If you’re tired of living with crippling anxiety, and you want a holistic approach to managing your anxiety symptoms, you have landed on the right page. By the end of this video, you will have three holistic approaches to managing your anxiety that you can add to your best life tool bag.
Aerobic exercise is a great way to reduce amygdala activation and reduce your anxiety symptoms. When your amygdala is activated, it dumps adrenaline into your body, preparing you to either run, freeze, or fight. When your body is in that mode, your muscles tense up, your heart rate increases, and you begin to sweat. Your body is preparing you to face whatever potential “dangers” lie ahead of you.
So why not utilize your muscles, and what your body has prepared for, and work out? Move your body! Twenty minutes of exercise will stop the amygdala activation by completing the anxiety loop, and your symptoms will subside.
Can I tell you a little secret? Exercising reduces anxiety faster than popping a Xanax. So the next time you’re feeling anxious, move your body!
Muscle tension is a common symptom of anxiety, and typically when you’re anxious, you don’t even recognize your muscles are tensed up. And what’s even sadder, is that being tensed up has become so much the norm that people don’t even know what it feels like to relax anymore. Along with exercise, muscle relaxation techniques are a great place to start when it comes to relaxing your muscles.
Muscle tension is a result of your amygdala activating your fight-or-flight response and preparing your muscles to either run or kick some butt. When your body is relaxed, it sends your amygdala a signal of safety saying, “Hey, I’m okay now. You can stand down.”
The next time you feel anxious, relax your muscles. Unclinch your jaw, wiggle your muscles like a wet noodle, or engage in progressive muscle relaxation. By doing this, you’re send your body a signal of safety.
I have a question for you. How often do you check in with your breath when you’re feeling anxious? It sounds like a silly question, right?
It’s common for individuals struggling with anxiety to hold their breath or even take shallow breaths, so the goal with anxiety reduction is to get you taking deep belly breaths. Belly breathing — also known as diaphragmatic breathing — is a great way to reduce anxiety within minutes. So how does it work? When you belly breathe, your abdomen puts pressure on your vagus nerve — the longest cranial nerve reaching all the way to your brain. This pressure quiets your amygdala down, turns on your relaxation system, and begins to reduce your anxiety within minutes. That’s faster than popping a Xanax.
Feeling anxious? Check-in with your breathing. Are you taking deep breaths? If you’re not, practice those deep belly breaths. It wouldn’t hurt you to practice breathing techniques throughout the day as well.
Now that you have three holistic approaches to helping reduce anxiety, the next step is to begin rewiring your anxious brain. I have created a workbook, The 10 Ways You Are Making Yourself Miserable, that walks you through the 10 most common cognitive distortions, so be sure to snag your copy here.
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