THREE KEY AREAS of your life that indirectly effect anxiety are:
- Diet – What you eat effects your emotional state.
- Exercise – Healthy body, healthy mind.
- Relaxation – The antidote to anxiety.
When considering the energy requirements of the body, things like the heart or the major muscles spring readily to mind. But what many people fail to realise is that the brain is an organ too; one requiring more of the body’s energy than any other single organ.
The brain is responsible for a person’s thoughts and emotional responses, so it’s no surprise that what they nourish it with must effect their mood to some extent. That’s why a healthy, balanced diet is not only important for physical health; it’s vital for emotional wellbeing too.
Caffeine – With regards to anxiety and panic, it’s advisable to stop, or at least reduce, your consumption of products containing caffeine; things like coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants stimulate the body; increasing mental and physical functioning. This includes increasing anxiety.
Caffeine can become addictive and difficult to give up, in which case some people find this Overcome Caffeine Addiction self hypnosis download really helpful.
Sugar – Something else to limit is foods containing high refined sugar content. While sugar is a vital part of a person’s diet – it’s the brain’s main source of energy – the instant release from refined sugar causes rapid swings in blood sugar levels, with correspondingly rapid mood swings.
It’s like filling your car with highly refined rocket fuel. One tap on the accelerator and you’re instantly a couple of miles up the road; but now the fuel’s all gone and the engine’s feeling somewhat worse for wear!
Foods with a high sugar content can become habit forming – even addictive – and some people find them hard to resist. If you’re one of those people, the Beat Sugar Addiction download could give you a helping hand to resist those cravings.
Foods containing natural sugar are much better. The body, having to work a little harder processing them, gets what it needs; a slow and steady release of fuel, not an instant ‘rush’.
Alcohol – Some people find that alcohol provides short term relief from their anxiety symptoms. It makes sense because alcohol is a depressant; decreasing mental and physical functioning. However, one of the after effects of alcohol consumption is low blood sugar levels, and this is a key component of anxiety and panic.
Another problem with using alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety is developing an alcohol dependence. The short term benefits are soon dwarfed by longer term problems that only add to the original stress and anxiety.
So alcohol is rather a double edged sword when it comes to anxiety, and it’s best avoided, or at least minimised. If it’s already a problem and you need a little extra help to cut down, this Diminish Alcohol Abuse download could make all the difference.
Regular exercise is proven to help combat anxiety and depression. In fact, many people find regular exercise to be at least as effective as anti-depressants at lifting depression. The reasons aren’t entirely clear; however, some connections are:
- The mind and body are inextricably linked, so taking care of one naturally helps the other. So doing something to improve your physical health and appearance raises your confidence and self esteem; making you feel generally happier and better able to cope with life.
- Feelings of having no control are a key component of anxiety and depression. Exercise gives back that sense of control – even mastery – over something.
- Exercise releases natural ‘feel good’ chemicals – endorphins – into the blood stream. These are the body’s natural pain killers/happy pills; perfectly harmless and always available, and now you know how to summons them.
- Anxiety, and more so panic, cause the release of adrenalin as part of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Your body is preparing for some kind of action, but the threat is all in the mind. Exercise helps burn off that excess adrenalin that has built up to deal with the threat your body wrongly prepared for.
- Exercise provides a useful distraction; taking your mind off of your worries for a while, thus breaking the cycle of negative thinking.
Some people need a little extra motivation to get into the exercise habit. If that sounds familiar, you might like to try this Exercise Motivation self hypnosis download to kick start your new habit.
But exercise doesn’t necessarily mean a regimented session at the gym. I’ve never been one for sporty activities but I love walking, and there’s lots of beautiful countryside around here. Walking is an excellent form of exercise.
It’s amazing how much better even a brisk walk around the block can make you feel. Another thing I do is leave the car in the garage and walk to the supermarket if I don’t have a lot to carry.
For some people, anxiety brings with it agoraphobia, making it harder to go out. However, there are still things you can try; like running up and down the stairs a few time, dancing to a favourite song, or even a spot of vigorous hoovering.
Relaxation is the antidote to anxiety; it’s impossible to experience both at the same time. Think about it for a moment...
Calm and relaxed = Not anxious and panicky
So while it’s often difficult to consciously stop feeling anxious, it can be very much easier to take a sideways approach and do something that makes you feel more calm and relaxed.
Remember what I said above about the mind and body being inextricably linked? An anxious person has very tense muscles ready for action, and maintaining that state of tension signals to the brain that the anxiety provoking situation is still ongoing.
Releasing that tension – relaxing – signals that the threat has passed. All is calm with the world, and the mind can similarly relax and calm down.
Relaxing the mind or relaxing the body will have the same effect, but the body is often easier to control.
Something that many people find helps them relax and unwind is self hypnosis. When you imagine something vividly, the mind can’t tell the difference between that and the real thing, which is why you can scare yourself with your thoughts. That’s really all hypnosis is; switching off the conscious part of mind and using your imagination, only this time using in a more constructive way.
So in your mind you can spend time on your very own Tropical Island, or wander through an Enchanted Forest, and it’s almost like being there. Or if you’re having a stressful day, something like Relieve Stress and Tension can calm and quieten your troubled mind.
Hypnosis works with the subconscious part of the mind, and that’s why I suggested a few downloads to help with those other areas of your life too. For example; you might decide to reduce your chocolate consumption, but your subconscious mind says, “But I always have a bar while I’m watching TV.” It’s a subconscious habit. Or you decide to make time in your day for a spot of exercise, but your subconscious replies with, “But what about this... I need to do that...”
That’s why getting your subconscious mind on side and working with your best intentions makes a real positive difference. So if self hypnosis makes sense to you, here are some more ideas to help you:
What do you want to do now
Don’t waste time worrying about things in the past that have already happened,
or things in the future that probably never will.
CD & DVD Library
Pass Through Panic
Dr Claire Weekes
Free yourself from anxiety and fear.
In this eight-part radio series originally broadcast in 1967, Dr Claire Weekes – bestselling author of Self Help for Your Nerves – speaks intimately and compassionately about how to overcome panic disorders, anxiety, phobias, agoraphobia, and depression. She coaches you on how to ‘pass through panic’ to reach a place of strength and optimism.
Her revolutionary approach is remarkably simple and effective, and continues to be recommended by medical and psychological communities throughout the world.
Original radio broadcast: 2 hours on 2 CDs.