5 ways to manage anxiety naturally
5 ways to manage Anxiety naturally is a guest post by Christie Macsween.
I think as mothers we have all had to deal with anxious feelings from time to time. But when is your anxiety too much, or not so normal? That is probably something only you can answer yourself. However, there is a difference between getting butterflies before meeting a new group of people and deciding it is too much to leave the house to go to your first mothers group.
I have been on both ends of the spectrum and have learnt how to manage my anxious moments so they do not control my life anymore. After a very traumatic birth experience with my first daughter I battled with chronic anxiety, it did start to take over my life to the point that I wouldn’t learn how to drive and every day just seemed like a massive struggle. It did not start off like that, but after months and months of failing to deal with my feelings things slowly crept up on me. I didn’t even realise where they had stemmed from. In hindsight, I wish I had noticed the warning signs and learnt some techniques to deal with it. Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it?
When I fell pregnant with my second daughter I knew I could not fall into the same black hole again so I took natural steps manage my anxious thoughts and have learnt some valuable lessons. One of the biggest things I have to mention is not to let the anxiety become who you are. Instead of viewing it in terms of “I have anxiety” change your thinking to “I experience anxious thoughts”. It just helps separate the anxiety and doesn’t enable it to consume you! Now that’s out of the way here are five tips I have learnt to manage those pesky anxious moments.
1. Speak to a professional.
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But it is something a lot of people still battle with. Why choose to go it alone when we have so many great resources at our fingertips and people willing to help us who have years of study in this area. The beautiful lady I saw was a mumma and also studying to be a doula, so she had a lot of experience in the birthing space so I knew she would be a perfect fit for me and she was. She was able to talk through the whole experience with me and I actually realised that even if I had done things differently the end result probably would have been the same.
She also gave me lots of practical tips to help me get through the anxious moments. She would sit with me in my car (somewhere she knew would put me in fight or flight mode) and help me notice the physical signs my body was giving out. This was a massive turning point! You mean I wasn’t sick? This was just the anxiety the whole time! Mind blown! After this I was able to get more in touch with what was happening inside my body and could just say “ok, I am having an anxious moment this will pass. I am okay”. It is probably the biggest thing I took away from the experience. Just notice what your body does when you are feeling anxious. My jaw clenches, my palms sweat and I get a sore tummy. But this might be different for you.
My biggest piece of advice is find someone who is the right fit for you. Usually you will know as soon as you meet someone if you click. If it’s not quite right and you don’t feel comfortable then find someone else. No biggie.
2. Reduce your toxic load and nourish your body
Reducing your toxic load may not be something you automatically think of when looking at anxiety. However, our world is filled with so many toxins that wreak havoc on our bodies. Some people are more sensitive to all the synthetics that are around and I think I am one of them. It does not need to be a drastic change. I am not saying go out and throw away everything in your cupboards but I am just saying be conscious of what you are breathing in and putting on your bodies. I mean cockroaches can survive a nuclear bomb yet we spray them with bug spray and they are dead?? How can this be ok to breathe in?
The same goes for nourishing our bodies. I am in the thought process now of looking at food and thinking “will this actually have any benefit for me” and if it doesn’t I try not to eat it (with the exception of wine and ice-cream of course).
So how does this have anything to do with dealing with anxiety?
You need to look at everything with a holistic view point. Healthy body healthy mind they say! You can’t possibly fuel your body and your mind if you live on a diet of Maccas and coke.
I have found a major turning point for me was when I started using essential oils, they allowed me to get rid of most of the toxins in the house, raised my vibrations and allowed me some time for self-love and self-care! If you haven’t heard about all the benefits of essential oils, it is something you NEED to look up or contact me for more info I would love to talk your ear off!
3. Embrace nature
Seems simple enough but it is something that most of us do not do enough of! We spend our lives cooped up inside watching TV or in front of our computers or phones. So much screen time!
What I am going to say now may sound a bit woo woo but hear me out.
There are these little things called ions that can affect our mood. Positive ions are emitted by electrical devices such as computers, tv’s, washing machines, air conditioning and fluorescent lights. If you have ever been to the electrical section of a big department store or even in a shopping complex and just started to feel a little overwhelmed and off, this is why!
