If you met me three weeks ago, you would have been introduced to quite the frazzled freak of a human being.
Dry hair. Crappy mood. Pessimistic disposition. A bloated belly from too many Coles cookies. Stress pimples. That-time-of-the-month pimples. Regular pimples. You’ve-eaten-12-Coles-cookies-in-24-hours pimples.
In short, I was a mess. So much so, I wrote a Facebook status about it and had approximately 127 loved ones express their “concern” about my mental wellbeing via text.
Because when you’re writing Facebook statuses, you just know things are bad.
My body and mind were sick of being ignored, my anxiety flared up like a delightful rash, and my life came to a screeching halt. At my lowest, I found myself curled over my laptop here in the Mamamia office heaving big ugly sobs, so anxiety-ridden I was fearful to catch the tram home; fearful to go out in public.
Listen: How Mia Freedman controls her anxiety. (Post continues…)
Why? Well, when my anxiety is bad, I develop an unrelenting and irrational fear that I will die. Oh yes, readers, that I will die. In a terrorist attack, in a horrible car accident, or in a hostage situation after an intruder breaks into my home.
You know, just the realistic stuff.
As much as I know these fears are ludicrous, and just a tiny bit self-indulgent, when my anxiety is bad they send me batsh*t crazy. I flinch when strange men pass me on the tram; sleep talk like a mad woman; and sweat at the thought of walking through a crowded place.
My love of true crime podcasts (and TV shows, and movies, and books) wasn’t exactly helping. Neither was my propensity to exclusively click on morbid news stories about death and pain and neglected puppies.
Then my psychologist recommended an app that – excuse the telecommercial jargon – HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.
But unlike the ShamWow dude, I really mean it.
Instead of listening to podcasts about Ivan Milat and various child murderers, the ‘Smiling Mind’ iPhone app – developed by Australian psychologists and doctors – has become my go-to morning listen. Now, sometimes before I even leave bed, I flick on a “program” that will soothe my mind and not mention the word “corpse” even once.