Find me on Instagram @ChloeBrotheridge – I post daily on my feed and in Instagram stories.
The Calmer You Podcast is all about helping you to become your calmest, happiest and most confident self. Check in out in iTunes or the podcast app – Android users can listen here.
The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
The Confidence Code by Katty Kay
When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough, by Martin M. Anthony
Feeling Good by David Burns
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers
The Relationship Handbook by George Pranski
The Subtle Art of Not going a Fuck by Mark Manson
The Body Keeps The Score – about trauma
Try to avoid supermarket brands as they are often low quality – a good brand to trust is Solgar.
Vitamin D – most of us in the UK are deficient in vitamin D.
Magnesium – known as the relaxation mineral
Omega 3 fatty acids – such as fish oil or flaxseed oil
Probiotics – increasing evidence is linking gut health and mental health. I love Symprove and Optibac.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb with anti-anxiety properties.
There is a lot of hype around CBD – and some evidence. It might be worth a try if you’ve got a few quid to spare. Here’s one I’ve tried.
The Calmer You App
Transcendental Meditation – where you are given a mantra to say silently to yourself. More expensive to learn but in my opinion it’s great.
London Buddhist Centre
Try these short yoga routines
https://youtu.be/LBIZFYNHvXA Tara Styles – De-stress in 10 minutes
https://youtu.be/bk71G6dXemc Tara Styles for sleep – 11 minutes
https://youtu.be/hJbRpHZr – d0 27 mins yoga for anxiety with Adriene
Some great resources and reading around Self Care from Blurt.org
Tips and Exercises
Write yourself a letter of support
Another exercise that may be helpful is to write yourself a letter of support, as if from the perspective of a very wise and loving friend. What encouraging words would they have to say? What kinder perspective might they have? How would they reassure you?
Write down around 3-5 specific things that you are grateful for in your life. It might be small things, such as the cup of coffee you’re drinking, or big things like your home or your family. The more specific you can be the better, for example, the specific things you’re grateful for about where you live or about a friend or family member. This has been proven to boost feelings of well being and happiness. It trains your brain to ‘seek out’ positive things, like exercising and strengthening a positivity muscle.
Another thing to try is scanning for the good at the end of the day. It can be a nice thing to do with your partner at dinner. Mentally scan the day for good things. It could be positive interactions you had with people, things you achieved, the weather – anything! It trains your brain to be more naturally positive.
Imagine yourself in the future and build up a really vivid image of how you would like things to be. Imagine everything you’ll see, hear, how you’ll look, feel, behave, what you’ll do and how other people will respond to you. Try to really get a sense of how it will feel once you have achieved the things you want to achieve and how confident and relaxed you’ll feel doing it.
See yourself dealing with challenges and notice yourself able to cope with them and overcome them.
Do this a few times a day, while brushing your teeth, before meals, just before bed, on the tube… It sends a strong message to your subconscious that all these things are true, and it just gets to work on making it so. It’s a really powerful technique which many athletes and public speakers practice, or mentally rehearse, to help them in their events and speeches.
You are creating new neural pathways which will make new thoughts, feelings and behaviours automatic for you.
The idea is that the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a real and a really vividly imagined event, therefore you are sending the message to your subconscious that this is the way things are.
Float don’t fight
Instead of fighting against any anxious or nervous feelings, float with them instead. Imagine relaxing your body and allowing the sensations to be there. It’s just adrenaline. Imagine lying back and relaxing your body in the sea and allowing the salt water to support you.
Get into the habit of practising this by labelling any nervous feelings as excitement. The idea comes from a study done at Harvard (read about it here). Think of all the ways that it is exciting to do this presentation.
Think about some positive affirmations to say to yourself. They work best when said to yourself in the mirror! Ideas could be ‘I am a confident person’
‘I trust myself’ ‘I feel good about myself’ ‘It’s safe for me to speak in public’.
Look into your own eyes in the mirror and say some positive things to yourself. It could be things like
‘My English is more than good enough’
‘I enjoy speaking in public’
‘I am a confident person’
I suggest scheduling in things to do for yourself, such having a bath or going for a mindful walk. Just schedule a short time at first, maybe 20 minutes, and then if you want to continue you can.
Often if we don’t schedule things in, they don’t happen, but putting something in our diaries as ‘an appointment with ourselves’ helps us to make time for those important self-care activities.
3, 5 breathing
Breathe in for a count of 3, then breathe out for a count of 5. Make sure that when you are breathing in, you are doing deep ‘diaphragmatic breathing’ (your diaphragm moves down and pushes your stomach out as you take in a breath) rather than shallower higher lung breathing.
Continue in this way for 5-10 minutes or longer if you have time – it has a really calming effect on your mind and body.
Each day, write down 3 things that you like and appreciate about yourself. It could be anything, your healthy skin, strong legs that helps you to run, being a good cook, anything!
Next, write down 3 things that you do or did well. Think about difficulties you’ve overcome and bounced back from, insights you’ve gained, tasks you did well and people that you helped.