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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Minimalism – what’s the hype?

Minimalism

Minimalism has become the next “people going vegan.” It’s trendy, it’s hot and there’s a reason: it’s awesome! It created one of the most pivotal shifts in my life and I want to share that with you, because I know you’re curious! I get asked about it as frequently as I get asked about recipes/food. *I will try to do a YouTube video on this soon.

Minimalism is learning to live with less. But, so much more!!!

Its philosophy is based from living with less and removing things from your life that don’t add value….sometimes that even means letting go of people who don’t add value to your life. 

Ever hear of a book called “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo? She started a revolution with her book about de-cluttering and thus created a frenzy of people who wanted to become minimalists. I will point out that minimalism isn’t all or nothing, “I have to sleep on the floor and only own 5 shirts”…no, it doesn’t HAVE to mean that unless you want that….it’s de-cluttering your life in a way that works for you.

Here are some amazing benefits of minimalism:

  1. Clarity of mind
  2. Less stress/anxiety
  3. Better Health
  4. More Freedom
  5. More Time
  6. Greater Purpose
  7. Extra Money
  8. Family Closeness
  9. Easier to Clean
  10. Good for the Environment

When you begin to incorporate a more minimalist life, you start by taking inventory of what you own. Marie Kondo suggests going room by room (start with your closet), and putting things into 3 piles: one pile to trash, one pile to keep and one pile to donate. The pile you keep should only be things that bring you joy or that you really need. Learning the difference between needs and wants will get you everywhere. It starts to affect your shopping habits too, which is awesome!

Sentimental items that aren’t doing anything for you but taking up space should be donated. What?? Yep. She suggests taking a photo of the item so you can still “have” the sentimental value, which is genius because really, what’s the difference from looking at a photo of something you don’t use from looking at something you don’t use in person? The moral of the story is, you don’t use it so get rid of it.

I cannot tell you how LIBERATING and ADDICTING it is to start living this way. It completely changed my life!! I started in 2014 when I was pregnant, when I started to hear about Marie Kondo’s book and started researching on my own. My first thought was “yes, this resonates with me” followed by “how on Earth am I going to be a minimalist with a baby?” But, I figured out ways to do it.

It feels SO GOOD getting rid of “stuff” that isn’t bringing us joy or happiness. Material possessions do not bring us happiness, happiness is found within. Does this mean you can’t keep that Louis Vuitton purse? Of course it doesn’t, keep that beauty….but only if you actually use it.

I noticed a difference in my frame of mind instantly, once I started going through my apartment and downsizing. You feel the calm energy of the space open up, you feel lighter and it actually affects your mindset and brain! It spreads to other areas of your life, like your schedule, your activities and work. You don’t feel as stressed and I think it definitely has connections to feng shui principles.

This post could go on forever, I am SO passionate about minimalism. Do you think you’ll give it a try? Do you have any questions about it that I can help answer?

xo

Heather