Worry, doubt, fear, disappointment, uncertainty, loneliness and so many other emotions are the cause of what I believe to be the modern world’s most misunderstood, most broad, common, serious, debilitating condition/symptom/circumstance – a state of anxiety.
If you have ever suffered from anxiety you know it’s debilitating, frustrating, unwanted symptoms. From emotional turmoil to low mood to physical dysfunction anxiety can have a huge impact on our quality of life, relationships with others, state of mind, physical health and so on.
- There isn’t a body system that isn’t affected by anxiety.
- There isn’t a condition or situation in which daily anxiety doesn’t play a toll on our health.
- There isn’t a reason to give up if you have anxiety. There are answers. There are solutions.
Anxiety, stress, states of fear, doubt and worry are something 99% of us have experienced, worked through, shared with others or shoved deep down inside. If your method of dealing hasn’t worked have no fear. This article includes the basic guide to dealing with anxiety (including 11 simple ways to reduce anxiety), overcoming emotional constraints and experiencing the freedom of a reduced stress environment.
However you have dealt with anxiety up until this point will reflect your current physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health today. As we have all heard – stress kills. This article is meant to lighten the load, highlight some useful tools for coping and provide simple steps to living an anxiety free life.
Read it over, take in what resonates with you and apply as many of these principles to your daily life as you can. Within a few days your symptoms will begin to change, your mind will feel more clear, your world will open up to new possibilities, people around you will feel your eased energy, joy will return to your life and unlimited possibilities for health, wholeness and greatness will be available to you.
Getting Started – 11 Simple Ways to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is a negative state of being. It is a state of fear, doubt and/or worry. It is a state of lack, negativity and regret.
Like any state we take on as busy, hard working humans we have the ability to experience the opposite. You may not know or believe this but many people do not experience anxiety or when they do it is a fleeting moment or a motivational calling.
We too can look within and in an instant change our lives to experience what these others are experiencing. We can decide to experience life differently and begin to see the world with an alternate lens whenever we choose.
Here’s the kicker – It is much easier to say than do. There are constant reminders around us about how tough life can be, how disappointing our current situation is or how our experience in life has shaped who we are.
Changing our state can have a serious impact on all of these factors and with some inner work it can be accomplished.
Continue reading to see some of the ways you can make your state change TODAY!
The Different Types of Anxiety
If you have experienced anxiety you will resonant with what I am about to say: It is sneaky. It can be everywhere. It is that voice that can hinder our daily vibe if we aren’t prepared to practice self-care.
There are many different ways anxiety can sneak up on you. In my experience the most common way is as a racing mind or ‘runaway thoughts’. This racing mind could be about something important in your life or it could be about nothing in particular. It is a high intensity, overwhelming state to be in.
Secondly anxiety rears its head as a reminder about something in your life you may be ignoring that is essential to your well-being and growth. Our subconscious mind has a way of looking out for us and keeping us on track. If something continually comes up for you that represents improving an important part of your life, connections with others or personal health it may be time to stop ignoring and take action.
Anxiety has a way of pulling us down. It can happen at any time. Often the energy of the world can be enough. There seems to be a hummm of negative energy that can surround us in this world. Whether it be from negative news stories, low mood friends and family or the hustle and bustle of our cities its impact on our mind can be substantial.
Sometimes we don’t recognize our anxiety. This is often in people who love to keep busy. They don’t enjoy alone time and they want to keep their mind occupied. A state of being where emotions are not dealt with can often result in physical and mental symptoms of dis-ease. When a review of past experiences is done it is often seen that emotions were never experienced fully, processed and moved on from and anxiety presents itself as this desire to keep busy.
Finally anxiety can represent a pull to a higher calling in life. It can be a positive experience. When you acknowledge that you have significant value to provide in this life and don’t feel you are fulfilling it the burning sensation in your stomach can be another form of anxiety. Once this calling is discovered anxiety is settled.
