Reducing Anxiety in the Body
People are familiar with how stress & anxiety feel emotionally, but often forget the toll it takes on their body and internal organs. Most people spend about 70% of their waking hours in a state of heightened & unnecessary anxiety and it is decreasing their lifespan.
And, while stress hormones often have a negative reputation, they can be helpful with bodily functions, like how cortisol fights infection, regulates blood sugar and maintains blood pressure.
Stress hormones are useful in survival situations.
But, too much stress hormones for an extended period of time (usually from thought alone) can contribute to unhelpful and unnecessary levels of cortisol and adrenaline leading an unhealthy and diseased body.
Most auto-immune issues related to the digestive tract are untraceable to a physical cause but we may be overlooking the true culprit – sustained & unhelpful worry wreaks havoc on your internal organs because the stress hormones cannot be used as intended. Instead they hang around for far too long, hijacking your brain and keeping you on edge.
Stress is a killer.
Sadly, the aforementioned sentence rarely surprises anyone.
Anxiety frequently shows up in the heart and/or the belly. By the time people enter our mental health clinic in Idaho, they often have been to the emergency room repeatedly only to be sent home with anti-anxiety medication and the diagnosis of Anxiety.
Being on edge and filled with worry causes your adrenals to release two stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.
Over 95% of diseases are stress-related, which means they are preventable.
Chronic stress & worry can result in:
- Belly Issues
- Heart Issues
- Sexual Function
- Low Energy
Remember the goal of reducing stress won’t get you healthy; it is the regular daily habits of how you respond to stressors that will.
- Shower/Bathe without interruption. Get off the grid and slide into the water.
- A gentle massage on the upper neck – just above your back – can create instant relief for some.
- Get outside. A healthy dose of sunshine 🌞 & nature are a natural mood upregulator.
- Lay down & relax in a cool & dark room.
- Get off the grid and leave your devices behind.
- Raise your tolerance to uncertainty; a counselor can help you with that.
- There are often several acupuncture clinics in each city.
- Say “No” more often…without apology.
- Talk it out; externalizing your pain can be very helpful.
- Write it down – it won’t look so daunting.
- Even 5 minutes/day of meditation can help put space between your thoughts and help you respond, not react, to stressors.
- Have a good belly laugh at least once/day.
- Decrease consumption of tobacco, caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
- Increase consumption of healthy and fortifying foods and water.
- Any movement is good. Remember; progress, not perfection.
- Deep breathing techniques will put you in a more present state.
- Grounding techniques. Google them; they are plentiful.
- Solfeggio Frequencies are a form of Audio Therapy and are FREE on YouTube.
- Seek professional mental health counseling when you are ready to get to the root of the problem.
- Emotional Freedom Tapping. There are multiple FREE videos on YouTube.
- Don’t avoid negative thoughts. Instead, practice giving a time limit to your negative thoughts so you feel more in control.
- Lower sexual desire and sexual aversion is sometimes associated with anxiety disorders. Anxiety can decrease sexual arousal. If medical reasons are ruled out, seek a counselor trained in sex therapy.
- Sleep 7-9 hours/night. Nothing like a good night’s sleep.
While there is no perfected antidote to unhelpful anxiety in the body, getting enough sleep, incorporating movement into your day, challenging negative thoughts, avoiding street drugs and alcohol and eating foods that make you feel good can be a great start.
If it feels overwhelming, select one aforementioned tip and stick to it for 7 days, then layer on another tip. Overtime, you just might begin to feel more relaxed. Remember that you were not designed to exist in a heightened state of stress & anxiety. You got this, friend.
~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LCPC
Founder & CEO K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC