Free Techniques for Abolishing Anxiety
There’s a few (five to be exact) free techniques I always encourage my clients to use in the treatment of anxiety. Instead of handing you a bottle of pills and sending you on your way, I’m dedicated to getting you real and lasting results with your anxiety. Which means insisting on a personal commitment to positive change! Like homework but more empowering.
These are some of the most important and free(!) remedies for anxiety. The catch? They only work if you commit to undertaking these activities on a regular basis. Don’t let the list get on top of you. Choose one that seems the most realistic and spend 28 days making it a daily habit. Once you have integrated one into your routine, choose another! Yes this can mean that making foundational change can take a few months, but you should start to feel results within a couple of weeks.
1. Get on top of your diet to balance your blood sugar. It sounds complicated but making sure that you include a good quality protein and source of healthy fats with breakfast, lunch and dinner will do most of the work for you to stabilise blood sugar levels throughout the day. Adding organic cinnamon to your hot drinks, smoothies and porridge is another way to help restore balance. There’s an intricate link between anxiety and blood sugar.
2. Make sure you have a night-time routine that promotes sleep. Insomnia and sleep disturbances often go hand in hand with anxiety. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea, taking a shower before bed, only using yellow-orange light globes and stopping screen time one hour before bed are all great ways to relax and promote the release of melatonin which we need to induce sleep.
3. Prioritise time to relax. We are programmed to assume any time that isn’t spent being productive is wasted. There’s the hustle mentality of modern life where busyness is glorified. In fact some believe that the mismatch between our modern lifestyle and our primal biology is enough to trigger anxiety disorders. So take 5 minutes (or more) per day and spend it doing something (anything!) that you find relaxing and brings you a little joy. My favourite is a magnesium salt and lavender oil bath. A close second is a chai and a good book. Simple pleasures that put the body in a state of rest and relax, as opposed to fight or flight.
4. Movement. I feel the word exercise has too many negative connotations. For the best results combine movement that gets your heart rate up with a form that is lower intensity. It should be a 1:1 ratio. Examples might be: a 60 minute spin class (high intensity movement) on Tuesday and a 60 minute yin yoga (low intensity movement) session on Sunday. Start small, keep it balanced and feel the benefits.
5. Breathing (you’re probably doing it wrong). Become conscious of your natural breath. Is it quick and shallow (anxiety) or deep and measured (calming)? Your brain is pretty easily tricked. You can abort feelings of anxiety purely by taking deep breaths. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing and there’s lots of videos on YouTube about it so take a look.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the many natural remedies available for reducing feelings of anxiety and regulating the nervous system response to stress. Herbalists and Naturopaths often have their favourite herbs, nutrient and combinations of both for eliciting the best results and can formulate something specifically for you, based on what is contributing to your feelings of anxiety.