Anxiety is a very real thing. Anxiety is different for everyone. For some of you, maybe you just go into overdrive, unable to sit still. For others, maybe you totally shut down and can’t complete a task. However it manifests, you have the power to change your situation. The biggest step in my journey was acknowledging the power within my mind and body to heal. Now, it’s not always that simple, and I recognize the need for medication in some circumstances. But for those of us who tend towards anxious thoughts, worry, and stress, there are natural, safe, and effective ways to heal your body and soothe your mind.
STRESS VS. ANXIETY
Many of us use the terms “stressed” and “anxious” interchangeably. And, while they do have a lot of overlap in their meanings, there are real physical differences between them. Stress is your body’s response to a threat, whether it is physical or emotional, real or perceived. This causes a hormonal change in your body (aka increased cortisol), which leads you down a rabbit trail of other imbalances). Anxiety, on the other hand, is rooted in an emotional response to something that may or may not actually happen. Anxiety is when you feel like you’ve lost control and are uneasy about the future. It can also be a general feeling of restlessness, distracted-ness, or trouble sleeping. Physically, anxiety can manifest itself through panic attacks, addictions, cravings, and more. Just because it is rooted in your emotions doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you physically, too! Although stress and anxiety are two different players you have to combat, they are intricately connected too. An increase in one leads to an increase in the other, and vice versa. Learning how to control your body’s stress and reign in the anxiety is key to living a serene, joy-filled life!
NATURAL WAYS TO SOOTHE ANXIETY If you find yourself lashing out, unable to focus on a task, restless all the time, or facing anxiety and worry, here are some ways that can help get yourself back in control of your mind and thoughts:
#1 – SELF-CARE RITUALS
Self-care is the key. If you are going nonstop all the time, of course your brain is going to lose its ability to rest. Having things you do each and every day will restore order to your scattered brain and help your neurons fire in predictable patterns to keep you in control. Start your day with morning rituals that affirm your value. Intersperse self-care moments throughout your day to keep you feeling refreshed. End your day with self-love.
Throughout your day as you face stress, it may be helpful to have a routine to follow to help you manage it. Developing habits of controlled emotional responses will help handle unexpected (and routine) stressors throughout your day! For me, if I start feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I take a technology fast and get the heck outside. Fresh air and disconnecting do wonders for restoring my sanity!
#2 – MEDITATE, PRAY, OR USE BREATHING TECHNIQUES
Spending some time in your own head may be intimidating. I know when I started my meditation/breathing practice, it was hard to spend that much time with myself in silence. But stick with it…. it’s worth it, and I promise it gets easier. Studies continually show the value of deep breathing, meditation, and prayer for your overall mental health. This doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out thing — you can do this with only a couple of minutes, wherever you are. Have a look at this previous post I wrote about breathing techniques.
#3 – SET BOUNDARIES
If something or someone is not serving you, it’s time to distance yourself. You need to be the guard of everything that you spend your energy on. If it’s dragging you down the anxiety wormhole, it’s time to let go. That may disappoint people. That may mean you have to say no to things, at least for a season. But that’s ok. Your mental stability and serenity are worth more than those things!
#4 – ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are powerful mood interrupters. Simply inhaling their aroma can completely change your perspective and set the stage to successfully reduce anxious feelings! Some studies even show essential oils like Rose, Lavender, Jasmine, Neroli, Bergamot and Clary Sage are as effective as medications for treating anxious feelings in some people. One of my favorite ways to put these blends to use is to rub them onto my palms, cup my palms over my nose and mouth, and take deep breaths until I feel the control return and the anxious thoughts disappear. This is a powerful ritual you can do just about any time, anywhere, and as often as needed throughout the day!
#5 – SUPPLEMENTS TO EASE ANXIETY
Rather than just treating anxiety or unhealthy stress responses when they strike, supplements are a great way to be proactive and attack the problem at its root. Magnesium and B-Vitamins are great relaxers and mood stabilisers. As some you might know, Magnesium is one of my favorite minerals to supplement with. I take 600-800mg a day. It helps me sleep better and more deeply. B-Vitamins work on the neurotransmitters and adrenals helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Magnesium and Vitamin-B in combination are even more powerful and especially in balancing out anxiety during PMS.
So whatever it is that drives your anxiety try and find some calm and piece by implementing some of my strategies.