Anxiety is a truly disrupting way to feel, for some it may come and go with life’s circumstances, for others, anxiety is a daily occurrence. Feeling anxious may arise when we least expect it and unless you have had a full on panic or anxiety attack you have no idea how truly terrifying these attacks can be.
You are not alone. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health).
You can empower yourself to feel better and once you master your anxiety, not only will you feel better but you can potentially help others – you will know what to do for yourself and be able to give others suggestions and their own peace of mind.
Number 1: Exercise – even more! Exercise moves the accumulated stress and anxiety from your muscles out of the body. Sometimes I have exercised until I cried. Not because it hurt physically but because the stress and anxiety was leaving my body. Certainly do not exercise to the point of hurting yourself but get out there. Walk, Run, Hike, Lift Weights. Do Yoga. Move! Body movement gives your mind something to think about other than what worries you and as said before, movement moves the stress out. Exercise is number one on the list for a very good reason.
Number 2: Get a Massage. Massage and body work relieves the buildup of emotions of worry, stress and fear from the body. Very similar to exercise. Massage can be very emotional for some. Be sure to find someone you trust and if the idea of continuous touch is too much, consider a hot stone massage. In a hot stone massage, the massage therapist primarily uses warm stones to massage the body versus complete hand contact massage.
Number 3: Try Guided Visualization or Meditation. YouTube has some wonderful guided imagery and meditation videos/recordings to listen to for no charge. You can search for specific topics for anxiety or stress relief or fear. Listen several times a day if you need to. My favorites are Deepak Chopra and a guy with a great voice – Jason Stephenson from Australia.
Number 4: Turn off the negative sources, seek solutions. Facebook, news, radio – take a break. Most information conveyed on these outlets are nothing more than complaints and fears with no solutions. The mind needs and wants solutions to feel safe. If you are listing to non-solution based news or social media feeds, or even people, switch the source off and find solution-based information. Only talk and listen to people offering solutions and ideas. There are amazing people doing amazing things in the world. Being around solution based individuals, you will feel more creative, more empowered and less fearful.
Number 5: Use Essential Oils. Strong smelling essential oils are the most beneficial when inhaling for anxiety relief. Oils such as Geranium (which is excellent for shock), Lavender (for relaxing the mind) and Peppermint (for clarifying thinking). All three of these essential oils wake up the senses and can help your mind snap out of a thinking pattern. Inhalation of essential oils is especially useful in the middle of the night, when you just cannot get that mind to stop, try inhaling essential oils out of the bottle or a drop in your hand while breathing deep until you are in control of your thoughts again. Combine with tip Number 9 – listen to your breath.
Number 6: Acupuncture Works! Acupuncture is effective by helping the body “remember itself” or by getting the body back to its natural balance (also known as homeostasis). A body out of balance feels anxious and nervous. Acupuncture works with very specific points on the body creating relief, then balance. When the body is in balance your thinking is clearer and the mind is calm. Acupuncture is the best remedy for a full-blown panic attack so find an acupuncturist near you. Acupuncturists consider anxiety relief this way: when your heart is happy, you feel at home.
Number 7: Read a good, enjoyable book while soaking in a bath in Epsom salts. Water alone is very therapeutic, calming and comforting. Add Epsom salts which help relieve muscle tension and you have a very effective combination. Add a good, light-hearted story to get your mind off your worries and if nothing else, you will find 30 minutes of peace.
Number 8: Acknowledge, if you can, what it is you are really afraid of. We don’t always know right away what our fears are but if you kindly ask yourself, you may reveal the answer. THEN, acknowledge that it’s there, know it is okay whatever you are feeling and then find the opposite of that fear. Breathe in confidence, breath out the fear. This specific technique is great to use during the day if you begin to panic and have no other tools to turn to.
Number 9: Listen to your breath. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Breathe in DEEP for 5 breaths, breathe out for 7 counts. Repeat. Breathe as deep as you possibly can. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Bring yourself into the present moment and get yourself “out of your head” by listening to your breath. Consider that thoughts of the past can equal regret and guilt. Thoughts of the future can equal worry and fear of what may happen. Be in the present. Return to the present when you are too far off track.
Number 10: Get some Bach Rescue Remedy. Bach Rescue Remedy can be found at health stores. Dr. Edward Bach became interested in homeopathic remedies after working as a surgeon and casualty medical officer. Rescue Remedy is a blend of five unique Bach Flower Remedies. The mix “was created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – the moments when there is no time to make a proper individual selection of remedies. It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness.” (Source: Bach Flower website http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/). You can purchase Rescue Remedy in drops or lozenges.
Be kind to yourself and I know from experience, that you can manage your anxiety naturally.