I have been hospitalized twice in my life from anxiety attacks, and have been on the verge of calling the paramedics on countless other occasions.
I'll never forget the crass manner in which the first ER DR treated me. He asked me at least 4 times if I was on drugs, and an additional 2 times he asked "which drugs are you on?". I assume this was an attempt at using interrogation techniques to ask the same question in a different manner, but either way, I was getting more anxious as he cared less about treating me and more about what drug he was supposed to treat me for.
As you can imagine, I was not on any drugs. I was having a debilitating panic attack, and had to be given Ativan to get my heart rate under 200.
What I know now is that the line of questioning from the DR made my anxiety worse because of a subconscious belief I had that I wasn't trustworthy, or supported in life. This led to a chronic state of ambivalence in me. I was seeking constant validation and acceptance from others, but was unwilling to give it unconditionally. Why? I was unaware of that dynamic playing out within me. I didn't realize that my false core had me convinced that if I wasn't supported, trusted, or accepted, then I was rendered powerless and useless, ultimately having no control.
This was a self imposed delusion I had created to interface with the world. I had created this false belief because of parental abandonment at a young age. In a state of chaos and confusion, my adolescent mind had formed an irrational belief in order to make sense of the world and survive. Since the belief was tied to my survival, I thought, it was deep seated and heavily protected by my ego and my subconscious.
I was literally holding people to a contract they never signed, to support and accept me as long as I did what was expected of me, all while refusing to give it to them, or show up unconditionally. My own support was very conditional, yet I wanted it to be given liberally to me. This created a trance state I lived in for decades, thinking everyone else was my problem. In reality, I didn't have it to give, because I didn't give it to myself or others. That's where the chaos and confusion trance set in.
Managing my anxiety was as simple as realizing this dynamic was in play, filling the void of support, validation and acceptance with what was was missing from the me to me connection, and getting healthy lifestyle habits established. When I started showing up for myself, I was finally able to show up for others in a non transactional and genuine way.
I have not experienced anxiety, beyond a normal and healthy level in over 5 years. No drugs, no DR, therapist, or hypnosis. Just pure organic inner work, self reflection, and constant experimentation with thoughts and responses. Not gonna lie, there was a LOT of deep breathing and meditation too : )
What exactly is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While medication can be helpful in treating anxiety, it's not always the first choice for everyone. One overwhelming theme I've found from dealing with anxiety, is that it's pointing directly to something we're resisting. Thoughts, emotions, trust or the like, are all things that are likely repressed by someone with anxiety. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to manage anxiety without relying on drugs. In this blog post, we'll explore some effective strategies for managing anxiety without medication. This is not medical advice, if you feel you have a clinically diagnosable condition, please seek the help you need to thrive. These tips are what I used personally and have seen others use successfully to dissolve their anxiety and transmute it into positive and productive energy.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety without drugs. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, BDNF (brain derived nootropic factor). It also helps improve sleep, which is essential for managing anxiety. You don't need to do intense workouts to see the benefits. Even low-impact exercises such as yoga or walking can be helpful. Exercise is a powerful form of self love and support, and validates your self worth consciously and subconsciously. It's also a perfect opportunity to move thoughts, emotions and breath in and out of the body.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It's an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and visualization can help calm your mind and promote relaxation. You can find guided meditation apps or YouTube videos to help you get started. A great book recommendation is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, if you can follow those from the heart, you will not experience anxiety. Stay diligent on your spiritual practice as well, being attuned to the infinite makes the finite less magnified.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both worsen anxiety symptoms. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel jittery and anxious, while alcohol is a depressant that can disrupt sleep and lead to more anxiety. Limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Magnesium and Nootropics can help greatly with balancing brain chemistry, including activating Gaba receptors, which promote a a calmer and more centered state. Magnesium is critical to heart health, sleep, and nervous system balance. Link below to access Nootopia brand nootropics or Magnesium Breakthrough, both from Bioptimizers. Use Coupon code: COACHJERRY10 to save.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for managing anxiety. Lack of sleep can lead to increased anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Creating a sleep routine, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, can help improve the quality of your sleep. A great book recommendation on this topic is "Why we sleep" by Matthew Walker. Establishing a reliable morning and evening routine does wonders for a healthy circadian rhythm, and can manage changes of seasons and daylight times much more easily. Pay close attention to your energy and focus rhythms and manage your activities accordingly. In general, you can expect to be the most focused and productive during the first 8 hours after waking, the next 8 hours you should experience a gradual unwinding, and the final 8 hours of your 24 hour day should be perfect for sleep. Disruptions to this pattern of activity and energy can be disruptive if experienced chronically. Techniques like meditation, deep prayer, journaling, long walks and meaningful deep conversations can provide a compensation for lacking proper sleep. It's referred to NSDR, Non Sleep Deep Rest. Try not to get into the habit of disrupting your circadian rhythm with excess activity late in the day, or resting too often when your body is ready to work and create.
5. Practice self-care
Taking care of yourself is crucial for managing anxiety. Self-care activities such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to music can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. You can also practice relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises to help calm your mind and body. Like with exercise, self care is conscious and subconscious signaling that you value and support yourself. The less we give to ourselves, the more we seek in others, and the less we have to give others as well. If you can't look yourself in the mirror and honestly say "I love you" and mean it, you have found a probable source of your anxiety. Now, ask yourself, why do I feel that way (I don't love myself)? Get to know yourself, and how your personality is creating anxiety to resist or ignore your higher self's message or purpose. This one overlooked step is probably the #1 thing I see that keeps people stuck unnecessarily.
6. Connect with others
Social support is essential for managing anxiety. Talking to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, can help you feel less alone and more supported. Joining a support group or seeking therapy can also be helpful. It's important to note the distinction of connection to gain perceived support and validation, and connection to experience connection, and to GIVE your support and acceptance to others. When you can honestly do that for others, and not expect anything in return, you are displaying a high level of self validation, trust and acceptance. It's very hard to be anxious with that level of certainty and faith/trust.
In conclusion, managing anxiety without medication is possible. Exercise, mindfulness, limiting caffeine and alcohol, getting enough sleep, practicing self-care, and connecting with others are all effective ways to manage anxiety naturally. It's essential to find what works best for you and stick with it. I know that if I can do it, anyone can. I was never in a position of a loving and supportive extended family, or a reason to have a high self esteem in life. It only took some realization and maybe most importantly, acceptance.
If you're struggling with anxiety, don't hesitate to seek professional help if you feel you have a diagnosable condition. If you're in that spot between pain and injury, where you don't feel you need a therapist or DR, but would like to get unstuck. We can help you find exactly what's missing in your life, so you can create happiness daily, and finally look and feel your very best. If you'd just like to know more about how your personality is creating anxiety for you to grow, we can do that too!
Use the link below to schedule your complimentary 1:1 strategy call with me.
Peace, Much Love, Live Well,