How to Manage Anxiety
Does anxiety stop you in your tracks?
Have you noticed how menstrual irregularities or hot flushes can disrupt your normal patterns of life and cause you frustration? Are you feeling constantly fatigued or dehydrated and have trouble getting quality sleep? Are you plagued and immobilised by irrational fears that shorten your breath and leave you speechless or inept? Are you overwhelmed by tasks that used to be so simple to accomplish?
"Anxiety dims your light and steals your zest for life."
If your personal health history is shrouded by situations of stress, fear, nervousness or anxiety and these sensations are holding you back from living an authentic and real life, this is a problem. You deserve a happy and fulfilled life – anxiety is raising its ugly head as a signal to you that your adrenals are compromised or that your nervous system is struggling under the pressure.
Short anatomy of anxiety
Adrenaline is a hormone made by the adrenal glands when your system is in the ‘fight or flight’ mode. During menopause or the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (day 14-28), the adrenals take on the extra task of contributing oestrogen to the hormonal dance. It is during these times that they easily become depleted due to the extra burden. As a result, the taxed adrenal glands tend to overreact, giving rise to sudden sensations of anxiety, fear and nervousness. In an acutely stressful situation, the rise in stress hormones (adrenaline surge) can trigger PMS symptoms or a hot flush and leave you feeling blank, physically wiped out, anxious or even worse.
Tips to ease tension and anxiety
- Bach Flower or Australian Bush Flower Essences remedies such as Rescue Remedy™ can immediately help to ease anxiety. Keep this in your bag to use as soon as you feel the tension building.
- Self-love practices give importance to our body and raise awareness that it’s our temple that deserves a lot of care and attention. Take long, relaxing baths and get a regular massage; you may also want to consider therapy and healing sessions like Reiki.
- Adrenal support can also be achieved through stress management and timeout sessions. Deep breathing and meditation, as well as leisure walks and spending time with nature, are just a few great options. Make it a point to connect with yourself and your loved ones regularly. Take it slow and always remember to nourish yourself properly. Retreating into a calm state reduces the excitation of excess cortisol, leaving you in an improved state of wellbeing.
- If you are overcome with anxiety, stop, focus your eyes on something close to you and concentrate on your breath. Steady it, slow it down and feel it. Becoming aware of the feelings of anxiety and how they affect your breathing and the body as a whole help to stop it from reeling out of control. Centre yourself by connecting with something in your surrounds - a sight, a sound, a smell, or a view. Feel the earth under your feet, smell the coffee, hear the music, or look at the sunset.
- Allow your fear or anxiety to speak in a safe place with someone you trust. When the worries go round and round in your head, talk to someone who will listen in silence. Often, voicing your feelings puts things into perspective.
- Meditation prior to bedtime using Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) can help the brain to switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxes the body and mind to enable deeper sleep.
- Gentle and nourishing exercises like walking, yin yoga and swimming help to ensure that your body is getting the movement it requires. The body is more likely to store emotions and feelings when it is inactive and this entrapment means that you stay in your head, reliving events, issues and dramas. Get out of your head and into your body!
- Claim your boundaries. Anxiety rises when you feel unsafe.
- Use aromatherapy to create a calm environment.
- Maintain a healthy endocrine system by balancing your hormones. That way you are less reactive even to stressful situations.
- Consider further supplementation with magnesium, Withania, Rhodiola or B vitamins.
Anxious minds take in everything in the world surrounding them. Hold my hand, acknowledge that you are afraid and take a step forward.