“Big thanks to Northern Area Community Network and Public Health Agency for supporting today’s innovative workshop on relieving anxiety -‘Breathe & Be Free’.
Funding for the hire of venue and lunch in the Adair Arms was donated on the understanding that those involved contributed their time and skills in a voluntary capacity. The programme was written and facilitated by David Toney, & his wife and work partner, Anne, co-ordinated targeting various agencies in the Ballymena area to outreach to those who would most benefit within the community.
Among the 25 participants attending the event were representatives from Women’s Aid, Surestart, Solas Moyle & NACN the funding body. There were also various individuals who had booked a place following reading the press release in the Ballymena Guardian, including a GP & members of local clubs who wanted to be able to share the information with their members.
Feedback from the event was excellent with many hoping that more funding would be made available for follow up events.
David has already offered to do a free session for those members of the community who have been affected by the closure of WrightBus. ‘It’s an awful time of year for families to be left in this situation & I just want to offer some support at a time when anxiety must be huge.’
David was very open during the workshop about his own struggles in an effort to demonstrate that no one is exempt from life’s hardships. ‘Facebook isn’t real life’ he stated ‘no-one is going to post pictures when they’re having a bad day - everyone wears their own kind of mask & you can never know all the pain behind their bravado.’
So the message is to be a bit more kind & less judgemental. Everyone is fighting his or her own battle.
‘I have worked damn hard all my life. Being self-employed my livelihood has depended upon that.’ said David, ‘As soon as I was in a position to - I felt strongly it was time to give back’
As he puts it, ‘80% of my work still needs to pay my bills but I believe at least 20% should be for karma. This has been the key to my success - if you do things for the right reasons - I believe, better things come to you in life.’
What David put across today is, more than anything we should be kind to ourselves, as we are often our own worst critic. It is this internal critic gnawing away in our head that often causes a great amount of the anxiety. Taking some time out just for you is paramount: learning to let go of the overthinking, the judging, the blame or the shame. Breathing functionally to elicit a calming physiological effect is of prime importance - indeed breath is the very foundation of life. It’s now believed that doing it incorrectly is the basis of at least 70% of all illness and disease.
David is confident that spending some time to practice breathing the way we were intended to, will most certainly have life changing results. Participants from previous courses have already testified to this.
If anxiety is a curse in your life - affecting your sleep, social interaction and general happiness - it’s worth looking into, to enable you to ‘Breathe & be Free’. “
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