Anxiety is a condition that I find so many people bear. Of course it comes in a variety of different flavors dependent on whether its social, phobia provoked or generalized anxiety but it tends to manifest as:-
-Worry, often unwarranted.
-Fear of non-threatening situations and environments.
-Physical reactions such as dry mouth, pounding heart rate, difficulty conversing with others, clammy hands.
Doesn’t sound very nice, does it? Doesn’t sound very bright. I get anxious too, friend. In a western world where the confident, strong-minded and outgoing are celebrated it can be hard to admit-even to ourselves- that we are unduly suffering with anxiety. But I have found recognizing anxiety and embracing it is the first step to not only healing but flipping our perspective to see how it may serve us and others.
I see now that I’ve had anxiety all my life, and in fact it had been at its worst when I first married Eric. I found myself living in an unfamiliar country, on a military base, newly married, pregnant for the first time and away from any semblance of comfort; my family, friends, environment, even TV and other sources of leisure and relaxation.
Yet fast forward five years and I found myself at the door of anxiety again following moving three times in two years. Pre menstrual times were the worst; I’d not want to go out, see anyone or do anything. Even the phone ringing was a seeming source of torment. My generalized anxiety was compounded at this time yet there were ribbons of it woven in and out at other times of the month. After perpetually being the new girl, all the daily introductions and feeling like I had to be at my best, I felt emotionally sapped: Like a cell phone that had ran out of charge.
In a way I can thank my anxiety because it’s forced me to dig deep and really not only practice but hold tight self loving behaviors that ease the symptoms. My anxiety has substantially lifted, as I’m carving out a very happy and satisfying life for myself here in central Florida but that didn’t just happen.
I believe these systems of anxiety support will serve you just as well as they have me:
1) Anxiety meditations
I like the ‘honest guys’ meditations. If your anxiety causes sleeplessness then they also provide a sleep-inducing one to ease you into your dream state. I play it every night:-
2) Yoga, particularly Kundalini. I feel as though every cell has been dipped in a pool of peace after a Kundalini class/workshop. Internal blocks are removed (you don’t even have to know what your blocks are), your mind is cleansed, meditation/chants are repeated to specifically remove stress and then sealed into your nervous system by holding what we call root lock (tightening the lower organs and then releasing). Most of the class is done with your eyes closed so it’s a blissful inner journey that you’ll walk out of the door feeling quite altered from.
But if Kundalini doesn’t sound like your type of thing, don’t be put off! Any branch of yoga can significantly pacify your anxiety.
3) Ridgecrest Anxiety Herbal and Nutrition Support. I take up to four a day in times of high stress.
4) Share your feelings. Often you’ll find you’re not alone and this is so comforting to both parties.
5) Treat yourself in the same way as a beloved family member, perhaps your child, if you have one. When s/he suffers from fear embrace them, offer soothing words of comfort to boost their sense of power and strength, put on a funny movie, wrap in blankets, drink comforting warm drinks, perhaps chamomile tea and relax into hot water bottles. Just be with the emotion, let it move through, without trying to deny or brush over it. After all what we resist persists.
6) Books about anxiety can be such a form of comfort. I have discovered that it’s my heightened sensitivity that makes me a prime candidate for anxiety. If this resonates with you too, read Elaine Aron PhD’s The Highly Sensitive Person. It’s a brilliant book, and held in very high regard.
7) Essential oils, my favorite is lavender, drop some in palms of hand, rub together and inhale for instant relief. Or as Maria* says (who wrote our popular post Letting the Body Be)
“The joyful blend by doTERRA, Elevate, is a great choice for people who have anxiety. These are the oils that are included in the blend Lavandin Flower, Lavender Flower, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Tangerine Peel, Melissa Flower, Ylang Ylang Flower, Elemi Resin, Osmanthus Flower, and Lemon Myrtle Leaf essential oils. You can purchase this oil at blendsforhealth ”
8) Treat yourself to a massage. (My sister, who works in a high intensity central London media environment, swears by this treatment too). Our Maria is also a celebrated massage therapist and says:-
“The pain and tension that we experience throughout our bodies is directly correlated to the mental tension and anxiety that we experience. Massage Therapy helps to calm the central nervous system and increase the release of feel good hormones, like Oxytocin and Seratonin, to alieve symptoms of stress and anxiety.”
9) Exercise; when you feel physically fit and strong this seems to translate to your emotions too. I adore Rebecca Louise’s XHit YouTube videos and the ‘Ultimate Dance Workout,’ which I’ve favorited for years; you needn’t even leave your living room to do these, perfect for those days when you feel like hibernating.
10) Affirm soul-soothing words such as ‘I am at peace.’ Breathe deeply as you do so.
11) Unplug from the whirring and incessant spin cycle of social media and technology in general.
12) Nature is the soul’s balm so allow yourself to become part of it as much as you can.
13) Nourish your body with fresh, healthy food. Junk can lead to increased weight, tiredness and health issues compounding anxiety even more.
Once we have a toolbox to cope with our anxiety, we may be able to see it’s advantages:-
1) Anxiety has a tendency to make us very conscious and caring. We like to make everyday count. Some people go around sleep-walking, this is rare in an anxious person who is oftentimes very stimulated by the world.
2) There are so many with this condition, almost as if some form of it is a byproduct of modern living. Sharing it, I’ve found, can melt the barrier of new relationships and really allow you to see another, and they you, in a very authentic, compassionate way.
3) Like pain, anxiety is a warning that something internally is amiss. If handled with care, it’s an opportunity to practice self love, to see our own ability and power to heal ourselves. This fosters self trust.
4) Many of my favorite people have some kind of anxiety. They tend to be humble, motivated people, eager to do and be their best, and many times their anxiety has pushed them to have very successful careers.
My darling there is nothing wrong with you. I see you. You are not alone, I promise you that. I know how imprisoned anxiety can make you feel, how emotionally bereft. But there is relief, and in finding that relief you will help not only your anxiety but your health, happiness and self belief.
‘The Divine in me bows to the divine in you.’ Namaste.
* Maria Sellars has worked in the Wellness Industry since 2007. Through her work as a Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer she has developed an understanding of the body and its connection to the mind. Through her guidance she hopes to inspire people to be more aware and to be more in love with themselves, physically and mentally.
For more from Maria, find her at http://mariasellars.com on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @AllStudioSubs