Anxiety sucks. It makes every day a struggle, and since it doesn't just "go away," it can be hard to manage.
We strongly advocate for everyone to prioritize their mental health. We particularly encourage influencers to do so. Influencers and content creators put themselves out there to be literally picked apart on a public platform. Pretty much a recipe for high anxiety.
Today's article highlights some natural, day-to-day coping methods for anxiety.
(Please remember we are not mental health professionals, so be sure to seek professional help if you are struggling with anxiety.)
Passionflower is a popular herb, native to South America and some parts of North America, known to help reduce anxiety. Research indicates that Passionflower may be as effective as some prescription drugs.
Passionflower increases GABA, a chemical produced by the brain that helps regulate mood. It can also help with insomnia which is great because anxiety and insomnia often go hand in hand.
There are multiple ways of taking Passionflower, but capsules and liquid drops are two popular methods.
It sounds simple but hear us out.
When we are perpetually in a state of anxiousness, our Sympathetic Nervous System is totally in charge. The Sympathetic System puts us into Fight-or-Flight mode, so it's not something you want to have activated all the time.
Deep breathing (breathing that expands your belly) is a great way to "jumpstart" the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This system controls our relaxation mode.
Next time you feel particularly anxious, focus on taking deep, full, and controlled belly breaths. Deep breathing doesn't come naturally and will take practice, but it is one of the simplest anxiety-coping mechanisms to utilize.
Sometimes we forget the connection between how we feel and what we put into our bodies. There is more and more research on the link between the foods we eat and the anxiety we experience.
Thankfully, there are some particularly great foods to help you in your fight against anxiety. Things like foods high in fatty acids, dark chocolate, and lots and lots of water are linked to lowering anxiety.
Try focusing on getting a well-balanced diet, and see how you feel.
You may not have thought about this, but proper time management can be particularly helpful when learning to reign in anxiety.
Three popular themes make up most time management methods.
- Structuring - Things like planning and scheduling your day.
- Protecting - Valuing "you" time and committing to honor it daily.
- Adapting - Holding space for flexibility. Life happens, and sometimes we have to adapt.,
We suggest taking these three themes and creating a time management system customized to you. If you notice you are already solid in one area, focus on a different area. The goal is to optimize your time in order to relax your mind.
Two things about St. John's Wort:
- It has a nasty ass name.
- It's been used for centuries as an effective supplement in fighting depression and anxiety.
Remember Passionflower? Well, St. John's Wort works similarly. It helps the brain optimize the use of GABA and Serotonin, both of which are important "feel good" hormones.
You can find it in capsule, tea, or liquid form!
Acupuncture is an ancient art that uses thin needles and pressure points to help treat a wide range of both physical and hormonal issues. It's gotten very popular as an alternative treatment for anxiety.
Acupuncture most likely helps fight anxiety by stimulating the release of hormones that stabilize mood (think GABA and Serotonin).
We hate needles as much as the next guy, but we promise it's not bad at all and totally worth giving it a go!
We LOVE this one.
If you feel like you can't stop your anxious thoughts, you might want to try scheduling a "worry time" into your day.
To do this, pick a 15-minute window in the day for you to worry and be anxious to your little heart's content. The catch is that once the 15 minutes are up, you have to stop worrying.
No pushing the 15 minutes to 20 or 25 minutes. As soon as worry time is up, you have to put a lid on it all.
For this to succeed, we recommend you do a couple of things:
- Schedule it for the same time daily. This should help "train" your anxious thoughts to only be pressing during worry time.
- Find somewhere calm and uninterrupted; this is "you" time.
- Have a "post worry time ritual" to help you turn off anxious thoughts.
- Write your worries down throughout the day. This is to help you not forget them but also to help get them out of your head until the worry time begins.
With the proper planning in place, worry time can be super effective. Give it a go!
Studies have shown that regular exercise can significantly reduce anxiety. Exercise produces serotonin (the magical "feel good" hormone), relieves stress, increases oxygen levels throughout the body, and relaxes your muscles. It also can be a good distraction when we feel particularly bogged down with anxious thoughts.
You do not need to do a super intense, hour-long Cross-Fit workout to get the positive effects of exercise. Even just a 10-minute walk can be super beneficial in lowering anxiety!
Find a form of movement that you love and stick with it!
If you have never tried meditation, we highly encourage it. Meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness and is directly linked to lowering anxiety levels.
When we're anxious, we're often hyperfocused on hypothetical outcomes. Meditation is the practice of presence. If you are bringing your awareness fully to the moment you are in, you have no room to think about all the "what ifs" rolling around in your head.
If you don't know where to begin, try searching for 5-minute guided meditations on YouTube! The “Great Meditation” channel has some great options to start with!
This is another natural anxiety-fighting herb. Valerian Root also helps build up GABA (our absolute favorite hormone) in the brain! It is also a particularly excellent choice if you have trouble sleeping due to anxiety.
Valerian root can be taken as a tea or a capsule and should be consumed approximately two hours before bed.
Managing anxiety is important for everyone, but it's especially crucial if you want to be a successful content creator. You have to take care of yourself before you even consider influencing anyone else. That means managing your stress levels and implementing some anxiety management tactics that work for you.
Everyone is different, so find the tools that resonate with you and use them daily. When you feel good mentally and emotionally, you're better equipped to produce the high-quality content that we know you are capable of.
What are some of the anxiety management tactics you use? Let us know.