Tips for Relieving Anxiety

When it comes to the mind, pain comes from when we are thinking too much into the past (depression) or too much into the future (anxiety). We have all the emotions on this spectrum for a reason and so some anxiety, or feeling down, or anger are all normal and required for various reasons e.g. to move away from something, to be aware of danger, or to push you to follow what’s right for you.  It’s only when we are stuck in those extreme emotions in a chronic way that it can impact our health and wellbeing.

anxiety

What is e-motion?

Sometimes we can get stuck in a pattern which just needs to be rewired.  And part of that healing is the acceptance of where we are right now. This alone can relieve anxiety.  There are various ways that I lead people to that in the work that I do which is why my slogan is ‘you are what you are looking for’.  I have found that through my training as a Yoga teacher, NLP coach and Hypnotherapist that our pain comes from when we attach emotions to a thought, when we struggle to move out the emotion.  Emotion means – to move out, so if it gets stuck then that can be physical, mental or emotional. We need to find our own tools to shift that out. It’s a journey of self awareness. This is mindfulness.

Whether this is occurring in your personal life or at work it is equally as important. Over the years working in corporate learning and development and working with various groups from shop floor salesmen to top execs, I have witnessed anxiety showing it’s face at varying levels with various faces; frustration, anger, introversion/extroversion, physical symptoms such as heart pounding, palpitations, reddening of skin, tightness in chest – ultimately leading to more physical illness.  Often it is linked to a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Our fight, flight and freeze is activated when under stress and certain hormones are released which occur to help us survive.  Adrenaline and Cortisol prepare the body to escape or fend for yourself, and they are supposed to subside after the alarming situation (in the modern world this also includes just thinking about something).  When we are stuck in a pattern our body struggles to let go of those hormones and this can cause a cycle of feeling anxious then thinking about anxiety, which in turn makes you feel anxious. This means you end up feeling hyper-sensitive in situations that might not ordinarily feel stressful.  

Types of Anxiety

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

This is of course not as simple as it can first seem and you would need to read more into each one.  E.g. OCD is often associated with obsessive cleaning, but it also refers to obsessive thoughts, not being able to let things go in the mind.

Sources of Anxiety

We have two main pathways where anxiety comes from; the Cortex (thinking part of the mind – the ability to project and reflect), and the Amygdala (our primal system that manages our fight, flight and freeze reactions. This is a much quicker route to the symptoms of anxiety as it happens on a subconscious level.  This can also include experiences of situations that have had the Amygdala believe are dangerous, even when they are not. This includes unexplained phobias etc. This is because there will have been a time when the Amygdala decided it was something to be feared by storing it in the subconscious most likely from a very specific traumatic event from the past, or a repeated situation from observation or experience that cements a belief system.  Either route that anxiety is produced (by the Cortex or Amygdala) they both end up with the symptoms that the Amygdala produces. The Cortex just takes more time to get there. We have to talk to each source differently; the Amygdala is mainly body so needs body talk such as relaxation, laughter, meditation, yoga, walking in nature – to bring Cortisol down and bring Oxytocin and other happy hormones in. The Cortex needs mind techniques. Sometimes we need both.

In my experience anxiety comes from these main areas:

  • Not saying no subconsciously or consciously  
  • Passion/ purpose misalignment or even excitement
  • Lack of belief/confidence in self/ feelings(self-judgement)
  • Trauma past or current or consecutive stressful situations
  • Body imbalance/ illness/ recovery from illness/ pregnancy/birth/ surgery/ menopause

We have a cycle that needs to be broken for the pattern to be rewired.  I believe we each have a spiral – up and down; sometimes we can find ourselves stuck in our spiral.  Thereby we can raise awareness of red flags, while preparing a unique toolbox for when you find yourself on different places on that negative spiral. It could be nutritious food, walk, meditation, dance, friends, alone time, bath, holiday, depending on what you like to do. But it’s also about raising your self-awareness of what works for you at varying stages of your spiral; sometimes a walk may not be what you need.

Where you feel you need external support you can speak to an external support professional. The objective is always to get you to a place where you know your own tools and have taken empowerment back into your own life.  These tools are interchangeable and selecting the right one for me comes with awareness.

The Healing Process:

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The way I see the progress based on the clients I have had is the following:

  1. Awareness (Initial discomfort or drive to change)
  2. Exploration (why?)
  3. Blame (who? when? where?)
  4. Responsibility & Choices (understanding – leaving the blame where it is and choosing to move forward from that with awareness; learning and growth and taking ownership – trying techniques, recognising red flags and trigger points)
  5. Maintaining with tools (using own techniques, recognising triggers and maintaining balance)

For example; a person who is calm at work but gets palpitations at home when trying to sleep.  This is an example of anxiety.  This person wants to change it (step 1).  They have acknowledged it, which is an achievement in itself.  Then they explore why they get like this (step 2) – perhaps it’s workload, a person at work, their personal pressures at home.  Or it could be a pattern that has been around for a long time.  After identifying reasons (step 3) they can look at options to move past it (step 4) and make that a new habit (step 5).

