The high stress processed world is changing the health of our body and mind. An unfortunately today, many of us have or are suffering through anxiety disorders. It took over 10 years, but I managed to cure my anxiety disorder.
They say people who suffer anxiety disorders are always worrying about the future and have trouble shutting down the worrying voice in their head. I think it more to than just that.
The worry stresses builds up in the mind, it quickly leads to a reaction to the body which is always switched on in fight or flight (danger mode), even when you’re not in danger of anything. Adrenalin in the body which does not turn off, for hours, days and weeks for some.
With a combination of poor nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, some of the symptoms can be awful and make every day life impossible to face.
Some symptoms can be: body shaking, low or high blood pressure, irritable bowels, tension headaches, overly tired from always being amped up, heart palpitations, anger, shortness of breath, sweating, poor vision and panic attacks.
I had suffered from all these for many years and tried conventional treatments along with many non-conventional actions. For about 10 years on and off, my anxiety fluctuated from just be uncomfortable in any situation to being home bound and not be able to work or live.
I accepted that I would have to live with this disease and considered ways of managing the disorder.
After many years of trying different techniques, treatments and life style changes, I’m happy to say I’m free from anxiety. It feels great that I can say that.
I know that my body/mind could have the ability to relapse under the worst conditions but I have learnt ways that I know I will not get in the worst conditions. Never, ever again.
What’s worked for me may not work for others but here are the 3 main change I’ve added (and subtracted) to my lifestyle that keeps my mental health in check:
Meditation – Quiet the Mind
By far one of the most powerful tools to quiet my mind from stress and anxious chatter. It’s free to do whenever you want, is time efficient compared to other therapies and it’s something everyone can add into their daily plan.
The thing with meditation, it’s not a magic pill when you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack. In fact, I thought meditation was a waste of time when I started to do it.
You realize subtle differences in life when you start to practice regularly. What may be subtle in the early stages, could be your breakthrough in later stages with assistance on other therapies or parts of life.
One of the common issues among humans, is that we hold dramatic feelings and situations deep inside, maybe as an emotional safety net. This builds up and can even burry it into our subconscious mind. It’s so deep we sometimes feel anxious for no reason at all.
Meditation helps you realize these deeper issues and can help you deal with them in a mindful way. It can be like an internal therapist helping you accept and move through the emotional repair process.
Nutrition – Low Processed Diet
I think this is understated in modern medicine, but the conventional process food we are eating is making us anxious and sick with other health issues.
Its clear from many current medical studies that the gut and brain are connected. If fact they are calling the gut the second brain.
What we put in to our gut, is affecting our mood and perception on certain factors of life. I realize this when I shifted from high processed food diet to low processed food diet. This, guided with meditation have made the biggest shift in my fight with anxiety.
My main rules for diet is to eat least processed foods, reduce refined sugar, wheat and dairy intake where possible. Do not remove from your diet straight away as you will likely get cravings. I still love a good burger on my cheat day.
My advice is to seek a good nutritionist who specializes in gut analysis and repair to help you on your nutrition journey for better mental health. Also check out this great book with will guide you to anxiety calming foods and nutrients.
Exercise – Move your body and sweat
The third leg in this tripod is exercise. To many of us live a sedentary life and don’t move our body enough.
Any type of exercise that is done regularly will help with gut repair, body managing stressful situations and detoxification.
What I found to make an alarming difference was when I push myself out of the limit of comfort. This took a while (about 6 months as I was so unfit), but once I push myself so I was panting and sweating during a workout, I’d feel amazing result the next day.
My exercise routine now is only about 15 minutes now, but by the time I’m finished, I’m drenched and gasping for air. It creates endorphins and all the good brain chemicals that keeps my mental health in shape. Probably also detoxifies the crap out of my body.
What else can help on your journey away from anxiety?
If you’re consistently meditating, eating well and exercising regularly and still are not seeing results, you may want to go down the path of conventional medicine to assist you.
The unfortunate side effects of conventional medicine which may cover nausea, dizziness and stronger anxiety for first 3-5 weeks will pass for 70% of people that start taking anti-depressants.
I had previously been on antidepressant twice for a year each and I can say they did help. I also had the common brain shock side effect as I was weening off the drugs. In my third and final anxiety lapse, the drugs made me so sick that I could not stomach them.
Using the 3 main techniques mentioned above was the most profound. But I also found some alternative remedies, programs and supplements that help me get to me to healthy state sooner. These includes:
An all natural supplement vitamin that would keep me calm and focus in times where I just couldn’t settle.
I was taking this a regular daily regime for a long while but now just keep it as a tool on super busy days when I need to chill out a little.
Very safe, vegan friendly and not groggy feeling like medicated conventional drugs. Check out my detailed review here on Calm Now.
If you are looking to replace the anxiety sedative drugs with a natural alternative, check out these supplements.
Hardcore Self Help – F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff
I’ve read a tonne of material on Anxiety but this book is one of the first few that I read. It really stuck with me and helped me on the beginning of my anxiety journey.
Not a traditional self help book in fact I can’t call this a self help novel. I found Hardcore Self Help book great for people who have no idea what they’re up against and are too stuck to try. It’s conversational and a quick read. Highly recommend if you’re just starting out your journey to having a more manageable relationship with anxiety.
This booked doesn’t go in deep technical or much psychology. That’s why it’s more of an enjoyable read and take give the anxious reader less to worry about and hope that they will manage their anxiety disorder. Check out my full review here.
In the moments of stress and tension at work or trying to relax at home, I use binaural beats. Binaural beats help me focus, quickly induce a calm state for meditation and even help get me into a deep sleep.
Now if you try all these tips and you are still struggling with anxiety, please seek further help with your doctor or local anxiety organisation.