Do you ever feel anxious or worried? Have you been upset about finances, health, or employment? Have you ever felt your heart rate escalating, your breathing become rapid, your imagination going wild, and wishing you could just relax? If that sounds familiar, you’ve likely experienced anxiety and those thoughts can be overwhelming and often paralyze us from living our lives, so what can we do?
Well first, give yourself a hug. The good news is that you are aware of your emotional state and that awareness is the first step in reducing anxiety. Secondly, let’s explore a few easy to implement, safe, drug-free remedies that may take these attacks – small or large - to a place where you feel in control and at ease.
Mother nature is a powerful tool. If you are sitting with uncomfortable thoughts, get outside and go for a walk. Spending as much time as you can outside is good for the mind and for the body. The beauty of the fall leaves and the crisp cool air can distract you from problems and can naturally, and quickly, reduce anger, fear, and any stress that we are holding onto. All of this contributes to optimal health reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.
If you become aware of unwelcomed emotions creeping in, it’s time to ask for help! Connect with a friend or call a family member or reach out to some of the amazing professionals right here in Medina. With all the trials and tribulations happening in our country, I found myself taking on negative energy which felt heavy and almost unmanageable, so I stopped to see an old high school friend the other day. She gently reminded me that not everything that weighs me down is mine to carry and a positive attitude gives me the power over my circumstances instead of the circumstances having power over me. Those words, and that visit, totally changed my perspective that day and reminded that it’s not the stress that kills us but rather our reaction to it.
Before stress and anxiety creep in, look at your diet and consider supplements. I recommend Lemon balm – a member of the mint family and named after the Greek word for "honeybee," which has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety and help with sleep. I also recommend ashwagandha, a medicinal herb that is effective at lowering symptoms of stress and anxiety by lowering levels of cortisol - a stress hormone the body. A teaspoon in your morning smoothie is an ideal way to incorporate it into your regimen. And don’t forget Vitamin B Complex supplements which have been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety by balancing blood sugar levels and supporting the adrenal glands helping to balance out depressive moods. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you have a medical condition as some supplements can interact with medications.
And remember these words from Robert Eliot “rule number one: don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two: it’s all small stuff.”
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