Alright friends, it’s time for another anxiety tip…#2!
In my last post, tip #1, I shared the importance of recognizing when anxiety shows up. I’m hoping by now all of you have started taking notes in your journals with the points I mentioned, trust me friends, when you start noting the when, where and how things show up it becomes very clear.
So, tip two, the food you eat…
For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know I am a former obese woman. I was heavy for most of my growing up years into my early twenties. Although I have put back on a small amount of the weight, I have maintained a 130-pound weight loss for over two decades. And, darn proud of this one! What I didn’t know for many many years was how impactful the food I was eating was on my anxiety. What I also wasn’t aware of until the last couple years was the impact of food on depression.
Looking back to your journals for a moment, review if you have times your anxiety is sparked after eating. If it is, look at the foods you ate. Are there consistencies? Now I am no medical practitioner, but I can tell you, I have at least four foods I can think of quickly that spark my anxiousness and one of them is considered a “healthy food”. For a long time, I thought, well it’s because I don’t want to go backwards in my weight goals but considering I can eat a burger and sweet potato fries with no sign of anxiety I ruled that out quickly.
The four that impact me quickly, Roasted Almonds (raw almonds do not trigger me?). This one took me to a while to pinpoint but after tracking how my foods were making me feel it became very clear. The other three definitely make sense considering they are far from healthy foods, most refined sugars (of course I think we can all agree that sugars are not exactly good for us), pizza (I figured for a long time that this was due to the bread but bread in itself isn’t a trigger for me so it may be the high sodium content?) and Splenda. Oh, and most recently I was triggered quite significantly by what I thought was a healthy option for a protein bar.
What do the experts say, you ask? Well, from the research I found there are some consistencies but also some differences. The top that came out in all the articles I read:
Natural whole foods, grass fed meat, fruits and vegetables are always the healthiest options!
Finally, let’s look at the other side, what foods are good to reduce anxiety?
For those of you who have followed me for any amount of time you know I have worked hard to move past my anxiety. After years of letting it build, it took a long time, literally years undoing all the unhealthy, negative self-talk I had in my head.
First, you should know, anxiety shows up for all of us. Even after you have worked on it, there could be something that sparks you or perhaps, health reason because you added edginess. The difference is when you have worked through it you have the chance to redirect it a lot faster. Before I started turning things around, it is fair to say I had a certain anxiousness about me almost all the time. Through time I was able to shake it off after a couple hours, and now, I can generally turn it around within minutes. I say generally my friends, we ALL have bad days.
I decided to start a round of Anxiety Tip blogs and will keep it going for as long as I have tips to share. You will get at least one a week, at times more. Hoping these mini tips help turn your anxiousness/anxiety to build a happier, healthier YOU!! You are worth it my friends.
Start a journal, I know what you are thinking but stay with me a minute.
One very important thing to determine before you can turn it around is when it shows up. Even for me, someone who had anxiousness almost all the time, I needed to pinpoint when/why it was showing up. Of course, there are different things that spark anxiety, at least for me, but there is usually one underlying cause. For me it truly was a lack of self-confidence and positive self-efficacy.
In your journal I recommend the following:
I recommend continuing to journal at least until you start seeing the patterns shifting. After that point, I still highly recommend it but adding in more then just when anxiety was sparked.
Till the next tip my friends…
When I was in college, we did project in psychology class about how music impacted the mind, thoughts, emotions and body. I remember doing this project very clearly and recall the noticeable reactions to a variety of genres of music. It was interesting at the time but after that study was complete, paper was written, and we were onto the next project I hadn’t given it much more thought. I reflect on music today; it plays a big role in how I manage my energy and mood. And, as I’ve overcome each of my struggles from overthinking and over stressing to anxiety and depression, music has also played a large role.
In my career I often get the opportunity to go out to customer sites. It is by far the most engaging and most enjoyable aspect of what I do. Interacting with people, building relationships and helping find a solution to their issues. But, as with many of us, I have my days. You know the ones where you just want to keep your yoga pants on, curl up with a warm drink and a good movie or book. Or, those days that you’re just not feeling quite like yourself. For me, when these days show up the right music can completely shift my mood. In this case, for me, it’s always upbeat, car thumping kind of music. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that music that you can hear from another car away. And, yes, my friends I am that person you see dancing away while she’s driving. This type of empowering music can completely help shift my mood and take me from feeling like I have to fake a smile for the day to a true sense of joy and optimism. A couple of my favorite go to’s are “Roar” and “This is Me.”
