Natural Ways to Calm Your Anxious Mind

If you’re one of the millions of people that struggle with anxiety, you know how it controls your every moment. Experiencing an episode of anxiety can feel like being imprisoned by your thoughts, weighed down in your own body, and feeling frantic for “no apparent reason.” Whether you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or experience anxious thoughts from time to time, I want to share some of my favorite ways to soothe my worried mind when I’m feeling over-the-top anxious.

Note: This does not replace the opinion of your medical professional — please seek help from your licensed medical professional if you’re experiencing anxiety that you cannot control.

1. Use a simple task to gain mindfulness
When you feel like you have no control, take control of something small. It could be merely cooking dinner or tending to your garden. Anything that you can have absolute control over is good because it forces your mind to let go of the anxiety.

2. Take a minute to lie down
Grab a blanket and go outside — lie down on the blanket and look up at the sky. Let the clouds wafting by help you clear your mind. Use each cloud as a symbol — assign each cloud a worry and as it drifts by and out of sight, release your worry and use the ease of nature to clear your mind.

3. Make time to relax
If you have 30 minutes you typically spend scrolling endlessly through social media newsfeeds, then you have time to schedule relaxation into your day. Find it in the form of meditation, yoga, or even massage. You’ll release the tension and feel wellness in mental and physical forms. Journaling is another wonderful way to de-stress and relax your mind as you get all of your thoughts out on paper.

4. Use lavender
Lavender is a very calming and soothing scent. Using a diffuser to let the aroma penetrate your space is one way to get the benefits from it. You can also dab a little on your collarbone or temples so that the scent is with you wherever you go. Sprinkle a drop on your pillow at night before you tuck yourself in bed, and drift off to sleep with the calming scent soothing you to sleep.

5. Breathe deep
Deep breathing exercises can help you take control of anxiety, especially when you’re starting to feel out of control. Through your nose, breathe in for a count of 3. Hold it for a count of 1, and then release it through your nose again for a count of 3. This regulates your systems and naturally coaxes your body into a state of calmness.

6. Face it head on
Sometimes, the best course of action is to fight fire with fire. If there is something that makes you anxious, you might find it therapeutic to face it instead of avoiding it. Often times, the thoughts we’re mulling over are worse than the actual thing we’re trying to avoid. If you’ve been stressing over cleaning out your closet, make a plan to do so this weekend. You’ll see it’s not as bad as you imagined it to be, and you’ll feel ten times better when you’ve completed the task. Turn your anxiety into fuel, whenever possible, and see how lightening the mental load helps you feel on a day-to-day basis.

What do you typically find yourself feeling most anxious about?

Pick one or two of these tips to start implementing this week and see what difference it makes. Be sure to come back and tell me how it goes for you – I can’t wait to hear!

What self-help books have been on your bookshelf lately?

I’m a big fan of reading, especially inspirational, motivational, and self-help books. I’m always looking for new recommendations, so let’s create a great resource here in the comments below.

Let me know what your favorite inspirational/motivational/self-help book(s) are!

I want you to try something new this Winter, and I think you’ll love it.

Try implementing a wind-down routine at bedtime that includes a hot beverage.  You could also use this time to read or journal, as either of those are fabulous complements to a warm, cozy drink.

Brew up some sleepytime tea, a fresh homemade turmeric latte, or even a simple hot water with a squeeze of lemon.

Each of these warm beverages packs substantial health benefits, and I know you’ll see a difference in how you feel.  I even bet you’ll sleep better with your new wind-down routine.  Give it a try!

Do you get travel anxiety?

This time of year often comes with a lot of traveling.  Traveling to see friends or family for the holidays, or even traveling for big New Year’s Eve plans.

What toll does traveling take on you — does it fill you with anxiety or leave you feeling excited?

For example, it’s said that 25% of people suffer from fear of flying.  This leaves those year-end travel plans anxiety-inducing for a large number of people.

Do you struggle with travel anxiety?

How to Get Control of Your Busy Mind

Do you ever have those times when your mind is racing, and you can’t seem to catch up? Maybe your schedule is jam-packed, and you haven’t had a quiet minute to yourself in what seems like forever, or you tend to worry about every little detail on a daily basis — either way, your brain is on the go constantly. Sound about right?

