If you suffer from anxiety, there are great tools available to reduce its physical symptoms. (In my article next week, I’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks to the prescription medications used to treat anxiety that are available from physicians as well as the safe and effective natural medications you can find at a health food store.)
Tool No. 1: Change Your Perspective
There is real power in getting a correct perspective about the circumstances causing your fear, worry or anxiety. The best perspective that I know of is the source of truth, which you can find within you. Let me explain more.
Because fear and worry are related to the future (what might happen and what you should do about it), you can learn to focus instead on the present. In other words, learn to be totally in the “now.” Eckhart Tolle’s 2004 book, The Power of Now; A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, teaches how to become the observer of your mind in order to get a true perspective on your thoughts.
Tolle writes in the first chapter: “The moment you start watching the thinker [yourself], a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.” He tells you that freeing yourself from your mind is your only true liberation. And the one certain criterion by which you can measure your success in this practice is the degree of peace that you feel within you. You can read his book online here.
Tool No. 2: Connect With Others
Seek the assistance of a loved one so you don’t feel so alone and vulnerable. Be careful to choose someone who knows how to listen to your situation and reflect what you are sharing without any moral judgment of you (often, this is not your spouse). This person can give you a correct perspective much like being your observer. Moreover, if you are able to feel a friend connection, this will push away your fears and open you up to enlightened feelings such as love, confidence and peace.
Tool No. 3: Lifestyle Habits
Food products known to worsen anxiety are:
- Supersized caffeinated sodas, fresh-brewed coffee and some teas.
- Refined sugary snacks and desserts.
- Alcohol, which can reduce anxiety temporarily but worsens it later. If you need alcohol to treat your anxiety, then you are on the definite path of dependence and possible addition.
- Smoking, which supplies nicotine, a powerful stimulant proven to lead to higher levels of anxiety, even though you may feel better momentarily.
Foods that can assist you in limiting anxiety are those that are nutrient-rich and highest in certain micronutrients. Examples include seaweed, dark leafy greens, berries, almonds, dark chocolate, fish, turkey, oats and plain yogurt.
Getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise regularly reduces the negative energies caused by the stress of fear and worry. It also boosts your physical energy through the release of endorphins (endogenous morphine-like chemicals).
Get enough restful sleep. You probably already know that being sleep-deprived will worsen anxiety. Make sleep a priority, despite what others might say or think.
Tool No. 4: Techniques For Feeling Good
By feeling good, you unlearn your anxiety symptoms. This occurs by reducing the fight-or-flight neurochemicals generated with fearful thoughts that manifest as stress and anxiety. Practice feeling good by consistently doing one or more of the following:
- Deep, slow breathing for 10 minutes while visualizing something you enjoy or that makes you happy, with no stressful distractions. Do this whenever you feel stress building up inside you as a feeling of anxiety, or when you feel other negative emotions.
- Spend an evening out with a loved one or a favorite friend(s).
- Sexual intimacy with your committed companion.
- Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or other meditative exercises.
- Go to a practitioner of energy therapies such as reiki, body talk, quantum touch, emotional clearing, cranial sacral therapy or massage therapy.
- Write how you feel (journaling) to soft music about your major concern.
- Find your best music and listen to it often to lift your mood and inspire your personal power.
- Find inspiring audio instructions from authors such as Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Esther Hicks (Teachings of Abraham) and Michael Beckwith. For example, you can listen anytime for free to inspiring audio tracks such as these here, here and here.
Tool No. 5: Tapping Technique
The “Freedom Technique” and other similar tapping techniques are quite effective when you tap on your body to alleviate troubling emotions. But these techniques must be learned.
In my next article I’ll discuss prescription and natural medications to further help you treat anxiety.
To feeling good for health,
Michael Cutler, M.D
Easy Health Option