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Embracing More Calm

Recently, I celebrated a milestone birthday. Ya know, one of those numbers that makes you wonder: Who, me? Regardless, any birthday is a great time for reflection. How did it start vs. How it’s going. While this is a popular meme, like all good memes there’s value to it. When we mark our miles in any aspect of our lives, we have more awareness as to how we can move forward more effectively. Today I’d like to focus on the aspect of self-care and personal wellness. Because that is the spring from which everything else will flow.

In particular, let’s talk about anxiety. The topic seems to be coming up more these days so let’s bring some awareness to it.

6 signs You May Have Anxiety:

1) Talking faster than usual, running out of breath, short-temperedness or snapping. When we’re anxious our heart rate speeds up thereby causing us to do the same. This can lead to impatience and frustration with ourselves and others, resulting in lack of awareness of how we’re behaving.

2) Stressed face. Chronic anxiety often manifests with a physical component. This can be frowning, furrowing of the brow, clenching the jaw or simply an uneasy stomach. When we’re anxious our energy system is contracting and not relaxed, thereby causing our body to be in a “holding” position. I like to think of it as the body’s natural way of attempting to protect us while alerting us that we’re in a state of dis-ease.

3) Ignoring self-care. When we’re too busy to take a shower, brush our hair or teeth, you might have anxiety. Anxiety can stem from very positive things too, like getting married, having kids or a demanding job that you love. When I was getting married, I lost about 10 lbs. My doctor said, “You’re stressed.” I replied, “I’m happy though.” The doctor said, “You can actually be happy and stressed at the same time.”

4) Lack of focus, easily overwhelmed, paranoid. That state of feeling like we have “too many balls in the air” is extreme stress. Many folks can operate this way for periods of time, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for the mind-body temple. Also, it may give us a false sense that we’re successful, when we may actually need to be more efficient in our tasks.

5) Eating or drinking habits are imbalanced. Simply put, when we’re stressed we drink or eat in excess or don’t eat much at all. Neither scenario is beneficial for maintaining wellness.

6) Holding onto grudges. Let it go. It’s an oldie but a goodie, but… Don’t sweat the small stuff. It really does us no good. Life is much too valuable and definitely too short.

But, here’s the best news: We can reduce anxiety right now! Exercise. It helps to regulate our hormones. And our hormones are the whole enchilada. They play a huge role in our immune system health, appetite, mood and so much more. Practice good sleeping habits. Go to bed around the same time every night. This will lead to consistent, restful sleeps. Drink the bulk of your water earlier in the day so that late night drinking won’t keep you up running to the bathroom all night. Give yourself enough time to wind down for a restful sleep which means releasing the device at least one hour before bed, especially if its social media which might keep you up processing headlines. Eat calming foods like green leafy vegetables, salmon, pumpkin seeds, berries, dark chocolate, rooibos tea and turmeric ginger tea, just to name a few. Practice yoga, meditation or reiki therapy. These are all natural modalities that calm the body and mind so that you can maintain better equilibrium in these challenging times.

However, if you have a deeper issue with anxiety which requires more help, please seek the care of your local health professional.

When we create better coping skills for life’s circumstances, it’s easier to love ourselves more fully, have patience with ourselves and others, have a good time, and roll with life’s ups and downs with ninja-like adjustments.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

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