I’ve been managing chronic anxiety for as long as I can remember. And if my Uncle Bud’s account of a trip to the city when I was a child is any indication, then it’s probably even before I can remember. As the story goes, he and my Aunt Janice took my cousin Dawne and me on an outing to the Public Garden in Boston to walk around and feed the pigeons. When the birds surrounded us (as pigeons do when there’s a free buffet), I started screaming like it was an Alfred Hitchcock movie. My cousin, on the other hand, was mesmerized and loved the experience.
We’re all different. Some of us can take things in stride and some of us just can’t. Those of us who can’t seem to be hardwired to be on constant alert.
Excessive worrying is a silent issue. No one really talks about it and how wearing it can be on the people who struggle with it. We’re all just supposed to cope. That’s life. Well it hasn’t been my life. Whoever was in charge of handing out coping skills when I was born must have been on a coffee break.
Feeling anxious, whether there’s a legitimate reason or not, has been part of my landscape. I’ve had to learn ways to cope in order to function in the world. You could say I’ve been on a mission to minimize stress all of my adult life. And along the way, I’ve been able to help a lot of people do the same.
There are plenty of things we can do — things I’ve personally done — to create a sense of calm and well being. It’s important to know these things if feeling peaceful doesn’t come easily to you. It’s hard to live a “normal” life if everything around you makes you feel uneasy or threatened. A lot of what I’ve learned isn’t necessarily new, but it does need to be consistent:
- FSA—Fun Sweaty Activity. Do something you love to get your body moving and shake off whatever’s worrying you.
- Diet—Stay clear of caffeinated beverages, refined sugars, and junk food in general. When blood sugar levels fluctuate too frequently, it can make you feel anxious.
- Meditation—Ten minutes a day is all you need. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it. Don’t freak out if you can’t shut your mind off. It’s part of the process. Just observe and let go. Counting can help. Breathe in to the count of one and breathe out the the count of two. Repeat. Clearing your mind of all the things you analyze and over-analyze can reduce stress and anxious feelings.
- Sleep—If you don’t get enough rest, the stress hormone, Cortisol, is activated. Emphasis on “stress.” You get the picture.
- CBD Oil—Cannabidiol is something I’ve been using for about two years. It’s an ingestible supplement that quickly brings on a sense of calm. Use it regularly if you’re dealing with a lot of stress or as needed. It’s been a real game changer for me. One thing to note: There is no THC in the oil so you won’t feel spacey or experience the high associated with marijuana.
Stress is nothing new. But how we’re able to respond to it is directly related to how well we take care of ourselves. If you need a little guidance, please contact me for a complimentary consultation. It would be my pleasure to give you some tips on how to wake up to each new day knowing it’s going to be okay.