Anxiety for Americans was already at all time highs, and then came COVID-19..
Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medicines rose 34.1% in just one month - mid-February to mid-March, according to Express Scripts.
If you are looking for natural ways to calm stress and anxiety, I literally wrote the book on it "Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom." I'll share some of the 35 techniques from my book to help you start getting calm now!
I've been researching anxiety relief for the past 25 years because of my own feelings of anxiety. I had spent the first half of my life not even knowing that I had anxiety! I thought it was normal to walk around with my shoulders up to my ears and to worry about everything! With all that's going on right now, a lot of people who used to have mild or occasional anxiety are now experiencing severe anxiety. I used to say we need to practice these simple techniques to calm stress and anxiety many times a day, but now it's many times an hour! The more we interrupt the stress and anxiety, the easier it is to keep more emotional balance.
When the medication I was prescribed didn't help, I began research "how to deal with anxiety without medication naturally" and this was long before Google! I was old school going to the library, looking through the card catalogue (does anyone even remember those?) I just googled "How to deal with anxiety without medication naturally and got 472 million results!
Symptoms of anxiety
Before I share the techniques, let's take a look at ways anxiety shows up that you might not even be aware of:
- Excessive worrying
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
- Feeling restless
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep issues
- Tense neck and shoulders
Anxiety Relief - safe, natural & oh so simple!
- What's right, right now? I used to worry about everything - almost always worrying about the worst case scenario. Neuroscience has proven that neurons that wire together fire together. When we constantly look for what's wrong, those neural pathways are very strong and we can work ourselves up to severe anxiety in a very short period of time. Ask yourself "What's right, right now?" and answer it - "I'm healthy, I'm safe, I have food in my pantry, etc." By training ourselves to look for what's right, we interrupt the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest.) We are also feeling gratitude which, according to Happiness Researcher Shawn Achor, triggers our bodies to produce dopamine and serotonin - the "happy hormones" found synthetically in certain prescription medications. You can play the "What's right right now" game with friends, family members, colleagues...Imagine starting off your next staff meeting having everyone focus on what's right. It will start the meeting off in a whole different light.
- Just YAWN! Go ahead and do a big fake yawn right now - stretch your arms out big, and really drop your jaw. Whether it's an involuntary yawn or a "fake yawn", it still has the same response - we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Just like our hearts take a rest between each heart beat, we need to take a rest from all the stress and anxiety swirling around us.
- Take a Digital Time Out. We are so addicted to our devices - and it's intentional. Tony Fadell, who created the iPod and co-created the first three generations of iPhones, talked about the dopamine hits we get when we hear the alerts and notifications on our phones and how they are intentionally created to be addicting. He wondered aloud if his grandchildren will think he’s “the guy the destroyed society”. Try turning the notifications off for 3 days and notice what that does to your emotional health. I only have one notification turned on on my phone - if someone is actually trying to call me! It's also critical to unplug from the news. I am not suggesting ignoring it all, but checking the tv and computer over and over again, really is damaging to our mental health. See if you can cut back just a little bit, and then a little bit more.
It is really important to practice these techniques over and over again. Sandra Johnson, a client from Nashville, Tennessee recently shared "When I find myself starting to struggle, now I stop employ one of her techniques and I am able to calm down, relax instead of working myself up into a state, but instead I know I can tackle the job at hand, without all of the anxiety.
Working with Stephanie has been a life-changing positive experience for me."
Are you ready for a life-changing positive experience? Book your free consultation now.
I really love Stephanie’s articles and ideas. It’s obvious that she “knows her stuff” through both education and experience. I want to note something in this article about medications: Most common ones do not have “synthetic” serotonin or dopamine. Instead, they trigger the brain to have more of these neurotransmitters available or circulating. However, I agree with Stephanie that they often have limitations. For me, the side effects outweigh the benefits. But when I experienced a severe postpartum depression, they helped me greatly (albeit after an inordinately long “waiting period” after beginning the meds). Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!
Thank you Elisa!