Seven Methods to Heal Anxiety
So many people, including kids, seem to be experiencing anxiety these days. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of fear, worry and unease. It is a normal reaction to stressful situations and can range in intensity from mild to severe.
A majority of my clients come to me because they want to get a grip on their anxiety. And I've had my own past struggles with anxiety. It's no fun.
Anxiety can become a big problem when it becomes excessive, affects daily life, lasts for long periods of time, and interferes with daily functioning.
Many things can contribute to anxiety including trauma, hormone imbalances, unprocessed emotions, poor sleep, EMF's, food toxins, leaky gut, and chronic illness.
I've had my own personal experience with anxiety over the years, with the most recent occurrence being a year ago.
During a pretty traumatic time in my personal life, the effects of extreme emotional stress kicked in. Anxiety, grief, and fear reached an all-time high. My sleep was a mess. My hormones were shot.
Luckily I had a toolbox of techniques and a network of people to support me, so I could heal, restore balance, and build resilience in my mind, body, and life.
Below are some of the key methods and tools to heal and overcome anxiety, so it doesn't control you anymore.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Consider activities that you enjoy such as walking, swimming, yoga, or biking. This has been a game changer for me. And it's not about doing a ton of high intensity cardio. That can actually burn you out even more. I've found pilates and HIIT training to be super beneficial.
- Breathwork: Slow, rhythmic breathing, meditative music and lengthening your exhale can help reduce stress and anxiety. You know I love some breathwork! There are certain types of breathing that are great for calming anxiety. Other breathing techniques can help you process emotional trauma. So working with a trusted guide can support your process of using breathwork for healing. Check out my recent blog post for simple breathing techniques to help with anxiety >>
- Social interaction: Connecting with supportive family and friends is so important for mental health. Connecting with others can help build a sense of community and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. I love my personal time, but when I isolate for too long, I begin to feel super depressed and anxious. The key is to find community that is supportive and uplifting. So many people are living from a victim mindset and negative thinking. Don't hang out with those people while you're trying to heal!
- Dietary changes: Dietary changes can help reduce anxiety. Limit or eliminate caffeine and alcohol, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Basically, eat real food. It's not complicated. Cut out the processed foods and sugar. And choose organic when possible.
- Herbal remedies: Herbs such as passionflower, lavender, and chamomile can help reduce anxiety. I've found certain herbs and supplements to be quite helpful. Here are some of my favorites >>
- Essential oils: aromatherapy is a simple, pleasant and effective tool for calming your mind and reducing anxiety. Even better, you can use aromatherapy alongside breathwork, at night while you sleep, or during the day while you work. Some of my go-to oils are Balance, Breathe, Adaptiv, Wild Orange, and Serenity. Check out my favorite aromatherapy kit here >>
- Psychedelics: Yes, I'm an advocate of these illegal substances. Here's why. They are potent healing medicines with zero side effects when used in a safe setting with a trusted, knowledgable guide. I know that's not what you learned from the "war on drugs" campaign from the 80's, but it's true. I speak from personal experience and lots of research. In fact, major hospitals and universities are conducting clinical trials showing the benefits of psylocibin, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA for reducing anxiety, depression, pain, and more. Now if you're not into illegal activity or having to travel to another country for healing, then go back to #2. Breathwork has been shown to activate DMT in the brain similar to psychedelics to produce expanded states of consciousness, shut off the default mode network, and activate healing within.
SIMPLE MEDITATIONS FOR ANXIETY:
A meditation for anxiety may involve focusing on the breath, body scanning, mantra repeating or visualizing.
Begin by finding a comfortable and quiet place to sit. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to relax and simply become aware of your breath.
Take note of your inhalations and exhalations. When your mind begins to wander, simply acknowledge the thoughts and then return your focus back to the breath.
Allow yourself to be in the present moment and observe any sensations that arise within the body.
You may also choose to focus on a specific mantra during your meditation and repeat it to yourself silently. This could be a phrase such as “I am safe” or “All is well”.
Finally, if you find visualizing helpful, try picturing a scene or location that brings you a sense of peace and relaxation. Hold this image in your mind and allow yourself to remain in it for a few minutes.
Try my guided breathwork meditation for relaxation below.
Relaxation Breathwork: https://youtu.be/K9w9L30ynWM