Are you feeling a bit anxious in this pre-holiday countdown?
I have struggled with severe anxiety and panic attacks in the past, which has been debilitating at times. Getting to the root cause was a journey but through the process I spent a-lot of time researching and trying many different ways to combat it. Today if it rears its inconvenient head I know that it's a clear indicator of immediate self-care.
The first thing I do is focus inward and try to think of what might be causing it. At this time of year, it seems to come on unexpectedly if I’ve been overworking my nervous system with constant frantic thoughts of... "I got to get this done now"!
I feel one of the main stressors out there these days is our iPhones. This multi-tasking marvel machine has created an epidemic of anxiety sufferers because we feel we have to answer them the second we hear the phone "ping". Just the sound of the "ping" can send a flood of cortisol running through our bodies. That incessant “ping” creates the thoughts, that are really the root of most anxiousness, such as - "if I don't answer that right away - what will that person think of me".
If self-image, making a business deal, or being a good friend is a big deal for you and you’re in the middle of task or maybe driving your car and can't get to your phone - this will just AMP up the cortisol flooding through your body. I don't know about you, but my family can text me up to 10 x's a day - each! I get anxious just listening to my husband screaming and swearing at his phone constantly as it's interrupting him in the middle of doing another task.
It's the "nag" in the pocket that never stops nagging!
So, what's "The Cortisol Connection"?
This was the title of one of our required course books in Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and we were taught a whole course on the subject. It you really want to get deep into the understanding of the connection you might want to read what Shawn Talbott Ph.D. FACSM, has to say on the subject. She explains in depth how cortisol interferes with learning and memory, lowers our immune function and bone density, increases weight gain, raises our blood pressure, raises our cholesterol, can lead to heart disease, increases risk for depression, mental illness, and lowers life expectancy...
The list goes on and on!
When it comes to anxiety - cortisol is our natural fight or flight hormone mechanism, which is designed to keep us safe from impending danger. Anxiety happening over the "nagging ping" in the pocket is when our thoughts and our cortisol mechanism has just gone haywire!
My 1st line of defence for anxiety now is using my Energy Medicine skills. There are so many wonderful energy medicine exercises that utilize the meridians, acupressure points, lymphatics, neurovasculars and radiant circuits that effectively help to calm down anxiety. Many other well-known patented methodologies utilized by psychology experts for anxiety such as the Callahan Technique, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Energy psychology are all energy medicine methods of tapping on specific meridian points known to calm the nervous system down
Next, I pull out my nutrition knowledge arsenal, and take a Vitamin B complex and Zinc. Check out Patrick Holdford’s book “Optimum Nutrition for the mind”. He cites studies that have shown this combo works just as effectively as tricyclic anti-anxiety medications.
Next, I make a pot of tea filled with my favourite anti-anxiety herbs – chamomile, passionflower, fennel, mint, Schisandra, rose hips, lemon balm and marshmallow leaves. I sink myself into a bath with lavender essential oils and Epsom salts, which are filled with magnesium to relax the muscles. I sip on my tea while taking long deep belly breath. I massage under the ribs, spreading them open so my diaphragm has more room for bigger deeper breaths.
Finally, I work on changing the train of thoughts in my mind. I put on some uplifting music, or a funny movie – “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz, Judd Law, Kate Winslot and Jack Black, is perfect for this time of year and helps me to get my mind to focus on loving and funny thoughts. We want more loving and funny thought hormones to flood the body.
If you want to learn more, visit us at Core Potentials. We have a huge tool box of alternative exercises, nutrition tips and mind changing techniques that can help you combat the stresses in your lives.