Let’s talk about Anxiety – part 1

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Anxiety is that thing that you hear people talking about but that nobody really seems to understand, unless you’ve had it. People also tend to talk about as if it’s just some emotion like laughing or crying, yet it’s not and it affects 40 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable but only around 36% of those who suffer receive treatment and those treatments usually involve medication which can cause other horrible issues besides anxiety.

Instead, we need to be treating the root of this serious disorder called anxiety and mindfulness can help.

As someone who previously suffered with this sometimes debilitating disorder, I think it’s important that we have these conversations openly. Anxiety causes people to feel extremely alone, scared and it’s not just something you can turn off. You can go from feeling normal to downright crazy in 1 second flat. It can also cause panic attacks, which is a whole other issue in and of itself. It involves hormones, emotions, chemicals and every system in the body.

Treating anxiety isn’t easy but it starts with taking a look inward. We need to be looking at our lives from a holistic or whole perspective, meaning how everything inter-relates. Is our financial situation causing us to be stress out? Are we eating differently now that we are stressed? Is our family life and relationships affected? Is our job affected? All of these things interplay and affect one another.

The next step is figuring out where to make cuts. If you want to overcome anxiety naturally, you have to make cuts. Where can we delete things from our lives? Is our schedule jam packed with “stuff” to do? Do our kids really need 8 million activities? Do we need to say yes to everything we get invited to? Do we really need to be staying late at work to just finish those emails? And, who says we need to be doing and being all of these things, hmm? And who says we need to do them without help? Does someone or something on TV or social media say we need to be doing these things? Are we stuck in the comparison game? Are we desperately trying to keep up with Mr & Mrs. Jones?

De-cluttering is one of the best things for anxiety. This simply means cutting unnecessary things out of our lives. Seriously, give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how you feel and how much more productive you can be. Start with your closet. Take everything out and start looking at each item and start downsizing (the KonMari method is my favorite way to do this). Next, go through each room in your house and do the same thing with your “stuff”. Get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy and that you don’t love or need. Next, stop spending money on things that don’t matter. Be mindful when you’re shopping and start to only purchase things you need (with the occasional want thrown in for fun). You’ll start to see some major changes, but you’ll really start to feel these changes too.

Keeping a tidy home, with less clutter, will start to allow you to feel less cluttered in your own mind, it’s just how it works. You’ll feel lighter and happier, I promise. Same goes for work and working smarter, not harder. Prioritize your 3 most important tasks as early in the day as possible and then structure your day in a way that allows maximum productivity, (I recommend the book Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy).

In part 2 of this article, we’ll talk about nutrition and supplements for anxiety. Start with de-cluttering and then come back for part 2.

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Are you “too busy” ?

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Are you “too busy” ?

What does that mean anyways….too busy. Why did this become a thing? I feel like it really only becomes a thing once you have kids or if you work in corporate america. I only say that because those are the only two situations that have ever caused me to utter those words.

Then I stumbled upon simple living. Simple living is a concept that came to me during meditation when I was going through cancer. It kind of popped up out of nowhere and stood out to me. The charm of this thought stuck with me. Simple living. What was this exactly? And, how did it relate with being busy?

My spirit was telling me I needed this. I was all ears because I knew that after my treatment was over, I wanted a different life than what I had before.

My life before was a rat race. Same old stupid stuff everyday that was leaving me dry and miserable. Working full time, not much of a social life, didn’t like where I was living, didn’t like where I was working, didn’t like much at all, actually.

I always had yearning for something different. Something more simple.

So, one day I really started to think of what that might be. I immediately imagined moving to some tropical place like Costa Rica or Bali and teaching yoga and living out of a backpack. It was so NOT me, but I thought the idea sounded fun.

Then my treatment ended and I decided to travel to Europe to see some family and figure out my next move.

I ended up moving back to Southern California and got a full time job since I had to, gotta pay the bills, right? But this time, I was going to live differently. I decided to only make plans with people I really wanted to hang out with. I didn’t over-schedule my life. I only bought the furniture I really needed. I had more nights without TV, just reading or doing yoga or meditating…. and I liked it.

4 years later and I’ve still honed this skill of saying no more, not over-scheduling my life and limiting what I spend my time doing.

I feel like when we are “too busy” we are hiding from something. Why is it so awful just being? What’s so bad about just hanging out with ourselves or our families? Are we afraid of what we may find if we don’t live up to what society thinks is important?

 

Why is it so hard to do nothing?

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Why is is so hard to do nothing?

I have been challenging myself to look at my phone less. I’m not gonna lie…it’s not as easy as we think it will be since we’ve become so reliant on them. But, the funny part is, I didn’t grow up with cell phones so it’s not that weird for me to be without my phone.

I actually like it, so I’ve been challenging myself to not pick it up specifically when I’m in any waiting room. Doctor, dentist, etc. I pick up a magazine like I always used to do. When did we stop reading magazines?? I LOVE magazines and books and will be protesting forever as they go digital and book stores close all around the country. I want that physical experience of reading something where I turn the pages, not click the next screen. Ugh. Is social media the new magazine?

I feel like everywhere I go, everyone is either looking down at their phones or has their headphones in.

This is not helping us as a civilization.

We are losing touch with each other, losing eye contact and losing our social skills. The teens of the modern world never had to talk to someone or look someone in the eye because their phone was a stand-in.

This is why I don’t let my daughter play with my iphone and ipad. I really want her to learn what it’s like to interact with people. Is AI going to completely take over so that there are no more “people” in customer service jobs?

I’m not sure where we are headed but I love the challenge I have started and will continue to do it as long as magazines are still in print. What areas within technology do you struggle the most??