If you're one of the 25%-50% of people that suffers from anxiety, or know someone that does, I'm going to share with you three things that you can do TODAY that could have you feeling significantly better within a couple if weeks.
When you suffer from anxiety, even if it's mild, it feels near impossible to thrive in any area of life and the symptoms are diverse.
Loss of libido
This list is by no means exhaustive. It's not surprising that it's such a prevalent condition though, modern society literally sets us up to be completely overwhelmed and anxious! And in response there's loads of information available about self care and taking time out, meditating, keeping a gratitude journal, having regular date night's and 'you time' away from the kids, decluttering, catching up with friends regularly, getting enough outdoor time, grounding, breathing, yoga, exercise, manifesting, finding your passion, having cold showers, etc. etc. etc. ...…. all great stuff and very beneficial! But honestly I'm mostly anxious thinking about all the things I have to do to not be anxious, who'll be babysitting my kids while I'm doing all these things and how much it's gonna cost me!!
So let's just start with something a little more manageable. There are three things that you can do right now that could reduce your anxiety levels significantly within a couple of weeks. It won't take up lots of time, won't cost you a fortune and actually might save you some money depending on your current habits!
It can be very easy to forget how far you've come or what has changed unless you've got you've got something to refer to as a before and after. Grab a sheet of paper or use your phone to list any anxiety symptoms that you currently experience and give them a rating out of 5, with 1 being mild and 5 being severe.
Everyone's situation is different and there are so many factors that can contribute to anxiety. There's also so many strategies, herbs and supplements that help manage it, but as I've said already, that in itself can be so overwhelming.
These three things can at least serve as a starting point and can be extremely effective for a lot of people.
1. Eliminate Coffee Yeah I know, I know.... I love my coffee as much as the next person but some people just don't metabolise it well for a variety of reasons.
For many people this one change alone is enough to eliminate or at least significantly reduce feelings of anxiety! I know for myself, even though feeling anxious is enough to make me want to have a coffee the minute I open my eyes in the morning, I am unquestionably much less anxious when I don't drink coffee. Not only that, many people that don't metabolise coffee efficiently will find that it affects their sleep, and poor sleep is not just a symptom, but a causative factor in anxiety.
For 2 weeks, remove coffee, tea (except caffeine free herbal teas) and beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, completely from your diet. Find some herbal teas that you like, drink a lot of water and commit to this change for at least 2 weeks. This alone can be lifechanging for some!
2. Lavender There are over 400 studies that show that lavender is very effective at reducing anxiety symptoms and even more effective than anxiolytic drugs in many people. In addition, it's also effective in reducing insomnia which again is common in those suffering from anxiety.
You can use lavender essential oil in the morning, evening and during the day as needed and you can even grab some fresh lavender from the garden and make yourself a little lavender pillow by wrapping it up in a pillow case and putting it under your pillow while you sleep. There are also lavender oil capsules available which is another effective option.
If you're using a lavender essential oil you don't need a diffuser, you can just put a couple of drops on your pillow at night or even add them to your water. Just confirm that it's a brand that's safe to take internally first. In the morning put 2-3 drops in your palms, cup your hands and inhale deeply, then rub onto your temples and/or wrists.
3. Exercise The evidence shows that exercise is equally as effective as conventional anxiolytic medication in the treatment of anxiety.
This doesn't mean you need to join a gym unless you want to and for some people, overly strenuous exercise can make them feel worse. Just start with 15 minutes of any kind of physical activity each day. This could be anything from kicking a ball and running around at the park with your kids, making a playlist of 15 minutes of your favourite music and dancing (which has the added benefit of using music as a tool in reducing anxiety), pick up the pace when you walk the dog or mow the lawn and obviously any type of cardio, strength training or yoga will do the trick too.
In fact for those that experience panic attacks, it's been found that if people are able to identify a few seconds before it happens and drop down and do some reasonably strenuous push ups for a minute or so, some people are able to stop a panic attack in its tracks in this way.
There are so many vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients and dietary interventions that can be helpful in treating anxiety. Things like food intolerances and trauma can play a part and may need to be addressed. The information I've given you though is intended to give you a manageable place to start that has been proven to be effective.
Everyone will respond differently to different interventions but this is certainly a safe and effective way to begin and may be enough to have you feeling at least somewhat less overwhelmed and anxious and more able to implement other lifestyle changes and dietary changes as needed.
Commit to these changes for two weeks and let me know how you go, I would love to hear from you!
Contact me if you feel that you need help navigating this journey or find a health professional that is qualified to address anxiety for the complex condition that it is, not just someone that is content to medicate you and send you on your way! You deserve much more than that, this is a condition that can effect every aspect of your life.
Please share this with any friends or family you think may benefit and I'd love to hear from you so please send me a message with your successes, struggles, thoughts or questions.