Anxiety – how does it feel and what can you do? 🤔
On this week’s Type 1 Thursday, let’s discuss exactly this! If you don’t want to watch the video, you’ll find a transcription of this topic below, too.
Anxiety is currently a bit higher among most of us, due to what the world is facing and what we’re all communally going through. But don’t despair, there are tools and tricks you can use to alleviate the anxiety (at least momentarily)!
PS. If you want more help with your diabetes lifestyle, I’ve just opened up a few spots for 1:1 coaching with me! Book your power hour, where we blast through all your troubles, right here!
**What are your best tips to relieve anxiety? Share in a comment!**
Please share this with someone you know needs this!
Considering the state of the world today, anxiety isn’t an unimaginable response. I don’t really want to say too much about the virus situation, but what I can do and what I’m happy to do, and what I’m more than joyful of doing is to talk about anxiety, how it feels and what you can do to maybe alleviate your anxiety a little bit.
I would love to have a conversation with you. So if you want to share your tips on how to alleviate anxiety a little bit, please leave a comment and I will be so happy to chat with you there!
What is Anxiety?
What is anxiety actually, because we hear it everywhere? I don’t know if everyone is on the same page on what it is, but it’s “just” your body’s natural reaction to stress. That’s when you feel anxiety. And that’s when all those terrible feelings start coming. It is essentially a fear of the future or because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and the uncertainty/fear of the future. So that is what happens when you are anxious in your body. And if this goes on for a longer time, you can of course have anxiety disorder, which will need medical help and maybe some of these tips that I will share will help, but I think you also would prefer to find medical attention on that one.
Signs of Anxiety
Signs of anxiety can range from anything such as feeling judged by others or by yourself. And it can be that you’re fidgety, you can’t find the peace, and you’re very restless. It can be perfectionism. Probably not the case right now, but yes, perfectionism can be a sign of anxiety, and you feel a bit afraid, you feel stressed, you feel worried, you feel negativity. These are all things that make up anxiety and anxious feelings. They’re not very comfortable to live with. So that’s why I’m going to share my best tips with you in a little bit.
What you can do about Anxiety
But first, I wanted to share a quote that I read from my friend and fantastic person Shawn Mynar, and if you don’t know who she is, check her out as she’s fantastic. She shared a fantastic quote the other day, that I wanted to share that with you because it’s very relevant: “worrying is like praying for something you don’t want to happen”. How true is that? If we keep on like mulling over the whole time, the things that we don’t want to happen and the things we’re worried about, or the things we’re anxious about how are we ever going to get to right where we actually want to be? I found that quote amazing. Now, to the point of what can we do about it?
Yes. A lot of people are anxious right now whether you live with diabetes or not, and yes, diabetes can add an extra layer of anxiety. Of course it doesn’t have to, but a lot of people are anxious right now because of the situation in the world. Some tips that I’m about to share with you might actually help you as well, to feel a little bit lighter in life; a little bit easier and a little bit, maybe not so strung up and stressed.
Focus on the Good
So my first sort of anxiety “blaster” (can we call them that) is “focus on the good”. So this can be anything from like noticing the smallest thing as the:
- Sun is shining today
- That’s a beautiful flower
- Do you hear the birds chirping?
- Look at nature, how beautiful it is
- How beautiful is that tree that is just about to bloom (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and spring is on its way)
You know small things like that, focusing on the good things and not on these huge things that could and may and should go wrong according to your brain right now, but focus really on the good. In that way you actually get a more positive outlook and that can really help you. This goes hand in hand of course with the old and very used term of “gratitude”.
Have a Gratitude List
Do make a list, why not have a list of things that you’re grateful for and write it down every day? It can be on your phone, it can be on a piece of paper, it can be in a journal, it can be anywhere you want, but why not make a gratitude list?
That can also help.
And when these anxious feelings come, why not try at least to turn it around: “hey, what if this works out”? What if this becomes the best thing that has ever happened to me? Try to think of it and turn it around to a little bit more positive. I know when you sit there and you’re super anxious, it’s not easy, but at least it can be worth a try.
Cultivate Good Sleep Routine
Make sure that your sleep routine is really good. Be constant with the timings of when you go to bed, when you get up and make sure that you sleep well. I’ll go through some supplements in a minute that can help with anxiety and of course help with sleeping too so they go a little bit hand in hand as well.
Check your Self-Talk
How is your self talk? Check in on your self talk, do you notice that you could be a little bit kinder to yourself? Could you maybe tell yourself that you love yourself and that you are beautiful to your mirror image? Could you at least try even if it feels silly because it is important to really check in on how you’re talking to yourself.
Reduce Social Media
Is it maybe time for a social media cleanup? Look at the pages you follow, groups that you’re in, negative people, negative followers, if you have those, negative friends… Could you just try to take at least a break from them, if not unfollowing completely? Clearing up what has become more of our mental space, which is social media unfortunately, can really help get you out of that anxious loop.
