Anxiety has been a major struggle for me personally over the past 10+ years. I first experienced anxiety when I was in high school. I had this constant feeling that something was wrong and I couldn't place my finger on it. It lead to feelings of isolation, social anxiety, and constantly feeling on edge. I've also experienced a few major panic attacks as a result of my anxiety. I was on vacation with my family in Santa Barbara when I was in college (a moment when I should be anxiety free and happy), when suddenly I couldn't breathe. My chest felt like it was going to explode while simultaneously my heart felt like it was going to stop. There was something in my mind that knew in that moment I was going to die.
But then I didn't. That day in Santa Barbara, I had this feeling last for over an hour. Over an hour I thought that any second now, this breathe would be my last. Thankfully that day I had my dad there who helped me get through it - but I was done with anxiety.
About 10% of teens and 40% of adults are estimated to experience anxiety daily. This is crazy!! No one should experience this constant exposure to worry and fear. And even worse, those who suffer from anxiety are more likely to suffer from depression than those who don't.
So let's make some changes.
Over the past decade of working with myself to find natural remedies to anxiety, there have been three main tips that brought drastic positive change. What's been incredible about these changes is that from naturally reducing my anxiety, I noticed other positive outcomes that I wasn't necessarily trying to achieve: my skin cleared up, my relationships with my friends and family improved and my energy levels increased. Today, I'm going to share these tips with you!
#1: Swap your coffee
If you're a coffee drinker, you probably already know that this can increase your feelings of anxiety. For the longest time, I thought that my body couldn't tolerate coffee because of my anxiety - which always made me so sad because I LOVE coffee. But after much research, I found that up to 91% of all coffee produced in the world is actually contaminated with mold toxins! Why is this a big deal (other than it being gross)? Because mold produces neurotoxins that can affect the brain's function... namely that it can cause you to experience anxiety. Some other common symptoms of mold toxicity include headaches, issues concentrating, mood swings, appetite swings and vertigo.
After I made the switch from regular coffee to a lab tested mold-free, toxin-free coffee, my feelings of anxiety decreased. I also didn't experience the headaches and mood swings that I attributed to coffee in general!
I recommend THIS coffee if you're trying to decrease anxiety without cutting your daily cup of joe.
#2: Design your morning routine
The morning is the perfect time to set your day on the right note. Knowing how you will start the first couple of hours of your day is empowering and helps reduce those feelings of helplessness while boosting feelings of ease and confidence. Your morning routine can look however you want, but these are a few things I've found that help with anxiety:
1. Don't look at your phone for the first hour: I know, I know, it's hard. But looking at your phone or social media first thing in the morning puts feelings of comparison and self doubt in your mind. Putting your phone on "Do Not Disturb" or "Airplane" mode are great ways to assist with this.
2. Get your body moving: This doesn't have to be a full blown workout, just as long as your body is moving for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably outside (if weather permits). If I can't fit in my workout, I take my dog for a 20 minute walk around the block.
3. Practice gratitude: Before you even get out of bed, say everything you can think of that you're grateful for that day - out loud. Putting yourself into a state of gratitude will push any other thoughts that aren't serving you out of your mind.
#3: Decrease your sugar intake in the morning
Sugar can come in many shapes and forms. Current research is finding that constant exposure to sugar can increase our risk of many diseases, including heart disease. Multiple studies including this one have found that sugar also increases feelings of anxiety that can result in panic attacks. The easiest way to reduce your overall sugar intake is to start with breakfast.
Here's a low-sugar smoothie that I've adopted into my morning routine to help rid myself of anxiety:
10 oz. unsweetened hemp, almond or coconut milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp. coconut butter
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. flax seeds
1 tsp. maca
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen coconut meat (or 1/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice)
These small changes have made massive improvements to my anxiety levels. Everyone's body, environment and cellular makeup is different - so for even greater changes, individualized attention is key. I work with clients on reducing their anxiety naturally with advanced strategies and tools. You can book an Initial Consultation (FaceTime/Skype or in-person) HERE to help get your anxiety under control and wake up every morning feeling empowered!
Disclaimer - The above are changes that I chose to make to my own life that brought success for my anxiety. If you're experiencing feelings of anxiety and/or depression, you should make sure to consult your doc.