story is, go and see your Doctor when you find something on your body you are unsure of. I have definitely learnt my lesson here. I am very lucky and grateful that it turned out to be nothing serious.

If I can do it, so can you x

September Faves

September Faves

Dark chocolate covered coconut chips

I was roaming around good old Primark and I came across these bad boys, dark chocolate covered coconut chips.

Wow is all I’ve got to say about this product they are so tasty and moreish, also something little like £1. I must admit I bought these as I felt hungry whilst I was shopping (never a good idea) but never ended up eating them. They have been sitting in my cupboard for about 2 weeks. So they were re-discovered last week and I cannot get enough of them. If you like dark chocolate and coconut I suggest you get yourself down to Primark to get them asap!

EOS Lip Balm

I know, I know, i’m pretty late to the party with this product! Yet again browsing round the shops, Topshop to be precise and I saw this little round beauty catch my eye. I also thought as its coming up to winter a nice lip balm would be a good idea, no one likes chapped lips do they. I got the coconut milk flavoured one. The smell and the taste is incredible. My lips feel protected and very smooth, The round shape of the product makes it so easy to apply. I would definitely recommend this product. I blooming love it!

Whole Earth Peanut Butter

Whole Earth peanut butter is amazing, I have been loving this for quite a while but seems like this month in particular I love it. On apples, toast, bagels… on its own! It is the healthy version of the peanut butter you can usually find on the shelves of most supermarkets. Its also gluten free which is great. The other great thing about this, there is literally only ingredient is roasted organic peanuts. So no other rubbish other peanut butters have. I generally love all of the Whole Earth products. Well worth a try!

Faux Fur Gilet

This faux fur gilet has been my saviour. This time of year is that weird time where the weather cannot decide whether it wants to be hot or cold. Which makes choosing what to wear difficult. So if the weather can decide what it wants to do, that would be fantastic!

So this is where this item has been great, with it being warm but has no sleeves. It keeps the main parts of my body warm and I love the colours of this. It is from Tesco from the F&F clothing range, I personally love Tesco’s clothes and always find some really nice bits. So if you want to keep warm but still don’t want to be too covered up, this item is wonderful!

Make-up Eraser

This product is something I had seen all over Instagram, I watched lots of videos of this and kept thinking there is no way that this piece of material cannot take of your makeup as easy as it says and looks. Well ill tell you right now, it absolutely does! I went out and purchased the make-up eraser last month and was very excited to get home to remove my make-up with it. What you do is, you run the cloth under water and the put it on your face and rub your make up off. It literally gets all of your make-up off in a short space of time. I’m still amazed every time I use it. HOW is this cloth taking all this make-up off, especially mascara?! Madness. Very clever little invention that is. I would advise purchasing this just to be left amazed every time.

Maybelline Lipstick

I love nudey beige lips and I love this lipstick! The Maybelline – Velvet Beige 630. Such a lovely autumnal colour. This product goes on nicely, has good staying power & the smell of the lipstick is amazing it has a slight coconut/vanilla scent. Just an all round beautiful lippy.

Rebel Kitchen – Mylk

Now, we all love a milkshake but we all know how bad they really are. These chocolate Mylk packs are delightful. Made from: Spring water, Coconut milk, Date nectar & Cacao. Also being gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, nut free, no additives or preservatives AND only 51 calories a wedge! I really don’t see how you can go wrong with these they are so tasty! They give you that little sweet pick-me-up when you need a little something. I know that they do different flavours if chocolate isn’t your thang! Go out and enjoy these little pouches of goodness.

Camomile & Spearmint Tea

Well as this blog name is Tea Is Happiness it would only be right that I put a different type of tea in my monthly faves as I drink them like they are going out of fashion. This month it is, Spearmint & Camomile. This tea is wonderful. The camomile in it, its a good way to keep calm, camomile is very good for anxiety and has a calming effect. The spearmint in the tea gives it a great taste and sometimes I have troubles with digesting food & having heartburn so the mint in it helps with all my digestive issues! I really rate this tea. Love it!

