Anxiety definition: an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future. Source: Cambridge Dictionary
Anxiety, we have all experienced it at some point in our life. But who wants to stay in this state of worry, nervousness, fear? Certainly not me!
I want to share the story of one of my clients, who learned to manage and reduce his anxiety; we will call him Paul to protect his privacy.
Paul is in his early 60s, and has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease just under 10 years ago. He is very social, cheerful and a joy to be around. He spends his retired time with his family, friends, and doing his passion: playing music.
Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Paul has been taking on new physical activities like boxing, walking and biking. His social nature drove him to lead support groups for other affected by Parkinson’s disease as it brings him joy to connect with people and being of service.
Paul is conscious that new people he meets may “read him” incorrectly because the rigidity is also affecting his facial expression. He is struggling with the tremors in his hands and fingers and it is getting more and more difficult to play music with his band colleagues; and this is what brings him joy.
One of the biggest challenge for him, being such a social guy, is that cramping can happen at any time and anywhere in his body. He is conscious about it and worried about the reaction of the people around him, especially if they don’t know he has Parkinson’s disease.
Today, Paul feels empowered and more confident. He knows the disease will continue to progress inevitably but he now have the tools to keep his symptoms manageable. He now feels confident that when his face cramps up in public for example, he can focus inwards and use the techniques he learnt to calm himself down. That way the cramp go away faster and he is not getting anxious of what people’s reaction might be.
Paul is more relaxed because he sleeps longer at night. He is able to apply some relaxation techniques to get back to sleep when the pain and cramps wake him up in the middle of the night. In turn, he gets more energy during the day and can focus more on what brings him joy.
He also feels encouraged by those results because now, he can share his experience with others, in his Parkinson’s disease support groups, who are currently struggling. He can help them see that living with Parkinson’s disease is not an end in itself. He can be of service, even more.
How did Paul get there? Paul and I worked together for 2 months, one on one. I created a personalized Yoga Therapy program that includes several techniques targeting body, breath and mind.
We met 6 times, at regular intervals, in-person and virtually, allowing him to fit in Yoga Therapy in his busy social lifestyle.
We created a judgement free zone were we could both be transparent and honest. This is important, as it helped him stay accountable without guilt or shame.
In between our sessions, Paul received customized homework that supported him in his daily management of Parkinson’s disease symptoms flare-ups. There was a constant and open communication between us, which reassured him.
Paul worked on awareness, acceptance, and developing a short and accessible personal practice that is supporting him in his everyday life.
Paul has been a tremendous inspiration for me, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of his journey to well-being.
If you want to feel like Paul, connect with me:
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