I struggle with anxiety. There are times when it gets to be crippling and times where I do not notice it at all. It is something that has come and gone since my childhood. Throughout the years, I have tried different things to cope with it, but nothing quite gave me the relief that I wanted.
Then, COVID happened. I was forced to look inward and get down to the root of the problem. I was also forced to find tools that REALLY helped for ME. There are so many tools out there that people can use. The key is finding something that helps for YOU. Also, experiment with these different tools until you are comfortable with them. For example, I have been hearing for years that meditation can be good for anxiety (and so much more). A few months ago, I tried guided meditation and just could never fully get into it. It almost caused more anxiety because I was getting so frustrated with the guide. Over the next couple months, I learned that it works best for me to just do my own meditation with calming music playing in the background. What works for someone else, may not work for you. Do not give up! If you keep trying and experimenting, you WILL find relief! First, getting to the root of the problem. I highly suggest doing energy work with an energy healer. This has worked wonders for me! Energy healers help by clearing your chakras (energy sensors in the body). I have noticed that I feel calmer and more centered after each session. Also, I was able to get to the root of my anxiety and clear up some past trauma.
7 Tools to use for anxiety:
1. Meditation- Like I mentioned above, this took some experimenting. Personally, I like to play some calming music and just focus on my breathing and the way my body feels. Each time I catch my thoughts wondering (it happens often- do not judge yourself), I bring my focus back to my breathing. Sometimes, I also repeat some affirmations. Some of them that I have been repeating lately are “I am confident”, “I am smart and I will learn everything I need to know”, “I will be myself”, and “I am amazing”. These affirmations change depending on what I am feeling that day and what I think I could work on within myself. Nikki introduced me to an app called The Insight Timer. I highly recommend downloading this one. You can choose to set a timer with music/or without, follow a guided meditation, take courses in specific areas (including stress & anxiety), meditate with your kids and so much more. Meditation makes me feel calmer and more focused.
2. Vitamins and Supplements- This is an area where I am still experimenting and learning. However, there have been a few vitamins and supplements that I have been taking for about a month now and I notice a difference in my mood.
• My biggest thing is B-12. After taking it for about two weeks, I felt more energetic and happier. I was able to bounce from one project to the next and walk every day. Whereas before, I felt like I could barely get my butt off the chair some days. I felt drained as soon as I did anything.
• I also started taking a probiotic to help with digestion and metabolism.
• SAMe is a supplement that I have been hearing about for years. I finally purchased it and have been taking it for a little over a week. I am not sure that I can say I have noticed a huge difference yet, but I also need to give it more time. I have heard so many people say that it works wonders for them. SAMe is a compound found naturally in the body. You may want to check with your doctor before taking it. If you have taken this, have you noticed a difference? What was your experience?
3. Deep breathing- This is another tool that I have heard about for a long time now. I have used it many times in the past but never felt like it completely calmed me down. Recently, I have listened to many podcasts that talk about the science behind it and different breathing techniques. One of the techniques that I have been practicing is breathing in for as long as you can before releasing it. Even when you feel like you cannot breathe in any more air, try for a tiny bit more. Repeat this 10 times. Yes, ten. The podcast that I listened to recommended doing this technique every morning and night, or during times of high stress/anxiety. To be honest, I do not do this that much. I usually only do it when I feel anxiety creeping in. Deep breathing tricks your mind into thinking that you are okay (gets your body out of the flight or flight mode). It hacks into the mind to activate the immune system and digestive system. During deep belly breathing, you stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system (healing mode). A calm sensation washes over me after about the 5th deep belly breath.
4. Fresh air and exercise- This is another one that seems so basic, right? Everyone suggests it but when you are struggling with anxiety, it can be so difficult to get out the door. We can also be so hard on ourselves, which just gets in the way of treating our anxiety. I walk. I do not set any goals for myself. I just walk. Sometimes I listen to podcasts, sometimes I just take in the sounds of nature. Whatever I am feeling that day. Also, it really helps to just put some workout clothes on. Once you are in those clothes, there is a high chance that you will end up exercising. As I am walking, I take in all the smells, sights, and sounds. I have a favorite stretch that I walk down because the pine trees smell heavenly and the scenery makes me feel something (not sure what yet lol). When I say that I don’t set goals for myself, I mean that I do not judge myself if I only walk 0.5 miles that day. There are days where I walk 3.5 miles and days where I walk down the street and decide that’s enough for today. It really depends on how my body feels.
5. Grounding yourself- My favorite place to ground myself and connect to nature is at the beach. I bury my feet in the sand and look out over the water. I completely let my thoughts wander and just soak it all in. I feel so peaceful right now just thinking about it. I will have to soak in many more beach visits before winter. Speaking of which, how do you ground yourself in the winter? I have been thinking about this often.
6. Essential Oils- Lavender, Stress Away, Lemon, Energize, Thieves, YUM! I have many roller bottles that I use to rub on my neck, temples, and wrists. There is something about smelling these oils that make me so happy. Not to mention, I feel so good knowing that they are non-toxic! I also use the thieves’ line to clean my whole house. I honestly think that switching over to Young Living products has helped to ease a lot of my anxiety as well. I know that my house is clean and not full of chemicals. My brain can rest easy knowing that I am supporting my family’s immune systems while cleaning.
7. Educate yourself- Learn as many tips, tricks, and strategies so that you can pick and choose what works for you. Learn the Science behind it so that you can better wrap your mind around why you might be having these symptoms, or what is going on physically inside your body. Also, it always helps to know you are not alone. My favorite way to educate myself is listening to podcasts. They are amazing because you can put them going while you get something productive done. My favorite podcast right now is Mind Love. Look it up, there are so many resources in so many different categories. That is all… for now.
Like I said, I am constantly learning and changing. If you have something that works well for you, please send it my way! Take care of yourself. Much love