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7 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

7 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

Before I tell you how you can overcome anxiety, please understand this: anxiety can happen to anyone. It can attack you seemingly out of the blue, leaving you feeling vulnerable and confused. So don’t fret; I know exactly what you are going through and I know you can overcome anxiety.

Not so long ago, I had my first experience with anxiety. I am someone who has a happy outlook on life. I believe that life is too short to be sad and that I should focus on enjoying my life. So when I woke up that day with anxiety, my world fell apart. My ability to relish the moment was overpowered by a feeling of dread and self-pity.

All I wanted to do was hide away at home and be by myself. If I was around others, I would feel completely distant from them and couldn’t find a way to reconnect. My happy-go-lucky attitude had completely vanished.

There was only one thing I could think to do and that was to research every possibility to overcome anxiety. Through intensive research and testing theories, I was finally able to overpower it. Below I will share with you the best ways that you can overcome your anxiety today:

1. Realize it’s all in your head

This article was the first piece of advice that helped me to overcome anxiety. This article truly explains what anxiety is. Anxiety is when something is going on internally, usually as a result of a traumatic or painful event. You then carry forward this negativity and when this negativity is ignored, anxiety comes to life.

This is why anxiety gives you physical symptoms. Your inner voice is trying to tell you that you are hurt, that you need to stop and heal. When you aren’t listening to it, it uses physical symptoms to get your attention.

Does it scare you when you feel like you cannot breathe? Or perhaps you feel like you are going to vomit any minute? The thing to remember is it’s not real. No matter how real it feels, it is actually your mind playing tricks on you.

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One of my symptoms was my heart racing. I felt like my heart was racing so fast I would have a heart attack (and that line of thinking was not helping). But when I realized that it wasn’t real, I started to remind myself of this. When it started happening, I put a hand on my heart, only to find my heart wasn’t racing that fast at all.

So the next time an anxiety attack comes on, remember that this is just a trick from your inner consciousness. Allow yourself to pause, close your eyes and remind yourself, “I’m OK.”

2. Ask yourself what the message is

As mentioned in my previous point, anxiety is your inner consciousness trying to tell you that you are hurting. To overcome anxiety you need to find out what your inner consciousness is trying to tell you. You need to find out what the message is.

The next time you are having an anxiety attack, stop and listen. Just close your eyes, breathe and ask yourself kindly, “What’s the message?”

What is it you need to learn from this? Because this is what anxiety is, a message. A message to teach you to realize a better way of thinking, or a better attitude you can apply.

For me, I was choosing to ignore my emotions at a deeper level. I was getting on with my everyday life, ignoring the fact that I was not happy with my job, nor my home life. I wrongly chose to ignore the fact I was hurting; that I wanted a different job and that I was struggling living with my partner’s brother. With my partner’s brother being at our home all the time, I struggled to face my emotions. I felt I had no time to face them and just needed to carry on with my everyday life. I would face things when he was gone and I had my space back.

Of course, that was the wrong decision to make, because bottling up my emotions was the worst thing I could do. So when the anxiety attacks started happening more and more, I started to replace my thoughts of, “Stop, go away, I don’t have time for this,” with, “What’s the message?”

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Because that is the key. You need to focus on you, to look deep inside and ask yourself, “What is it that upsets me? What is the message I am trying to tell myself?”

3. Embrace the anxiety

You heard me right, embrace the anxiety. This might seem like a daunting task, but when you panic during an attack it only feeds the anxiety. To overcome anxiety, you must learn to embrace it.

When you have an attack, choose to be loving towards yourself. Do not start saying, “Why does this have to happen to me?” or “Leave me alone, I don’t have time for this.” Instead, be kind to yourself and say, “It’s OK, I’m listening.”

Embrace the anxiety with love and show yourself that you are there to listen. Treat yourself the same way you’d want to be treated by someone else, with love and care. Anxiety is your inner voice shouting to you, asking that you address the issues you are facing. Once you start embracing the anxiety, you will start to feel the panic fade away.

4. Take time for yourself

Now that you know what anxiety is, you need to start addressing the cause. This means that you need to take the time for yourself: to be with yourself and focus on thinking about what is going on deep inside.

This is an excellent time to use meditation to help overcome these issues. Meditation is a great method to use because it looks deeper into your soul, not just at the surface layer.

If you haven’t meditated before, you can start off with just five minutes. Set a timer, then close your eyes. Focus on taking long, deep breaths — from your stomach and not through your lungs (this deep breathing is great for coping with panic attacks). As you take deep breaths, feel your body parts relax one by one with each breath. Allow your mind to wander. Imagine you are looking at a blue sky. As your mind wanders, let the thoughts run through your mind. Imagine that each thought is drifting across the sky. Let each one drift by, but do not interact with it. Allow your mind to wander with each thought, just listening to what it says.

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The important thing is to listen to your thoughts without judgment or letting your fears take them over. When I started using meditation to overcome anxiety, I allowed my mind to start asking questions regarding my anxiety. I would kindly ask myself questions like, “What triggered my last anxiety attack?” and “What was it that scared me?” By asking these questions, I was able to follow my thoughts deeper and deeper, pinpointing the cause.

5. Force yourself out there

One of the struggles I had with anxiety was interacting with others. Being around others panicked me as I often felt disconnected from conversation, which frustrated me greatly. This meant I wanted to spend more time alone, to avoid facing these issues.

Although it is helpful in the early stages to take time for yourself, there comes a point when you need to interact again. The longer you leave it, the worse it will be.

If you find that it is a struggle to leave your home, start off small. Start by going to visit a close friend or family. Prove to yourself that you will be OK if you go out, that your fear is overrated. Once you start going out more and more, you’ll soon begin to realize that it is OK.

Additional tip: A great way to cope with anxiety attacks is to distract your mouth. Focus on sipping a drink or suck on a hard-boiled sweet. I found that this helped me calm down.

6. Talk to someone

It’s always good to talk to someone about your anxiety, as voicing it aloud can help make more sense. Talk to a close friend or family member about what you are going through.

I found that talking to my partner about it eased my mind a little. He was able to provide me with some ideas I hadn’t thought about, whilst helping me feel supported.

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And even if you don’t feel like there is anyone you can talk to, there is still plenty of support online. Just do a search for anxiety support and you’ll find many useful forums and online chats. There you can speak to many others who know what you are going through.

7. Find inspiration to overcome anxiety

My final bit of advice is to find inspiration. For me, I love Katy Perry. I love her attitude that you should enjoy life and love every moment. I love that she is always so happy and always pushes through her problems. She is a role model to me.

I used Katy Perry as my inspiration. I listened to her music, which helped lift my spirits and motivate me in overcoming my anxiety. It would help remind me that I could get through it and live a happy life again.

So find someone inspires or motivates you and use that. Use their attitude, or their music, or stories of their own struggles, and see that you can become better too.

If you don’t have someone that inspires you, then look online. Simply do a Google image search for positivity quotes and you’ll find tons of inspiring quotes. Or do a search on Lifehack for quotes and you’ll be overwhelmed with the amount of powerful quotes at hand.

 

Now you know what anxiety is and what you can do to overcome it, you are well on your way. Remember that you aren’t alone, there are many people out there dealing with anxiety too.

I truly believe you can overcome anxiety. You are stronger than you may think!

Featured photo credit: Jaque via freeimages.com

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8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

“Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

3. You could suffer from excess weight

When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

8. You could end up eating more processed food

Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

 

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