Then there is the workout music. I’ve really shifted in this area throughout the years. I used to be a morning and news treadmill runner followed by light weights. In fact, I don’t remember listening to music hardly ever when I worked out. My music time was generally after my workout as I was getting ready for work. Through the years that shifted to podcasts and audio-books which I’ve now learned negatively impacted my workouts. I focused more on learning and not enough on my muscles and what I was doing in the gym. And now, it’s primarily me and my thoughts, hitting a quick hard workout to optimize and move on with the day. When I take a long workout, added cardio or need some ass kicking in my workout, that’s right I am turning it on and turning it up. I am so diverse on this one, I can do anything from “Welcome to the Jungle” to “Eye of the Tiger” and so many in between. The best way I can describe these, they just get my blood pumping.
Then there is the good old, working around the house music. If I’m at home, I’m working around the house on something. Whether I’m shooting some new pictures for the website, designing new packages, working on content for one of the businesses in some form or fashion, or doing housework around the house. I generally have music on. It’s funny, as I sit and write this post, I recognize the true diverseness in music that I enjoy. I can go from 60’s and 70’s, to 80’s and 90’s depending on my day and mood. And, each makes me feel very differently, there is the music that calms and brings a sense of Zen, then there is the music that is truly motivating and gives me energy to get things done. And, yes, you’ll often hear my voice singing throughout it all too.
From the other side, there is music that can truly take me into a loop of negative thoughts or even depressed moods. The more I started working on my emotional well-being the more I started recognizing what music caused me negative thoughts. Pay close attention to this one my friends. I can now catch when something doesn’t feel right and quickly shift it but it took time. Once you’re aware of it it’s easier to catch.
Not only can it help turn around your mood, but it can reduce stress and help calm, reduce anxiety and even motivate. There are also documented benefits of improved cognition to improving memory. So, grab your playlist and start leveraging those benefits a great song can do for you!
Stay well my friends!
Sitting in my office earlier in the week, I had a lot on my mind, but it was a GREAT morning so far. Some easy movement on the rebounder, stretches, then getting ready to go while dancing to the oldies, yes, I’m that girl. I was even able to get some writing done on the book before leaving for work, great morning! Then, traffic was decent, so I was at my office more than a half hour early which was great. I was able to get all my follow-ups and emails done before the team even made it in, WIN!! Within the next hour, I felt it, it hit me so quick, if you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you know the feeling I’m talking about. That feeling, for me at least, that starts in my gut. I feel like I can't even take a deep breath, then start breathing through my chest rather than my belly which makes it even worse. My chest feels tight as though someone is sitting on it and my throat tightens. An uncomfortable tingly feeling stems from my belly right up my neck. It feels completely uncontrollable, then the heartburn kicked in. You should know, I don't get heartburn aside from when I am anxious. In this moment it was hitting me hard. All the energy I had from the morning was gone and all of a sudden, I felt completely exhausted. My body felt gross I felt like I was going to throw up, it came on so quickly.
For years I let these moments take over my thinking and my body. Before I learned how to recognize and redirect, my thoughts would have quickly went to “what-if this” and “what if that.” By the end of a day I would have felt lousy and exhausted. It took over my thoughts and my health for far too long. Now when it happens, I can generally redirect within a matter of 15 minutes or less. And, this day was no different. When anxiety creeps in try this:
If these tips help you, please share them to others who may need it. Together we can bring happiness to others!
Design your life my friends,
you have everything in you to live the life of your dreams!
It's been a few weeks since my last post and I wanted to get all of you a quick update. I am working to take my blog onto it's own site in order to bring you more tools, ideas and resources while making it easy to navigate. Several more announcements to come over the next few months. I'm over the moon excited about them my friends, it's been a long time in the works. Stay tuned and thank you so much for all of the support you have given along the way. I appreciate each of you!!
It's not the load the breaks you down, it's the way you carry it!
Supporter of people and growth. I absolutely LOVE helping others see in themselves what I see in them. We all have good in us, we just need a bit of help seeing it at times.