I type today’s blog having just received the announcement of more local lockdowns and increased restrictions and a seemingly never ending stream of bad news, so it is no surprise to me that our nation’s Anxiety is on the rise.

In this Blog I looks at how to identify your own Anxiety and to share some tips that I have used to help reduce my own Anxiety in these challenging times.

“It builds up and builds up, getting more and more dramatic and loud.”

What Is Anxiety?

According to the NHS website (external link) :
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or a job interview.

During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

There are a long list of the the ways that Anxiety manifests itself and you can see them on the Mind website (external link).

Sometimes Anxiety can be difficult to understand because it seems to effect each person in a different way, some people have very physical symptoms, others come across as ‘fine’ in there everyday life.

As I reflect on my own experience, and having spoken to many others who battle anxiety, an ongoing theme is that Anxiety feels a bit like the theme tune from the movie ‘Jaws’ it builds up and builds up, getting more and more dramatic and loud. The difference is that the shark never shows up and the drama never stops, it just keeps on building up. This can then manifest itself in physical symptoms, and mental health issues.

If your Anxiety feels different to you why not share your experiences in the comments below.

2 Wilderness Activities That Can Reduce Anxiety

  1. Plant Tracking
    If you don’t have one already buy or download a plant identification guide. choose two or three plants from the book and go on a walk in nature to find them. This is a great way of being present in the moment. I find that the focus needed to scour the hedgerows and woodlands for my chosen plant, slows me down and really connects me with my surroundings.
  2. Fire lighting
    Although building a fire by traditional methods can be a tricky skill to learn, it is one of the most Mindful activities I know of.

    My advice would be to learn the basics first, then when those dog days kick in, go out into the garden and practice your skill. The process of collecting and sorting the materials, and then going through the fire lighting process really channels your thoughts, even when the fire does not light, I find tracking back through the process of what I did and what could have been improved is actually a positive experience.

    When the fire is burning I like to spend that time looking into the flames and reflecting on what I am thankful for that day.

    Here is a video on the basics of fire lighting from James and Lea of Woodland Classroom. This video shows safe tips for fire lighting with children… the principle is exactly the same

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