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I’m always looking for natural ways to help anxiety and stress. Both in myself and with clients.
If you’re stuck at home waiting for a virus, or another life issue has you struggling and fearful, you’re dealing with acute anxiety. But many of us deal with chronic anxiety as well.
I was in my 50’s before I finally realized I’d been struggling with anxiety all my life but never recognized it. That shocked me so much I decided to see if others were experiencing unacknowledged anxiety, and if so, offer natural help for reducing anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the mind’s way of observing a danger (the stress) and telling the body to prepare to fight or run. Fear activates the Sympathetic Nervous System, raising heart rate and blood pressure, releasing adrenaline, and stopping ALL non-essential work until the danger has passed.
This means digestion, sleep, immunity, repair and detoxification get placed on hold until you’re calmer….
How Do I Know If I am Experiencing Chronic Anxiety?
My personal definition of anxiety is this: do you have recurring fear of failure or disappointing others? Fear of loss of control? A sense of possible danger in everyday life or in big decisions? To me, failure, loss of control and danger all can lead to acute or chronic anxiety if you let it.
If your brain is thinking “danger”, your nervous system must prepare for the worst. Elevated pulse, high cortisol, insomnia, indigestion and muscle tension are part of your battle plans.
What Happens If This Continues?
Eventually, you can exhaust your adrenals and wear down the GABA-producing neurotransmitter in the brain, producing insufficient levels of that wonderful neurotransmitter that keeps you calm, stable and happy. Having experienced chronic adrenal fatigue and many symptoms of GABA deficiency I know that prevention is much preferred!
So How Can I Help Stop This Fear and Worry?
Here’s 5 natural ways to help anxiety and stress….
1). Use your Rational Mind. (Yes, you really do have one!) Looking for any piece of the positive will help. Remind yourself constantly that in this moment you are fine – even if you have a problem you are dealing with it as best you can.
I ask myself – what can I do right now to restore perspective and to feel better? To take action and make decisions.
The more you can see the truth, the easier it is to accept. Accept what IS, even if it’s bad news, and acknowledge that tomorrow can bring a new insight into this. In fact, celebrate that tomorrow might bring a new insight!
2). Take Passion Flower extract (here’s the one we use in our clinic in alcohol or glycerite tincture form). It’s safe for everyone except very young children – take as often as desired day or night. It’s the most popular product at my Diet and Health Center in San Antonio.
Many clients keep multiple bottles – at home, work, car, etc. I also suggest the great herb combo from Systemic Formulas called N3 – Relaxa. I sell Professional Grade Chamomile Extract in my clinic and online store here. Gentle but helpful day or night. Or try California Poppy extract or Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi). All these will physically calm you while you get your mind in order.
Theanine and Sublingual Pharma-GABA chewables can help too.
3). Learn positive self-talk and use it liberally. I don’t use sky-high affirmations such as “I will make a million dollars this month”. I reward myself by thinking of the people I have helped (rather than those I have not), and the good things happening, even if it’s something simple like getting the roof leak repaired.
Managing your mind is, to me, the definition of being an adult
4). Learn to say NO with grace and dignity. “I’m so sorry I won’t be able to host the Food Drive but I can make a donation”. “Thanks for inviting me to your hangout, but I had a long day. How about Saturday?”
5). Rest. Eat. (No fasting!). Slow down your breathing. (Read this blog post on over-breathing). Learn EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). Test your adrenal Cortisol levels with Salivary Hormone Testing to see if they are too high. If you are chronically anxious, do not over-exercise or exercise competitively. Just have fun and move your body. Learn to be more peaceful and relax. Take charge of your mind and body, and put a smile on your face whenever you can.
6). One of the best things I do to shut my chattering mind is to occupy it with useless tasks. If I cannot sleep and am thinking too much, I start counting. Counting backwards from 1000. By 3’s, 4’s or 6’s! If you’re a geography buff or bird watcher, list alphabetically all the names you can think of. Eventually the brain will shut off from the effort (and boredom). It’s worked for me for 20 years.