Mental Health: panic attacks, TED talks and meditation methods

Mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health & slowly the world is coming to terms with the taboo subject – Mental Health.

It’s one of these things that is completely different and individual to every single person. It’s calmed me over the years just knowing that others feel the way that I feel, and that i’m not completely alone in my thoughts. It’s over-whelmed me in the past, completely. But day by day i’m improving my thinking and daily routines.

You don’t ‘fix’ mental health in my opinion, you work with it until the issue or problem gets resolved, or the way you’re feeling simmers down and you find a way to cope with the stress or health aspect. It’s not ‘fixable’ overnight either. It can take MONTHS + YEARS for your wellbeing to be how you want it to be. Trauma, stress, DNA, lifestyle and so many other aspects can impact your mental health. With mine, I believe it was a number of factors. But it was mainly school and bullying that really impacted me. A lot of people think that you go through school just fine and dandy, but once again, no one knows how you truly feel other than YOU. Listen to your mind and heart, it’ll direct you in the right path. Mine did. I ended up getting out and being where I am today!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that i’m a second year fashion student at university. The stress from this year has impacted me a lot. Recently, I haven’t been going into uni much, which is purely for other reasons. But the main cause of my stress recently has been projects and due dates for assignments.

I got myself in SUCH A MUDDLE yesterday. I was on my own at home, which is pretty normal during the day anyways. But I suddenly thought about all of my recent past projects that i’d just submitted this week. I got so worried that i’d sent them all off wrong that i had a panic attack. I haven’t had many panic attacks in my life if i’m honest. I get extremely bad anxiety, but I can only remember a handful of panic attacks that I truly remember that have stayed in my memory, like a deep scar tbh. Anyhow, I couldn’t do anything about the already sent assignments, so why was I getting in such a tizz about them all??

I was just completely overthinking, as per. I just thought so deeply about my assignments and all so quickly that it over-whelmed how I was feeling to the point I couldn’t breathe well. My heart was racing like mad and my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. Every beat was almost hurting me. However, I knew this was all happening, so I needed to change it and change it ASAP.

I opened Youtube. Yes, Youtube, and no not on my channel to watch fashion vid’s or anything haha. I searched for calming music, meditation and TED talks. I came across an advert for an app called ‘headspace’. Headspace is an app which you download for free, but you then pay monthly or yearly to use it. But if you don’t wish to, then you can just look at their short youtube meditation / calming clips. I watched one of them and I promise you, it really calmed me down. It calmed my heart rate instantly. Watching the cartoon’s being calm weirdly distracted me, so that was a way to stop me thinking about my assignments. Then by listening to the voice talking, it was such a neutral toned speaker and it was just extremely mellow. I felt much better. I watched a few of these calming your anxiety videos which majorly helped. These were my first steps.

The next thing I did was watch some TED talks. If you haven’t watched TED talks then you should be typing it into google / youtube as i speak because damn they helped. TED talks are about anything and everything really, speakers, inspirational people, workers and so on so forth talk about any subject for the talks. They’re very educational and helpful if you’re wanting advice on a certain subject or if you’re wanting a bit more worldly knowledge.

Anyhow, I watched a TED talk about meditation. The man talking was incredibly intelligent and emotionally moving. (I shall call him the meditation man for the purpose of this post). The way he spoke was at ease, his words spoke volumes to me and the whole talk made me change my whole aspect on meditation.

I always knew meditation was a great thing, but as a lot of people think, I believed it was just getting time to sit in a room, on the floor, with a mat, music with your eyes shut. But he proved me wrong COMPLETELY. The meditation man spoke about just taking 10 minutes out of your day to just think about today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, TODAY.

At the beginning I was thinking, what are you on about? I think about ‘today’ every day? But no, in reality, I don’t. We don’t. As humans, we think about what WILL happen. What’s planned for tomorrow? Where are you going tonight? What is happening in summer? When will you have time to empty the dishwasher, clean your room, do all your course work whilst walking the dog and taking time to blog for your followers / website? All sorts happens in our brains. But we think about what is planned to happen, and not what IS happening.

I realised that I was extremely worrying about something that HAS happened. That I can’t change at all. So why did I spend time worrying about the past problem?

During his TED talk, I was watching the audience in awe of this speaker. He spoke so well and even used props (juggling balls) to demonstrate how the brain was working and how we juggle all of these thoughts in our minds every single day when in fact, they’re not the problems for TODAY. They’re issues or projects or work dates that can be saved for another day, week or month.

As humans, we need to take the time for ourselves. At the end of the day, it’s you and your mind. Nourish it, look after it and care for it. It’s incredibly important to take the time to be kind to your mind. Feed it with positive thoughts, fill it with love and treasure the memories it stores.

After my Youtube meditation sessions, I had a well-needed shower. Having a shower after you’ve cried or felt stressed or had a very bad day can really freshen you up. I know it sounds ‘easy’ and of course does not fix your mental health. But it’s a way to start a fresh, every day. Yesterday I really needed to just wash my stress off. I had panicked myself so much that I got into a sweat and just was not in the right mindset whatsoever. But after I eventually calmed myself with the TED talk and Headspace clips, I then had the shower and it just washed away the thoughts I was having. Calm yourself down FIRST before having a shower if you’re feeling like a panic attack or stress is coming on. You need to feel calm to then get into heat and water and everything – just a safety tip.

10 minutes out of your day can really help. If you feel rushed or anything, just start off small. 3 minutes out of your day, just think positive thoughts about what is going on today. What you’re proud to own, what food you love, who you’re meeting up with that day, what outfit you want to show off, what assignment you’ve positively gotten rid of and submitted and can FORGET ABOUT.

It’s TODAY that matters, not tomorrow, not yesterday, TODAY.

Love, Sophie Eleanor x

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