Fear and anxiety don’t discriminate. They don’t care if you’re young, old, married, single, working or if you’re a stay at home mom. Fear touches everyone, even the MOST carefree souls, from time to time. Check out these 5 simple tips to learn how to ease anxiety quick and get your peace back.
Me and anxiety go waaaay back. I used to call it anxiety but now I call it fear because really, let’s just call it what it is. I’ve tried everything from essential oils, supplements, yoga-style stretching and diet to jumping on the CBD train for a while. Some things helped, some didn’t.
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While I don’t think these methods are one size fits all, foolproof for everyone, I’ve compiled a list of the 5 things that have helped me the most through the years.
NUMBER 5: FIND A COMFORT RITUAL
When I’m in the trenches of my battle with anxiety, I need a place I can escape for calm and relaxation. (Especially since I have two young children screaming and demanding things from me all day long!) I have two figurative “comfort blankets” — a hot drink, usually an herbal tea or a decaf oat milk latte. Think of it like a grown-up pacifier… it’s soothing! If you see me out of the house, more times than not, you’ll see one in my hand. 😉 (I’m pretty sure we keep the local coffee shop in business.)
My other comfort is a warm bath. Any other bath takers out there say woot woot! My bathtub is a safe zone for me… and there aren’t many safe zones in a house with kids, let’s be honest. Nobody expects anything from me while I am in there. I can’t get snacks, wipe butts, or break-up fights. I am free to just relax and focus on self-care. Toss in some bubbles and epsom salt if you’re feeling crazy… you won’t regret it, I promise.
Your “comfort blankets” may not be the same as mine, but I encourage you to find something that works for you. It’s all about learning how to ease anxiety for you! Just make sure it’s beneficial. A lot of people run to wine as a tool to help them relax and I think it can be a tricky thing to navigate spiritually. Wine in general is not the problem, but if we are using alcohol to self-medicate for stress or fear, that may indicate a problem.
NUMBER 4: CHAMOMILE AND GREEN TEA
Studies show both chamomile and green tea have a wealth of benefits for the body and mind. Do a quick internet search and you will see! I can tell you from personal experience, it works wonders for me. If you don’t care for the taste of chamomile, try a tea that has a combination of chamomile and something else. Some of my favorite combinations are chamomile and lavender and chamomile and lemon. If you need it sweetened, sweeten it with all natural stevia or a local, raw honey! Mmmm.
Green tea is also a great tea for calming anxiety. It contains an amino acid called L- theanine that produces a noticeable calming effect on the body. Again, if you can’t stand the taste of green tea (like me,) get it in a combination tea with other herbs.
L- theanine is even more concentrated in traditional matcha. Matcha is the whole green tea leaf. It comes in a green powder form and is mixed in and consumed completely rather than steeped. Traditional Japanese matcha is mixed in hot water but if that isn’t your thing, you can mix it in with almond milk and stevia or honey to make a matcha latte! YUMM.
There are many types and brands of matcha and if you decide to try it (and you should!) be sure to do a little research on how to find the right brand for you that you can trust. This one is my favorite because the brand is affordable and trustworthy. Oh, and the matcha latte at Starbucks doesn’t count… it’s mostly sugar!
NUMBER 3: SUPPORT YOUR BRAIN
When I had my first baby 7 years ago, I went through a long and difficult bout of postpartum depression. So after I had my daughter two and a half years later, I went into my local health food store and asked the manager’s advice on what might possibly help me prevent PPD the second time around. Luckily for me, his wife had dealt with the same and he knew exactly what I needed.
That was the day I began taking Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega fish oil pills (this brand is the BEST!) and vitamin D. I took these two supplements daily after having my second child and guess what… not even a hint of PPD! Of course, I can’t say for certain that I would have had PPD had I not taken these supplements, but I can tell you that over the course of the next year, while I was taking these supplements daily, my anxiety was easier to manage than it had ever been in my life. (Praise hands!)
*Vitamin D is something I am genetically predisposed to be deficient in so ask your doctor for a test to see how many IU you should take a day.
THE SCIENCE OF IT
For those who want to understand everything, like me… here’s how it helps. The typical western diet, one full of junk and convenience foods, does not provide our bodies with the nutrients it needs to thrive. When we eat this way (I think we are all guilty sometimes!) we don’t get the amount of Omega 3s our bodies need. Our bodies can’t make these essential fatty acids, so we have to get them from food or supplements.
While Omega 6s are abundant in our commonly eaten foods, Omega 3s are harder to come by. Bottom line is, the ratio of 6s to 3s should optimally be 1:1 but our typical diet overloads us on 6s and doesn’t give us 3s! This disproportionate ratio can potentially cause many issues in the body… one of those being DA DA DA DAAAAA: you guessed it, mental health issues!
NUMBER 2: OUR DIETARY HABITS
I am a huge proponent of healthy body, healthy mind. I think sometimes we make life so much harder on ourselves by taxing our bodies physically with foods that are not healthy or by simply not giving it the good stuff it needs! There are so many fad diets out there and so many people screaming “Eat this, not that!” It’s so confusing!
After dabbling in vegetarianism for a short while, I decided one thing was true for me and my family. It doesn’t matter what method you choose to get there, if you fill your plate with whole, unprocessed foods, you WILL see results! When I’m making sure to get my daily servings of vegetables, greens and proteins, I feel so much better physically and emotionally! Brain fog clears up, I feel more motivated to be productive and I find myself reaching more goals. While I believe wholeheartedly eating healthy is important, it should NEVER become an idol and it should NEVER be about your waistline.
Other than getting in your daily vegetables and greens and skipping the processed foods, try cutting out sugar! Aside from all of the other horrid effects of sugar on the body, studies show that women who consume high amounts of sugar are at a significantly greater risk for mood disorders like depression. Interesting, huh?
Sugar is hidden in almost EVERY SINGLE processed food we eat. At the end of the day, you may have consumed ten times the daily limit and not even know. I’m not always perfect about watching my sugar intake but I try to keep my daily added sugar to less than 6 teaspoons a day. (I read that somewhere, sometime and so that is just what I go with.)
NUMBER 1: FIND STRENGTH AND PEACE IN GOD’S WORD
There is no more important advice than this. If you are looking for peace in your heart, the only place to find it is through the one who created it. All of those other things are worldly band-aids that may help ease discomfort but WONT give you a lasting sense of fulfillment. I encourage you SO strongly to make time daily to open God’s word. Nothing has had a more profound effect on my daily attitude and mindset than when I begin my day reading God’s word and seeking his wisdom.
If you find this task intimidating, trust me, you’re not alone. I struggle with it daily. Sometimes I wake up and feel satan attacking me with fear from the get-go. Those days I find it even harder to get into God’s word. Those days I want to sit on the couch and fill my time with fruitless activities to drown out the fear when really I need to face it by commanding it away with God’s truth.
Check out these tips for reading the Bible here!
One of my favorite songs is “Not Today” by Hillsong Worship. One of the lines goes like this… “I’m standing on Jesus’ name. So let the devil know, not today!” Don’t be afraid to speak this truth aloud to yourself. Scream it twenty times a day if you have to. Speak it and accept it as your own because Jesus can do that and he wants to do it for you. He cares for you!
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
Anxiety and fear is nothing to be ashamed about, we all deal with it at some point. Knowing you aren’t alone and that God has more in store for you can be such a blessing. Use these tips and learn how to ease anxiety in a healthy and sustainable way and finally take your peace back. Do you relate to any of these remedies? What are some ways you handle your anxiety and fear? Share with me in the comments below!
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