I have been in hiding for the past few months! To be honest, my anxiety has been kicking in from time to time and I really needed time to pause & reflect. Don't we all? Pauses are a good thing!
My Anxiety story:
I am officially coming out of the closet about my anxiety! I have dealt with anxiety pretty much my entire life. I did not even identify anxiety to be an issue till my late twenties. It was its whole entity living inside of me and it wasn't until my first panic attack about 8 years ago I realized that this was a problem.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental health issue that dread, fear, worry, and a constant feeling of overwhelm. It is characterized by excessive, persistent, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. [source]
Some symptoms that define anxiety: [source]
Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge
Being easily fatigued
Difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank
Poor digestion, bloating, and constipation
MANAGING ANXIETY NATURALLY
Managing anxiety can look different for each person. My triggers for anxiety could be different from yours and managing them should be individualized for your needs. However, there are some basics that anybody can implement to set the stage for a calmer mind and body.
MOVEMENT - Exercise can be the ultimate antidote to an anxious mind. It is a vicious cycle though - because when we are anxious, the last thing we might want to do is move. Getting out of our system and building momentum can be done by simply just putting on your shoes and stepping out the door. Simply stepping outside the door can have a ripple effect of motivating you to go for a short walk!
NOURISH YOURSELF with WHOLE FOODS - Eating wholesome foods is key to managing anxiety. The gut and brain are so intimately connected. I will deep dive into this relationship in a different article. When you feed the body the right foods, the gut and gut microbiome flourish. Their communication to our brains is more seamless which in turn balances our mood.
SUPPLEMENT WHERE NECESSARY - When we don't get adequate nutrients from food to mitigate issues like anxiety, supplements can help! I do not want to make a blanket statement and say x-y-z supplement can help clear anxiety. Instead, I would say include supplements as a multi-prong approach to address issues that might be adding to the anxiety picture. This may include probiotics, Vitamin D, antiinflammatories like turmeric, or herbs like Ashwagandha - Which are all great for anxiety.
INCLUDE CALMING PRACTICES - This may include yoga or meditation. Both have proven to help reduce anxiety. I can say that yoga has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with anxiety. More than just helping me with anxiety, it has helped me embrace self-care, love myself and take care of myself so I can offer more of myself to others. I am still a meditation newbie but I am slowly learning its mind-calming benefits. Mind-calming practices may not be yoga and meditation for you. Maybe it is clearing, cleansing, and cleaning out your space, listening to calming music - whatever tool calms you, embrace it and include it regularly in your day-to-day.
MANAGE YOUR SCREEN TIME - What's in your feed? We live in a digital era and social media content absolutely affects our everyday thoughts! Did you know that we are subjected to almost 10,000 ads every single day!! What is on our daily feed can absolutely impact our mood and can be a big anxiety trigger. Balance it out with having certain ground rules such as time spent on social media and indulging more in being present and in the moment!
This post might be a bit topical and not delve deep into each criterion. I will be doing a more in-depth post soon after. But I do hope that the message in this post resonates with you and inspires you to take action if you experience anxiety.
With love and light,