I am so happy to know that all of these years when I struggled with public speaking when in the middle of the day my heart rate would elevate and my hand would shake that I am not the only one and that there’s a name for it and there is something you can do about it.
I come from a family that is wired in a way that panic attacks, OCD, and anxiety are all part of our DNA. Most of us did suffer trauma so it’s fair to say that environmental may also be a cause but all in all, we have anxiety. Now that I have given up alcohol, I realize that my anxiety begins in the morning and sometimes follows me through the evening. Determined as I am to live a mindful lifestyle, I have been testing different methods and rituals to ease my anxiety so that it doesn’t last long and doesn’t take over my happiness.
It’s taken me over 15 years of learning about health and all that goes with wellness. I have been to workshops and retreats, taken classes and became certified, but what’s really helped me is working with clients and working on myself. There is no better way to truly understand the journey of healing than to heal oneself and watch other’s do the same, heal.
I am on this journey of getting to the core of what it means to be happy. I’ve learned that there are many directions to take on this journey, but the one that’s been the most helpful is learning more about who I am, where I came from and why am I here. Anxiety has been with me since I can remember. I used to hear my grandma speak about my hand shaking to others as if it were a disease. She used to say
you see her, she shakes like that becuase of all she’s seen.
She was right, but that was only part of it. You see anxiety comes from this feeling of needing to fight or flight, even when there’s nothing to fight or a reason to run for it. That is why it’s bizzare to me that even now, as an adult in my mid-forties with lot’s of love and support I still find myself getting anxious. Anxiety runs in my blood and will be with me however, it will not control me anymore. That is why I have really put a lot of effort in getting myself living a mindful lifestyle. Learning how to be present and let go of past moments.
Here is a list of my go-to for easing anxiety, naturally:
1. An Interesting addition
Recently I started using essential oils as part of my daily dose of health and I have found frankincense and copaiba to be extremely helpful. I add a few drops in the morning underneath my tongue and if I need a little extra support,, I add a few drops in the afternoon/evening.
Take an Epsom salt bath.Listen to a relaxing podcast or music, light a candle, read a book, journal, do some yoga, meditate. All of these are helpful to your body and mind and all of these have helped me
If your anxiety does not respond to these lifestyle interventions, I recommend having a consultation with a qualified mental health provider.
3. Don’t let your blood sugar drop!
When our blood sugar drops, we respond by secreting stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline, which tell our liver to make more blood sugar to keep us alive. This hormonal stress response feels identical to anxiety.
- Eat more protein and healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, coconut oil, butter and ghee from pasture-raised animals).
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks daily; don’t skip meals.
- Take a spoonful of coconut oil upon waking, in the afternoon and right before bed; this will serve as a blood sugar safety net throughout the day.
- Always have a snack handy (e.g., nuts, hard-boiled egg, dark chocolate, Epic™ jerky, Vital Choice wild salmon jerky, almond butter).
4. Detox from Caffeine
Caffeine hits our nervous system and makes us ready for a fight. Introduce a stressor, and you have an all out anxiety response. If you want to go back to drinking caffeine, but you want to go back to having that morning ritual, consider making green tea your go-to beverage, rather than a “Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte.”
Create a nighttime ritual, one that helps you to ease into the evening, keeping your sugar level balanced by eating a good amount of healthy fats and plant-based proteins. I keep a pretty strict bedtime routine because when I don’t I definitely find it hard to fall asleep. I also like to put on my comfortable PJ’s, dim the lights, and get aromatherapy going in my room.
6. Cleanse the Gut
Maybe you’ve seen the recent articles about our gut flora and our moods? The bugs in our digestive tract have a profound impact on how we feel and play an integral role in anxiety disorders.
Avoid as much as possible:
- Gluten, sugar, industrial vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, alcohol.
- Some medications like Antacids, antibiotics, oral contraceptives (only make changes under close supervision from your doctor).
Add as often as possible
- Fermented foods: kimchi, beet kvass, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese (if you tolerate dairy),
- Starchy tubers: Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, plantain, taro, yucca.
- Take a probiotic
- Magnesium –
- Magnesium is mother nature’s Xanax. Many of us are deficient in magnesium
- Vit B Complex
Moving your body is the best anti-anxiety medicine. I have created a movement routine for my morning, mid-afternoon and evening so that I am constantly connecting with my body and mind. Doing simple things like push-ups, planks, squats, and lunges will keep your core and hips strong so that you can be healthy. I add in cardio several times a week simply because it makes my mind feel good.