Anxiety hits many of us, its very common and i'd be confident in guessing you know at least one person that deals with anxiety on a day-to-day basis or maybe that someone is you and you're trying to understand if there is a way out of dealing with your current level of anxiety.
Now, I know we are an organisation in the fitness industry but we also notice and aim to help people that struggle with poor mind-set, low confidence and mental health issues because its so common today and too many people are struggling every day. I've been there and wasted too much of my life because of it.
Anxiety and moments of panic are the worst and I know because I had dealt with it since I was just 12 years old, I was under a psychologist before I was even a teenager, visiting hospitals week in-week out. Did it help? No, not really. I just learned to handle them by myself, and realise anxiety is just an illusion, its fake, not real...It was all made up in my head. This is how I learned to deal with them and nobody understands what anxiety and panic attacks are like until they suffer with them. I was 27 when I finally got over my anxiety, it creeps up on me sometimes, even now and because I have taught myself to manage these various levels of anxiety, I find myself now helping others in dealing with anxiety, even in my job role as a personal trainer, which happens to be on a regular basis - hence this article write up.
Anxiety is a symptom - a symptom that has a root cause just like every illness whether its physical or mentally!
In functional medicine we look to find the root cause and address it. It's similar to having a splinter in your foot - do you remove the splinter or just take a painkiller to shut down the pain? That saying kind of goes with any illness really. Find the root cause don't mask over the problem.
If you're living with anxiety then you might want to consider in finding the root cause of where the anxiety has come from and until you find the root cause here are a few reasons why you may suffer with anxiety. Also as you read on, find tips that can help you stay calm during one of those debilitating episodes.
Trauma from your Childhood/Past - Go back to your childhood, did you suffer trauma? if you find you have suffered emotional or physical trauma think about asking for professional counselling in dealing with this particular event.
Highly Stressful Lifestyle - Learn to find balance in work and home life. The hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA) is what controls our response to stress and this is why we fight, take flight or freeze when we feel threatened in anyway. Its very good for evading bears and lions but in todays modern world we just create anxiety as our body and environment collide. In the modern world today we stress over almost anything and everything, sorting out the children before school, keeping a clean house, stress from working long hours, driving on the hectic roads and dealing with other stressful people around us... so most of us are in a constant phase of stress, yet dealing with it like a champ!
It isn't just mental and emotional stress though that can upset the HPA! inflammation from disease, hormonal imbalances and infections can cause disruption too. As the imbalances increase, so does our anxiety levels, inflammation etc. creating a vicious cycle that keeps you in a constant state of panic and anxiety. Some common causes that can increase inflammation in the body are autoimmune disease, Chronic viruses, oestrogen dominance, lack of sleep (insomnia), blood sugar imbalances, and even gut infections.
Heal your anxiety with some one these tips below:
During an episode of anxiety and panic, when you feel your anxiety is out of control and your heart starts to feel as though it’s pounding out of your chest, try this method.
As soon as you feel a panic attack starting catch it quick by taking a deep breath up into your nose, hold and count for 5 seconds and release slowly through your mouth, repeat this until you feel yourself calming down or feel your heart rate slowing back down. Remind yourself that you're going to be ok, there's literally nothing at all to worry about and this fear you're experiencing isn't real - because fear isn’t real. It’s an illusion that your brain is programmed to think 🤷🏼♀️
This is my most effective method that has worked wonders with so many clients, family members and friends.
Other methods when you feel more in control of your anxiety, yet you know it’s still troubling you.
Try these methods;
Talk to somebody, explain your fears and anxiety, if you have nobody to talk to drop in and talk to us.
Meditate, even for just 5 minutes each day, switch off and think about nothing.
Exercise, do you need to increase your physical activity?
Remove toxic people from your circle. Sometimes people we love can cause too much stress in our lives and if they do, cut them off - nobody needs negative people around them!
Medication, check your medication and ask yourself (as well as your doctor) do you really need to take them?
Look at your current diet, do you need to clean up your eating habits? Add more vegetables to your diet and reduce sugar.
Alcohol, remove alcohol from your diet we all know its a depressant, fun at the time as it lifts your mood but the anxiety will still be there until you find that root cause (plus it piles on unwanted pounds too!)
Caffeine, it makes you jittery and 'wired' without you even noticing because we're so used to it. Too much caffeine will make you feel worse and more anxious so cut this out and replace with decaf, green tea or other teas like peppermint.
CBD Oil - no it won't get you 'high' but it has been shown to drop inflammation and anxiety levels (I have a spoonful before bed when I feel my nerves are off, and it definitely helps me.)
Nutrient deficiencies are much more common than you might think. If you have a digestive issue that is compromising your ability to absorb nutrients then you're at a higher risk. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B6 and B12, Folate, Vitamin D, magnesium, copper and zinc all have a big impact on our mood so maybe get those levels checked during your next blood test request. Try to adopt a whole foods diet which includes all macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein). Don't follow any ideas that cutting out a particular macronutrient will help you lose weight because the truth is, just eating a well balanced diet will ensure you have lots of energy, reduce the chances of nutrient deficiency and overall will feel much better in yourself.
Healing anxiety and depression on a deeper level rather than relying on pharmaceutical medicines for your moods and emotions will help you to find the root cause but it can also take time too, but its worth it in the long term. Remember that you are not broken and you can learn to handle these anxiety symptoms - work with somebody you trust and release the suppressed emotions. I hope with some of the tips and suggestions provided in this article, like myself, you will be able to find some relief, sooner than later.