You can combat this by going out into nature! Negative ions will balance out the positive ones and have the reverse effect on your mood. Negative ions can be found in abundance in rainforests and near waterfalls. If you’re like most of us and don’t have a water fall just down the road even going for a walk on the beach should do the trick!
Another sneaky little trick is, if you can’t get outside (eg. If you’re stuck at your desk all day) you can spritz your-self with 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils mixed with water and it will do the same thing! The reason for this is the essential oils are basically as close as you can get to nature without actually being in it. Cool huh?
4. Tweak your internal dialogue
The power of the mind and the words you are telling your self have a huge impact on how you view yourself and the world. I have recently connected with a couple of beautiful ladies that just happen to be life coaches and here are some of the things I have learnt:
- Your inner dialogue and thoughts create a movie in your mind. You will then actually experience the physiological responses that go with what is going on inside your head. So if you’re thinking “oh work is going to be so stressful tomorrow, I don’t want to go I can’t face my boss” your body is going to react in a way that it would if you were actually in that situation. So, if you are experiencing this ONLY YOU can change it. Shift your mindset, create a new movie and start feeling the emotions you want to feel!
- Words carry energy –if you find yourself using negative self-talk a lot then that will become your reality. Replace all those negative words with positive ones and notice the change it will have on your moods.
- Remove the words “I should” from your inner vocab! It will only make you feel terrible if you don’t get to the tasks you thought you had to do. “Should” has very negative connotations and makes you feel like you’ve always got something else that you should be doing. Instead, change the wording to “I could” and you will see a dramatic shift. “I could go to the gym today” “I could clean the house before I get to my other work”. It puts the owness on you rather than giving the word all the power. Another powerful term you can put in its place is “I will now”
- Live in the present! It might sound simple enough but a lot of people tend to focus either on the past or project into the future. This will only exhaust you as you’re putting your energy into something you cannot control and make you distant as you are not appreciating the current moment. One way you can do this is approach every task one step at a time.
- The last mindset technique I want to mention is reward vs punishment. Are you seeing tasks as a reward or a punishment? Tweaking your thinking could change the way you feel about something!
If you want more from the two beautiful souls that have taught me the above, please join the following facebook groups and show them some love:
What love?! Yep! Get those endorphins flowing and loooooove everyone including yourself!
The reality is that when you love, your body will release a plethora of endorphins which is like our body’s natural morphine, which leads to all those beautiful fuzzy feelings. So, it is no fluke that after spending a day with the family or a holiday with friends you kind of feel like you’re on a high. The easiest way to stay on that high is spend more quality time with friends and family and be present and in the moment. Cherish the time you have with each other and just be happy!
The other way that love can help manage anxious feelings is through acts of self-love.
Take some time out for yourself to do the things you love! If you have a hobby you don’t do enough, do that more! If you like to read but never seem to have the time, pick up that book!
Make some time for personal development. You are already on the right track for reading this post but I encourage you to keep the ball rolling after you click away from here J If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormous amount of options, books and videos available, an easy place to start is to YouTube Oprah’s Soul Sessions, because everyone loves Oprah!
One of the greatest acts of self-love I can recommend (and Oprah will too in her videos) is meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be a chore or something that only the hippies do, it is easy for everyone to start incorporating into their daily life. I usually do a guided meditation while I lay in bed before I go to sleep. This just helps me clear my mind and release everything I was holding onto from that day and helps me wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.
Last night I actually downloaded a new meditation from Kim Newing and I absolutely loved it!! I highly recommend popping over to her website and having a look!
I feel like this has been a very long post but I just had to share all the little things that have helped me get rid of 99% of the anxiety out of my life. It will not be a quick fix but take it one step at a time and start implementing the strategies and you will see a massive change I promise! If you would like to chat more and join in the conversation please do not hesitate to hop on over to my facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindfulmumsau/ or you can contact me directly (I am the admin of that group, Christie Macsween)
I wish you all the best of luck on your journey and I know you can do this and start living the life you deserve xx
Thank you so much to Christie for contributing this beautiful post!
Do you have tips to reduce anxiety naturally? Share it with us in the comments below.
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