I hope this too doesn’t come off as offensive, but, just the term, “anxiety,” has become EXTREMELY popular over the last few years. Why is that? Is it just because we now finally have a label and a term for how we are feeling? Is it because we are finally comfortable enough to talk about it? Both of these reasons are probably somewhat valid, but more than anything else, I believe it is because MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE ANXIOUS. We are living in a world of chronic stress, constant noise, and unrealistic expectations.
I felt anxiety for the first time about 2 years ago. My baseball career derailed, and I was faced with the uncertainty of the unknown. This, compiled with learning how to be a good father to my young children and struggling with the reality of my own father’s death, led me to feel OVERWHELMED. I think more than anything else, I felt like I no longer held the steering wheel of my own life.
Instead of stepping back and taking a breath, I chose instead to pile more and more and more onto my plate. So have I felt anxiety? You bet. Here are few of the steps I take if I am in a season of stress, anxiety, or worry. I hope you find it helpful.
#1: PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN
- Put a time limit on how much you can be on your social media apps each day. (I set my limit for 10 minutes)
- Delete whatever app it is you are getting your daily dose of news from. People who watch and read the news are more anxious, that is the truth.
- Turn off audible notifications for everything, other than phone calls and text messages.
- Staring at your phone all day exposes yourself to unnatural amounts of blue light. Switch your phone to night-mode. (I set my phone to night-mode from 3:00 AM – 2:59 AM, yes that how you have to set it on the iPhone in order to have it on all day).
#2: GO FOR A WALK
- Make it a priority to set aside a moment each day to walk.
- This is a recommendation of mine whether you are 12 years old or 80 years old.
- Too hot? Take a shorter walk. Too cold? Bundle up. Raining? Take an umbrella? Thunderstorm? Wait it out. I believe that we need to expose ourselves to weather. Sounds silly, but when was the last time you went out for a walk in the rain?
#3: GET SUNLIGHT
- On nice days, get outside seek-out a sunny spot to stand.
- Stop hiding from the sun!
- Take your business calls outside if possible.
- When it isn’t sunny, use a light therapy device. As I type this blog out, I am shirtless with a red-light therapy panel on behind me.
#4: TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF
- Some call it earthing or grounding. This is the easiest and cheapest way to correct some of our physiological dysfunctions.
- Grab some electrons from Mother Earth to improve sleep, reduce stress, and energize your cells.
- I’ll admit, I am new to practice of breath-work. But the connection between breathing better and reducing anxious thoughts is compelling.
- Chest breathing = bad. Belly breathing = good.
- Tie a string around your waist and expand the string out with each belly breath.
- Research various breath-work techniques (there are A LOT) and find one that works for you. (I like the 4-7-8 technique best).
#6: EXERCISE, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
- If you are currently experiencing anxiety, DO NOT engage in intense exercise such as cross-fit or high-intensity interval training. These aren’t bad forms of exercise by any means, but they can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels if you aren’t sleeping well.
- Instead, engage in lower-intensity exercises like walking, yoga, and tai chi until your body and mind are ready to step up the intensity.
- Journaling your thoughts and emotions can help put things into perspective by connecting the thoughts that are triggering the emotions.
- Waking up each day and writing down 3 things you are grateful for can re-shape your thoughts and perspective for the rest of the day.
#8: EAT WELL
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods
- Avoid refined carbohydrates
- Avoid sugar
- Limit caffeine to 120 mg per day (but do not eliminate it)
- Stop drinking alcohol altogether if you are experiencing anxiety (yes, even red wine).
- If you want a real drink that can help you unwind, check out Hop WTR.
#9: STOP RELYING ON YOURSELF
- Isn’t that a lot of pressure to put on yourself?
- Have you tried fixing the problem on your own? How’s that working out?
- I have begun to live by the phrase, “Let Go and Let God.” You aren’t going to find peace of your own accord.
- Stop demanding perfection from yourself. The sooner you learn to embrace failure and accept rejection, the sooner you will find resolution.
#10: SUPPLEMENT WISELY
- All of these supplements have been shown to be effective for those dealing with anxiety and depression. I personally use ALL of these as part of my personalized supplement plan for optimized health, vitality, and performance. Some may interact with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. Please consult your doctor prior to beginning use of any of the following.
- B-Complex or Stress-B Complex
- Omega 3
- Probiotic (I will say however, the SEED Synbiotic is the best probiotic I have ever tried. They are currently out of stock but it may be worth the wait. Use TOLLESON15 to save 15%)
If these seem overwhelming, you can opt for a “stack” all-in-one supplement solution to stress…
ALL of these supplements I use daily come from Thorne Research. If you would like access to 20% off of their products every single time you order, just CLICK HERE
I challenge you choose choose 2-3 recommendations from the Top Ten Way to Relieve Anxiety and write down any changes you feel in your mood, thoughts, behavior, or happiness.