Nevertheless, don’t worry. It’s not an issue exclusive to you, an active mind is
something we all deal with. A busy brain isn’t a bad thing, but when it overtakes us
and controls us instead of the other way around, that’s when trouble can creep in.
Being mindful of this and practicing some tricks daily to maintain control of your
busy mind is as easy as this…

1. Meditation
Meditation is a great way to calm yourself down after a stressful episode or a busy day. All you have to do is sit still and clear your mind, take some deep breaths, and keep practicing until it works. It might take awhile to implement fully, but once you are able to utilize it, you will be able to finally enjoy some peace.

2. Exercise
Working out is a great way to reduce stress and even get in some beneficial exercise in the process. Whether it is dance, yoga, or simply taking a walk, mindful movement has been known to reduce stress and even help to increase productivity and strengthen your attention span. And who doesn’t need that?!

3. Avoid overstimulation
Whether it is watching TV, reading articles on your phone, or even just chatting with people, we live in an era where we are stimulated all the time. This can make us stressed out more often. Be mindful of cutting down on technology or screen time that causes this stimulation, especially when you are feeling stressed. What are some activities you can do that don’t involve technology or screen time?

4. Make art
No matter how good you are at painting, drawing, or even crafting, having a creative hobby is a great way for you to do more mindless work. Knitting is a good hobby for many, and you can make scarves and hats to keep yourself warm or to provide for family and friends during the holiday season.

Regardless of where you are in life, finding a great way to relax is vital for pretty much all of us. Being pressured and stressed can feel like an everyday occurrence, but with a little relaxation, we can start to retake control of our lives.

Vitamin C Isn’t Just For Fighting Off a Cold

We all know to reach for an extra dose of Vitamin C when we fill the scratchy throat coming on — it’s a well-known immune booster and a great one at that. But did you know it’s also fantastic for calming anxiety?

Vitamin C helps produce the hormone progesterone, which is helpful in reducing anxiety and giving a calming effect. Besides the distinct sources of Vitamin C we are so well accustomed to, like that freshly squeezed OJ, there are many other places to get your Vitamin C daily.

Five fantastic sources of Vitamin C include:
• Kiwi
• Strawberries
• Kale
• Guava
• and Papaya

Aside from boosting the immune system and helping with anxiety, Vitamin C is also beneficial in other ways. A massive benefit of Vitamin C is its ability to fight free radicals invading the body. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps to combat the damage to your body the free radicals are creating, keeping you healthy and your immune system in tip-top shape.

Vitamin C is also fantastic for making sure your bones stay healthy and strong. This is a risk we all face as we age, so staying on top of this throughout your life will give you a higher chance of not dealing with brittle bones as you age into your later years.

Making sure you get healthy amounts of Vitamin C is helpful in increasing your absorption of iron, as well. Lower iron levels can lead to anemia and cause you to bruise easily. So while you need to be consuming the recommended iron levels, keeping up with your Vitamin C will allow them to work hand-in-hand to pack a more powerful punch.

Lastly, being deficient in Vitamin C can also tinker with your cravings and food habits. If you’ve been craving sweets regularly, upping your Vitamin C could help balance out your cravings so you can finally get rid of that late night cookie stash.

So be sure to load up your grocery cart with citrus, dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, bell peppers, cantaloupe, and eat your Vitamin C packed foods as raw as possible for maximum nutrient intake.

Vitamin C is in abundant supply with hundreds of ways to consume it in different foods, so make sure you are getting your Vitamin C daily to reap the numerous benefits.

What’s your favorite source of Vitamin C?

Do you trust yourself?

Have you ever found yourself falling into the trap of trusting someone else’s advice over your intuition?  I’ve done it myself, countless times.

All of these education channels are great, and I’m in no way discounting their effectiveness.  But, it’s important to watch yourself in these instances.  Make sure you are seeking your answers using your intuition and personal experience.  You know what you need, you know what you will thrive with, and you know what step to take next.  It’s inside of you.






