Anxiety is something I have been struggling with on and off for most of my life. Over the past 5 or 6 years since my digestive issues have worsened, my anxiety worsened right along with it. After reading many articles, listening to many doctors, and learning how to listen to my body, I realized that my gut problems and my anxiety had weaved themselves into and endless cycle – One causing the other. With the help of several natural practitioners, virtual support from stories found online, and my family and friends’ support, I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep reading to learn what has helped me maintain some control over my anxiety. (I am not a medical professional. These are what I have found works for me. They may or may not work for you – Everyone is different.)
A good percentage of us have smartphones. Take a snoop around the app store on your mobile device and you will find a plethora of relaxation apps. A few of my favorites are:
Relax Lite: Simply guided breathing with soothing music in the background. When I get panicky I forget to breathe. This guide gives me something to focus on, other than my nerves.
Relax Melodies: If you enjoy noises, tones, or sounds for relaxation, this app would be great for you.
2. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing, 4 counts in and 4 counts out. Focusing on the counting and feeling the breath deep in the bottom of my lungs helps to calm me.
3. Essential Oils
There are also a few blends that are amazing: Relax, Peace and Calming I and/or II, and Stress Away. Each of these is unique, with beautiful, calming scents. All of these oils work well applied to the skin – for stress, I like to rub them over my chest – and diffused in an essential oil diffuser (the one I’m currently using – great for smaller to medium sized spaces, not so great for larger, open spaces).
5. Get Outside/Grounding
Getting out into nature, into the fresh air has so many benefits both emotionally and physically. Grounding or Earthing – getting skin to earth contact – in ways I don’t understand supports our overall health in so many ways: reducing stress, reducing pain and inflammation, speeding up healing, and supporting adrenal health. (wellnessmama.com has a really great article about grounding.)
“Playing” in the dirt can provide lots of beneficial probiotics. Having a healthy microbiome is the basis for a healthy body and mind.
So get out there in the sun and dirt! Breath in the fresh air, soak up the vitamin D and play in the probiotics.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Reach out to a friend or family member you can trust. Explain what you are feeling. Don’t be afraid to tell them exactly how to help you when you do have a panic attack.
Seeing a Therapisteapist can do a world of good. I really enjoyed the time I spent with mine. She provided me with many great tools to understand what was going on with my brain and how to manage it and correct it. Panic attacks don’t just come out of the blue. There is a cause. Maybe we can’t identify the reason right off the bat – and that’s okay – but with time a professional can help you understand the underlying causes of your anxiety and find a way to retrain your brain to overcome what triggers your anxiety.
7. Staying Busy
Staying occupied helps me to keep my mind off of whatever might be stressing me.
For example, I get quite anxious when we have company (I’ve made a lot of improvement on that recently) so staying busy in the kitchen or cleaning around the house in preparation for guests really helps keep my freak out to a minimum.
8. Reducing Toxicity
Detoxing can do a world of good for the body. You can start by making sure the products you use on yourself and your home are chemical free. (Sign up for my email newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin’ to get even more tips on living chemical free.)
With your Doctor’s approval remove synthetic medications. Search for natural options. A Naturopath, Functional Medicine Practitioner or Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner may be able to help with that search.
9. Check hormone and vitamin levels
I really recommend finding a Functional Medicine Practitioner in your area. I absolutely love mine. She is the best Doctor I’ve had so far (and I’ve seen a LOT of Doctors). She is dedicated, open-minded and thorough. Functional Docs have access to both sides of medicine – pharmaceutical and natural. They can also request testing from both sides of medicine. Functional Docs have access to more unique, detailed and possibly weird tests. Ask to get your hormone and vitamin levels checked. My results have been very revealing and helpful for future treatment and healing.
There are many supplements that can help with stress reduction and mood balancing. (Always speak to your doctor before introducing a new treatment.)
Taking a high quality probiotic to keep your gut flora balanced will, in turn, help the rest of your body. Anxiety can be a side effect of vitamin b deficiency. I recommend finding methylated b’s in case there is an MTHFR gene mutation.
So there you have it. Those are my tips and tricks for keeping a lid on my anxiety and panic attacks. I hope you find something here that could help you but remember, everyone is different. (You should always speak with your doctor before making any changes with your health.)
Do you have any tips that I didn’t include? If so, please share them in the comments!
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