Let’s talk about anxiety- part 3

So far, we’ve talked about overcoming anxiety and stress through decluttering and simplifying our lives and also through nutrition but now for my favorite…..mindfulness and mindset! This topic is such a passion of mind and it is SO POWERFUL. The results you will get from this step alone will be profound and I encourage you to keep a journal if you’re into that sort of thing, just to document your progress.

Mindfulness is the quality of being conscious or aware of something, but in particular, the present moment. Focusing our awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s not being reactive. But, really it’s just awareness. 

Buddha said “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Jesus said “Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life.” (Proverbs 4:23). Einstein said “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” All of these quotes confirm that our mindset plays a monumental role in our life and how we perceive things. I can vouch from personal experience, that until I changed my mindset, I did not see a complete shift in my own life. My anxiety did not start to dissipate until I got my mind right. And yes, getting your mind right can actually improve brain chemistry.

So, how do you do this? Well, it takes work, I’m not going to lie. Get reading, get meditating, get journaling, surround yourself with positive people who view life the same way you want to view life, stop watching crappy television full of drama. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, but if you are diligent in your efforts, you can surely see changes within 30 days as I did. I was relentless in my pursuit of happiness, calm and finding a way to keep my anxiety at bay. Make a commitment to yourself and stick with it- this is key!

I made some pretty hefty changes and completely overhauled my life in order to come to a more peaceful and happy place. Sometimes it means letting go of people and relationships that don’t serve your highest good. Sometimes it means saying no to foods that you know aren’t supporting your body. Sometimes it means saying no to social engagements so you can stay home and do self-care. It’s not selfish to do these things, it’s sometimes just what needs to be done in order to get your mindset right. It’s a high form of self-care that you deserve. No one can make changes for us, we have to be the ones who want change.

Sometimes it’s easier to stay in our holes and be miserable because that’s what feels safe to us or it seems too overwhelming to give that up. That will not serve you in the long run. Going out of our comfort zones always brings amazing things, that I can promise you. So what are you waiting for? Join the mass amount of people who are choosing to up-level their lives and not settle for a life of mediocre-ness, shame, control and high stress! Get your mind right. Make the change.

 If you need more help with this, sign up for coaching with me.

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Let’s talk about Anxiety – part 2

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In post 1, we went over anxiety and how we can take steps to help ourselves overcome this disorder naturally. De-cluttering our lives was the first step in this 3-step process. In this post, we’ll go over the second step in treating anxiety, which is nutrition and supplements. *Please speak to a qualified healthcare practitioner before using supplements.

The research on gut health (aka your digestive system or microbiome), plays a crucial part in anxiety and stress. I’ll try to explain the scientific research in the easiest way possible so stick with me! Significant progress has been made in the last 10 years in discovering the importance of gut health and its connection to brain function. The research shows that the gut microbiota influences brain chemistry and behavior. It also shows that stress influences the composition of gut microbiota and that this communication that goes back and forth affects our stress reactivity. Alterations in gut microbiota can influence anxiety and depressive-like behaviors and neuroscientists are basically really excited to see how these findings will affect mental health in the future. Not only anxiety and depression have been linked to the brain/gut connection, but so has Autism and the spectrum.

Our microbiome is easily damaged by eating processed foods, highly acidic foods, sugar, pharmaceutical drugs, antibiotics, chemicals and toxins. Gut microbiota influences Serotonin and Dopamine production, two extremely important bodily functions! More than 90% of the body’s Serotonin is in the gut and it’s the “feel good” neurotransmitter and helps us have feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Just taking probiotics regularly has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on anxiety and depression symptoms.

So, how can you start healing your gut? Take probiotics regularly (preferably not from a dairy source – it will say on the bottle). Eating fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, dairy-free yogurt and miso are also helpful. Start eating real, whole foods regularly, including a lot of vegetables and cut out the refined sugar. Whole foods just means eating food as close to its natural state as possible. Next, drink lots of water and limit alcohol since alcohol is hard for our bodies to process and it contains a lot of sugar.

