Good morning, today we are going to dig into worry and anxiety. I would love to share with you what I have learned and how I have made changes to reduce my symptoms of anxiety and manage my worry. Now I am not talking about extreme anxiety and of course there are always situations where a doctor is needed to prescribe medication or therapies to assist in managing anxiety. This is completely normal and I recommend having open discussions with professionals to make sure you are well and doing what is appropriate for your life. That being said there are things that have been proven to help aid in worrying and minimizing symptoms of anxiety day to day. I am not a professional when it comes to mental health, anxiety or anything in this field. I am however a human being who has experienced these things, continues to experience them and I have worked hard to learn about how I can manage things better. I have sought professional help both with my therapist and my doctor over the span of my lifetime and I will continue to keep open dialogue with them because I believe it is important. To learn more about Anxiety Disorders and to better understand the science behind them I found this article very helpful, clear and it comes from a reputable source. CLICK HERE
Everyday we are faced with things that cause us to feel stressed out and worry. Our thoughts and the patterns in our brain are why we often find ourselves experiencing the same thing with repetition. Our entire life has been a part of programming our brain to where it is today and how it functions. These patterns are called neurotransmitters and they can be rewired with intention and mindfulness. A great way to map out your patterns and become more aware of them is to journal. Rooting out the issue as to why you are triggered by specific things is essential to changing the way your brain processes information and in turn the way we respond to this information. We all have triggers unique to our life and when we can map them out and look at them objectively it makes it easier to minimize their power over us. I find it helpful to discuss triggers and my habits with my counsellor and following our discussion doing further journaling.
Nutrition can play a large role in how our body processes information. This sounds silly at first but imagine if you haven’t eaten all day and then something really stressful happens. Your reaction is going to be very different then if you have had a good meal. The same goes for foods that are stimulating. Coffee and sugar can play a huge role in influencing your central nervous system. So much so that I want to share with you what I recently experienced. Now, I am a busy person. When routines change and life in in transition, so much can happen that it is hard to root out the cause of anxiety. It can be easy to just be okay with feeling like garbage since its “normal” but that doesn’t work for me. If I feel like shit I want to do something about it to try and change it. The past three months have been a constant evolution of our home and work routines. I started having nighttime anxiety that was giving me insomnia. This is not a normal thing for me however it does happen about once a year during spring or fall. When the time change happened I feel like that was my final straw and it set my on this course of anxiety. So many potential causes for stress. I started to worry when I was laying in bed at night. All of the things that would run through my head at night were things I managed thinking about during the day just fine. This was my first sign that it wasn’t the situation or circumstances that were the problem, it was my body. I took a good hard look at my life to see what had changed day to day that could be influencing how my body was processing information. My nutrition has been very good since January since switching to plant based so it couldn’t have been that. I did however notice I was drinking more coffee later in the day. Five years ago this was never an issue. I have never found myself sensitive to caffeine later in the day but it seemed to be the one thing that was different in my routine that I could change that might help. I researched more about how caffeine can play into anxiety and I was shocked. So I cut out caffeine after noon and so far my night time anxiety has bit the dust. Is it magic? Maybe. However I want you to know that this was absolutely effecting me and if you struggle with night time anxiety specifically take a look at your caffeine and sugar consumption and do some reading about it further.
Moving your body is a great way to use up your energy, process hard things in a healthy way and to ensure your body is ready for sleep. All the best chemicals your brain has to release to you comes from exercise. Exercise has also shown to reduce pain within the body through analgesia/the analgesic effect. There is so much to read about the benefits of exercise and yet so many of us remain stagnant. Let me tell you this. Moving my body has dramatically changed my life, my mind and in turn has benefitted me far more than any other adaptation to my life. Start small with tiny goals. Do them often so you get the dopamine reward of completion. The more you complete a task the more you create a habit and when you start small and slowly build on your goals you are more likely to have a life long sustainable change.
Fear. Oh fear. I am not sure I can even articulate what I want to about fear well. The root of all my worries is fear and scarcity mindset. When fear is in the driving seat its like allowing a drunk driver to take over. It will end badly. Get to the root of your fears and how they are presenting in your life. Talk about them, journal where they have come from and get a hold of them before they take your life in a direction you don’t want. This sounds big but it doesn’t always show up as a big thing. I guarantee you the things you are most anxious about are rooted in a fear of something. The one thing I struggle with the most is the fear that I do not have enough time. I am always working my ass off to chase my dreams. This fear has come out of the loss of my Dad and learning that not every day is promised. It is a big one to digest and its hard not to get caught it making EVERY moment be super special, epic and wonderful in fear that it may be your last. I have to keep this fear in check and often when I root out the issue behind an anxiety or stress it comes back to this exact fear.
Worry and anxiety are big issues for a lot of us. Even if medication is the right and healthy choice to manage your symptoms there is a lot we can do with our inner work and lifestyle than can beneficially change our life. I hope you found this article helpful and that it encourages you to meditate and reflect on your life for the better. Have a great day friends!