It is amazing how stress can affect you mentally and physically I would not have believed it if it had not happened to me. I was 43 when it caught up with me and the past 7 years have been extremely difficult.

Most of my life I have suffered with anxiety and stress but just carried on. My willfulness to achieve meant that I did not listen to my body. I worked my way up through management becoming an Executive in the public sector and before that as a Director within private industry even studying for an MBA with the OU whilst working full-time. However, I was not sleeping, I experienced headaches that lasted days, eczema broke out all over my body and became infected in addition my asthma got worse. Even then I did not listen to my body. Eventually I felt weakness down the left side of my face and left arm, at that point I was quickly referred to a Neurologist.

At the end of tests and a MRI scan I collapsed and started twitching, this led to seizures. My body had finally got my attention. I was very stressed and after a lot of investigations I was diagnosed with Psychogenic seizures / Non Epileptic Attack Disorder. During a session of therapy with a neuron-psychiatrist something from my past came to light and it was discovered that I was also suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After all of this I became ill with depression!

I was introduced to Mindfulness as part of my treatment (for all of the above) and have not looked back. I no-longer have panic attacks and can manage my stress and stressful situations without being affected in such a devastating way. I still get anxious and stressed but I now handle it and currently not being treated for depression.

Mindfulness has really changed my life. I enjoy more things, listen to my body and pace myself. I wish that I had been taught mindfulness techniques as a young women I might not have become ill. It has taught me to be kind to myself which was very difficult and to listen to my body.

Through daily practice and integrating mindfulness into daily activities it is part of my life now. It was hard to believe when told that my concentration and patience would improve but I actually finish things now rather than moving onto something else and as I do not get as tired I am able to achieve a lot more.

I trained to teach Mindfulness myself and now run my own Mindfulness company!

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