How To Deal With Anxiety
The number one question people come to my clinic and ask for help with is how to deal with anxiety or how to cope with anxiety. I’m going to be a little controversial here because I know from the sheer volume of people that have told me this, that once people get diagnosed with anxiety, the get told they have it for life, and so they just have to learn how to live with it. I don’t agree with this at all, and it’s such a disempowering thing to be told. Why could someone not recover from anxiety when someone else can recover from depression, or PTSD, or many other conditions? How do I know this is possible? Because I have personally completely recovered from depression and PTSD.
The thing is, in my land, anxiety is not a condition at all! Stay with me – I’m not saying anxiety does not exist. What I am saying is that anxiety is the outcome of the problem, not the problem itself. It’s often a body response to fear or overthinking or people pleasing. It’s also a body response to perfectionism. And it’s also a body response to the environment that you are in. IN short, anxiety is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem.
Let’s have a look at typical anxiety symptoms:
- a churning feeling in your stomach.
- feeling light-headed or dizzy.
- pins and needles.
- feeling restless or unable to sit still.
- headaches, backache or other aches and pains.
- faster breathing.
- a fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat.
- sweating or hot flushes.
What have they all got in common? They’re all felt senses in your body. Anxiety is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem.
The key then is to get to the bottom of the problem. Solve the problem, solve the anxiety. Sounds simple? Not always. Possible? Absolutely. Possible is where we start.
“Mantra for Anxiety: This is not you. This is something moving through you. It can leave out of the same door it came in.” – James Clear
The most common coping tools that people are given are some form of:
- Breathing techniques
- Natural Coping Tools
The most common coping tools that natural medicine practitioners (including myself) use are:
- Breathing techniques
Which you can see often overlap with the tools given to you by doctors and psychologists – we all know how helpful they are!
What I often find out is people don’t use the techniques because they don’t understand why they help, and what to do when a particular technique doesn’t work. Here’s why they help:
The reason that these are useful is because breath is a powerful signal to your body and mind about whether it should be ready to respond to a danger or not. Think about when you are stressed or anxious – your breathing gets faster and shallower, so your mind and body is aware that there is a potential danger and responds accordingly. When you breathe low and slow, this is the opposite and equally powerful signal of everything is ok.
Exercise helps because you have a lot of built up energy when you are anxious, and you are doing something to help burn off the energy. It also helps you release feel-good hormones that help you feel better. It also simply helps you do something other that focus on how bad you feel. Walk around your backyard or even your furniture if going out is an issue.
Mindfulness and meditation
These help you to get out of your head initially, and over time help you to get in control of your mind. We call it getting out of your head and back in your body. A further way to explain this is that your brain really can only focus on the past or the future, which is where anxiety occurs. It’s about something that has happened or might happen, not what is happening. Your heart and body can only focus on the now, and that is the foundation of meditation and mindfulness – getting into the now, or being present. (PS I have a great meditation for FREE on my YouTube channel )
Other natural tools to deal with anxiety
This is helpful because it helps you to get the thoughts out of your head and process them outside your body. You can focus on positive thinking, tracking symptoms, asking questions of yourself and exploring what you might like to do or be, amongst many other ideas. There are great prompted journalling books now that you can get wherever you buy your books.
When you eat beige, you feel beige. Have an honest look at your diet. Deficiencies in several key vitamins and minerals can be a big factor in experiencing anxiety. Remember back at the beginning when I said that in my land, anxiety is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem. Giving your body the right fuel is so important – you wouldn’t expect your car to run with the wrong fuel, or no fuel. Your body is the same in this way. Sometimes the body’s anxiety response is just because of a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral – I can help you determine this.
5 things I see
There’s different versions of this exercise. A lot of my clients tell me about the 5-4-3-2-1 version, but to me, this is far too complicated when you are quite anxious, and definitely when you are in panic, so a lot of people don’t use it. My version is a simple one – 5 things I see, 5 things I hear, 5 things I (physically) feel. Most people can remember this when anxious, but when in panic it is still very hard. I highly recommend you share this tool with a trusted person so they can help you when in this state.
The Sensory Toolbox
This tip is designed to bring your awareness back into your body. Grab yourself a box of some type, and collect some sensory items – fidget toys, pop-its, slime, orbeez, a hand scrub, hand cream, a colouring book and pencils, playdough are popular items. You probably have enough lying around the house right now for this, and the idea of the toolbox is to have all these things together so you only have to find the box, not search for different things or decide which one to go and get. All you have to do is find the box, so have it in one place so you know where it is all the time. Ice is another sensory tool, but unless you store your toolbox in the freezer, you’ll have to have this separate!
Challenge Your Thoughts
Anxiety is the condition of “What If”? What if this doesn’t work? What if it’s worse? What if I do the wrong thing? But it never asks you what if it is OK? Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the worst that could happen?
- Is it possible?
- Is it likely?
- Has it happened before?
It is still easy for your anxious mind to give really negative answers – what you are looking for is realistic answers. This option is a far better solution than the “go away” or I don’t want to think about this” methods – in my experience these methods literally don’t work at all.
Solving the problem of anxiety
At the beginning, I said that it was possible to completely recover from anxiety. I have helped hundreds of people over the years completely overcome anxiety. Anxiety is something I see in my clinic every single day. What I do is help you work out what the root cause is, if you don’t already know, and then resolve the stress around the root cause. This can be a little confronting and challenging at times, but it is so worth it to live a life free of anxiety. Kinesiology for anxiety is simple and effective, and all you need to do is book in with me.
With me, you are completely safe and in control, and heard. I listen to your concerns and challenges and help you understand at the core of your being what is going on for you, and how we can get past this together. Kinesiology will likely be different to what you have tried before, but chances are if you are reading this, what you’ve already tried hasn’t worked!
Let’s work together to make your anxiety a thing of the past! And in the meantime, try out the natural coping tools above 😉