Eight Easy Ways to Clam Your Anxiety
Hi my lovelies, with everything going on the last few weeks, I really thought it was important to talk about anxiety and more importantly how to calm your anxiety in a natural way. If you’ve been following along for a while then you know, that I suffer from a mood disorder and that after taking medication for over six years and not feeling any better, I shifted my point of view and started to really pay attention to what affected my mood, how I could keep it balance and drop all the nasty medications that caused sadly more harm then good.
While a lot of it definitely has to do with what I eat, sometimes life altering events, certain situations can bring a little or a lot of anxiety into my life.
Around the end of October, I started to feel overwhelmed with life, I was really anxious, I wasn’t sleeping and felt like I was crawling down a depressive hole. I asked for help before things escalated and since then have been really practicing a lot of different techniques to help me when times get a little tough.
We’ve all been there, you don’t have to have a mental illness in order to experience anxiety. Naturally, as humans we can feel worried, or nervous from time to time. When its excessive and consuming your every thought, over long periods of time, that is when it can signal something a bit more, and lead to an anxiety disorder. Did you know that roughly 40 million adults in the US have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
While we all experience it differently, I have over time been able to pick up the cues when my mind starts to go into overdrive and I start to develop a lot of anxiety and stress.
It has been said that anxiety disorders can either be genetic and/or environmental factors, a lot of the time it is intertwined. Like: being exposed to traumatic experiences, family history with mental disorders, going through a divorce or having a family member pass and so much more.
In my case it is a combination of both, while mental illness do run in my family and I was diagnosed with one, my parents also divorced when I was young, we moved a lot and the unhealthy relationship with my father did not help.
I’ve gathered together what has worked for me in the last three or so years and would love to hear your thoughts of what strategies or tools you babes use when you are going through an anxiety spell.
Listen to your gut, if something is off, don’t be scared or ashamed to ask for help. It makes you stronger not weaker.
While it is still in the air weather caffeine is good or bad for us, caffeine is a powerful stimulant and can affect everyone differently. I personally know I am sensitive to caffeine and it can make me anxious, especially if I am not sleeping well or have had a very hectic week. I try to stick to matcha only and take two days a week off. While I won’t say I don’t ever have coffee, I do treat it as a special occasion indulgence. If you wanna look for a lower caffeine energy bolt -check out this awesome recipe here using adaptogens and shrooms + matcha!
JOURNAL YOUR THOUGHTS
Journaling is such a simple way to relax. It has been proven that it can lower stress levels and keep you organized. A lot of my anxiety comes from having way too much in my head and ideas and all these things I want to do and don’t know how to get them to actually happen. I like to do a lot of lists and journaling to kind of keep my mind a bit more clear. It helps me so much. I make an entire ritual out of it, light some candles, put some music, and snuggle with my cat.
GET A PET
While I know that not everyone can have a pet, my cat has played such an immense role in my recovery from bipolar disorder. He is great when I am crying, or anxious, it’s like he can sense it and will cuddle up to me and purr. It’s an amazing feeling.
When I first heard of breath work I totally thought it was BS, not gonna lie. Throughout the last few years, I’ve realized just how much of an impact breathing and using breathe work techniques can help with feeling anxious.
I stopped trying to get my mind to quiet and just focus on my breath, and since it can be a little hard, it take focus away from whatever is bothering you.
I do a lot of breathing in for eight seconds, holding it for seven and breathing out for six. Trying to count, and breathe and do it right totally works. I repeat this as many times as I need to.
Check out more breath works techniques here.
TALK IT OUT
Even if it’s just with yourself, as weird as this may sound. Sometimes we just need to get it out, and kind of breathe after saying it all. I know for example if something happens and I want to say all these things to someone and for whatever reason I don’t, it can build up and cause unnecessary anxiety. If I just talk to my pillow and say it all, it really does make a huge difference. Or you can call whoever it is you feel comfortable with and just vent. I have some really good friends that I can talk to whenever I need to laugh or just get everything out of my system.
WALK IT OFF OR RUN IT OFF
I’ve been relying on this way too much lately and it has been game changing. If I feel anxious or just like I have a lot on my mind, I will go to the gym, or go out for long run or even just take a really nice walk around my neighborhood. Its such a great way to clear my mind, sometimes I’ll cry a little and have no idea why, but I feel amazing afterwards.
I still have an issue with crying, I grew up thinking it was weak to cry. I had a weird mentality when it came to emotions and for so long I buried them all. I reached the point that I didn’t know how to deal with all of them when I left the medication bubble. Little by little I have learned that crying doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. Sometimes all I need is a really good cry, I’ll lay on my bed and just hug my pillow and let out a good cry.. Or sometimes I am in the middle of a yoga flow and I start crying and I notice that I’ve been neglecting my emotions.
If you’re feeling a bit more anxious than normal or the feelings have been popping out more than usual, take a look at what is going on in your life that can have you feeling like this? Maybe you’re sleep isn’t where you want it to be or something is going on with your job, anything can cause anxiety.
If I feel like my anxiety is acting up more than usual, I will take a bath, put on a face mask, get a manicure or pedicure. Buy myself flowers, I take care of myself and take time for me. I’ll indulge in chocolate and take a nap, read a book, binge watch my favorite tv show, go for a walk or hike, go to the farmers market. I do things that make me feel better, and sometimes it’s all about time. Do whatever makes you feel great, and gets you in a better place.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT + RESOURCES
Babes educate yourself, trust me when you can actually understand what is going on, it really does help. It took a while for me to finally accept and come to terms with my illness and I think that really does make a difference.
Contact the National Alliance of Mental Illnesses (NAMI) Hotline at 1-800-950-6264 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find a licensed therapist and meet with them.
Read more about how to treat anxiety without medication here.
If you have struggled with anxiety or have a loved one who has, what methods have helped them? I would really appreciate it if you shared, drop a comment or shoot me an email. I would LOVE to add to this list with you suggestions.