Travel Cup

Last but certainly not least. As I have a tea addiction I need to have tea on me at all times. This Cath Kidston mug is the perfect way to take my tea with me on my travels everyday. It is also very pretty! I feel like this was one of my fave purchases this month and definitely the most used!

I really hope you’ve all enjoyed my monthly faves. I will be uploading one of these every month. Filled with all types of weird and wonderful things,

Just a little note to say, I know that it is annoying to have to open the images via a link. The site builder and editor is working on getting this feature fixed so I will be able to upload a image with writing and it wont be any of this link nonsense. Lets hope by this time next month it will all be sorted.

Liv xxx

Raw Cacao Bliss Balls & Raw Cacao Brownies

Raw cacao bliss balls & Raw cacao brownies

There’s a lot of hype around raw chocolate (Cacao) at the moment. So I thought why not give it whirl, as I love chocolate & if I can make a healthier option then why not try!
Ill be honest I bought the cacao powder from Holland & Barrett months ago and its just sat in my cupboard as I wasn’t 100% sure what to do with it. Till I finally took to good old trustworthy Google and Pinterest to get some recipe ideas.

First recipe I tried was for the Raw Cacao Bliss Balls, probably the most simple & easiest things I’ve ever made! So do not ne afraid. They only have 6 ingredients and no baking is involved.

I then made the Raw Cacao Brownie which is even more simple which has all of 4 ingredient and again no baking.

Cacao Benefits:

  • Can lower blood pressure
  • Improve digestion
  • Known to enhance physical & mental well-being
  • It is a huge antioxidant
  • Its an aphrodisiac
  • The best one of all it is pretty much guilt free (in moderation of course)
  • So there are just a few reasons why Cacao is good for you, with it being raw & completely untouched.

Cacao Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

1 cup of cashews blended until smooth (or cheat and but cashew nut butter)
2 tablespoons of raw honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
8 pitted medjool dates
2 table spoons of raw cacao powder
1 cup of desiccated coconut (for coating)
1 cup of chopped nuts (for coating)
Method:

Place all of the ingredients in the blender (except the coconut & chopped nuts) mix well until smooth
Use your hands to roll the mixture in to small balls
Pour the coconut & chopped nuts on to a chopping board and roll each of the balls until coated
place on baking tray and pop in fridge till hard

These will keep for around 2 weeks

Raw Brownie

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 cup pitted medjool dates
Method:

In a food processor, process 1 cup of the walnuts and the almonds until they are nearly at a crumbly consistency.
Add in the cacao powder and process till well combined
Add the dates a couple at a time and continue to blitz until the mixture is sticky and holds together
If the mixture is a little dry or crumbly, add a few tablespoons of water.
Press mixture into tin/baking dish lined with baking paper.
Chop left over walnuts roughly
Place the chopped walnuts on top of the brownie & push them in slightly
Place into fridge for 2-3 hours
If you cannot wait that long, place into freezer for at least 1 hour.

As you can see, I put dried fruits & desiccated coconut on top of my brownie as well.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Let me know if you try any of these recipes  🙂

Enjoy x

Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Well, what a subject this is.

I think we either suffer from it or have a friend, family member or colleague who suffers. We all know someone who suffers with panic attacks and anxiety.

This is subject very close to my heart and I feel very passionate about this subject.

My story goes…

In 2012 I started suffering with panic attacks, they started off very small when I was in busy environments. I would feel a small feeling in my chest and my heart would feel weird, sort of like heart palpitations, my body would just feel extremely strange, I would just want to get out of the place I was in. I would then feel fine but a little confused as to what just happened.

I continued to ignore this as I just thought it was nothing.

Later on that year I was driving on a motorway with one of my friends. I started to feel very strange, my eyes went weird and I couldn’t see very well, heart palpitations, tight chest, I felt like I couldn’t breath. Which was not safe as we were driving on a very busy motorway.

Luckily I was with my friend, she tried to keep me calm and kept passing me water. I pulled off the motorway and pulled over in a side road. I called my mum freaking out, she said her and my sister were going to come and get us. Thankfully!

