Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

I am strong; I am brave; I am kind and loving and I too suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.. Shocking, maybe, maybe not. You see when the door is closed we do not see all of what goes on. I have had panic or anxiety since I was a small child. At that time, you didn’t see counsellors or therapists, you just navigated the best you could. The first time I recall having an attack, I remember running outside, telling nobody I was freaking out on the inside. The fresh air and the sudden escape helped me to breathe. My first experience where I thought Okay this helped, and I stored it away for future reference. Getting outside where the air is fresh and walls would no longer feel like they would capsize around me. I never told anyone as a child about anxiety or panic attacks, I learnt how to deal best I knew how, and that is why I embraced running outdoors as it allowed me to escape and breathe.

I took these tools forward into adulthood. When I was going through a divorce, I could barely stand to go sit in a restaurant. I remember one outing where I was looking up at the high ceilings thinking in my head, having a conversation with my internal dialogue saying there was lots of space around me. I could hear my best friend talking, I spoke to myself, “Focus Jodi on her voice, pay attention.” It was something I had learnt to stay in the moment. Inside secretly screaming, why the ceiling and the walls felt like it was closing in, I could hear and feel my heart pounding against my chest. Self-talk, over and over. I don’t know if my friend even would recognize I was in the middle of an anxiety attack, I have been very good at putting a wall up. I quickly realized the value of my internal dialogue without really at the time knowing what it was. I would learn more about internal dialogue later as I started training others and working with ex-Navy SEALS. I would keep practicing being present and staying out of the rabbit hole. The familiar warm then cold sweat would be my first telltale I was heading into my anxiety attack. I remind myself that I know I am okay as I am breathing. I have to get out of my head or I will spiral.

Training helps and guides you but I equally encourage you to reach out to a friend. It is a natural response in anxiety or depression to withdraw but in actuality; we need to connect.

I discovered I had to learn how to control, and how to navigate. Daunting at any age and it petrified me to experience this as a full-grown woman with children. The training taught me and guided me again. I will tell you how training saved me in so many ways. Now I know when you are in this place, it is hard to stand and how hard is to move so here are some things I do:

  • First, I huddle up. Set 8 mins because I don’t want to go into deep I just need to pause – likely why today I have 8 mins refreshers.
  • I speak to myself, to my internal dialogue (I acknowledge the feeling, maybe I cry because if I let it get too far, it scares me).
  • I breathe, remind myself that I am safe in the space and experience tells me this too shall.
  • I tell myself 5 positive things about myself, one being I am strong, I am brave and capable of all If you have only 1, keep repeating it.
  • I drink water and eat something light if I am low on calories.
  • I will either go for a walk or I will lift or swing a kettlebell.
Photo By: SkyHigh Productions

The day I had the idea to write this article, I had an anxiety attack, yes as a 48-year-old female entrepreneur. I felt that warm cold sweat come over me then did all those things I listed above then I went and trained for 45 minutes. The training I know many do it for weight loss, or to fit into a nice outfit, but most of us when we find out how to use it for our mind, it instills in our mind why we do it. The training reminds me of the power I have over all my thoughts and that the fear of the moment is just a moment and to breathe through it. For my body, a healthy body will allow me to move with ease as I age, but it gives me the brain break I need. It refreshes not only my mind but my body. It allows me to feel capable again and when I do it; I attach that moment of success and that feeling inside me. I stress saying the word feeling. I need you to feel in control, in power so that you can use that feeling to guide you back if you have another anxiety attack. It will feel like a hand that you can reach out to at that moment to get you back on your feet and guide you back to moving your body so that you can reset your body and your mind so you can restart your day.

Training helps and guides you but I equally encourage you to reach out to a friend. It is a natural response in anxiety or depression to withdraw but in actuality; we need to connect. Think about how your body feels 2 days after a hard training session, your muscles are sore and your mind tells the body, don’t move, it feels uncomfortable but we know better. You have to learn how to train your mind and your body. When you exercise again you remove the lactic acid from the muscles, which is the culprit of the sore muscle. Movement is key, movement is life!! It is why we always say “You will never regret a workout” for your mind and your body.

Avatar photo

Jodi was a stay at home mom of 3 great kids for 13 years then ventured out into the fitness industry to become CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada & KBKB Studio. With a Bachelor in Physical Activity Studies with a Major Fitness/Lifestyle. Master Level Trainer in Kettlebell Kickboxing plus Maxwell Kettlebell Certified. Her passion for the kettlebell led to her purpose of helping others get stronger physically and mentally so they can become the best version of themselves.

Write A Comment