I remember that day all too well. Sitting at my desk at work, having done my regular routine of morning coffee and about 20 minutes of news articles. There was conflict in Israel/Palestine and my heart went out to them. My mind started an inner monologue and one thought led to another and suddenly I was playing a personal scenario in my head. This had nothing to do with the news or with my real life for that matter but it had the same flavor of helplessness. My breathing became shallow and faster, my chest felt tighter, my heart was fluttering, my stomach started turning and I could feel myself sweating. I was suddenly very afraid. I was alone in an office. What if something happened to me and no one knew? I started to make my way out to the hall that led to some cubicles. I didn’t know if I’d make it because I could feel a darkness closing in on me. I made it but by that time it was almost completely dark. I felt people all around me touching me reassuring me and sitting me down prompting me to breath deep and to put my head in between my legs. It took all of me to do just that.
That was my first anxiety attack and I had many more after that. To the point I was wearing a heart monitor. I was 20 years old!
This has led me for years to find ways to manage anxiety and minimizing it. I have tried everything! Medication and all. Ultimately, it took me to learn to listen to my body. Do you suffer from anxiety?
Here are a few holistic tips you could try. I’ve put these tips together from other women who have personally struggled with anxiety.
1. Avoid or minimize stimulants like caffeine and sugar. For me it was caffeine, I had to almost completely eliminate. I can still enjoy a tall, white chocolate mocha from time to time but for energy in the mornins I switched to high dose of protein and tea for hydration.
2. Minimize watching the news. Again, I was so guilty of starting every day with “what’s going on in the world” like if it wasn’t enough everything that was going on in my world. It would only cause me to worry about things I didn’t have any control over. Am I telling you to become apathetic? NO. But for your own metal health bring attention to the things you can actually deal with.
3. Remove yourself from habits that inspire guilt. Easier said than done but where there is a will there is a way. If you are engaging in a behavior that feels okay while engaging but then brings guilt or remorse take yourself out ASAP. You’ll be grateful!
4. Find a healthy snack to go to. Many women say that they deal with anxiety by eating. That doesn’t always work out for the best but if you can find a healthy snack that brings you comfort like almonds covered in dark chocolate, or yogurt and granola go for it! Unless it brings on guilt or remorse.
5. Assign a significant object as an anchor for focus. If you have a small object or picture that brings you comfort and you can carry with you, do so. Any time you feel that anxiety building redirect your focus to this object.
6. Exercise. Not my favorite either but I found that anxiety was a product of a mind with too much time on its hands. Physical activity does not really leave much room for your mind or focus to get too worked up.
7. Get some sleep! This may be the most valuable tip. Getting the proper amount of sleep, for you, will benefit you in more ways than we can count. Get someone to watch your kids, go to the doctor to get some sleep medication, ask your partner to take you out for a drive. Whatever it takes!!
8. Find a relaxation practice. I say this all the time. I know I sound like a broken record but I believe in this so much.
Meditation, bubble bath, breathing techniques, yoga, writing and Reiki are all good examples to try.
The point is to find something that works for you. So, how do you know if it’s working for you? Listen to your body!! Engage in those things that make you feel lighter, relaxed, proud and accomplished.
When going though challenging times think about what Dr. Demartini says “these challenges or not IN your way but ON your way”.
And when all things fails remember Esther Hicks say “there’s nothing really serious going on here” because as comedian Bill Hicks said “this is just a ride”. This life is just a ride and we are all apart of something much larger. Something that is infinitely protected and guided. We only have this moment and we can choose what to do with it.
So when life throws you lemons…. do whatever the hell you want because it’s your life and this is just a ride but if you would like to make the best of every moment and start a relaxation practice but need guidance contact me at 706-307-0081.