I have always struggled with anxiety. I initially found relief through sobriety, and continue to find it as I continue healing. I share these tips with you— my personal tools to overcome those anxious times.
1. Move a muscle: Perhaps the most obvious is this one! Get outside. Go for a walk. Hit up a yoga class. Get yourself moving and work up a sweat so you can release those natural endorphins- which will immediately help lighten your mood and bring whatever it is you are worried or stressed about down a notch. You may not feel like doing it right away, but you will be glad once it’s done. I promise.
2. Quiet the chatter: It is SO easy to get consumed and overwhelmed by outside chatter. But how much of this is within your control? A lot! Simply turning off the TV, the radio, or putting your phone away can slow your racing thoughts and those inner anxieties. And if you’re an avid reader like me, sometimes you will need to put down that book or article too and just close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths. 10 minutes can literally shift my mood. Include breathwork for 5 minutes a day. It seems silly, but you actually activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest network), reminding your body that there is no threat. A daily practice of this can literally change your life.
3. Help someone: Maybe you can’t get to the soup kitchen to serve meals or aren’t able to donate a lot of time or money to a charity you love. But what about sharing a compliment with someone inside an elevator today? Or calling a friend and letting them know you were thinking of them? I have noticed any time I feel trapped inside a downward spiral, the first thing that takes me outside of myself is looking for opportunity to uplift someone else. Works every time.
4. Speak up: Sometimes ALL I need is to know and feel that I am not alone. But the only way I can connect with someone else is by having the courage to open up and share about my thoughts and struggles. It really was the reason I started my blog and social media platforms. We heal better together. Call a safe person you trust and talk it out. You will feel lighter guaranteed- just getting it out of your head and off your chest.
5. Ask yourself what you need: Have an open dialogue with your inner child. Maybe they need a bath, a hug, or a warm meal. Whatever it is, I can only receive what I need when I slow down to observe and honor those quiet requests. Check in with yourself often and ask yourself the simple question- “what do I really need right now?”
6. Let natural supplements help: I have had a few of these on rotation for a while, and LOVE THEM. (Obviously speak to a doctor before taking anything.) Here are my favorite go-to supplements for anxiety/depression:
Anxiety and depression is not something to take lightly. I know I will struggle with it for the rest of my life, but now I choose to not let it control my life. Please note there is NOTHING to be ashamed of about taking prescription anti depressants! However, these 6 things I return to whenever I begin to feel myself slipping into a dark place or have rushes of anxiety that I don’t quite understand. If they don’t work for you right away, do them again. And again. And again, until they do. They will. You will come out of it, and you are never, ever alone!
Which is the hardest for you to do and why? I want to hear from you. Leave your comment below.