It’s no secret I suffer from anxiety & depression – I talk about it openly on my social media channels all the time. As a former addict, I cannot & will not take any medication in the benzodiazepine family. They are highly addictive medications. I do take a low dose antidepressant, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We need to stop the stigma surrounding mental health and the only way to do that is talk about it. Below is a list of all my tips and tricks for dealing with anxiety. Remember – what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. All that matters is that you feel better in the moment, so do what you gotta do mama 😉
1. Exercise – basic physical science people. Exercise gets your heart rate up which causes your brain to produce important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin and endocannabinoids. Also, moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
2. Yoga & Meditation – Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. Not only will it help reduce stress, but it can also lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And almost anyone can do it. Plus after awhile you get really flexible and start to master cool poses 😉
3. Limit Alcohol & Caffeine – I mean limiting caffeine is a pretty obvious move. It is most definitely a drug, a stimulant, and all stimulants will trigger anxiety and make it worse. The less obvious move is limiting alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, drugs that literally suck the serotonin out of your brain. So when the alcohol wears off, anxiety & depression symptoms are much worse because there was already a lack of sufficient serotonin in the brain to begin with.
4. Deep Breathing – take a minute to step away, take long and slow deep breathes, and think about a go-to positive mantra.
5. Cannabis – whether you use CBD or THC, edibles, smoke, or vape; cannabis can instantly bring you back from a panic attack. Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for pain, immune function, stress, and sleep, to name a few.
6. Chamomile – Chamomile help’s with sleep and anxiety because it contains apigenin, a compound that has some of the same effects as benzodiazepines, which are highly addictive pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for anxiety.
7. Focus Your Senses – practice this 5-4-3-2-1 exercise to tune into your surroundings. Identify 5 different things you can immediately see around you. Find 4 different things to touch. Listen for 3 different things you can hear. Name 2 different scents you can currently smell. And finally, identify one thing you can taste. Don’t have anything? Time for a snack! Lol after all this you’ll forget what you were freaking out about to begin with.