Once you have experienced the feeling of being anxious you can start to really relate to others who experience the same feeling. Sometimes anxiety be hard to explain…most of the time it is the overwhelming feeling of worry and rumination. “What if this happens, why did I say that, I shouldn’t done this better, what if things don’t work out, what can I do to fix things.” Your mind is in a constant whirlwind of thoughts and no matter how hard you try you cannot get into a space of peace, calm and relaxation. It is not just the mind that is involved but also the physical body. You feel tightness in your chest, you can feel yourself clenching your jaw, your shoulders are practically touching your ears, you can feel your heart beat out of your chest, your palms get sweaty, you bite your nails, twirl your hair…I can keep on going with the list here. But I will stop!
Being anxious can almost start to feel like your usual self to the point where your body thinks it is just normal. Having this feeling constantly running through your body can be so incredibly detrimental on your mind, body and soul. Trust me, I’ve been there. I have worked towards getting more and more in tune with my mental and physical body to the point where I can identify feelings of anxiety coming on and work toward preventing it from taking over my health. Here are some natural ways to get out of the the dark cloud and into the rays of sunlight.
Your diet is extremely important, especially when you are experiencing moments of anxiety. Consuming a whole foods diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, lean protein and complex carbs is key! Ditch the sugar – it can cause your nervous system to react and is not helpful in times of anxiety! Foods that nourish the body are essential, especially foods that contain B vitamins such as chicken, legumes and leafy greens.
Herbal teas such as chamomile and lavender are great to calm the mind and body down!
The sound of your favourite music and really soothe and anxious heart. Music has been shown to help decrease cortisol (our stress hormone) in the body. The type of music is also important – researchers have found that music with rippling water was better at reducing cortisol levels.
Practicing mindfulness can be key to clearing the mind from being full of thoughts and worries! I’ve learnt it best from the app Headspace. They explain it as when the mind is calm it is kind of like a bright blue sky with a few clouds filled with thoughts, experiences and emotions. But sometimes when life becomes difficult there can be so many clouds in the sky that you cannot even see an inch of blue sky. Sometimes our minds become so filled with clouds that we forget the blue sky is even there – but it is still there! Above the clouds is a bright blue sky – okay, what am I trying to get at here?
Sometimes we just need a simple reminder to step back and take a few minutes to ourselves to get back to the blue sky.
4. My diary
Getting your thoughts down on paper can be extremely therapeutic. Taking your thoughts and placing them physically on paper can allow for the brain to bring a sense of separation to the anxious thoughts that are being stored in the brain. So the next time you are feeling anxious, take our your notebook and write down everything thing that is coming into your mind on to the piece of paper… eventually the anxious thoughts will dissipate and you may end up with some positive encouragement on your notes!
Get moving! As much as being in an anxious state can sometimes make you feel like you are stuck, moving your body can be highly beneficial. Getting up and going for a walk around the block can really help to calm the brain down. Moving your body will bring more oxygen to the brain and can help to clear your mind. Some studies have shown that regular exercise can be just as effective as medication in reducing symptoms of anxiety. Researchers also say that a 10 minute brisk walk can be just as good as a 45 minute workout. So all you need is 10 minutes! I know when I start to feel overwhelmed, doing a quick walk around my block clears my head and allows me to get focused!
Have questions? Or want to chat? Contact me today and set yourself up to start taking control of your health!
Thoma, Myriam V. et al. “The Effect Of Music On The Human Stress Response”. N.p., 2017. Print.
“Exercise For Stress And Anxiety | Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, ADAA”. Adaa.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Apr. 2017.