Do you feel wired, stressed out and amped up all at the same time?
Do you sometimes think you are going insane by the negative thoughts that consume you every day?
Do you panic at the thought of people finding out who the real you is?
Do you react to situations from a place of fear rather than love?
Are you scared to be alone with yourself and your thoughts?
If you resonate with any of the above than you probably have suffered from or experienced some form of anxiety in your life.
Anxiety is becoming increasingly popular especially amongst woman. It is the number one most common mental health condition in Australia. Unfortunately many people turn to medication to manage their anxiety without addressing the underlying root causes. This creates a ripple effect of dependency on anxiety medication which can lead to some detrimental long term effects on your health and quality of life.
For years I suffered with underlying anxiety that I simply masked with alcohol, comfort food and superficial pleasures. I used to be so wired and amped up at work that sometimes I would have to step out of the office due to an anxiety attack. Alcohol was my resource for calming myself down, only to result in a huge dependency problem and detrimental effects on my liver. All day, every day I had toxic, self-hating, insecure thoughts running through my head about not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or accepted by society. I just assumed the way I was thinking and feeling was normal as I did not know any different at that stage, although I sometimes thought I was going insane. When I became sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome my anxiety turned into severe panic attacks, which landed me in hospital on multiple occasions. My whole body would freeze and my toes and fingers would lock. I could not breathe and my heart would race, it is a very scary, real feeling of thinking you are going to die. Despite multiple doctors trying to force medication onto me to manage this, I trusted my gut feeling and decided to address the underlying root causes of my anxiety problem – body, mind and soul.
It is important to recognise that there is never a quick fix with anything. Healing your mind and body can take a while. I would also advise you seek the guidance and support of a health coach or counsellor if you are struggling with anxiety as there are multiple root causes and layers that need to be addressed. To help you get started, here are some key changes you can make if you are suffering from anxiety that just might have a massive impact on your quality of life.
1. Change your diet!
Completely eliminate all caffeine, alcohol, wheat / gluten, dairy and sugars from your daily diet for at least 6-12 months. All these foods result in spiking blood sugar levels and activation of your sympathetic nervous system (which is your flight or fight response). When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, your body is perceiving it is under attack and it is in a heightened, vulnerable state ready to deal with the threat. It is very hard to think positive thoughts, breathe deeply, get adequate sleep or relax when your body is stimulated on these foods and in a physically heightened, distressed state already.
2. Change your thoughts and you will change your life!
It is impossible to stop your thoughts as we have billions of them running through our brain every single day. Although, you can choose which ones you attach yourself to. You are not your thoughts and when you recognise you have power to pick and choose what you think, you feel instantly empowered and free! With managing the chaotic thoughts that come with anxiety, a great method I use to this day, is the "Byron Katie" method. When you consciously observe yourself thinking something negative, fearful or detrimental, say “STOP” to yourself in your mind or even out loud. Then question this thought, ask yourself; is this thought true? Almost 100% of the time, what you are thinking is not true, it is simply a manifestation of the future or unknown. When you bring light to this thought not being true, you catch it out and then it becomes a false belief. You now have the power to change it and pick a new thought to think that is positive and serves you well.
Changing your thoughts can be one of the hardest things to do and personally it has taken me years to reach a place where I can effortlessly do it 100% of the time. However, this is truly one of the most life changing steps you can start to take. Practice, practice, practice and each day it will get easier. Using affirmations can also help you through the process.
3. Start to love and accept yourself unconditionally!
Anxiety stems from a fear of death and this can also be the death of your ego. When we are not our authentic selves to the world and are acting a part in our work environment, with our friends or out in the public, you can become anxious about what people may think, how they perceive you and whether or not they will really find out who you are….your vulnerabilities, weirdness, insecurities or differences. When you start to accept all these parts of yourself and be authentically you, un-apologetically, fear starts to lift and you can find a new sense of freedom. Learning to love yourself as you are right now with your imperfections is key. We are told by society constantly while growing up how we need to be better and look a certain way or have certain things in order to be loved and accepted or for our life to have meaning. Well……I am telling you, YOU were born to be LOVED and you are here on this planet to shine your authentic light bright! You are beautiful, capable and magnificent just the way you are - so speak your truth and just be you!
The road to learning to love and accept yourself is often one of the most difficult to travel and there are many practical steps you can take to get you there. I would love to be able to help each and every one of you individually as there are many more natural steps you can take to help manage your anxiety, so if you are struggling with any of the above, please get in contact with me as it is possible to completely overcome your anxiety and lead a free, fun-loving life full of abundance!
Have you suffered from anxiety? What did you do to help yourself? Would love to hear your comments below...