For me, the past several months have been difficult.
It feels like there’s been such a surge in angst-driving issues, events that I sometimes let affect me at a personal level.
Divisive politics. Racial tensions. Immigrant issues. Natural disasters. And those are things that didn’t even directly affect me, or most of you either. Add in the everyday stresses of work, family, health problems, finances… Enough already!
The stressors show up both physically and emotionally.
Heart palpitations. Dry mouth. Irritability. Unexplained Anger. Sadness. These are just a few of the not-so-welcome symptoms of anxiety, and they can be debilitating.
The effects are sometimes mild, other times severe, yet in all cases they can affect relationships and quality of life.
The question I often get is, “What can I do about it?”
I don’t have any miracle cures, but I can offer some practical tips which I use to help keep myself in a more zen-like place.
These first three come from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Click here for the full post.
1. Resist the urge to block everything out
While you might feel the feel the temptation to distance yourself as much as possible from it, pretending like it just isn’t happening, this won’t make you feel better.
“We need to keep our sensitivity so we don’t become immune to it—this is very important,” Shankar emphasizes. Educating yourself about what is happening will give you a sense of power, because it is powerful in that it’s the first step towards change.
2. Do something proactive
“What is needed today is togetherness,” Shankar stresses. Do what you can to take proactive steps to spread happiness. Actionable steps not only help you as an individual, but can have a ripple effect on a wider audience as well.
3. Take a breath
If the news feels overwhelming, take a few deep breaths. Add some yoga poses that activate your core, which is where the body holds stress and anxiety.
To Shankar’s list, I add the following:
4. Take a look at your lifestyle habits.
- Consider your caffeine intake. Maybe it’s too much. Experiment. Reduce the amount of coffee you drink and see what happens.
- Consider your sleeping habits. Do you have different sleep patterns on weekends vs. weekdays? Shifting sleep cycles can worsen mild anxiety and lower your stress response. Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Turn off the TV and step away from your phone at least 30 min – 1 hour before bedtime. Experiment with a nighttime ritual of soft music and a great book.
- Consider Your Hormones. According to Tasneem Bhatia, MD., hormone shifts can worsen anxiety. Cortisol surges, sometimes created by shifting estrogen and progesterone levels, can start unexplained panic attacks or irritability.
Add foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (wild salmon, avocado, wild tuna, almonds) which can help minimize hormone fluctuation and alleviate anxiety. Acupuncture, yoga, massage, and meditation all help to lower cortisol, and stress as well. Add several sessions to your weekly routine.
I wish you peace.
I welcome your questions and comments. Simply Comment and I’d be happy to respond. Know someone who’d like this – please pass it along.
Wishing you calm,
P.S. Need some help with your coping skills? Let’s chat about what’s happening in your life and what tools I might have to help you. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now