Question for you: how much anxiety and fear are you walking around with on a daily basis?
If you struggle with worry, fear, or anxiety consistently thrumming in the backdrop of your mind, it is worth it for you to take a look at where the roots of these thought patterns lie.
In this week’s episode, you’ll learn simple shifts you can make to better manage anxiety so you can have less stress and more joy in your life!
Anxiety is persistent worry or fear something bad is going to happen. In light of the pandemic, these feelings have been amplified for many of us. There were and are still many good reasons to be afraid. While normal levels of fear can serve us and keep us safe, persistent and constant anxiety can be painful and even disabling.
The first step is to understand your relationship to anxiety and why you relate to things the way you do. Inside this week’s downloadable guide, you’ll be able to take your Anxiety and Fear Blueprint and answer some clarifying questions to help you get to the root of your behavior and thought patterns.
There are a lot of reasons we might experience anxiety on a regular basis. Maybe you come from a long line of chronic worriers and it is a learned behavior for you.
From a psychological point of view, worrying over things that haven’t happened yet, or catastrophizing, does not help. It doesn’t change what is going to happen. You can prepare by making a plan for emergencies, but obsessive worrying creates an illusion of being prepared.
What is really happening is you are feeling the feelings more than once and physically, your body is releasing the stress hormone cortisol and flooding your system with adrenaline. Persistent high levels of these hormones are bad for our physical and mental health.
In my psychotherapy practice, if a client is experiencing a lot of anxiety, the first thing I do is rule out possible causal factors. What are you putting into your body on a regular basis? Alcohol, recreational drugs, and caffeine can all affect our moods.
While those couple glasses of wine at night might seem like a quick fix to relax or that non-negotiable pot of coffee you “need” to get through the day, in the long run, both can contribute to higher levels of anxiety. Did you know dehydration can mimic the symptoms of an anxiety disorder? Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics.
So if you are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis, the first thing is to do an experiment with ruling some things out. Try going alcohol-free for 14 days and see how you feel. Cut back to one cup of coffee or switch to decaf in the morning.
Low blood sugar can make you feel tense, nervous, and irritable, so why not get a little more mindful about how you are fueling your body throughout the day?
Did you know sitting in the same place on the computer or staring at our phones for hours at a time can exacerbate anxiety? If you are able, I invite you to move your body and set an alarm on your phone to get up and stretch every hour.
How is your sleep? While it’s true different people require different amounts of sleep, most doctors recommend 7-8 hours each night to function optimally. As a highly sensitive person, I wear an eye mask and earplugs to bed even though I live in the country because the slightest intrusion of light or sound can demolish a good night’s sleep for me!
I deeply admire my friend Dr. Daniel Amen’s work on the human brain, and he talks a lot about natural remedies for anxiety. He recommends Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, and magnesium to help lessen levels of anxiety and depression.
Dr. Amen also talks about the benefits of GABA¹ (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), a naturally occurring amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain², which has been shown to promote relaxation by increasing calming focused brain waves while reducing brain waves associated with worry. Always consult your doctor before you take any supplements or decide to change any prescription medication.
I take Omega 3 and magnesium every day and I am looking into GABA as well because I am very interested in what we can do naturally to support our nervous systems, especially after all we have experienced over the past two years with the pandemic. Now is the time to replenish ourselves, and incorporating small shifts into our daily routines really does add up.
Real, lasting transformation is made from small steps you take one at a time. You don’t have to completely overhaul your entire life at once and, in fact, I don’t recommend that. Choose one thing to focus on for the first week, see if there is a difference, if so, incorporate the next thing. Over time, the sustainable changes you make can create a foundational shift in your life. It requires present moment consciousness, your attention and your intention.
Last but certainly not least, if you try the rule out method and make lifestyle changes and your anxiety is still at a 9 out of 10, it might be time to seek out a professional. Talk to your doctor or seek out a mental health professional.
I am a proud partner of Better Help, a virtually-based therapy platform where you can connect with vetted, licensed therapists and get the support you need. For more information, you can go to terricole.com/betterhelp.
Be sure to download your guide here to get your Anxiety and Fear Blueprint plus all of my best tips for anxiety management.
I hope this was helpful to you and if you think it could be helpful to others, please share it with the people in your life. You can always connect with me here in the comments or @terricole on Instagram.
Thank you for you, I hope you have an amazing week, and as always, take care of you.