The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of anxiety. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.

Swimming's Therapeutic Value

March 25, 2009

Before work today, just prior to mid-day, I enjoyed a delightful relaxing swim at my local pool. The water was soothing and warm.

My first dip!

March 16, 2009

After many days of preparation. Setting deadlines, and breaking them. Today, after a pep - talk, with my Mental HealthSocial Worker,I finally married intention with action and enteredmy local swimming pool ;) The shower prior my entering the pool was refreshing and the pool water was warm. There was ample space toswim. No one looked at me or, more to the point, myoverweight and desperately in need of exercise body.

After settling downin the pool, slowly swimming breastrokeand concentrating on my breathing. I found that I was able to drift off into a slight meditation.

Katie's story

January 14, 2009

Katie grew up in Devon and carried the same close group of friends with her from school through to adulthood. They were always together, laughing and enjoying themselves.

Then, after she fled an abusive relationship in her early twenties, Katie started to get unwell - she felt paranoid and anxious all the time. "Suddenly a lot my friends just dropped me - just like that," she explains. "It was horrible. They were my life."

But there are friends who have stuck by Katie. "My best friend, she's always calling me, sending me little notes. She's great."

Footprints in the sand: My story by Lauren John

September 22, 2008

Footprints in the Sand never started life as any sort of crusade, it was simply a personal experience woven in to some lyrical ideas I'd come up with. But there is a story to be told and I am only too happy to tell it and hopefully inspire others in the future.