If anxiety was ice-cream, I’ve tried every flavor!
I have sampled health anxiety, worrying about my heart and blood clots in my legs. I’ve tasted disassociation, living in a fog and feeling out of my body. I’ve tried a low-grade level of constant anxiety. I have sampled the worst flavor of all which is panic attacks, leaving me on my mother’s lawn for a few days to recover. My sister Andrea, our lovely functional medicine practitioner who has seen hundreds of patients informed me if I ever wanted some “street cred” I had the worst case of anxiety she had ever seen. I don’t know if I should wear that “cred” like a badge of honor or not, BUT I have learned A LOT about anxiety over the last decade.
Although none of it tasted as good as ice cream or even close, it has made me who I am today which is far more courageous, compassionate and self-aware. It led me to yoga teacher training, to try a million different healing modalities and even get my master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology! I do believe this is my expertise. In this article I will provide both practical application and things to consider for your anxiety. All the suggestions below have helped me tremendously to work with my anxiety…
1. B12 Injections:
When we are under stress and anxiety our B vitamins get gobbled up leaving us feeling extra raw and tender. I highly recommend my friends, getting weekly b12 shots. This made a BIG difference for me! If you want to learn more about the importance of B12 check out our blog post, “What if all you need is a little B12?” The best part is that we now have B12 clinics at The Remedy!! If you aren’t local be sure to investigate getting B12 injections to help calm your nervous system and get some relief!
2. Emotional Freedom Technique:
My favorite way to change thought pattern and to soothe my nervous system is tapping. Emotional Freedom Technique is the process of western therapy meets eastern meridian points. EFT helps to rewire the brain by focus upon something bothering you while tapping along meridian end points (sending a calming response to the amygdala-almond shaped mass of gray matter in the front part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum that is part of the limbic system and is involved in the process of expression of emotions especially anger and fear). This process will change your chemistry and help you to move on with issues that have bothered you for some time. You can always go to YouTube university to learn more about EFT or if you are ready to dive in and have the process tailored to you, I’m here to help. I have had so much personal success with EFT, I love empowering people with this lifechanging toolset!
3. Daily Dose of Walking in Nature:
Having regular time outside hiking or simply walking my neighborhood helps to sooth me. I often listen to my favorite podcast or music and it always without fail uplifts my spirits. Ideally this is done alone. I would suggest doing an experiment and committing to walking everyday for a week and see how you feel.
4. Is this Mine or YOURS?
People with anxiety and stress tend to care deeply for others and are very sensitive. This is one of our superpowers. However, sometimes we can get lost in other people’s emotions. We aren’t always aware that the stress of our husband or significant other is rubbing off on us. See steps 3 and 4 as wonderful solutions to getting yourself clear headed and grounded.
I know! How many times do people have to tell you to manage your stress with yoga! Yoga is the perfect trifecta of movement, breathe and relaxation. I have arrived on my mat a complete ball of stress only to leave feeling grounded and calm. Yoga is the best thing you can do with an hour of your time. Don’t underestimate the power of yoga. Doing yoga in community is wonderful but you can also do yoga at home, so please don’t create any barriers to getting on your mat.
6. Early to BED
I have often seen a correlation between not enough sleep and feeling anxious. Get in bed by 9:00pm for a few nights and stay off that phones, soothing your over stimulated system. I know this may sound basic but too many nights with poor sleep can secretly take a toll without you even noticing.
7. Get in FLOW
Anxiety is often a pattern. Something happens that triggers anxiety and away the loop goes, like a rabbit on a racetrack. The best way to get off the tiresome track is to get into flow. Flow is when you loose track of time and are completely immersed in something enjoyable. People experience flow participating in many different activities such as art, music, dance, sports, writing, poetry, or yoga. The goal is to allow yourself to slip into that timeless happy place. You can’t experience flow and anxiety at the same time. Do you know what you like to do to experience flow?
8. Functional Medicine
I have experienced firsthand the power of Functional Medicine and the importance of gut health. I have been put on health plans by Andrea and experienced feeling better in my body within a short period of time. I also want to mention TOXINS! Be aware that regular exposure to toxins can also affect your Nervous System. I had no idea exposure to toxins could create anxiety. I found out I was highly reactive to my Alhambra water service a few years back. The water housed in those plastic jugs, likely baked in the sun was causing tremendous amounts of inflammation and presented itself as horrible anxiety. The key here is regular exposure. Your body is designed to clean itself up and get rid of toxins but it you are pouring more in then your body can dump, it will likely take a toll on you and in ways you wouldn’t suspect, like anxiety.
Simple and effective. Take off your shoes and stand on the grass. In my case, you lay down because you aren’t afraid of getting itchy and nothing feels better than some sunshine on my skin in the cool grass.
10. Asking Good Questions
The best way to help understand your anxiety is by asking yourself good questions. Such as, “if my anxiety could talk what would it be attempting to tell me?” Or “what do I need right now, that I’m not allowing myself to have?” Asking yourself a good question can uncover a lot of what it is that you need to help cure your anxiety. In my experience anxiety was always trying to tell me something. What is your anxiety attempting to teach you?