I have had a couple different people reach out to me recently, needing guidance with anxiety. With all of the drastic changes going on in the world it's no wonder that anxiety has become an epidemic. Here are some ways to naturally eliminate anxiety.
The first thing that I did when I was experiencing anxiety, was to eliminate caffeine. This wasn't easy considering that I was working at Starbucks at the time. Caffeine is something that can cause anxiety and make it worse. If you drink a lot of caffeine on a daily basis, slowly decrease it so the withdrawal symptoms are as minimal as possible. Start by making each cup of coffee 1/4 decaf for a few days, then 1/2 decaf for a few days, etc. Or, you can switch to black tea, then green tea, then white tea, then herbal tea. If soda is your weakness, decrease the amount you drink until you have switched completely to caffeine free or none at all. Increase your water intake during this weaning process to help with the withdrawal. Chocolate can also cause the same effect, so be careful with that as well.
Start to become more aware of your breath. When we are stressed out, our breathing becomes very shallow, causing more stress and anxiety. Sometimes I'll bring my attention to my breath and realize that I'm hardly breathing at all. Yoga and meditation are both great ways to become more in tune with your breath. Something simple and powerful that you can do, that doesn't take alot of time is to start a daily breathing/meditation practice. I like to do this before bed because it is so relaxing. First, sit comfortably in a seated position. Just breathe like you normally would. Push your tongue against the back of your upper front teeth. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold the breath in for 7 counts. Breathe out through pursed lips for 8 counts. Repeat this exercise 3 times. There is alot of power in this exercise, so don't do more than 3 repetitions until you've been doing it daily for a week or so. Then you can increase to 4 or 5 reps.
Another good exercise is to breathe in as deeply as you can and exhale as much as you can.
Eat a balanced diet full of clean protein, whole grains, and veggies. For anxiety, green leafy vegetables are one of the most important things you can eat. They have anti-stress, calming properties and are amazingly good for you. The greener the better!
Vitamin deficiencies can cause anxiety, so make sure you are taking a good multi-vitamin. You may also want to get your levels checked because it can take more than what is in a multi to restore levels if you are deficient. B vitamins are extremely important for the health of your nervous system. I would recommend getting a good B Complex Stress vitamin and taking it daily. B vitamins are water soluble and need to be replenished daily, so there isn't much risk of overdose. B6 is the only one you have to be careful with. Don't take more than 100 mg a day.
Don't forget to get your exercise! It's something positive to focus on and the more focus on positivity the less room there will be for the negative. What you focus on grows. Plus, exercising creates those wonderful feel-good chemicals. :-)
Turn it off!
Turn off the television! It's good to be aware of current events but not when it interferes with your well being. Being aware of every murder and tragedy thats has happened within a 100 mile radius is not going to do you any good. When you are constantly tuned into the media you put yourself on that same wavelength, causing fear, negativity, and ANXIETY. Limit or eliminate your viewing time and spend the extra time listening to relaxing music or taking a walk in nature.
There is also a wide range of herbs and other therapies that help with anxiety.
Gaba is an amino acid that helps promote calmness, relaxation, and stress tolerance. L-theanine also has the same effect. It is the relaxing amino acid found in green tea. Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb that has many rejuvenating properties including relief of anxiety and depression. It's one of my personal favorites at the moment. Valerian root is another useful herb that is great for anxiety as well as the promotion of sleep. These are only a few of the many options out there. I encourage you to do some research and experiment with what works best for you.
I hope this was of some help if you are experiencing any sort of anxiety. I know it's overwhelming to think about doing all these things at once. Pick one thing, get that down and move on to something else until you are completely anxiety free! Let me know if you need any extra guidance.
The first step to change is being aware of the need for change.