Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep with a racing heart and sweaty palms, not even sure what scared you? Have you ever jumped into full-on, mama bear, fear and anxiety because your toddler tripped, or your third grader had a tough day at school, and felt the shivers through your whole body? Do small things cause you major anxiety? Do you find that it’s getting harder and harder to have a peaceful moment in the day? Are you less and less able to handle everything in your life without 3am worried obsessions?
Day-to-day anxiety is one of the most common complaints that I hear from my clients. They come to me seeking less painful (more enjoyable!) sex, regular comfortable periods, weight loss, and solutions for their hair loss. But, beneath these issues often hides a state of chronic worry.
Each of us is born equipped with a stress resilience system. It’s called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA for short.) The hypothalamus secretes hormones which stimulate the pituitary (both the hypothalamus and pituitary are in the brain), which stimulate the adrenal glands to manufacture and release hormones that help us to respond to stress (like cortisol and epinephrine.) When this system is activated over and over by the chronic stressors of everyday modern life, it can become overly sensitive and respond to every little thing as if you were actually running from a bear.
Balancing your hormones begins with quieting your HPAA axis in order to build your adrenal resilience.
The good news is your can begin to soothe your anxiety today with these 5 strategies:
Eat a good breakfast. My favorites are high quality, nutrient dense smoothies, or dinner leftovers (think protein and cooked veggies.) Soups like this are great.
Create a bedtime ritual for yourself. Think an evening bath with epsom salt and essential oils, then some time to relax with some fiction.
Play outside. Connecting (literally) with the earth, gardening, hiking barefoot, or taking long walks in the sand, have been proven by published research to lower cortisol levels.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet in order to reduce inflammation in the brain that can cause HPAA axis sensitivity. This pumpkin smoothie is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory treats this time of year.
Give yourself a “laptop curfew.” Shut down all electronics by 8pm in order to improve the quality of your sleep. If you fall asleep before 11pm, you will give your adrenal glands their best opportunity for nightly restoration.
Anxiety is a common problem, and huge issue for modern women.
Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to reduce your anxiety. My friend and colleague, Trudy Scott, has spent her career helping people with anxiety. She is an expert on the subject and cares deeply about helping people live more calmly. She has created The Anxiety Summit. It’s free, online event that starts next week. If you are struggling with chronic anxiety whether it’s day to day worry or full blown panic attacks, definitely listen in. Trudy has brought together a stellar line up of experts for this summit. Don’t miss it!
What is you top strategy for feeling calm in the midst of a stressful day? Share what works for you in the comments below.
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