Ever since this day my life has never been the same since!

The panic attacks got worse, I was now having 10-20 panic attacks a day. Which as you can imagine is incredibly exhausting.

I got signed off work, I had to eventually leave my job, I got my car taken off the road as I could not face driving.

I became scared of the outside world and would not leave the house let alone my bed.

I felt so scared and confused with what was happening to me.

I eventually went to the doctors, I was diagnosed with panic disorder, severe anxiety, OCD, Agoraphobia and claustrophobia.

I was prescribed medication (anti-depressants and diazepam) to try and help with everything that I was dealing with mentally.

Once I was diagnosed I did start to feel better and more at ease as now I could research what was going on and have more of an understanding, also to teach my self how to get better.

The anti-depressants made me feel horrific for 2 weeks then the side effects wore off. After going to the doctors and freaking out as to why I was feeling worse, the doctor advised me to be persistent. I stuck with it and within a little while I did feel better.

As time went on the panic attacks eased up, I was able to leave the house again, I felt more like myself and like the 22 year old I should have been feeling. Don’t get me wrong I still couldn’t do a lot of things like go to a bar with my friends, cinema and general day to day things. Going in to a supermarket was hard work. I really used to have to work my self up to go in.

I started to have counselling from the NHS over the phone (CBT Therapy). I really did not enjoy that approach, I found it hard to connect with a councillor over the phone, in the end I stopped using the service as I thought it was unhelpful for me. I needed more.

I started to have face to face counselling with a private councillor. I loved seeing her and she was very helpful and made me feel like a normal human again.

I did have NHS CBT therapy again, face to face this time . I found it very hard to connect with the councillor and I didn’t really like the approach he had, so I decided to stop having the sessions.

I then moved areas and had to find a new councillor, who I connected with and she worked with me towards different plans I had coming up. She would teach me how to think and we would do a lot of writing down of scenarios and how to face them & how to get round feeling severely anxious. She was great but she decided to stop being a councillor as she had reached her time with it and wanted to move on.

Very recently I have a had a bad patch of anxiety. I couldn’t work, couldn’t drive, couldn’t socialize, but slowly and surely I am getting back to my old self. I think these things are going to happen which is so frustrating.  With the help of my counsellor, medication and self help I am feeling a lot better. I am also about to start having CBT Therapy again with the NHS hopefully I will feel like this counsellor is right for me and has the right approach. I think having 2 types of counselling will really benefit me at the moment and hopefully get me feeling as anxiety free as possible.

I now have a new private councillor, I have only had one session so far but i really enjoyed it and felt like I connected well with her. Hopefully she can bring me lots of tips, techniques and positivity.

I wanted to write my story and let people know all about it as mental health is such an unspoken about subject and I really hate that. A lot of people seem to just brush it under the rug. Please get it out there and engage with others. I find once I speak about it to people they have similar experiences, you would never have known that person feels exactly the same way you do. I am very open about my anxiety and make it aware in situations that I don’t feel comfortable in. I just feel like this makes it easier for me to deal with inside if others around me know how I feel. I hate the feeling of anxiety being all in my body and I cannot tell someone, it makes it a lot worse. Don’t forget 1 in 10 people suffer with panic and anxiety so next time you’re in a busy place, look around and think I am not alone in this, it might bring you some kind of comfort knowing that.

Stay positive x

Welcome

Welcome to my blog…

I love to write about experiences and take pictures of things that please my eye. So why not create a blog and have a small space on the internet to put it all and maybe even make other people happy with it, including myself.

Creating this blog was inspired by my panic attacks and anxiety, not that I EVER thought they would inspire me to do anything!

I found writing down my experiences and my time on this crazy journey really helped me and made me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I also wanted this blog to be a mixture of things to keep it different and interesting. I have always wanted to create a blog. its just having the confidence to do so. I’m sure many of you will understand as you put yourself out there in a new way to people which can be slightly scary!

This blog is for fun, photos, food, recipe’s, experience and just life in general

I really hope you all enjoy it…

Liv xxx

Contact: lovefromliv@hotmail.com