Whats going on when all my patients in one day are all suffering from anxiety?? What is the universe trying to tell me? Well I have been banging on about writing another Ebook on anxiety, but more importantly, it is a sign of the times. We live in an anxious world with more and more people including children just not coping with life.
There can be cases of short onset anxiety, such as public speaking, or occuring due to a period of stress or trauma, which may last a few months and be resolved quite quickly, or often I see people whom have been suffering with anxiety all their life and there is often a family history of anxiety and or depression here.
Either way, I see anxiety as an over-active resonse of the nervous system to a thought, sound, smell, any trigger and at times the trigger is not even known.
We live in a world that is busier than ever. Hell, my life is crazy and has been for years., 3 kids close together, family and home obligations, a busy practice,social, it all adds up. I do not suffer from anxiety, but I have to continually reassess my life to encourage balance and harmony so I do not tip into an anxious state.
This constant busyness, has us in a state of high cortisol activation. Our stress response, or survival response should be activated in times of danger and only last a few minutes, long enough to get us moving and out of harms way. Unfortunately, in this day and age, this stress response rarely turns off. Once it used to be turned on by a lion chasing us, now our stress response can't differentiate between a lion, or our children yelling at us, or my cleaner not turning up, or being so busy everyday, (my stressors lol...). The dark side of this ongoing stress response is anxiety. Our brain and body get stuck in survival mode with symptoms such as chronic anxiety, overwhelm, sleep problems and brain fog...sound familiar? Overtime you will develop depression, sugar cravings, weight gain, a thyroid problem, digestive issues, headaches, or worse diabetes, heart disease or dementia! So its time to do something about it and turn it off!
Tips to reset your stress response to heal anxiety
1. Recognize the feeling - know that your anxiety is a resonse by your body to a trigger. Recognize the feelings that occur in your body - rapid heart rate, shallow breathing, sweating, dry mouth etc. See these symptoms as signs of anxiety and your body's fight or flight mechanism.
2. Emergency Response - use your breath for a quick reset. Find a breathing technique that works for you that you can do anywhere, anytime when in an anxious state.
3. Techniques to get you out of a survival stress state - practice meditation daily. I can not emphasize this enough. Calming the mind everyday at a regular time, calms and retrains a frazzled nervous system and down grades the survival response. Calming techniques such as relaxing baths with lavender and epsom salts, journalling thoughts before bed and breathing techniques before sleep.
4. Use herbs and supplements to support your nervous system and adrenals such as magnesium, B-complex vitamins, L-theanine and taurine. Herbal adaptogenics such as Withania, Rhodiola and Panax Ginseng are my favorite anxiolytic herbs.
5. Exercise is a great tool to release axiety and encourage healthy endophins levels
6. Balance your blood sugars levels as hypoglycaemia is a big trigger for anxiety. Eat 5-6 small meals a day with protein in every meal and snack and avoid processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. Include good fats with every meal also such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil. Lastly, work out your food intolerances because if your eating foods that your intolerant too, it encorages inflammation in the body and inflammation fuels anxiety. Also, there are many links between an inflammed gut and anxiety.
7. Lastly, anxiety can be debilatating and rull ones life and stop you from fully engaging in life. The more you put into helping turn off the survival response by emcompassing all of the above techniques together, will go a long way to healing your anxiety.