There are different levels of severity with anxiety and depression. We are all unique and there are many different factors that need to be taken into consideration. You should always consult with a doctor you trust to help you manage your symptoms. There are times when you might also need medication, there is no shame in this. You have to do what is best for your in your unique situation. With that being said I believe that there are a lot of things that you can implement in your daily routine to help you manage your anxiety.
What Anxiety Looks Like For Me
It has been something that I have struggled with for a very long time. There are times when it is hardly noticeable and times where it has been completely debilitating. One of my panic attacks was so severe that I even took myself to the hospital thinking that I was having a heart attack. I felt humiliated and ashamed when the doctor came in after running all the tests and said that everything was fine. Some of these seasons were intensified by situations in my life, but it is also just something that I believe will always carry with me. Thankfully, after years of struggling, I have learned how to manage my symptoms in a much healthier way. Along with medication (it’s what’s right for me) I also implement these 10 things.
Natural Ways to Manage Your Anxiety:
Learn How Food Affects Your Mood – It is important to educate yourself on the effect your diet might be having on your anxiety. I would recommend starting with an elimination style diet, so that you can re-introduce food groups one at a time and journal your responses to them. I personally love the Whole30 program because it is whole food based and helps you walk through the reintroduction phase. Sugar is one that causes me the most struggle, it affects my mood and mental clarity. It also tends to trigger binge eating episodes for me.
Move Your Body – A lot of us tend to be more sedentary when we are anxious. It is so beneficial to move your body in a way that brings you joy. This can be a simple walk in the sun or a blood pumping gym workout, it depends on the situation. Learn ways to move that help calm you down.
Fight Lies with Truth – This means Biblical truth. As I have continued to truly understand that my identity comes from God, the rest loses it’s hold on me. Here are some of my favorite scripture verses to read when I am struggling –
- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7
- “..He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
- “..Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Talk to Someone – There is an emotional part to anxiety for a lot of us. There can be a great release when we open up to someone we trust. This can be a friend or family member or even a professional. I personally see a counselor that I trust. She has been a vital part of the healing process for me. It might take time to find someone that you connect with and that’s okay. On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t have to tell everyone. I am known to be an open book at times, but opening up to the wrong person can be detrimental. Trust is key.
Journal – It is so cathartic to write out your feelings. It doesn’t matter how sad, anxious, angry you feel. You can write it out! This often helps me avoid reacting to people out of negative emotions because I can process through it on paper first. You can also look back at old entries and see the progress that you have made or prayers that have been answered.
Magnesium – A lot of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets. Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for our body to function. Studies show that a magnesium deficiency can contribute to increased anxiety. Try to eat foods that are rich in magnesium like green leafy vegetables and nuts. I also like to supplement with Natural Vitality Natural Calm . (always consult your doctor for correct dosages and to see if supplementing is appropriate for you)
Take Care of Your Gut – You would be amazed to learn the impact the health of your gut impacts the overall health of your body. This includes mentally and emotionally.
Get Better Sleep – This can be difficult. Especially if you are like me and the moment you lay down, your mind starts going a million miles a minute. Here are a few things you can do to relax before bed:
- shut down all electronics an hour before you go to bed
- stretch out and take deep breaths
- take a warm Epsom salt bath, I like to use lavender foam bubble bath
- Read a book
- Listen to worship
Set Boundaries – This one was extremely tough for me because I am a people-pleaser and at first it caused more anxiety. But hear me out! Taking care of myself and setting firm boundaries was extremely beneficial in healing my healing process. It is okay to be clear and firm in stating your needs. This is a good Book to read about boundaries.
Let go of Shame – I talk about shame a lot in my posts because I have seen the horrible effects of it in my own life and those I love. Shame keeps us in a place of believing that we are not worth change, that there is something fundamentally wrong with who we are. Shame keeps us in hiding, because if people knew who we really were, they couldn’t possibly love or accept us. To truly heal, we have to step outside of that shame and recognize that our struggles do not define us.
If you struggle with anxiety, it won’t go away overnight. It might not ever fully go away, but you can learn to manage it in a healthy way. Start with some of these tips and take it from there. Have grace for yourself as you learn and as you heal. Learn to love yourself along the way, you are stronger than you know.