Kick Anxiety to the Curb: 3 All-Natural Approaches to Fighting Anxiety


Last week I wrote about five signs you might have anxiety and not know it, and it really resonated with some people in a big way. They were diving in and noticing how their bodies were affected.

Here's what some people wrote: I had no idea that's what it could be. It's nice to know I'm not alone. This explains so much.

That's some powerful s*** right there.

Anxiety is one of those things people don't quite understand until they have it. Sympathy is hard, and it's difficult to know what is causing what in the body - is it anxiety, stress, a common cold? And then at the same time, even if you know what is going on, what the heck do you do about it? 

Ready to start taking on your anxiety like the strong bad*** you are?

Read on for three ways you can take control of your anxiety in an all-natural way...

(Note: Maybe you knew already or you found out you've got the makings of a seriously anxious bod. How do you go about fixing that for yourself in a way that feels manageable and natural. If you're on medication for your anxiety, these can still be beneficial and done within your current dosage and cycle.)

1. Food

It's really no surprise this would be one of them, is it? It's hard to say this sometimes, but a certain percentage of our anxiety can simply be caused by the foods we choose to eat. Highly processed foods, refined white sugars, and the like cause chemical imbalances in the body leaving us frazzled and exhausted. I'm not going to tell you to remove them from your diet. However, I do suggest adding more wholesome and nutrient rich foods to your meals in an affect to crowd out the stuff causing you emotional trauma.

You'll want to be looking for foods rich in the following: omega 3's, folate, tryptophan, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, antioxidants, vitamin D, and selenium. That's a pretty wide range of foods and could make anyone want to run in the opposite direction rather than google, so I'll give you a hint: The more colorful your plate is with wholesome foods, the better you'll feel. I've been relying on oatmeal, honey, and blueberries a lot lately -- all of which are found within those nutrient names.

2. Movement

You know how sometimes you go for a walk and it clears your head a little? Imagine if you made that more regular and intentional. Imagine the calm that comes with all that mindfulness? It can be overwhelming to think about adding another thing to your to-do list, especially if your anxiety is at an all-time high right now. I promise this is something manageable with any time frame. How? If you have more time, work walking or running (30+ minutes) into your exercising habits. If you have less time, let's say only enough to walk from the car to the store, use that time to mindfully work with your breath.

Lengths long in time or short in time, using your breath as a tool will be amazing. For the runners: try breathing in through your nose for a count of four (maybe each time your foot hits the pavement) and exhaling for a count of four. Please adjust to a count that allows you to draw in the maximum amount of air, expanding through your rib-cage fully. Repeat. For the walkers: inhale for a count of four, hold your breath at the top for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold your breath out at the bottom for a count of four. Repeat. Moving mindfully is one of the best tools in the anxiety toolbox.

3. Breath, Naps, & Sleep

Breath, as discussed above, is an integral part in reclaiming your power over anxiety. Anxiety is prone to leave you with shallow breathing and an inability to gain control. All that shallow breathing releases cortisol into our body, activating our sympathetic nervous system, and living up to it's "stress hormone" name, really stressing us out. And that's all because we weren't breathing fully. Any of the breath counting exercises above are good to integrate into your mindfulness routine or you could just focus on equal inhales and equal exhales, lengthening your breath until it is full and deep. You will feel your ribs expand outward on the inhale as you fill up through the left and right diaphragm, and then your lower ribs will internally rotate and move down towards your pelvis on the exhale. It's pretty powerful just to be aware of those shifts.

Something just as powerful (and might happen if you're sitting in bed working with your breath) is naps or sleeping. Depression and anxiety can leave you very exhausted. This is partly due because of your sympathetic nervous system being turned on constantly, but also some anxieties are caused by a severe lack of sleep. There is no shame in taking a quick 20-minute nap or going to bed a little earlier to give yourself the refreshing reset it so needs right now.

Getting a handle on your anxiety is no small task, but hopefully working with the above three tools can leave you feeling confident in regaining your power. The more we can find ways to feel comfortable in our own bodies and understand how to help ourselves, the better.

Cheers to Great Vibes. You deserve them! Xx.

[UP NEXT WEEK: fight anxiety with one surprisingly effective tool]

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