Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief (by Sitara Hewitt)
As a meditation coach, I’m a pretty chill and relaxed person. However, I was not made that way! I had to work at it, a lot. In fact, in my twenties I had a lot of anxiety. The wonderful news is that I was able to calm anxiety and stress naturally, and I believe you can too – it just takes a bit of focus and support.
Here are the multi-pronged ways I approached it; through mindful practices, supplements, daily exercise, and changing my perspective on different situations.
There was a time when I couldn’t sleep at night due to anxiety. So I started listening to guided meditations online. And focusing on my breathing. Deep breaths for a count of 10 does wonders! Once I started getting the hang of the guided audio meditations, I began to let myself mediate without audio tracks. Little by little, I calmed my nervous system down and started to sleep again. I was also less anxious during the day. And now, being present and calm seems to come naturally to me, after a few years of daily meditation. Trust that it’s a process. It’s difficult to ‘quiet your mind’ in the beginning. Listen to calming music, follow your breath. Try a little each day and build up as you feel comfortable.
Getting our bodies moving in the day is key to calming anxiety and a restless mind. So much of our daily life is about talking, thinking, rushing around, and being online. It’s essential to burn off physical energy and drop down into our bodies regularly. Getting our heart rates up and being a little out of breath burns off anxious hormones like cortisol and activates feel good hormones like serotonin! A power walk can be so healing. Make a goal of walking briskly for 45 minutes each day. Deep breathe and then do some light stretching after. Get to a gym, yoga class or something more active if you can! You should include some movement and physical activity 5 to 6 days a week.
I love natural supplements for helping the body and nervous system calm down. One of my favourites is L-theanine, and I love the new one by trusted Health First. They made it into a delicious chocolate-y chewable! L-theanine is an amino acid that naturally calms the body and mind, bringing in a feeling of serenity without causing drowsiness. It’s great for if you have a bit too much caffeine! I also like magnesium for creating relaxation in the heart, as well as lemon balm.
This is HUGE. Our minds are very powerful. If we are always thinking about what could go wrong, or focusing on what we fear, we keep our bodies in a continuous state of ‘fight or flight’. We can get into the habit of thinking stressed out and anxious thoughts, but we also have the power to change those habits, one thought at a time. When you feel yourself spiraling down a worrisome thought pattern, stop. Take a breath. Bring in some trust and peace. Consider: Do I have the ability to affect this right now with an action I can take? If yes, take that action, then let go. If the situation is beyond your control practice SURRENDER. Give the situation up to a higher power, the universe or your higher self. Let go and come back to what you can enjoy in this moment. 99% of our worries aren’t occurring in the moment, so come back to this moment and just be aware of what you can observe, and what you can be grateful for. Stating simple things I’m grateful for all through the day has been transformational, not only for my mental well-being, but for every aspect of my life.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A mental health professional or energy healer who can listen and support you is key when times feel overwhelming.