I was overwhelmed by executive stress, anxiety
and pressure...

Sameer’s Story

His heart was beating out of his chest. His skin felt clammy to the touch and he felt his chest tighten as he gasped for breath. In those agonising moments that seemed to go on forever, Sameer Khan believed the thing he feared most was actually coming true and he was facing his last hours. Managing to get himself to the nearest hospital, he was rushed for a whole host of tests for which he thought he might not even see the results. So, when the doctor told him that his heart was fine, after the initial relief of realising he was going to see his wife and three gorgeous children again, he knew that he’s reached a point where he needed to get help. It had been the most awful experience of his life, but there was physically nothing wrong with him… so how had he ended up in the emergency room?

Rewind 3 years to a time that kicked off a very stressful period in Sameer’s life. A successful financier, he was offered a job in one of Dubai’s leading institutions as Vice President of their legal department. This meant moving his family from their established home in South Africa and even though he was thrilled to have made such progress in his career, he became increasingly apprehensive about the welfare of his family and how things would play out with such a huge change to their lives.

Throw moving and starting a wonderful, but highly pressured job into the mix and you get the perfect cocktail of stress that often causes high anxiety. For some strange reason that he couldn’t explain his mind kept turning to thoughts of death and in particular how his family would cope if he wasn’t there for them. The high levels of stress he was experiencing had made him hit the cigarettes even harder, smoking more than a packet of 20 a day. This, coupled with his poor diet and lack of exercise, played daily on his mind and he started to feel an overwhelming sense of doom that he couldn’t seem to escape and which actually fuelled his unhealthy lifestyle.

In the days after his life-changing confrontation with the inside of the emergency room he happened to read an article in Friday Magazine that exactly mirrored his own situation and that also filled him with hope. The article focused on the experience of David Christopher, a man who had hit that same brick wall and in it he described similar symptoms to those experienced by Sameer. It was then that he realised that what he’d actually suffered was a panic attack and he knew exactly what he had to do. Like David Christopher, he would reach out for help to Russell Hemmings.

The Hemmings Way
“At that first appointment Russell gave me the time and space to talk about that day and helped me to explore the series of emotional events that had led up to it,” recalls Sameer.

“What struck me after that first session was the self-awareness I left with. Russell connected with me on an intellectual level and his explanations of how I felt really made me understand how I felt and what I needed to do to change. I really responded to his approach. The guy radiates a warmth and openness that communicates of a real sense of integrity and belief in what he is doing and that’s really reassuring. What I was looking for were the tools to use to control those feelings of panic, so that I never had to go through that nightmare again, and that’s what Russell gave me. After those sessions with Russell I have never had another panic attack again. For sure I’ve felt the feelings starting to happen, but his methods have taught me how to completely control them. Even more amazingly, after working with Russell I have quit smoking (I was a smoker for 27 years!) and I’m really focusing on my health and wellbeing. I know how to relax now, because Russell showed me how important it was to build relaxation into my daily schedule and I’m very conscious of the importance of taking care of both my mind and my body. I have such belief in the power Russell has to change lives that I’ve even taken my son to see him, because I know that Russell will give him the ability to deal with the difficult things life will inevitably throw at him and he will emerge a successful and well-adjusted adult. I also hope my story helps other people facing the same issues… I just wished I’d asked for help sooner.

So I say to anyone who feels like I did, don’t be afraid to reach out and find the help you need.” Thank you Russell.
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