Anxiety disorders are when excessive anxiety interferes with daily life. Feeling anxious at all times of the day isn’t fun.
It can make you feel like you’re worthless and it’s difficult when people without anxiety don’t understand what you’re going through.
It can be debilitating but it doesn’t mean we’re crazy or incapable of living life. Living with anxiety is difficult but it can be done.
Perhaps you don’t have anxiety but you know someone who does. You can help them by being there for them or just listening if they need to talk. Let them know you’re there for them.
Avoid saying things like “it’s in your head”, “get over it”, or “you’re overreacting”. Saying things like that can make it worse! We wish we could just get over it but it’s not as easy as just saying it.
Children with anxiety
If your child has anxiety, listen to them. Find ways to help them. Going through anxiety as an adult is tough but just think of a child going through it. Believe me, it can be extremely lonely.
I have experienced parents thinking their kids are just crazy and need to grow up and get over it. It’s not as simple as that. Your children have enough to go through at school dealing with anxiety, they need to be able to come home to a safe environment without judgement from their parents as well. Feed them properly and give them your attention.
Sometimes just being there physically, emotionally and mentally is the best way for a child to deal with their anxiety. As you have probably figured out from the rest of my posts I love to live naturally.
Also Read: The Importance of Balanced Nutrition
I’ve been burned too many times by prescription medications so I always look for natural and real ways to aid in health. I feel it’s so much better for your body.
Here are a few ways I have found to help calm my anxiety and I hope they are helpful to you too.
Write it down
Writing is very therapeutic. It inspired me to start this blog! You don’t have to start a blog, but each day or when you feel anxious write your feelings or write the good things that happened that day or that week. Write whatever you need to get off of your mind. It’s crazy how much lighter you feel after you write it down.
Care for your gut
Your gut and your brain work together. If your gut is unhealthy, your mental state will be unhealthy too. Cleaning your gut isn’t as simple as doing a detox, you need to care for it everyday by eating a balanced diet. Your gut is full of good bacteria and eating the right things will feed that bacteria and help it to flourish.
Eating fermented foods is a great way to help your gut flora. Fermented foods contain pre-biotics which is food for good bacteria.
Say no to antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your gut. It takes 2 years for good bacteria to build back up after using 1 week’s dose of antibiotics!
Taking antibiotics is like dropping a bomb in your gut. If we care for and protect the good bacteria in our bodies then overall our health will be so much better.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind. I’ll admit at first it was hard to sit there for even 5 minutes trying to relax but after you do it a few times, it becomes easier and easier and you look forward to it.
I use the app Headspace. It’s easy to use and has been extremely helpful. I find myself stopping to take deep breaths now when I start to feel overly anxious.
Limit sugar and other stimulants
Bad bugs in the gut love sugar! Bad bugs + sugar = death to good bacteria.
This was hard for me. I grew up eating almost nothing but sugar which I believe is what caused my anxiety disorder in the first place.
My husband can’t eat sugar so we don’t have it in the house. His not being able to eat it has been a great eye opener into how damaging sugar can be.
I’ve come to realize that sugar feeds my anxiety. If I eat it my mind goes crazy and I can’t function. It’s not fair for my husband to have to deal with it and it’s not fair for me so I stay away from it. If you feel a craving for sugar coming on, take magnesium and eat some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is great for your gut and mental health. Plus it’s heart healthy! I never used to like it but we found this one and it’s not terribly bitter. Eating chocolate for health!? Yes please! Read about combating sugar addiction in this post.
About a month ago my husband and I gave up coffee. I’m so glad we did! Those constant jitters weren’t helping my anxiety at all. I feel so much calmer now that I’m not drinking coffee. Read about what I’m drinking instead in this post.
Make time for yourself
I know this is easier said than done, but try. Your mind and body will thank you.
I like to set aside an evening once a week to have a “spa day”. This involves dry brushing and a nice warm detoxing bath. Just a little bit of time to clear my mind and care for my body. (Detoxing bath is warm water, 1 cup Epsom salts, 1tbsp coconut oil, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar and a small packet of dried chamomile flowers)
Making time for yourself can involve whatever you enjoy and doesn’t have to take hours.
Just set aside 15 minutes or more if you can to relax. Do this in addition to meditation.
If you don’t take time to care for yourself, how do you expect to care for anyone else?
Along with having an anxiety disorder, I am extremely stubborn so I’ve tried not to let anxiety pull me down, but sometimes it does and I’ve had to realize that I need to step back and care for myself. I’ve learned to work with my anxiety instead of working against it and have stopped trying to will it away.
Also Read: Practicing Self Care
Eat nutritious food
A balanced diet of whole grains, meats, veggies and supplements are extremely beneficial.
Studies have shown that there are certain vitamins and amino acids only found in animal protein that are vital for mental health and development. This is vital for children as well. I know this won’t be popular with everyone, but it does benefit the body and mind.
I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat enough animal protein in a day, I feel more anxious and it’s really difficult for me to control my anxiety.
Eat a variety of animal protein. Fish is excellent because you’ll also be getting a good dose of Omega 3s which is great for your mind. Red meat in moderation is very good for you as you’ll get a large dose of vitamin B12.
If you can, eat wild caught fish and organically raised meats or hunt and fish. Wild game meat is delicious!
Don’t skip breakfast. Eat eggs along with whatever you enjoy for breakfast, but get that protein in.
It will help your day go well, trust me on this. Your brain needs a good protein filled breakfast to have enough power to function for the rest of the day.
Balanced nutrition works wonders for anxiety. Check out my post about balanced nutrition here
Find your triggers
Figure out what causes you anxiety and look for ways to work around it. One of my triggers is cooking. I’m not very good at it, but I can’t stop feeding my husband just because it makes me anxious. So I’ve learned to work around it. Coming home from a long day of work and having to make a meal while I’m hungry is too much.
My head scrambles, I get hangry and then my anxiety sets in and I feel like I can’t do it and I need to go hide away.
To avoid this, I’ve learned to get meals ready the night before. Now when I get home all I have to do is warm the food up or pop it into the oven and we’re ready to eat.
Then after clean up I get the next day’s meal ready. This has been a huge help!
Looking for ways to work with your triggers will ease your mind and allow you to feel calmer.
Don’t go through it alone
I am an introvert. I don’t want to bother people with my problems but there comes a time when you can’t hide that something is wrong.
I’ve had to learn to let my husband in and let him help me instead of trying to carry all the weight myself.
Some days are better than others, but some days I just can’t handle anything, so I let him know and he helps me.
It feels so good to have someone that will help you when you are feeling so worthless.
Nature above all is the best medicine. Get out to your garden or sit in the grass. Just get outside. Nature is so beneficial for your mental state and I can say that from experience. I love more than anything, just being outside.
For me Fly fishing is the most relaxing way to spend time outdoors.
Living with anxiety is a constant learning experience, but these tips have helped me so much. I hope they help you as well.
This content is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Read my full disclaimer here.
How do you cope with anxiety? I’d love to hear in the comments!