How to Avoid a Smartphone Addiction

Admittedly, smartphones make life a lot easier when it comes to finding new places or looking up information right at our fingertips. We can respond to work emails while on the go and truly multi-task like never before. However, most of us need a little help with putting down the smartphone and actually engaging in the real world more often. Wouldn’t you agree?

Teach yourself the art of timeouts. While there will be times when you need your phone, you’ll want to train yourself to limit the time spent mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else you’ve got on there. Choose a time of day that works for you and make it a phone-free zone. Use this time instead to engage with the kids, your spouse, or yourself without using your phone. It will help you feel more connected to what matters, and help let go of the habit of using the phone to fill any free time you have.

Bid adieu to unnecessary apps. How many apps are on your phone? Now, how many of them do you NEED? Interesting, isn’t it? You don’t have to stay away forever, but rather, limit accessing them to the time you’re on your computer. If you really MUST keep certain apps on your phone, disable the push notifications so you’ll stop picking up your phone every time you get a notification. The freedom you’ll feel just from having a clutter-free phone is amazing, believe me!

But install one more app that will help. So, while unnecessary apps need to go, you should replace them with one app that tracks your screen time. Apps like Moment and BreakFree are just a couple of the more known ones. You can even coordinate them with your whole family so dinner time can truly be spent interacting with each other again, just like the good old days!

Make mindful activities more prevalent on a daily basis. Being addicted to your smartphone is the same as any addiction. Replacing it with a healthier alternative takes some getting used to, but after a while, it just feels right without it. Instead of mindlessly
scrolling along when you feel bored, try some exercise, read a book, or do something else that nourishes your soul or brings you closer to the people in your life.

Smartphones are definitely here to stay, but learning how to detach yourself from them long enough to live in reality is important for a more fulfilling life. Try it and see how much you’ve been missing out on while you’ve been staring at your screen.

Life can be wonderful — full of absolute joy and laughter.  There are some seasons of life that feel too good to be true, but as with anything in life, things ebb and flow.  Naturally, we all have some “down” days, and aside from that natural occurrence, we all go through some rough patches in our lives.  There are some bumps in the road, inevitably, and we need to be kind to ourselves in those instances.

Many times, we feel like we have to keep our head held high and forcibly keep smiling — does that work for you?  Perhaps it does.  Maybe forcing happiness turns into real happiness, sometimes that can absolutely happen.

But, if that’s not the case, I have to tell you this.

If nobody has told you lately, I want you to give yourself complete permission to feel whatever feelings you’re sorting through.  It’s not bad or wrong to explore the darker, more sad feelings — it just gets troublesome when we get stuck there.

So give yourself the space and permission to sift through your feelings, sort them out, and hang them up to dry.

How to Handle the Stress of the World Today

Especially on Social Media

Your job, your full schedule, your family, keeping up with your household — there are enough everyday stresses (that are also beautiful blessings!) to keep us busy. Then we turn on the TV to relax and unwind or hop on our phones to scroll through social media, and we are bombarded with the stresses of the world.

It seems a day can’t go by where we’re not being subjected to political injustices, watching strangers argue on the internet, or learn about some horrible event that occurred. It can feel incredibly overwhelming and dismal.

So what can you do to cope with it all?

1. Unplug. You can’t live life with blinders on, however, when things get to be too much, put down your devices and read a book or go for a walk instead. We’re so focused on our online lives that we often forget our real lives, which is what we need to hold onto even when the world is so uncertain.

2. Unfollow. We all have that one friend. For all of the friends or pages you follow that repeatedly post negatively, unfollow them, or Facebook now has a great option that allows you to take a break from someone.

3. Do something positive for the world. If you find yourself saying, “That’s horrible,” after every catastrophic event, why not see what you can do to help? You might not always be able to donate money, but you can give your time. Even if the catastrophe took place far from where you live, you can contact local nonprofits and find out how you can help by getting involved.

4. Don’t stoop. Tempting as it is to engage in an online battle of wits, the best thing to do is let it go. Getting upset over someone commenting on your opinion isn’t helpful to either party and only serves to make your stress level soar. Consider the source.

Follow these tips, and you’ll find that the stress and tension of today’s world, especially online, stresses you out much less.