|We’re currently living through something of an anxiety epidemic. Severe and chronic anxiety affects more than 12 per cent of Canadians every year, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada. Many people experience some level of anxiety at some point in their lifetime.
Please note: The information contained in this article is not medical advice and if you are concerned about your health, please seek professional support from a doctor or hospital. This is a collaborative post.
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Thrive, Even When You Have Anxiety
Anxiety isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The task for those of us with the condition is to find ways to thrive in spite of it. Is there anything we can do to overcome the limitations that moderate to severe anxiety can have on us and live our lives to the fullest? Let's consider some options.
Although people with anxiety disorders tend to read things to do with anxiety itself, it can sometimes be helpful to lose yourself in something entirely unrelated. Reading an engaging book can help to slip into another world, distract your attention, and remove unwanted feelings. Try to find something that is inspiring and helpful to your future. What about reading a book on investing? Or cooking?
Learn To Meditate
Meditation has been used for thousands of years to calm the mind. But how it works precisely remained a bit of a mystery until recently. It turns out that people who regularly meditate have different brain wave patterns. Most of us are in a constant state of alertness, ready to face the challenges of the day. But scientists have found that people who meditate remain in a different “delta” brainwave state for longer than people who don’t. This “delta” state is characterized by low levels of stress and high levels of openness, as well as relaxation.
If you haven’t tried meditation before, there are plenty of places you can go online to find out more about it. Start with just 15 minutes per day and work your way up if you find it helpful.
Supplement Your Diet
Although pharmaceutical companies like to push the latest anti-anxiety medications on the public, there’s growing evidence that particular plants have medicinal properties equal to or greater than the official pharmaceutical offerings. If you decide to supplement your diet, make sure you read online dispensary reviews. These will tell you whether you’re getting supplements from a reputable supplier.
Stop Eating Pro-Inflammatory Junk
It’s no secret that foods high in sugar and fat cause inflammation in the body. Sugar and fat, when not packaged up in whole plant foods (like fruit and nuts) cause the body to release inflammatory chemical messengers which can inflame and, over time, damage sensitive tissues around the body.
Inflammation can affect the brain too. Inflamed minds think less clearly, suffer more “brain fog” and are generally less happy than their non-inflamed counterparts. Douse the inflammation by avoiding animal foods (yes, meat and dairy are both proinflammatory), and eating more beans, nuts, whole grains and greens. You should notice the difference in just a couple of weeks.
Cut Work Out Of Your Evenings
Do you take your work home with you? If you do, you could be setting yourself up for increased experiences of anxiety. People can cope with stress for up to eight hours a day, but not all day, every day. Leave work where it belongs: in the office.
How do you thrive even when you experience anxiety? Share in the comments below!
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1/19/2019 08:15:06 pm
I love you advice Heather! They are all such wonderful tips. A good book and a hot bath always help to calm me and are great for de-stressing. And going for a walk works wonders.
1/30/2019 05:32:07 pm
I totally agree with finding a quiet activity that helps to de-stress.. even if it's just to lounge around and read a good book. So glad to hear you take care of yourself in such great ways, Sara!
These are some great tips for dealing with anxiety. Thank you for sharing! I struggled with anxiety until I learned that I have a condition called estrogen dominance. Estrogen stimulates the brain. Progesterone calms the brain. When the two are in balance, your emotions are pretty stable. But when progesterone is too low and your brain is basically running on estrogen, it never gets to shut down. It’s overstimulated and that causes sleeplessness irritability, and anxiety. Since getting natural hormone replacement therapy by adding natural progesterone my anxiety has disappeared. Some of the things that cause estrogen dominance are that your body just may not produce enough progesterone to counter act the estrogen, estrogen mimicking chemicals in our personal care and cleaning products, and birth-control pills. With birth control pills you were simply adding more estrogen that you probably don’t need. I also wonder if overuse of antibiotics is causing this epidemic of anxiety and depression. Serotonin is created in the colon. And I wonder if antibiotic use Which kills the good bacteria with the bad bacteria is upsetting that serotonin balance in our digestive systems. Just wondering.
1/30/2019 05:36:06 pm
Thank you for sharing your experience with anxiety, Kay! It shows that everyone can have a different cause and experience of feeling anxious, I hope you have had some support and found ways to cope so far. Thanks for dropping by the blog!
1/30/2019 05:43:13 pm
Such great options for working through anxiety.. and yes, I need to remind myself to have a digital detox soon. Thanks for your comment, Molina!
1/21/2019 11:20:28 am
Thank you for these tips. I think one of the hardest parts about having anxiety, for me at least, is that I feel sorry that my partner has to deal with me. These tips might help me feel I like have things under more control!
1/30/2019 06:02:24 pm
Oh yes! Thank you for sharing these concerns. It can be tough to worry about others who are there in your life as you're going through the struggles of anxiety. I'm glad the tips in the article might be helpful for you!
1/23/2019 03:18:10 pm
I do most of these and it does keep anxiety under control. Being intentional about social media is also very helpful!
1/30/2019 06:03:52 pm
So good to hear that you're able to cope with any anxiety that comes up for you, Marya.
1/28/2019 11:05:52 am
I started to use an app called "Woebot." It's very good at helping you to challenge your negative thinking patterns. In a way, it's as though it changes your thoughts so that they become kinder toward yourself. Instead of thinking "I can't handle this," you find a better more realistic thought such as "I am doing the best I can." Over time, when you keep using the app, you learn your patterns and can identify and respond to negative thoughts more quickly.
1/30/2019 06:08:38 pm
Oh excellent, thank you so much for sharing this app! I'm always interested in checking out different resources that can help ease mental health concerns. Thank you for sharing your experience!
1/30/2019 06:10:31 pm
These are fantastic ways to take care of yourself and cope with anxiety, thanks for sharing, Jen!
1/31/2019 05:28:48 pm
These are such helpful tips for anxiety. Thank you for this post. It's so insane how the food we put into our bodies can affect our anxiety level. I stopped drinking soda years ago and saw a huge difference.
3/5/2020 01:23:04 pm
I can imagine that less sugary drinks in your diet would be very helpful with your overall health. I'm glad that this post was useful for you! Thanks for your comment, Amanda.
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