Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Anxiety is near and dear to our hearts as we know so many people are dealing with this. We have some amazing tools to share to help you deal with anxiety.
According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), one in two Americans are more anxious than they were at this time last year, and one in five have an actual anxiety disorder.
First, let’s explain a little about anxiety. Anxiety stems from an unmet expectation--we either have a fear that an expectation isn’t going to be met or that expectation is not being met in the present moment. We've created an expectation of what should be and the outcome is not what we wanted it to. From this, feelings of anxiety arise.
When used with the right skills, these feelings can guide us to respond in an emotionally healthy way. When we first start to have these feelings of anxiety in their most subtle form, we can use this to choose how we’re going respond to those feelings. When it goes on unchecked and becomes overwhelming, feelings of anxiety can build up in our bodies and that becomes our baseline for behavior.
We use these 5 natural solutions to create a whole-body approach to dealing with anxiety.
Meditation is one of our daily practices that allows us to tune in to ourselves by staying in the present moment and not worrying about anything in the future.
One of our favorite ways to use meditation is to slow down the thoughts in our mind. We create space between our thoughts, and it allows us to see a different perspective on something that we wouldn’t be able to see if we were so caught up in the moment of a situation. Anxiety has a way of overwhelming us, and we’re not able to think clearly in order to calm down. This is why even talking to a friend is helpful in dealing with anxiety. It helps us get a different perspective.
By using meditation to create space between our thoughts instead of reacting to a situation, we can take a step back and see if what we’re feeling is really truth, asking ourselves, “Is this the real, absolute truth right here?”
Our meditation technique can also be used with the breathing technique we’ll share with you shortly. Meditation is simply sitting anywhere, in whatever position you are most comfortable in, and focusing on your breathing. If a thought comes up, allow that thought to pass over you without attaching to it, eliminating any negative self-talk related to that thought.
The mind is designed to generate thoughts to keep us alive, to give us directives. When we focus our mind on our breathing for long periods of time, we’re able to train ourselves to focus on breathing rather than our anxious thoughts, which and in turn will automatically calm us down.
Here’s a breathing technique you can use before meditation, or any time you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
Given a circumstance where you’re not able to close your eyes and start meditating--someone cuts you off in traffic, for example--you can practice this breathing technique.
The technique is simply breathing in as deeply as possible. And exhaling as long as possible. Imagine breathing into your lower back. This is going to slow down the mind stream and calm the central nervous system. Every emotional state is linked to a state of breathing, and this is why the practice of meditation through a breathing technique is so important.
Breathing is the gatekeeper between the voluntary and involuntary processes of our body. Next time you're angry, next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed, pay attention to the way you’re breathing. Making your breath luxuriously long and relaxed is going to help with your mental state and anxiety.
If you're having a difficult confrontation with someone, you can excuse yourself and go to the bathroom or go outside. Take a couple of deep breaths and return to conversation recharged.
Let’s take a moment and practice. Stop what you’re doing and practice this breathing technique.
Take a deep breath in. And let it all out.
How long can you make the exhale? Can you make the exhale even longer than you think you can?
We recommend doing this exercise about five times. Doing it even once makes a huge difference! Even thinking about it makes your anxious feelings better!!
When you're feeling super anxious, getting things organized can really help eliminate the feeling of overwhelm. Both of us put these organizational tips into play all the time! It really helps us feel like we have a sense of control!
When you’re working in a messy environment, or everything around you is out of place and piled up, then it can be chaotic. Organizing your space and cleaning things up will help eliminate the chaos.
Making lists and checking things off will make you feel very accomplished and keep anxiety at bay! And just by making a list of the things you want to accomplish each day will keep you from feeling like you have 10,000 things to do. And checking them off is a great sense of accomplishment and will make you feel good!
It’s easy to feel like you’re not getting anything done, and you can go through life like this. So, we like to keep lists, and it confirms we’ve made progress when we check them off. It’s a feeling of being on a proper path, and we course-correct along the way. That can really help reduce anxiety a bit.
Calendars are also a good organizational tool for eliminating anxiety. We use Google calendars as well as a paper calendar organizer for writing notes. Whatever works for you and makes you feel good.
4. Healthy Diet
Nutrition and the brain are very much connected. The number of neurotransmitters you produce (or not) are directly related to the type of food you eat, so you’ll want to maintain a practice of a healthy diet. What you eat directly affects your state of mind and anxiety levels.
5. Essential Oils
And last but not least, our favorite! Essential oils.
Essential oils help with calming the mind, reducing anxious feelings, and overall relaxation.
Lavender is one of our favorite oils in terms of aiding in sleep, calming our mind, and reducing anxiety. You can take a drop in your hands, rub your two hands together and cup over your nose using your breathing exercise. When you combine these two things--breathing in the smell of lavender—you’ve created a really powerful calming technique. Do this routine a couple of times to calm your nerves.
You can also rub it on the bottoms of your feet; and we like to diffuse it at night.
Lavender contains a relaxation compound called Linalool. A lot of scientific studies have been done, and this is really an excellent way to get the central nervous system out of that fight or flight mode.
Our second favorite oil is Copaiba. It comes from a Brazilian tree and has been well-studied and tested. Copaiba has been compared to CBD oil as it relates to cost, effectiveness of product, and long-term usage. Pure CBD costs $45,000 a pound. Copaiba is $35 for 250 servings, so it's really a no brainer for us. We love Copaiba. We could talk about it for hours!
And finally, one of the newer essential oil products we use is Adaptiv, a relaxation and calming blend from doTERRA. In our house, we diffuse it nightly as well apply with a rollerball.
We also take the Adaptiv capsules. It instantly calms when we’re feeling a little bit anxious. Adaptiv is a blend of several oils, including Lavender and Copaiba, making it so effective at calming the human body to achieve a sense of tranquility.
Side note: the only essential oils we use is doTERRA's as they are the purest and we can only advocate for the ingestion of these oils! Get your oils here.
Our whole-body approach to combatting anxiety has been very effective for us. There are many ways you can intermingle all of these tools—meditation, breathing, organization, nutrition and essential oils. Try these out. We’d love to know how this is working for you!