When anxiety hits…

Slight change to my usual posts but still completely relevant to my blog!

I posted a while ago a post called When The Nerves Kick In which was all related to my dance exams at the time and how nerves can affect my dancing.

Almost a year later and having experienced some quite scary anxiety attacks over recent months, to the point of ending up in a&e a couple of times, I have been thinking more about how anxiety impacts my dance journey and is it really something I can control?

I’ve been asked many times before by my Dance Teacher ‘what is it that happens when you’re at the competition?  Why do you feel nervous?  Can you identify what’s making you feel like that? What can you do to stop that from happening?’

It’s only in the last week or so that I’ve realised that there’s not necessarily a tangible reason why as I’m about to go onto the floor I suddenly get pains in my chest (I know it’s anxiety and not cardiac!), I can feel light headed, pins and needles, stomach pains and so on.  It just happens!

This is where experiences more recently of these panic attacks that come out of the blue come in.   When I have ended up at hospital, hooked up to an ecg monitor, having bloods taken and constantly watching the blood pressure and heart rate monitor, I have been perfectly calm in the few hours leading up to it.  There’s no pattern, no reason, my heart races and I’m suddenly in a state!  My Cardiologist is quite sure my heart is fine (I do have a heart murmur but it isn’t related).

Having thought more about this and during a general conversation with my Teacher, I realised more and more that actually, I’m not necessarily petrified at a competition like I have claimed to be in the past……perhaps a little nervous, mixed in with excitement and that is perfectly healthy.  Perhaps however these attacks are part of a ‘general anxiety’.

Having competed for the last 8 years I should be ‘used to it’ by now…so what’s happening?

I have always been a person at competitions to sit with plenty of other people, chatting and watching the rounds go by.  The last couple of competitions, I have decided to try spending just a little time on my own, perhaps at the back, jumping around to warm up, but mostly to gather my thoughts.   This in itself seems to have a positive impact on my general state of mind…trying to stay calm in a sea of panic and excitement mixed together can prove difficult so removing myself from that even for five or ten minutes allows me to breathe.

I’ve started to also think that when I’m about to go onto the floor, those anxious feelings are only there sometimes and worrying about getting anxious in itself is self-destructive as that can and probably will bring a panic attack on!!

The point I’m making is, general anxiety can get you down.  Panic attacks can occur without warning and may even have been attributed to be by life events over the month or week prior to the competition and have nothing to do with the day itself!  Long week at work, a few late nights, life stresses and so on.

I think I have spent time worrying about something that may or may not happen …..

I am dancing in a competition this Sunday (tomorrow in fact by the time this is published) and to prepare I have spent time each night before going to sleep, visualising the event and being calm and dancing well and so on.

Dance lessons can prepare me to dance, a spray tan can prepare my skin, makeup, dresses and jewellery can prepare for my appearance on the floor but only I can prepare mentally for the day.

So can I control it? In short, no, I don’t believe I can, but I am sure as hell I won’t be allowing it to control me!

I’m a Dancer……I can do this!

Has anxiety held you back with anything like this?  I’d love to know.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments box below or on my facebook page. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook….links below🙂

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25 thoughts on “When anxiety hits…

  1. matashaylee says:

    I have had anxiety. Especially with trying to sing. My voice use to completely change when I tried. It was horrible because fear seemed to had choked my vocal cords. The only way that fear seemed to simmer down was through singing in public and attack the fear head on. Time & other experiences drowned the fear out & I got better. It is still one of my unused gifts but one day, I hope, I sing in front of big crowd with ease, even if it just worship service

    Liked by 1 person

  2. irunelite says:

    One thing that has helped me get over pre race nerves is having a routine so that I am not wondering what to do with myself. For some reason, socializing before the race doesn’t help. I save that for after as long as the weather is good. A year or two ago, I started viewing nerves as a good thing because they mean that I want to do well. Maybe there is some truth in that for you as well. I also started thinking of nerves as extra energy to do well in competition so as long as I can keep them contained then they will help me do better. I hope this helps, and good luck tomorrow. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beauty and The Ballroom says:

      Yeah I totally understand the not socialising just before. I think the nerves from other people rubs off on you even if you’re managing your own nerves. I still socialise but not just before I go onto the floor to dance. Nervous energy is definitely a good thing….it’s keeping it as that and not allowing it to develop into anxiety which is where the panic kicks in. Thanks so much xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kay @ TheEveryRose says:

    I get such bad anxiety and it’s so annoying because the more you worry about being anxious, the more anxious you get! My worst habit is overthinking, and trying to plan every little detail in my head as I worry I’ll get caught out on something if I haven’t thought about EVERYthing – it feels so ridiculous to anyone who doesn’t suffer with anything like this! Aaaaand breathe. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beauty and The Ballroom says:

      It’s so true that the more you worry about being anxious the worse it gets. Its a vicious circle!! I think the harder you try to control it also the more it happens. I have to talk myself out of the panic rather than stress that I’m panicking if that makes sense. I overthink ALL of the time!!! Anxiety is also one of those things that is impossible to describe to someone who doesn’t suffer with it!! Thanks so much for reading lovely xx


  4. Thebeautyspyglass says:

    Anxiety is a weird thing, it’s understandable you feeling it before a dance comp but as you say you’ve done it so many times you should be used to it. It’s just the whole performing thing I suppose, your brain won’t allow you not to feel it naturally.

    Funny, this weekend I was doing our food shop and just felt edgy and anxious in the supermarket. It gets worse when I’m at the checkout, I start feeling really overwhelmed. I’ve not been too bad lately just that trip to the supermarket triggered something. I felt nervy and weird the rest of the day.

    It’s a good thing you don’t let it stop you dancing. You look fab out there!
    Loved reading this. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beauty and The Ballroom says:

      Thanks so much. Yeah it’s difficult to understand it fully so it’s easier to find ways to get round it. We’re very similar you and I….I get anxious about food shopping! I will avoid it if I can as I find the whole thing too overwhelming! I’ll go if my hubby goes but will often let him do it!! I feel rediculous and sometimes even lazy but it’s not that I’m lazy, I just find it difficult to deal with xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thebeautyspyglass says:

        Oh we are so similar! I always try and avoid it too if I can. I always feel like everyone is staring at me at the checkout & I become really self-aware. ( they’re not, obviously) I have to scan around to reassure myself that no one is looking at me, take a couple of deep breaths and try and get on with it. Mine stems from being self-conscious too I think. The self service checkout is a definite no, no! Unless lily is with me as she takes over and does it all for me haha xx

        Liked by 1 person

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