Why do I have anxiety? What causes anxiety? These may be questions you have found yourself asking.
Anxiety serves a purpose. I like to think of a fire alarm. A fire alarm alerts us to danger or a need to be concerned. Ideally, this is what “anxiety” does within our body through a gut feeling, a rapid heart beat, or maybe sweaty palms. It is telling us that something is off. If you know what sets off your inner fire alarm you can use tools to quiet it. If you haven't yet discovered the reasons, anxiety can become over powering and it’s like the fire alarm that you can't get to turn off and there’s no real fire.
Acknowledge the anxiety instead of stuffing it down or trying to push through it. Acknowledge that your body is trying to tell you something. While the fear or anxiety may be getting in the way of your current task, when we acknowledge it for what it is we give our body permission to feel. We are saying “hey I hear you, I see you, I feel you.” When we push the fear or discomfort away we then become hyper-aware of it and more anxious and tense about what's going to happen next. Acknowledgment puts the power back in your hands.
Below I have tips to help you overcome anxiety. Now depending on the level of anxiety you experience there’s more work to be done than what’s listed below. Think of these tips as a starting point. A starting point to listening to what your body needs.
1. Breathe! When we connect to breathe within our body we have the ability to slow our heart rate and calm our central nervous system.
Steps to Breathe:
1. Stop what you are doing.
2. Say to yourself, I'm feeling “x” (anxious or my chest feels tight).
3. Take 3 deep belly breaths. Inhale through your nose feeling your stomach expand and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat for three full breaths.
2. Eat protein. Meat. It provides your brain with mood boosting amino acids that we need to help fuel the body and brain. It also makes a huge difference when it comes to energy and your ability to focus.
3. Increase the amount of healthy fats that you are consuming. Avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil based dressings, grass-fed butter or ghee, and fatty meats that have been sourced ethically (such as Butcher Box or a farm local to you). These wonderful fats help keep your blood sugar levels balanced, which keeps your mood even. Did you know that you may be experiencing anxiety symptoms due to your blood sugar levels being on a roller coaster?
4. Hydration. Drink water, not juice, soda, tea, but actual water. One of the early signs of dehydration is anxiety. Did you hear me? Anxiety can be due to not drinking water. Every cell of our body requires water to carry nutrients to it and to flush out toxins. Our body is made up of about 60% water.
5. Caffeine may be increasing your anxiety. If you are feeling anxious consider setting that cup of joe down. You may find that matcha or a decaf coffee works better. For some simply drinking their coffee after breakfast may be enough. When I drink caffeinated coffee I love adding extra fat and collagen as I find it helps stabilize my energy and I don't get the energy crash.
I hope these tips help get you started on your journey to working with anxiety. If you aren't following me on social media be sure to check me out there. If you know someone who might need to hear this please feel free to share it with them!