Anxiety is a bitch, let's just start there. Unfortunately more than 40 million people in the U.S deal with this annoying ass health condition. Myself included. But there are plenty of ways to get some relief from these chaotic thoughts, feelings, and moments, naturally. For those who are reading this and are lucky enough to NOT have any anxiety, let me first explain what it is and we'll get into how to help yourself through it.
Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry , anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with daily activities. It's excessive worry, intrusive thoughts, and fatigue. Symptoms of anxiety are feeling very nervous, having a sense of doom or danger, sweating, trembling, hyperventilation , feeling weak or tired, and trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the worry. There are 6 major types of anxiety as well, from generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or even separation anxiety.
But the one thing they all have in common, is that THEY SUCK AND WE HATE IT .
These anxiety attacks can ruin your day, relationships, friendships, and in severe cases, ruin your ability to even go out and have fun or simply make it through a work day.
If you suffer from anxiety, first I'd like to say You are not alone, and second, I'm here to help with some natural and healthy ways to get through your anxious days.
Now of course, there are medications to treat anxiety symptoms but personally, I like to first try the natural way of doing everything so here we are. Aside from therapy, some natural ways to reduce anxiety are to cut caffeine, avoid drinking alcohol, quit smoking, a healthier diet, and exercise or relaxation techniques.
Exercise is should be a go-to for people suffering with anxiety. Firstly, it diverts your attention elsewhere so you're not thinking about the worry. Getting your heart rate up also changes the brain chemistry to create more space for anti-anxiety neurochemicals, like serotonin for instance. If you've never been a gym person, even doing pilates or yoga can help . I usually just search on youtube for something like "yoga for beginners" and just follow along. It helps!
Another way to ease anxiety is to stop drinking, or avoid alcohol as much as possible. Drinking can interfere with the neurotransmitters which can be responsible for positive mental health. Research shows that there is a link between anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorder occurring hand in hand.
These interferences create an imbalance that may lead to certain anxiety symptoms. Alcohol also disrupts your body's natural ability to sleep and a good nights sleep is incredibly helpful when you suffer with anxiety.
Quit smoking cigarettes ! Most of us have reached for a cigarette in stressful times in life, but smoking while stressed may worsen anxiety over time. The earlier you start smoking in life, the higher the risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes altar pathways in the brain linked to anxiety .
Limit your caffeine intake.
If you have chronic anxiety, caffeine can be the enemy. Caffeine may cause nervousness and jitters, neither of which are helpful if you're anxious. Caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders, and can also cause panic attacks. For some people, eliminating caffeine may significantly improve anxiety symptoms. Again, this alters brain chemistry . Gradually reducing your caffeine intake over the course of a few weeks can help adjust the habit without your body going through withdrawal.
Sleep better !
Sleep has been proven to be an important part of good mental health.
You can make sleep better by only sleeping when you're tired (at night), not reading or watching TV in bed, not using your phone or any other electronics. Avoiding caffeine at night, avoiding large meals at night as well, and trying to go to sleep at the same time each night.
Meditation and practicing mindfulness!
A main goal of meditation is awareness of the present moment. Which includes acknowledging your thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. This can lead to a sense of calm by increasing your ability to mindfully tolerate these thoughts and feelings. Meditation is known to relieve stress and anxiety. Research has shown that 30 minutes of daily meditation may alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant. There are plenty of different ways or kinds of meditation , but I will get deeper into that in another blog post :)
Eat better !
Low blood sugar levels, dehydration, or chemicals in processed foods may cause mood changes in some people. A high sugar diet may also affect your temperament . If you notice your anxiety getting worse after eating, check what you're eating . Check labels, and do your research.
Practice Breath work!
I'm such a fan of breath work for so many reasons and because of all of its amazing benefits.
Shallow, fast breathing is common with anxiety which can lead to light headedness, a fast heart rate or even a panic attack . Deep breathing can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety.
Breath work can also balance blood pressure, reduce ptsd and trauma, boost your immune system , help creativity and more (seriously, look it up if you don't believe me )
You can also find these exercises on youtube and follow along.
Ya'll know I love me some damn essential oils, and there is a reason other than they smell amazing.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that has been used for thousands of years. It uses natural plant extracts to promote the health and well being of the mind, body, and spirit. Who doesn't love that?!
It enhances both physical and emotional health. #Plantmedicine .
Therapeutic grade essential oils are best and they can be inhaled directly, added to a diffuser or onto the skin with a carrier oil . Aromatherapy helps you relax, sleep, boosts your mood, reduces your heart rate , and reduces blood pressure for those who have it high.
Lavender is always a crowd favorite, but other good essential oils to have on hand are bergamot, clary sage, and ylang ylang.
That's all for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I hope you do not have anxiety, but if you do, give all this stuff a try for a few weeks. What do you have to lose? besides that damn anxiety .
Peace & love everyone,
Vany the Bruja