Alternative Ways to Manage Anxiety

Alternative ways to manage anxiety

A few weeks ago, in the Creating Money Magic group, someone asked:

“How can I handle anxiety without taking any medication?”

I chose to answer this question based on my own personal experience with anxiety and depression and how I was able to change my emotional state.

I still have anxiety because I'm human, but the anxiety is not crippling and it feels natural and manageable and the best thing is it happens once in a while and not every day.

Usually the idea of packing up my life and moving in a space of a month would unsettle me and leave me too scared and anxious to take action. So I can see a shift in the way I handle life events and feel about them as they unfold.

I’m by no means a medical person so I can only share what worked for me:

1. Changed my diet

This seems crazy and new age, especially because I was already vegetarian from a young age so it would seem that vegetarian would be enough of a diet change in itself.

But I noticed something about my anxiety attacks (which were often linked to money) - they were often more pronounced after eating certain things.

I actually had this realization one day, after having an anxiety attack, right after having coffee.

So I switched to decaf and I was fine, until I had 2 cups of decaf, then the anxiety would come out of nowhere.

After that, I started paying attention to how I felt after eating certain foods and I see a definite shift in my emotions whenever I eat sugar, processed foods, breads and of course coffee.

Cutting out these foods, made me healthier (obvs), made me more energetic and it also calmed me down. There are tons of studies done on how the food we eat impacts the chemicals in our bodies.

Just a quick side note: Alcohol is not your friend when it comes to anxiety. A drink every now and then is no problem (I'm talking like once or twice a month) but drinking constantly can also affect your mood when sober.

2. Questioned my thinking

Every emotion is tied to a thought. Emotions may be the things that drive our behavior and shape our reality but every emotion comes from an underlying thought.

The emotion is the effect, to change the effect you need to change the root cause and that is the thought.

Understand your thoughts and then question their validity.

3. Got still and meditated

This is tied to the second point - if you want to understand the thoughts that are driving your emotions then you need to get still and meditate. In the Creating Money Magic course we have 3 meditations just around thoughts, emotions and memories that are impacting our behavior.

Your mind is the computer that's controlling this show and you have to learn to master it, in order to master yourself.

4. Did yoga

A few weeks ago we had a live class discussing the benefits of yoga on our emotional state and spoke about how yoga helps to alleviate anxiety because the mind, emotions and body are interconnected.

I do yoga as soon as I get out of bed, because it's a physical exercise that's connected to emotional well-being and mindfulness etc. and it never fails to ground me and relax me.

5. Essential oils

I put Lavender essential oils in all because Lavender has calming properties and helps slow the heart rate.

I also use orange, lemon and grapefruit essential oils because citrus scents rewire our brains and make us happy.

6. I befriended my anxiety

I stopped seeing my anxiety and depression as a pain in the butt (which it was); instead I started going into my body to feel where it was sitting and I started talking to my anxiety and questioning it (something we do a lot in the Creating Money Magic course - this is where these meditations come from).

All emotions are carried in the body and we can go into the body and connect to them and ask what wisdom they have for us.

The more I did this, the more I realized that my anxiety was my mind's way of waking me up and telling me things.

I learned that I feel anxious when I'm supposed to be doing something and instead end up blocking myself and second guessing myself.

That second guessing, over analysis and overthinking makes me anxious, so the best way to deal with my anxiety is to follow my inner voice and take action from there. Even if that advice makes no sense, taking action makes me less anxious.

So now when I feel anxiety, I get still and ask myself - what is my heart telling me and what is my higher-self trying to communicate to me that I'm now blocking out?

As I write this, I realize that I've truly befriended my anxiety but it took 6 years for that to happen.

My best advice is be gentle with yourself as you go on the journey, it doesn't happen overnight.

Your anxiety may be telling you something important, so don’t block it out.