According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million Americans over the age of 18.
Whether being triggered by something specific such as travel, school, work, or by a particular time of day, such as first thing in the morning or late at night, anxiety seems to have cemented itself into our modern world.
As an occasional anxiety sufferer myself, punctuated by a very prominent bout with it in 2014, I've read my fair share of material relating to the subject. The most common tool recommended is meditation, something that I am personally a huge fan of, but not when it comes to conquering panic and/or anxiety.
In my experience with it, anxiety is far too engaging with the mind and body to make even the idea of sitting or lying still seem at all possible. In conversation with other anxiety sufferers, I've discovered that I'm not alone in this experience, so I am here to share with all of you the 4 best natural (non-meditation) ways I've come across to help overcome anxiety when it strikes:
1. Tap It Out
Tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), was first introduced to me in 2014 by my good friend Danielle Fagan. In a one-on-one session, Danielle led me through the EFT process, which involves literally tapping on key points on your body to communicate with your energy meridians.
The points are tapped on in a specific sequence while addressing and communicating about the issue at hand, such as anxiety — which just so happened to be what I was turning to Danielle for help with at that time.
The tapping physically helps calm the nervous system and it retrains your brain to respond to challenges in healthier ways. I vividly remember walking into Danielle's office feeling like a complete wreck, only to find myself smiling and laughing at much of what plagued me a mere 20 minutes earlier.
Naturally, I was beyond intrigued by this amazing process and was happy to find The Tapping Solution, a comprehensive book that gives us all the tools to master this process. Since reading the book, I regularly turn to EFT to catch any anxious thoughts in its tracks and have even helped several family and friends with it as well.
2. Cancel, Cancel
I discovered the power in this simple phrase through the work of Kevin Trudeau, an American author, public speaker, and entrepreneur currently serving a prison sentence until 2022. While much of Kevin's information is marred by his curious sales techniques, which got him labelled and jailed as a fraudster, I've still found many valuable nuggets among the tips and tactics he released through the Global Information Network (GIN).
One such golden nugget is the phrase "cancel, cancel." In this technique, rather than attempting to quiet your mind, you instead give it the opportunity to completely air itself out. Let it say absolutely everything it has to possibly say to lock you into that state of anxiety, and then follow it immediately by the aforementioned phrase.
While relief may not feel immediate for all, this technique becomes even more helpful if followed up by empowering thoughts that, even if not felt at that moment, are still being said and programmed in the place of those first admitted. Here is an example of how this might go:
I am having an anxiety attack because I am afraid of flying. I will be in the air at 30,000 feet in a giant mechanical bird that could break down or crash at any given moment. I can't trust my life to this probably underpaid and tired pilot. I am definitely going to die on this plane.
There are thousands of safe flights that happen around the world daily. The pilot and co-pilot are well trained and more than capable of flying this plane safely. I'm excited to arrive at my destination and experience all that is waiting for me.
To learn more about this technique, check out the CD set Your Wish Is Your Command. Of course, be sure to use your intuition when deciphering whether what Kevin shares is of value to you or not.
3. Calm Now
In an ideal world, I would love to rely solely on food for my nutritional needs, but given how jam-packed our lives can tend to be, not to mention the declining quality of soil around the world, it's hard to always get all of the vitamins and minerals our bodies require. With that being the case, I now take several supplements regularly, and the one that I particularly love for combating anxiety is Calm Now.
This supplement is an herbal blend of Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, Magnesium, Vitamin B Complex, Gaba, Lemon Balm, and more. A simple Google search will show how each of these herbs treat anxiety and/or stress.
For example, Gaba (also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid) occurs naturally in the brain, where it functions as a neurotransmitter and a regulator of brain activity. Supplementing gaba helps to increase this, giving your body more healthy tools to physically work with (source).
Calm Now is not one of the supplements I take regularly, but it is one that I personally turn to whenever battling anxiety and have had great results with. (Note: Please be sure to do your research and also consult with a medical professional before adding this or any other supplement into your diet.)
4. Hug It Out
The final tactic that I've found to be incredibly powerful in conquering anxiety is to hug it out. Whether it be with your partner, a family member, a friend, or your dog, show anxiety who is boss by not letting it hold you back from giving and receiving love.
It's a well-known fact that hugging has numerous scientific benefits, most notably triggering the release of oxytocin by the pituitary gland.
Oxytocin has shown a lot of promise in helping to treat anxiety disorders, and I personally have always liked the impact that a lengthy hug or two has on me when faced with anxiety.
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