A WOMAN who says her life was ruined by anxiety is now supporting others who suffer.

Siobhan Booth, owner of YMYB (Your Mind Your Body), at Basepoint in Andover, is a confidence coach who helps clients with various problems including anxiety and phobias, pain and discomfort and sports and performance.

She suffered with anxiety whilst studying for a master’s degree in chiropractic.

She said: “I found the environment and workload really overwhelming and started developing huge anxieties around assignments and exams.

“Over time I started failing exams and having to re sit them over and over again.

“Even though I knew I was really capable to start with, everything just got worse and worse until eventually I failed too much and was asked to leave.

“This was the absolute worst point in my life, I was working part time in a shop and had no qualifications and no idea what to do with my life. My anxiety at this point consumed everything and I didn’t enjoy any of my hobbies anymore.”

Siobhan visited her GP and tried medication, but said this did not work for her.

She eventually saw a hypnotherapist who helped her understand how much control she had over her thoughts and feelings, and taught her coping mechanisms and how to stay calm.

Sibohand added: “It was a huge challenge at the time but I found the money to take a clinical hypnotherapy diploma and qualified in 2011.

"Since then I have done a diploma in cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy and even graduated with a BSc (Hons) in human physiology, neuroanatomy and psychology. I’m currently applying for a master’s degree which will allow me to become a chartered psychologist.”

Siobhan now helps others suffering from anxiety running free workshops, and said: “Anxiety can make daily life a huge challenge. I help clients stop anxiety and turn it into confidence instead. The reason I get such great success with clients is because I have been there myself. It ruined my life.”

She added: “The workshop is a short introduction into why we get anxiety and the physical process that happens so we talk about flight or fight and what happens with the brain and how it makes you feel. It’s not stupid it’s a natural process it just needs some understanding and controlling. It’s something that lots of people suffer from.”

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week last week, Siobhan posted messages on social media to raise awareness of anxiety.

She said: “Anxiety is normal but if it stops you doing things you enjoy such as socialising or if it affects your work because you are scared of doing presentations or communicating with people, then it becomes a problem.

“Awareness is getting better but I think there’s still people who see it as a weakness. One of the reasons I’m keen to tall people it’s not stupid is because people say ‘I know it’s silly but…’ and it’s not silly, it’s something that happens.

"I do tell clients that a small amount of anxiety is normal, so if you are walking home from the pub and someone behind you has a knife, it would be normal to feel anxious, but if it’s got to the stage where it’s stopping you doing something then it’s a problem.”

Siobhan’s top tip for dealing with anxiety is to be self-aware and understanding what you are feeling.

She said: “Overcoming anxiety has improved my life drastically. At one point I was too scared to ride my horse, but now we compete locally at low level dressage. I have also taken on new challenges such as the London Marathon in 2016 which I would have never had the confidence to do before.”

Siobhan’s next free workshop takes place on Saturday, 1 June at The Sports Academy in Andover.

Tickets can be booked via eventbrite.com/e/anxiety-to-confidence-free-workshop-tickets-61799046612.