it feels like a constant gnawing in the pit of my stomach. my breath is shallow and my heartbeat is elevated. i can’t focus. my temper is short. it’s anxiety, and i’ve struggled with this feeling since i was a teenager.
stress can increase my anxiety, but it’s not the primary culprit. most days, i simply wake up feeling anxious. it feels like i’m late for a really important appointment or something horrible is about to happen. neither of these things are true.
the real problem is my thoughts are in control.
don’t believe everything you think. our minds are muscles and can be trained to release anxiety and negative thoughts. the struggle is to live in the moment.
the 5 easy tools below are clutch when working to manage anxiety.
create a routine
our brains crave structure and giving ourselves a routine can help with anxiety. my anxiety stems from feeling like i lack control or a fear of what’s next. creating a routine and using my bullet journal to guide my day has helped so much.
exercise helps the brain to cope with stress. according to the anxiety and depression association of america, regular aerobics can decrease tension, stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem. the best part is a rigorous physical routine isn’t necessary to see results. a ten-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout.
i talk about aromatherapy allllllll the time because it works. lately, i’ve been diffusing ylang ylang oil at bedtime, and my sleep has been so much more peaceful. throughout the day, diffusing lavender, rose, bergamot and chamomile can also reduce anxiety. also, no need to use an old school oil burner. an air diffuser like this one or even a few drops of oil on one of these bracelets can do the trick.
the first step to living in the moment is to calm your mind. meditation is the perfect practice to center yourself because you focus on nothing more than your breath. my new favorite app is simple habit which takes listeners through short daily meditations. remember you don’t have to sit still with your legs crossed to meditate. i’ve been enjoying walking meditations as a way to release.
some of the best known herbs for stress and anxiety are lavender, chamomile and valerian. you can use these as teas, tinctures or supplements. cannabinoids (CBD) from cannabis are getting more popular as a way to treat anxiety. if you’re not down for smoking a joint or enjoying an edible, give CBD oil a try. it doesn’t include the THC component of cannabis that gets you high.