[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have openly discussed my anxiety on my blog and how it has affected my life throughout the years. I first suffered from an anxiety attack at the age of 28. Since then it has crept up in mild outbursts and severe episodes. There are a number of factors that come into play during my sudden panic attacks. But I found practicing healthy lifestyle changes and holistic approaches can help relieve stress and anxiety disorder. Below are life savers that help me tolerate anxiety.
Though I haven’t found a cure for this condition, I found ways to control my mind and minimize the level of anxiety I allow to affect me. There are several natural causes that create stress and enhance your anxiety levels: Financial troubles, stress, lack of sleep, unbalanced relationships, work pressure and fear to name a few. These causes stem from danger and send our bodies into survival mode.
Remedies like diet, medication, vitamins, herbs and natural methods may diminish anxiety, but none of them will cure anxiety. Learning how anxiety effects you directly and what causes it is the first step to treating it. For me there was a lot of trial and error. As soon as I recognized the power my mind had over controlling my thoughts, and the fears that triggered the spawn of anxiety, I worked on eliminating those things first. It was not easy, and every now and again I still resort back to a tired, worried mind. But I have found ways to control my thoughts and anxiety levels.
The easiest thing to change was diet and exercise. Well, sort of. I removed all dairy. Initially it seemed like a compromise coming from a childhood of drinking glasses of milk regularly, but the fact is almond, oat, coconut and soy are great substitutions. After only one week I no longer wanted “real” dairy. Now I crave dairy-free cheese and almond milk. There were other dietary restrictions I had to change. I’ve never been a carb heavy eater but I do love a great pasta and tortillas. Switching to a flourless and almost 100% gluten-free diet changed everything. It took a lot of self restraint, but now it’s my top choice of foods. There are many delicious gluten-free brands out there. I continued to change my diet until my anxiety was gone. It’s a no brainer but nixing alcohol and minimizing my caffeine intake was the best thing I’ve ever done. Not only for my anxiety, but my productivity and happiness. Though I love wine, after giving up my daily glass of wine and enjoying it on special occasions I feel the best I’ve ever felt. That change in my diet paired with thirty minutes to one hour of moderate exercise and/or yoga daily eliminated a lot of my anxiety.
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If you have ever suffered from an anxiety attack then you know how scary it is. Diet and exercise helped tremendously, but I had to get to the root of my anxiety. I gave meditation a try. It was a director on set that introduced me to a meditation app called Headspace. Meditating took time for me because I’m a nervous worrier naturally, but I learned how to calm myself down and refocus my thoughts with Headspace. When that didn’t do the trick completely I resorted to reading books, spiritual magazines and listening to sermons on YouTube from a pastor that ultimately changed my thinking and mindset. That may not be the right solution for you, but finding a type of meditation whether a podcast, app or self-healing book that works best for you is necessary for your health. Once you learn how to meditate you will never look back or judge a yogi again.
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Mediating was a lot easier for me when I made it a routined priority before bed. It helped me to reach a relaxed state of mind. Sometimes I fell asleep meditating. Now I mediate twice a day when I can but I always mediate at night. It helps me let go of my daily stresses and sleep through the night. Getting ample sleep nightly is key to maintaining low stress and avoiding anxiety attacks.
Those natural remedies eliminated most of my anxiety attacks, but I still invested in monetary resources too. Now I get monthly massages, own a great oil diffuser, Himalayan salt lamp and take baths with lavender oils and lavender soaps to help keep my body at ease. All of these remedies offer positive effects for your body when used properly. It’s been a work in progress but these things all contributed to helping save my life. If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety share these holistic approaches with them and over time I guarantee you will feel relief.
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