I'm Dr. Elizabeth
EPIDEMIOLOGIST TURNED HOLISTIC HEALER, MEDICAL INTUITIVE AND YOUR HEALTH ISSUES’ WORST NIGHTMARE
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Anxiety – a very familiar and common feeling of uneasiness or fear we can ALL relate to – is a natural sensation for humans to experience.
It’s ingrained into us as a means of self-preservation. In simple terms, what happens is that your body receives messages from your brain that it is in danger. Your nervous system reacts in “self-defense” to protect itself from the “danger” it thinks you’re experiencing.
That’s why when you’re anxious or have a panic attack, you can feel your fight or flight mode kick in: your heart starts beating faster, your breathing gets faster and more shallow, and you become tense.
This is your body’s way of looking out for you! Even though anxiety is natural and sometimes protects you from dangerous situations by raising your awareness that something might be wrong, when anxiety becomes excessive and interferes with your daily life – it’s an indicator of deeper and chronic health problems.
Today, chronic anxiety plagues so many people.
In fact, about 30% of people suffer from anxiety, which prevents them from showing up and living their best lives. In addition, it’s stopping people from experiencing optimal health – mind, body, and spirit. Chronic anxiety creates a burden on the adrenal glands, which can lead to many different chronic physical, mental, and emotional health problems.
But you know what?
It’s completely normal to suffer from anxiety, and if you’ve been feeling anxious a lot lately – you are not alone, even when society makes you feel like you are.
But you don’t have to go through it alone. You can create a toolbox of your favorite go-to techniques that work to create inner calmness and peace, and regulate your nervous system to heal that chronic anxiety.
Here’s are some of the best things you can do to relieve anxiety today. Think of this like a buffet – take what works for you and leave the rest. You can always come back here and try out new suggestions to see if you can find something else that feels aligned for you!
Here are a few of my favorite natural, holistic tips to reduce stress:
Meditation is one of the best ways to quiet the mind and tune into your body and spirit. Many research studies have shown that mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety levels! When meditating, the main goal is to be mindful of the present moment, how your body is feeling, and to view all thoughts and feelings from a non-judgemental point of view.
This resets you into a neutral state and calms your nervous system down from any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. Breathing techniques are often incorporated into meditation practices, like the 4, 6, 7 method, box breathing, and yoga breathing techniques. Experiment with different types of meditation and breathing exercises and find the best ones that fit your needs. These are practices you can do anytime, anywhere that you start to feel anxiety creep up.
Cutting out processed, greasy, fatty foods and foods that have artificial flavors, additives, and coloring can help improve your overall health, lowering your risk of anxiety.
Be sure that you’re eating a balanced diet and drinking enough water. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates into your diet is a good place to start.
If you smoke, it’s always a good idea to cut out smoking regardless, but it can also lead to increased anxiety. Similarly, alcohol can as well. Limit or omit alcohol use to decrease your anxiety levels.
Some of us work from home, children and families to care for, errands to run, places to be! The list goes on and on. So how do you make time for your mental and physical health without spreading yourself too thin?
The key is time management. Not making enough time for what is important to you (aka- yourself!) is a recipe for disaster. Not prioritizing a some “me” time often leads to burnout, exhaustion, and not taking care of your nutritional or physical needs.
All of this eventually leads to stress, anxiety, and depression, which can cause physical symptoms over time.
Set a specific time for what needs to get done. Cut out time in the morning or at night if you have to, as long as it doesn’t ruin your sleep schedule. Drawing hard boundaries is necessary, as is tending to the things you need and want to do that bring you joy.
Ah, our best friend, caffeine. So many of us rely on our vices, like coffee, tea, and energy drinks, to wake us up in the morning or give us a burst of energy during a rough day.
But these drinks could be doing more harm than good. If you already suffer from anxiety, it’s a good idea to limit or stop all caffeine intake. Caffeine is known to increase stress and anxiety levels and make existing anxiety worse.
Movement of any kind, even just stretching or taking a walk, can help release those “happy chemicals” in your brain, like Endorphins. Taking care of your body is vital in general, but when you’re prone to anxiety already, you need to ensure that you eat healthy, drink water, and get some regular movement.
Movement has been proven to help alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress. And it doesn’t have to be a super intense workout! We are all at different fitness levels, and all have different bodies; do whatever is best for you and to the best of your ability. The key is to be in the moment and really tune into how your body feels.
Try not to judge yourself, or make yourself wrong by thinking that you’re “doing it wrong.” And PLEASE – don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are not meant to look the same way those Instagram models do (and let’s face it – that’s not an accurate reflection of their reality anyway). Instead, be kind and gentle with yourself.
Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are important pillars of health. You need to rest— full stop. Period.
You have to give your body a chance to reset.
So many adults don’t get enough sleep, though. We all have busy lives full of errands, get-togethers, family needs, demanding work schedules, and more. Who has time for 8 hours of sleep when there’s so much to get done?! Here’s where that time management piece comes in – it’s all connected!
Try going to bed a bit earlier and start the process about 30 minutes beforehand so that you have enough time to get ready and not rush yourself. Drink some chamomile tea before bed. Not only does this wonderful tea help calm your nerves, but it also helps you fall asleep! Turn off all electronics about 30 minutes to an hour before you hit the hay; try reading before bed instead!
Essential oils are a popular way to decrease stress levels, quiet a racing mind, and pick you up after a hard day. Some popular scents include:
I actually have my own personal go-to Anti-Overwhelm essential oil blend that I use quite often:
Anti-Overwhelm Essential Oil Recipe:
You can use your essential oils in a diffuser or even just place 1-2 drops of the blend in your hands and take 3-5 deep breaths. You can even grab an empty rollerball and fractionated coconut oil so you can make a larger amount to rub on pulse points or behind the neck!
One note, though, if you have pets, especially cats, be aware that some essential oils, even diffused, are highly toxic for certain animals, so be sure to double-check what you can and cannot use around your furry friends. Consulting with your trusted veterinarian is a great way to check.
I hope these tips help quell your anxiety even slightly. However, if your anxiety has become unmanageable, and you’re tired of trying to feel your best again on your own, seek professional help. There are so many healers out there who can aid you in your healing journey to get your anxiety under control.
Sending you so much healing energy today!
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