468 St. Anne’s Rd., Winnipeg, MB
468 St. Anne’s Rd., Winnipeg, MB
I’ve suffered from anxiety my entire life.
I truly believe your neurological “wiring” happens in your early years with each and every experience of fear , bullying, and mini traumas that don’t get dealt with and end up compounding into the next essentially wiring you to be in a constant internal state of “fight or flight”.
I know that “fight or flight” feeling all too well. You know the one where someone may threaten you and you want to run away but can’t. So what happens? You suppress the feelings which is the worst thing possible because each time builds on the next.
The scenarios can be as simple as really liking a boy as a teen and feeling rejected when they don’t like you back. Or the feeling of waiting until your Father gets home to discipline you…friends that turn on you….not making a sports team…all kinds of insecurities that you keep pushing further and further down all the time continually living in a fight or flight adrenalin ridden state, almost waiting for the next disappointment to rear it’s ugly head.
It’s the constant thoughts of “I’m not good enough” that keep the voices running 24/7 affecting sleep and making it difficult to function.
I found my anxiety go much worse when I went through a major life event at the age of 35. When I became a single mom and began navigating the adversarial world of family court my anxiety skyrocketed. There was so much to juggle and I felt as though my world was spinning wildly around me. I knew the sleeping pills and wine that I was using to cope was not the right answer. I needed to deal with my anxiety once and for all in a healthy way.
Below are the coping strategies that have worked for me. I’m still most definitely a work in progress but I’ve come a long way.
1. BREATHE– as silly and simple as this sounds when I really checked in with my breathing, it was not good. Taking time out each day to breathe deeply from your belly helps to slow your heart rate, lower your shoulders and clear out negative energy.
2. MEDITATE– spending just 10 minutes a day listening to a guided meditation can do a world of good. We don’t realize how busy our minds get and how the answers come to us when our mind is quiet. I still find it a challenge to quiet my mind but it gets easier the more you do it. Don’t get discouraged, it’s normal to find this a tough exercise!
3. JOURNALING– taking pen to paper and writing out your thoughts can be very therapeutic. Sometimes just getting it out of your head and onto paper can help you work through what’s bothering you.
4. YOGA– I found that yoga really forces you to slow down. Coming from a world of teaching fitness classes that are fast paced I had a hard time slotting in time for yoga. Once I did however, I found that I felt so great afterwards both in mind and body.
5. ALLOWING YOURSELF TO JUST BE- allowing yourself to be good enough. To be comfortable in your skin knowing that not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. To recognize that’s it okay to grow out of friendships as some may have already served their purpose or lesson for you. To recognize that some days you just want to curl up with a good book or movie and not go out to a party full of forced meaningless conversation that doesn’t nurture your soul. To put your energy into things that matter, not the material “stuff” that brings short term “happiness” but into family, your health, spirituality and relationships.
6. FITNESS– there is no better way in my opinion to kick anxiety to the curb. Going out for a run, brisk walk, taking a challenging class all help to reduce cortisol and create a more balanced internal environment of “feel good” hormones.
7. GET A PUPPY– dogs are known to help calm people. When my puppy greats me at the door there is no better feeling. They love you unconditionally and are fantastic to cuddle up with when you’ve had a bad day.
I hope you or someone you love can benefit from the tips I’ve listed above that have helped me.
Remember, you are a unique , special one of a kind human being put on this planet to help make the world a kinder more loving place for all. So make sure that you are being kind to yourself first and foremost.
To Your Success,