Dealing with Anxiety
As a couple Amy and I began as a high intensity duo. We are both natural Type A personalities with passionate views, a strong desire to for success and lived a different but equally regimented life. Like many, we both have a history of panic attacks, constant anxiety with fear, doubt and worry and racing mind.
We have used the following list successfully over the last 7 years to create the peaceful, zen, focused life we live today where we are still able to nurture the Type A side of our lives. We have had many years without panic attacks, are able to recognize within ourselves when anxiety is present and we are able to support each other when life issues create this state of stress.
We have been through it all and have tried many different anxiety reduction techniques. The following list are the absolute most successful options we have used.
I recommend working through this list with your partner so that you are both on the same page with the following options. Working as a team, acknowledging what each other needs, supporting each other as you adopt these items in your life and being there when things don’t go as planned will give you the best chance at success.
Give this quick list a read. Apply as many as you can. Be consistent with your changes. Look within as often as you can to recognize your changes. Embrace your change. Own it.
Let the personal growth begin.
11 Simple Ways to Reduce Anxiety & Create Mental, Emotional & Physical Freedom
Please note – we are considering here things you are in control of. In whichever situation you are in the following list are things you can control. You can make these changes. They are simple, inexpensive and can create profound change in your life.
1) Create Your Zen Den
Lets being with your surroundings. You can control all of your surroundings. Your home, workplace, car, the people you are with, where you spend your free time, etc are all things you can change and shape to suit your new lifestyle free of stress.
Creating your zen den allows you to create a situation where you experience calming environments wherever you are. Simple changes that we have found successful are:
- Listen to soothing spa music while you work, hang out, cook or exercise. We use iPhone radio apps such as Live360 and AccuRadio to find soothing music.
- Choose a color for your home that is conducive to relaxation.
- Choose carefully what you bring in to your home – avoid bringing in negativity from work/relationships, physical items that don’t resonate with you.
- Declutter your life often. Maintain a clean living space.
- Purge unwanted items often. Remove things you don’t use often, get rid of old clothes that you no longer wear, etc.
- Bring in to your home things that calm the energy of your house. We have a salt rock in our main living space and crystals on our desks that we enjoy.
- Use candles and low lighting to calm the energy of the room.
2) Exercise in the Morning
Getting a workout in first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest possible things you can do for your mind and body. Whether it is 30 minutes of walking or an intense cardio and weights session your body will benefit.
Blood pumping cardiovascular activity with deep breathing brings more oxygen into the body and increased blood flow to the brain. This enables you to cope with stress better, have a better outlook on life, feel more inspired, accomplished and healthier.
Exercise is also a state-changer. Getting moving releases endorphins in the body that help you feel better mentally. It improves mental clarity and calms the mind.
We do 30-60 minutes first thing every morning when we wake up. This can range from walking to intense cardio to functional training and weights.
Consider trying yoga or Tai Chi for the first time. These two practices can increase your fitness level and their philosophies can bring you peace, comfort and spiritual connection.
3) Avoid Watching the News
News casts are meant to bring forth emotion from the viewers. It is their purpose to bring as many negative stories in as short a time as possible to achieve a reaction from the audience.
Negative reactions, feelings and responses increase viewership. They get our heart pumping, they often bring frustration, disappointment and fear to our lives.
The information provided in most news casts is not essential to everyday life. It doesn’t bring value to our being. Staying informed about local, national and world issues is important but it is not necessary daily.
Our culture has made it a habit of consuming information about the world on a minute by minute, hour by hour basis and we are suffering for it. Reduce your exposure and reduce your stress.
4) Avoid TV Before Bed
Watching the news right before falling asleep sets a negative tone for what is supposed to be the most relaxed portion of your day.
Late night TV often includes crime, drama and violent shows. This can increase our cortisol release while we are lying in bed, prevent us from having a good night sleep and subsequently increase anxiety.
Reducing your late night TV and sleep better.