Nutrition of course has a lot to do with it easing anxiety. I cannot have a Type 1 Thursday unless I mention nutrition! And make sure that you try to primarily, at least, stick to real foods rather than, you know, processed factory made, yucky food. Make sure that you eat real food. If your body doesn’t have the nutrients that it needs, it’s easier to become anxious because you don’t get the nutrients to your brain. You don’t get the new nutrients to your neurotransmitters and stuff like that. So make sure you eat real food and none of the fake stuff.
When we talk about food, we have to talk about supplements, of course, and there are some supplements that may work for anxiety (or against anxiety?). If you’re unsure you should before trying to seek a medical opinion on these.
It could be that GABA helps you, it’s a neurotransmitter in the brain and taking an extra dose sometimes helps to calm the whole nervous system down.
Valerian Root – this helps me for example, when I have trouble sleeping, I have tea with Valerian Root in it and oh my god, I sleep like a baby. So that could be worth trying.
How about Ashwagandha, it’s a root from India, as the name indicates, and that can also help with anxiety and restlessness.
Make sure that your anxiety doesn’t stem from inflammation, so maybe a little extra boost of Omega 3 wouldn’t hurt right now. Magnesium also helps for sleeping and relaxing.
CBD oil – I am a big fan and it has saved my life on many occasions in this past year. So I can really recommend that if you want to calm your nervous system down.
Anxiety can also stem from a bad gut bacteria so maybe look into if you need some probiotics, for example, to recultivate your gut with happy little bacterias and not sad ones. Anyway, that’s it for the supplements!
How about when you feel really anxious, call someone. Call your mom, your friend, your sister, your husband, your wife, you know anyone who will listen and that you feel comfortable with.
Call them, have a Skype coffee or as I like to do it with some of my friends, have a Skype after work session where you get to choose whatever beverage you are drinking. That can also be fun.
Reevaluate your why in life? What are you doing? What are you trying to achieve? What do you want to achieve? And why is what you’re doing giving you anxiety and not taking you closer to that.
Doing something purely for fun. Have a dance party! Darryl Edwards just put up his fantastic dance party to 90s tunes… Love it. And I can say that this may or may not be happening in my living room at certain intervals of the day/week/month. But yes, have a dance party, for example, or anything that you think is just pure fun, just to enjoy yourself a little bit.
Maybe the most important one, which I should have mentioned first, is breathing. If you breathe up here, in your chest, and can’t seem to catch your breath. It’s probably a little bit of anxiety and stress in there. If you on the other hand breathe from like down here, your belly button area. Imagine how much more oxygen you get in and imagine how much more calmness you can breathe in and breathe out the stress. It is a wonderful, powerful tool and I suggest you use it wisely.
Meditation, Yoga and EFT
Do you have a meditation practice? It has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress in everyday life. If you haven’t tried it or you’ve had a longer break or something, I suggest you get back on it because it’s really helpful. With that also comes yoga, of course, a huge personal favourite of mine to relieve anxiety. And if my anxiety is really pressing, then I do like to keep a little EFT practice, a little tapping. I’m sure there are tons of videos online where you can tap along to to relieve your anxiety. There are tons of resources online that you can find about Emotional Freedom Technique. That’s basically acupressure/acupuncture thing that lets your nervous system know that everything is okay. We’ll be fine. We can get through this, too. This too shall pass, you know. It really calms you down. And that’s the whole point of getting out of an anxious moment in your life.
I’m not a huge fan myself, but I know what helps a lot of people is journaling which can also help anxiety and well, if it works for some people, I’m sure it could work for you as well.
Just jot down your thoughts, your anxiety, put it in a beautiful notebook that you keep handy or on your phone or there is a fantastic app called Cocoon Weaver, that you can speak into and it will transcribe your thoughts. So make sure you get those thoughts on paper!
Living with diabetes?
If you are a diabetic and have to manage your blood sugars, how about making sure that you are okay with managing your blood sugars as well as you can at this point of time when anxiety strikes. Anxiety as I said in the beginning is a form of stress, it is caused by stress and stress as we know is blood sugar killer Numero Uno. It will and can cause havoc on your blood sugars. It is not easy to try to control your blood sugar when you are stressed, and definitely not when you’re also anxious.
Just do the best you can and please forgive yourself for it and be okay with that being your goal for that point of time. Also, while there’s so many ideas and tools to relieve anxiety, make sure that you do feel your feelings, sit with them, perhaps in a meditation, perhaps breathing them through because bottling them up won’t help either and it won’t get better, they’ll just burst out in some other way in another in another time in another place where you’re really not prepared.
So maybe now that we are all staying at home, I hope we have time to actually feel our feelings and really process them properly so that we don’t get caught up later.
Please, I want to hear from you: what is your best tip for relieving anxiety? Or did you find the tips I shared with you in this video useful? share which one you like the most down below in a comment.
Disclaimer: The only purpose of this video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.