Changing eating habits can be extremely challenging for people and it can take a lot of self-control. Hire a health coach if you feel you are the type of person who needs more support in this area. This person will help you incorporate healthy foods and find easy ways to prepare them. Your taste buds will take a few weeks to adjust to your new diet but I promise it will change your life and once your taste buds change, you actually won’t find yourself craving those old, unhealthy foods anymore.

Supplements that may be helpful in dealing with anxiety are: Ashwaganda, Fish Oil or plant-derived DHA for my vegan friends, B Complex, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, Maca powder. *Please do your own research and speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner, like a naturopathic doctor, before using supplements.

Drinks and Teas I like are: Kava Tea, Magnesium Calm drink, Valerian tea, Chamomile + Lavender tea.

Essential Oils that are good for anxiety: Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Please be sure you are using pure essential oils.

Stay tuned for part 3, which will address overcoming anxiety and stress through mindset and mindfulness.

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.

Adrenal Fatigue: the silent killer?

Do you have adrenal fatigue? This topic is super important and I love spreading awareness on it. We are bombarded by stresses, toxins and unhealthy sleep habits that are causing major problems in our bodies.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Not enough hours in the day? Work comes first? Too much on  your plate? Read this great article for more info: Link Here

How to become fearless. It’s not what you think…..

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When people ask me what it means to be fearless, I smile. It can seem like a rather complex subject, but what does it really mean? Simply put, it means letting love in.

I’m not talking about romantic love here. Letting love into our lives in any capacity naturally pushes fear out. Fear cannot coexist with love. Love conquers all, or does it?

Take me, for example. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 33 years old. I had fear coming out of me from all directions during that time, but I decided to let it all go and to choose love instead. Love from my family, friends, pets and God. I wanted to have the best chance of survival and didn’t want to let fear or my cancer win. Do you know what happened? I won. Coincidence? I’ll never know. But one thing is for sure, I will never let fear dictate my life. Love is the only thing worth living for. Having faced my death, I now know this first hand.

Love and fear are the most powerful human emotions and both have the power to transform our lives if we let them. Choosing the type of life you’d rather live is what it’s all about. Do you want more fear or do you want to be fearless?

We have to focus on letting love in, from anywhere. We need to stop being stubborn! We need to open ourselves up to allow love to come in whether it’s from a stranger, a loved one, our dog or our doctor. We must allow love in and then watch the magic happen.

In addition to letting love in, give it away! Give free smiles to people, lend a hand to someone in need, give your store clerk a compliment or give someone a hug in a time of need. We all need love, so give it away and then watch it come back to you!

Once we make the conscious choice to allow love into our lives, the more fearless we become. We start choosing love over fear more and more and we start to notice how good that makes us feel. We are going for things that used to scare us, we are taking much needed time away for ourselves and we are no longer letting fear dictate our lives. Be bold, fear less and love more.

Why I gave up having a life plan

Planning ahead is about preparing for the future, right? It’s something we all like to think about often because most of us focus on the future and not on the present. Our lives revolve around asking ourselves what we can do, who we can be and where we can go next. For some people it’s even asking how much more they can get, when the focus should be on what we already have.

In some small way we think we control our lives but the honest truth is that we can’t. Sure, we control what clothes we put on and what route we take to work, but the bigger things in life aren’t in our control. Events at work, natural disasters, potential mates, illness, injury, financial emergencies…these are all out of our control.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I was diagnosed at 33 years old with stage 4 lymphoma cancer. I mean, come on, I’m a healthnut vegan who does health and wellness for a living and BOOM!, that happened. That was definitely not in my “plan.”

I was forced to let go of my “plan” and soon came to realize that I wasn’t in control like I had thought. We just can’t possibly know what life will throw at us. We try so hard to control when really, shouldn’t we just let go and live in the moment? This lesson on letting go has been pivotal for me. What a concept! You hear about it all the time but hardly anybody practices it.

You can bet I started practicing because I had no choice. With letting go, I no longer feel anxious and nervous about the future since those feelings have now been replaced with a sense of peace. Peace in knowing that I will receive everything I need in the right timing and that I don’t need to force things.

Letting go and learning to trust the Universe brings rewards that are truly priceless. It really allows you to open yourself up while it paves the way to a peaceful mind. Next time you notice yourself trying to control, will you close your eyes, take a deep breath, exhale and join me in in the practice of letting go?