5) Be Solution and Action Oriented
Often anxiety stems from a passion that has turned into disappointment, worry or pain. If it is an injustice that is on your mind the best way to overcome and experience mental freedom is to act.
To be part of the solution.
Whether it be donating a sum of money to your cause, needed supplies like dog food to a shelter or if you are short on funds but have time you may choose to volunteer.
One of Amy’s friends who is a photographer was once discussing an injustice related to animals and how it was bothering her. Amy made the recommendation to use her talent to support the cause. She organized a photo shoot to raise money for a local shelter. It was a hit!
6) Have a Solid Morning Ritual
Your morning sets your tone for your daily physical, mental and emotional health. Having a solid ritual that supports your goals, is motivating and sets a positive mental tone for your day.
Meditation, contemplation and gratitude are keys to mental clarity and focus. They can all be included in your morning routine with only a 5-10 minute time commitment. Once you make this time a habit you will find ways to make it longer.
A simple routine that I use is from Tony Robbins and includes the following three practices:
- 3 Minutes – Focusing on 3 things I am grateful for
- 3 Minutes – Focusing on a higher presence, seeing my dream accomplished, deep breathing
- 3 Minutes – Focusing on 3 things I want to accomplish that day
This routine will be explained in more detail in a future article.
7) Journal Often
We know the value of journalling but are you experiencing the benefits? Writing down our anxieties helps us to work through the emotions, experiences and fears.
Journalling is a release exercise.
That is where to put your focus while journalling. With each paragraph you are releasing part of your story, separating yourself from it.
8) Supplement Your Daily Diet
Anxiety can occur due to lack of sleep or exercise or from poor nutrition. A whole foods diet consisting of whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that keeps your blood sugar stable is essential to proper brain function.
When extra supplementation is needed there are many options to boost your mood and reduce your stress. If you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue the supplement list is located here.
In general extra supplementation should include B Vitamins, Fish Oil and Adaptogenic Herbs like eleutherococcus, licorice, ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Acupuncture and massage are also extremely helpful for reducing stress and combating anxiety.
9) Audiobooks or Relaxation Music
In addition to the relaxation music that is part of your zen den we recommend choosing uplifting, spiritual, motivational audiobooks and programs to add to your life. Many great authors have produced motivational audio programs full of anxiety reducing, positive messages that help us grow and change.
We like to listen to Marianne Williamson, Michael Beckwith, Tony Robbins, Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer. Their programs and audiobooks can be found on iTunes.
10) Make a List of Triggers and a Plan of Action
In addition to your journalling it is extremely valuable to make a list of your anxiety triggers and begin to form a plan of action around how to remove them from your life.
Begin by looking within during times of anxiety. Sort through what is really bothering you and simply write them down in a list.
From the list assess which is giving you the most grief.
Begin immediately to create a plan of action to remove, fix or step past this anxiety. Whether you are in need of a huge life change or there are simple steps that can make your daily life better now is the time to move forward. Begin to plan steps to take you from your current state to one where you are free of your current negative situation.
11) Take Charge of Your Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Self
Finally, just like we first created our physical zen den we also must create our personal inner zen den. Not only do you have control over your physical space but your inner space is even more yours. It is your sacred space.
Start by decluttering your mind, purging the thoughts, beliefs and ideas that don’t serve you.
Understand that you have control over your thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires. You are able to consciously choose your mental state. Begin to practice this daily and strive to create your personal inner zen den.
You are in charge of your emotional, mental and spiritual self but like any skill it takes practice to exert your control. Begin with meditation, journalling and the other recommendations of this list and shortly you will start to recognize your control.
These 11 tips are the foundation to feeling free from anxiety. Give as many of them a try as you possibly can. Take your time. Be kind to yourself and recognize that each of these tips represents one more step in your self-care.
Emotional self-care and personal development is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. This list of easy, quick, inexpensive options are a solid foundation for self-care.