Healing your anxiety
Let’s begin with what anxiety really is. According to Psychology today, “Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats.”
It’s an uncontrollable stressor, whether it is worry or doubt or an unease about something specific, it’s uncontrollable. This is when things get difficult though because anxiety is more than just a worry or an uneasy feeling. It’s something deeply rooted in your brain that forces you to stress and overthink and sometimes, begin to panic.
There is such a large gray area when it comes to anxiety because so many of us feel it but fail to recognize it as anxiety. We’ve all experienced it but to suffer constantly from anxiety, is a completely different ballpark.
Here I’ve sectioned off some of my most favorable tips to help manage and heal anxiety. I hope that with these tips you can begin to feel a sense of ease in your life and begin to cope much better with everyday stressors.
This is going to be my number one recommendation. Meditation is something that has seriously saved me in the past. There are two types of meditations that significantly help with anxiety; Mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation.
Mindful meditation, according to the Medical Dictionary, is “A form of meditation or induced relaxation that focuses awareness on breathing and encourages positive attitudes to achieve a healthy, balanced mental state.“
The Medical Dictionary also explains how this form of meditation has been proved to lower your heart rate, reduce anxiety, reduce reactions to stresses by inducing the relaxation response as well, encourage positive thought patterns and attitudes.
I started out with mindful meditation by listening to chakra meditation music. It helped me with my breathing techniques as well with learning to fully focus on affirming thoughts while meditating. If you’re looking for meditation music, here is the Chakra Suite.
A great meditational CD that helps beginners or even those experienced in meditation achieve a sense of relief is this Chakra Suite: Music for Meditation, Healing and Inner Peace
Loving-kindness meditation is meditation in it’s simplest form. While laying down and breathing deeply, telling one-self positive, kind and empowering thoughts. This is especially important and useful to those who not only suffer from anxiety but also depression.
The contemplativemind.org explains that ‘this is a meditation of care, concern, tenderness, loving-kindness, friendship-a feeling of warmth for oneself and others.‘
I especially love listening to calming music on YouTube and telling myself positive affirmations. Yet, the most important part is breathing deeply. I always breathe in for 3 seconds and breathe out for 5. It helps calm your mind and slow your heart rate. This technique can be used anytime during the day, whenever feeling stressed.
You can read more about Meditation on my Everything You Need To Know About Meditation post.
Eliminate Caffeine, Sugar, and Alcohol
I believe I’ve stated this in many of my posts but it is something I cannot stress enough. Though the majority of people tend to lean on sugar, caffeine or alcohol while experiencing anxiety it is actually the last thing you should turn to.
SimpleMost states that “Drastic swings in blood sugar can increase cortisol and adrenaline levels, which have been known to cause panic attacks.“
Our society emphasizes the need to “treat yourself” especially while undergoing anxiety attacks or any of life’s stressors. Unfortunately, “treating yourself” to sugar, caffeine or alcohol will only worsen your symptoms of anxiety. Replacing these cravings with a salad (I know… it’s the last thing you want to hear), a protein shake or smoothie – or anything healthy- will significantly improve your symptoms of anxiety. Maybe not directly in the moment but in the future, your levels of anxiety will seriously be reduced.
Kourtney Kardashian even said it herself on her blog and in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians! If you have anxiety or depression you should completely eliminate sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Plain and Simple.
Exercise is amazing for anxiety. It releases endorphins throughout your body which interacts with the receptors in your brain. This directly reduces your perception of pain as well triggers a positive feeling in the body (similar to morphine).
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America state that “According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long-lasting.“
Exercising is something we all know we should be doing. But getting ourselves into the routine of exercise is difficult. It can be exhausting and sometimes, our schedules don’t allow for that.
In my post The Top 10 Healthiest Habits To Adopt In 2018, I talk about how waking up 15-30 minutes earlier in the morning can significantly improve your day. In this time frame, you can easily fit in a walk or a run. And that right there, is how it all starts. Starting small is a lot more effective than drastically throwing yourself into something (like signing up for a daily 2 hour HIIT workout program) that your body isn’t ready to handle. It’s the small changes that will have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
Surround yourself with positive and loving people
The importance of surrounding yourself with people that honor who you are, lift your spirits and make you feel positive, is paramount to healing your anxiety. This is where meditation comes in. Meditating allows you to become self-aware in the sense that it allows you to acknowledge what you are feeling as accurate and enables you to empower that.
For example, if a friend weakens your spirit, you may not immediately realize that feeling. You will feel worse after spending time with them but your brain will rationalize that feeling as stress for something else. (Stress for being late in the morning, or stress that you haven’t paid off your visa.. etc...)
Meditation plays a strong role here in allowing your brain to recognize and accept that you are feeling low, not because you haven’t paid your visa off but because that person is not honoring who you are and empowering you to feel good about yourself.
Surrounding yourself with people who love you and make you feel good about yourself is especially important in managing and healing anxiety. Through healthy eating and meditation, you can easily begin to change your life in positive ways. One of my favorite recipes that helps me feel cleansed and positive is my Cleansing Detox Vegetable Soup. I have this and immediately begin to feel relaxed.
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I hope these methods will help you begin to feel a sense of ease in your life and help you overcome the troubles of anxiety. If you’re interested in reading more about ways to improve your health make sure to read my post on meditation.
Thanks for reading,
Lots of love,