Anxiety impacts so many of us at various times in our lives and for some can really have devestating effects. Anxiety can be caused by trauma, bad experiences, hormones, our genetic make up and sometimes for reasons unknown. We want to share as many techniques to help you deal with anxiety and live a fulfilled and happy life.
The symptoms of anxiety can manifest in various ways for different people including feeling tense, tearful, constant worrying, sleep problems, feeling lightheaded, chest pains, dizziness, heart palpatations, changes of behaviour, problems with concentration and avoiding places or people. As you can see it is a long list and I am sure that many of you can add to this.
There is not one fix all solution for anxiety but we want to look at everything in our lives and see what we can tweak and try to help us deal with anxiety. Some people may require medication and there is no shame in this, but even if you are taking medication it is important to also incorporate other techniques and changes into your life to run alongside and help you to deal with your anxiety - the aim is to make your life better and happier.
When we are anxious our mind can be such a whirring jumble of thoughts it can be so tricky to work out what is real and what is our mind playing tricks on us. Journaling gives us time to note down worries, to brain dump some of those anxious thoughts out of our mind and onto paper and to also find the positives in our life. If you don't know where to start just grab a notebook and set the timer for 5 minutes and write down anything that is in your head, try this for a few times then increase the time to 10 minutes, start to look over what you have written and see if you can re think and reframe some of those thought eg how likely is it this will happen? How do you know? Are you sure? Challenging those thoughts can help relieve some of that anxiety.
If you need more stucture when jounaling then use the rule of 3: 3 acheivements (however small), 3 things you are grateful for (again can be really small things), 3 things that are worrying you, 3 ways of reframing those worrying thoughts.
Affirmations are a useful tool to assist us in relieving anxiety, affirmations are statements/mantras that we can use to change our mindset. Repeating affirmations for anxiety can be calming to an anxious mind. Why not choose 2 or 3 affirmatons to repeat daily, stick on the fridge, make a note on your phone, keep them in your bag. A few ideas for anxiety affirmations are ' I AM SAFE' , 'ANXIETY DOES NOT CONTROL ME' , 'I CAN OVERCOME ANXIETY'. For more inspiration please do join our free Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/SpiritualAwakeningHub
There are some of us who eat a wonderful varied diet and will still suffer from anxiety, there is not one magic food that makes us less anxious but it is always worth looking at what we are eating and drinking and seeing if we can add nutrition into our life to assist on the journey to make our brains that little bit happier.
We cannot control our genes or certain situations but we can control what we consume. To keep it simple make sure you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day, assess if you are eating lots of fast food/heavily processed food - if so you don't have to give it up but do try and cut back, as humans our bodies are not designed to consume food that is so heavily processed. Nuts (the unsalted kind) are your friend, Brazil nuts are particularly good for anxiety as they contain Selenium which reduces inflammation (anxiety can cause increased inflammation in your body) and you only need to eat 2 or 3 Brazil nuts a day. Almonds have vitamin e and lack of vitamin e has been linked to mood disorders. Turmeric is a spice that also decreases inflammation - it is great to add in curries, smoothies and chicken dishes or you can buy drinks with Turmeric in. Chamomile is useful to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, why not have a couple of calming cups of daily Chamomile tea. Yay chocolate - not so much milk chocolate but the dark variety (at least 70% cocoa) in small amounts has been shown to be mood enhancing. Count up how many fruit and vegetable you are eating daily and if the number is low think of ways you can increase the number, a morning banana to calm the stomach and mind, an energy boosting afternoon apple, a handy snack pot of cherry tomatotes and cucumber to take with you to work. Refreshing watermelon on hot days. When we are stressed and anxious our body craves vitamin C so try and incorporate some berries - raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are all great, if you don't like them on thier own mix them with yoghurt, add to a smoothie or even bake with them.
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Anxiety can be felt very physically, and we need to relieve those physical anxious feelings. A way to do this is through moving our body. Walking regularly is one of the easiest forms of exercise and if done in nature you get double benefits, if going out the house for a long time increases your anxiety start really small and simply walk to the bottom of your road and back. Dancing can be so therapeutic and helps increase those endorphins (happy hormones) which help calm down anxiety. music is also very powerful to help work through your emotions. Anxiety can make you feel shaky, but actually shaking out your body can regulate your nervous system. There has been several studies that show yoga can help with the symptoms of anxiety - as with everything aim high but start small there are lots of free fab yoga videos available.