May I just lay it on the line and say it totally sucks? If you’ve never experienced an anxiety attack, you my friend, are one of the lucky ones.
In my view, its’s one of the most unpleasant sensations we human beings can feel. And panic attacks? Purely the devil’s work! Psychologists tell us that anxiety tends to manifest whenever we feel unsafe and can range from low-grade discomfort to higher intensity emotions bordering on panic. Anxiety came on with a vengeance for me when I started peri-menopause. Immediately my doctor wanted to put me on “regular” medication. That certain helped in the short term but I was concerned with the addictive nature of such medication and began investigating other things.
Here are eight things that worked for me:
1. Exercise Variety
I know, you hear it all of the time-exercise, exercise, exercise. But physical activity boosts mood and gets our minds off what’s bothering us. I’ve always been drawn to exercise but when anxiety struck, my regular activities didn’t cut it. So I added all sorts of different types of exercise and it made a huge difference.
2. Spending Time in Nature
Although our busy, modern technology-driven lives can make us believe otherwise, we are part of nature. A disconnect from the natural world just might be one of the biggest causes of anxiety, but fortunately, the cure is simple: start spending more time in nature. Because I avoid the sun and am s, for me this meant sitting in the shade. (If it’s warm enough, walking barefoot on the sand or grass can be very “grounding.”)
3. Adequate Sleep
Getting seven hours of sleep per night brings a host of health benefits, and one of them is relief from anxiety. My challenge was that the anxiety wouldn’t let me sleep! Of course, the doctor wanted to put me on more medication but the thing that’s helped me the most is the supplement called GABA. Melatonin and Valerian (also herbs) didn’t work for me but they do help lots of my friends.
4. Meditation and “Becoming the Watcher” of Your Thoughts
You’ve probably already heard that meditation has benefits for relieving anxiety, but a specific type of meditation can be particularly helpful. Getting quiet and “watching” the thoughts and emotions that come up in your mind immediately allows there to be “space” around them. Oh, how I suck at this too but I keep practicing because it works!
Healing touch can go a long way in relieving and managing anxiety. Massages helped me but when I returned home, I was back in it. (If you are tight on funds, check out the massage schools for deals.) . Accupuncture was incredibly helpful to me and oddly relaxing. I can’t recommend it enough.
A new suite of healing tools based upon 5,000 year old Chinese medicine principles offer healing benefits for anxiety as well as just about every other issue. Energy medicine assists in balancing the body’s meridians and chakras so that previously stressful thoughts, emotions and situations can be more manageable and less anxiety-producing. “Tapping” or EFT can be particularly effective in reducing anxiety very quickly. Many have found relief with help of Donna Eden. Honestly, I felt like an utterly ridiculous when I first started “tapping” but it has helped me in many areas of my life. I finally just accepted that I would feel silly and embraced it anyway. It works.
Beyond anything above, prayer has helped me more than anything. I’ve found great comfort from Sarah Young’s daily devotionals. Don’t be put off by the title you God/ Jesus-phobes. Sarah has clearly struggled with anxiety and her writings are incredibly soothing. Just reading one page of her devotionals will shift your perception dramatically. Here’s my favorite:
(buy it here)
8. “The Worry Box”
I love to journal but sometimes it doesn’t do the trick. One trick I learned long ago was to write down my worry/worries on piece of paper for 10 minutes, fold it up and place it in my “worry box” (an old shoe box actually). After 10 minutes, my worrying time is up and I place the piece of paper in the box. As the day progresses, I tell myself I can worry again tomorrow and write it all down then. This works to “contain” my worry and helps me enjoy the rest of the day.
I’m curious-have you experienced anxiety? If so, what have you successfully found to help with it?
*Disclaimer: Some posts contain affiliate links. Though I may earn a small income should my readers choose to purchase through the links I share, all opinions, reviews and product evaluations are my own. – Patty