Of course it’s never as simple as that and can take some deep soul searching, as well as go through this cycle numerous times to get to the true core.  I have found that not one single person alone can help you, it’s about you helping yourself and taking bits of information you resonate with, from different people and different scenarios.

Practical Tips

Here are some of my tips for breaking the cycle or maintaining a new balance or way to be/think/live.  Of course everyone is different, so it’s about experimenting with what works for you and being kind to yourself in the process.  Rather than feel hung up on your feelings and adding more anxiety to it, see if you can step back and observe that feeling without attaching a negative emotion on top of it.  Praise yourself for noticing with awareness and keep that positive reinforcement. For your long term anxiety support it’s worth looking into a professional to explore the root cause, it might go back further than you think; a coping mechanism that may have been developed.  That’s ok, but if it’s holding you back, perhaps it’s time to address it with compassion and learning to move forward. This also applies to professionals who deal with the biochemistry which can be triggering anxiety.

  1. Breathing techniques – simply pausing and releasing tension from the body as well as reducing cortisol and adrenaline, while introducing oxytocin.
  2. Meditation (classes can be found on my website as well as blogs on tips and benefits) www.inspireandrewire.com/blog) and my youtube channel ‘Inspire & Rewire – get your chi on’
  3. Yoga focuses the mind, helping to relieve it from overthinking, relieves stress and balances hormones – amongst many benefits (classes can be found on my website and youtube channel, as well as blogs on tips and benefits of yoga and ‘finding your yoga vibe’)
  4. Aromatherapy (especially Neroli and Lavender). Use before bed in a bath with Epsom/ Sea/ Himalayan Rock Salt, and oil. This will relax muscles and so your body inside and out, plus the aroma will calm the senses and the mind. You can also place some drops on your pillow. The salt contains Magnesium which is missing in the soil these days and Magnesium aids sleep.  You could also have oils by your desk for through the day for calming or waking up
  5. Intake:
        • Drink more water, eat more greens, less toxins. Rather than overwhelming yourself with a new way of living just start by cutting out 1 thing and introducing another
        • Eat protein especially just before bed – just a little bite and avoid sugar/ caffeine even if it’s early in the day – helps reduce sugar cravings and increases ability to sleep well. Also eat more leafy greens.  Coffee has been well documented in its contribution to anxiety. You don’t have to cut it out altogether but taking a break can give you adrenals a real rest, then if you want to introduce one you can and see how it makes you feel.  Then make a mindful choice going forward
        • Smoothies: e.g. Spinach, Kale, Mango, water or Coconut water, Flaxseed, Pea Protein
        • Herbal Teas – Pukka do a great range for sleeping too, calming or waking.  Some might taste bad to you so have a go at all the range – try Tescos but also if you order online you can pick and mix 10 different ones at a time to try. Also experiment with how long you leave the bad in
        • Supplements – B Vitamins and Ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb so if your adrenals are too high or too low it will balance but I recommend speaking to a Nutritionist for one to one support. Passionflower is also good for insomnia
  6. Intake:Download an App which supports sleep aid such as ‘Headspace’ or ‘isleep’ or  ‘Buddhify’. They not only have meditation and hypno sessions but they have mind tricks that help you shift perspective. You can also buy earphones that are built into your pillow or head band so that ear phones don’t bother your ears when you sleep. However be mindful of social media impacting your wellbeing and try to get significant time away from your phone at any opportunity. You might be surprised to see how often you check for the sake of checking 
  7. Drains and Radiators – sometimes things or people, places or thought patterns take away peace and unknowingly impact our emotions and therefore our behaviours.  Once you can identify the source of this you can begin to filter the the negative elements that you are allowing into your life
  8. NLP mind techniques There are various mindfulness techniques try google ‘NLP Wheel of Life’ to divide life categories into manageable priorities – this can also be done with work tasks
  9. Take a break or a retreat to just pause
  10. On a deeper level – anxiety comes from worrying too I have found on my experience with clients and myself, that it comes from a couple of key core issues. Therapy can support this;
  • Feeling as though you have no choice or control. Freedom and choice is joy. So when we have this taken away or we have a perceived lack of freedom it will impact our deeper feelings
  • Not being good enough. We worry and obsess over other people or their opinion on us when we don’t have a high opinion of our self. We need to work on building our self-esteem and unconditional love for ourself. These deeper issues can impact our behaviour and prevent us from saying no when we need to

Everything is choice. From internal reactions to external actions Are you ready to make new choices?

 

                                      


© Inspire and Rewire 2019