How I Overcame My Anxiety and How You Can Too
Are you struggling with Anxiety?
If you are struggling with anxiety I can understand what you are going through as I used to struggle too, quite badly, until I found ways to help myself as I didn't want to go down the medication route. Feeling anxious sometimes is a normal part of life but when you are feeling constantly on edge with an impending sense of doom it can negatively impact your life and wellbeing. Below are some things I changed in order to reduce and manage my anxiety to the point where it is very rare for me to feel anxious without being able to do something about it.
Changed my Lifestyle
I started by looking at my lifestyle and making some healthier choices and taking better care of myself and this is a good place for you to start too. Take a look at the way you live your life on a daily basis, the things you do and how you take care of yourself.
Do you have a busy job or home life and neglect to take any time for yourself? Allowing yourself time out to recharge and reset is a vital part of your health and wellbeing and important for keeping anxiety at bay. This also includes taking regular mini breaks throughout the day to rest physically and mentally. If you are constantly rushing around feeling stressed it can make your anxiety worse. I didn't take notice of this for a long time and suffered as a result.
Be selective over how you spend your time and who you spend it with. If you are consuming bad news stories or dramas on tv/social media then my advice is to cut both of these down as they can make anxiety worse. Also reduce your time around individuals who generally make you feel bad or on edge! This is especially important if you are sensitive in nature and pick up on the energy around you.
Increasing the amount of physical exercise you do during the day can make a massive difference to your anxiety as it releases feel good hormones and reduces cortisol (stress hormone). Try introducing a 20 minute brisk walk into your day if you are not a big exercise fan. This is what I did and then eventually took it a step further with running a couple of times a week. You could join a gym or exercise class.
Spending time in nature is another great way to keep anxiety at bay as it helps to reset you to a calmer state. You can automatically do this whilst exercising or just take regular breaks where you can be outdoors in a natural green space such as park, woodland or even your own back garden. Spending time near water can also help.
One of the biggest changes which helped me handle anxiety so much better was to introduce yoga and meditation into my life – this was really a game changer as it helped me feel more grounded and connected to myself rather than feeling overwhelmed by external factors. If you think this is not for you please keep an open mind. I used to be very anti-yoga and anti-meditation as I couldn't really see the point until I actually tried them. Now they are a regular part of my routine and I notice a difference when I don't practice. I also practice Qi-gong for a few minutes in a morning if I am short on time as, like yoga, it promotes a healthy energy flow and helps to reconnect mind, body and spirit leaving you better able to handle life's pressures.
Changed my Diet
The next thing I did was look at my diet and consciously made an effort to eat more healthily by planning my meals and food shopping better. The foods you eat and drink can have an impact on your anxiety levels. Too much processed and junk food can make anxiety worse along with not keeping hydrated. You can download your free meal planner and shopping list here to help you
By adopting a healthier diet with plenty of fresh foods, vegetables/salads and whole grains really helped me feel less anxious plus drinking more water. Also cutting back on caffeine which is well known for making you feel more anxious and jittery. I also reduced my alcohol intake. I often used this to help me feel less anxious but found it was having the opposite effect so beware! Download your free checklist here with some foods which are good for anxiety.
Changed my Thoughts
After changing my lifestyle and diet I started to work on my mindset and worked on my negative thoughts and beliefs which were contributing to my anxiety. I had a lot of work to do! Often we go through the day believing every thought we think without question and this makes anxiety worse. Our brain is always wired to look out for dangers so notice next time you start to focus on the worst case scenario and try to change your thoughts. Journaling is a great tool to help you identify your negative thought patterns. You can download your free journal here as a gift to get you started. I also used positive affirmations and tried to focus on things I was grateful for rather than dwelling on the negatives
Another thing I do is to practice mindfulness throughout the day, especially if I start to feel anxious. Learning how to practice mindfulness can be a big help with anxiety as you are able to focus more on the moment rather than dwelling on events from the past or worries about the future. You will find that you become more present in your life and feel happier as a result rather than living in your anxious head!
Changed how I felt about Myself
I realised that part of my anxiety was caused by not being accepting of myself. Anxiety is a sign that we have become disconnected from who we really are and probably don't like the person we have become as a result. Acknowledging this and being more compassionate towards yourself is vital, nobody is perfect, we all have flaws. You have to develop self love in order to overcome anxiety and this can be the hardest thing to do.
Give yourself time to tune back into the real you and accept who you are at soul level before the world changed you. Look at your reflection in the mirror every morning and say 'I love and accept myself' – most people struggle with this so don't give up. Start to notice if you talk negatively to yourself and turn this around. It's time to be your own best friend instead of your worst enemy and start to live a true authentic life.
If you need help and support with your anxiety please check out the full anxiety program, feel free to get in touch, or just take this advice and free resources to get you started. More tips on reducing anxiety are also available in the book 'Easy Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Find Balance Naturally' available on Amazon or download your half price copy here.
Take care of you x.
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Meditation and Mindfulness Practitioner
Ps don't forget your anxiety meal planner and shop list! Download below.
You might also want the anxiety foods guide to give you an idea of some of the best foods to include in your diet.
Information provided for general educational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice