Photos that inspired I'M WITH ANXIOUS

Iceland is a magical country full of so many natural wonders that it's hard to pick a favorite. But I fell in love with the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. We visited in the winter when the lagoon was overflowing with massive chunks of iridescent ice and eerily devoid of people. And, yes, the colors in the ice really are this vibrant! 

 © Suzanne Brown

© Suzanne Brown

excerpt from I'M WITH ANXIOUS by Suzanne Brown

He pulls into another dirt lot, and the headlights illuminate the surreal landscape in front of us. This Gunna body knows that the lagoon is usually sapphire blue in the daylight and spotted with chunks of light blue ice. But at night, the water is inky black and the ghostly chunks of ice almost glow. Some chunks are as tall as two-story buildings, but they all eventually melt smaller and smaller until they finally turn into water in the lagoon. It’s basically an ever-changing pot of glacial soup.

© Smiling Pig Publishing

Photos that inspired I'M WITH ANXIOUS

These intricate chedis at Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand are stunning in design and size! Lottie passes by Wat Pho in I'M WITH ANXIOUS, but does not get a chance to go in and explore. Maybe in another book? :)

 © Suzanne Brown

© Suzanne Brown

excerpt from I'M WITH ANXIOUS by Suzanne Brown

She laughs. “Wat Po is how you pronounce it. It’s a temple that houses many chedis and a big, reclining Buddha that’s over 45 meters long.”
I try to think of that in American terms. Forty-five meters is almost 150 feet, or about half a football field. That’s one big Buddha.
“What’s a chedi?”
Rinzen doesn’t seem to mind all my questions. “A chedi is a memorial built to house the ashes of a loved one or a revered person. Usually it’s a bell-shaped tower more than ten stories high, topped with a finial, and ornately covered in mosaic and flower-shaped tiles. They’re really very pretty.”

© Smiling Pig Publishing

3 things to stop an anxiety attack
 © Suzanne Brown

© Suzanne Brown

1. GET MOVING

Go for a walk, a run, a bike ride. Moving your body releases endorphins which are known as the body's natural feel-good chemicals. They can boost your mood and lessen your pain, which can help calm your anxiety. (Learn more at The Calm Clinic )

2. BREATHE and BELIEVE

Learn to take a deep breath by trying this 30-second breathing exercise. 

Inhale for a count of 4, thinking the words, "I am o-kay." Then exhale for a count of 4, again thinking the words, "I am o- kay." (Or another thought that calms you.) Repeat this at least 3 times, or as long as you need before you feel less anxious. Once you feel comfortable breathing slowly, imagine something that calms you such as the warm sun or the sound of the ocean, and continue to inhale and exhale.

3. HUG A TRUSTED FRIEND

Hugs are healing. They help slow your breathing and relax your muscles that are likely tensed from your anxiety. Let your parent, close friend or teacher know you may need a hug when you get anxious, and then allow them to help you. If no one is around, gently hugging your pet or even a stuffed animal can really help.

And if you'd like more information on anxiety or are looking for professional to help you, please click HERE to learn at NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness). 

Photos that inspired I'M WITH ANXIOUS

This is the sweet, elderly girl who inspired me to write about the elephant, Kammoon. She was rescued by Elephants World in Thailand and had no teeth, so she had to be fed by hand. It was a beautiful and humbling experience, and one I am so grateful that I experienced. (Check out more about Elephants World rescue HERE.) 

© Suzanne Brown

 

© Suzanne Brown

excerpt from I'M WITH ANXIOUS by Suzanne Brown
Kammoon’s huge eyes are gentle and kind, framed by long, black eyelashes and surrounded by wrinkles. The light filtering in through the canopy above is just enough to illuminate the brown flecks of light in her irises. Kammoon opens her mouth. I wipe the sticky rice over her tongue and quickly pull out my hand. Kammoon pushes the rice deeper into her mouth with her trunk, gums it a little and then swallows. She looks back at me and I swear she’s grinning. I exhale a long breath and a deep peace settles over me. 
© Smiling Pig Publishing