9 Relaxation Techniques for Busy Women (That don’t cost money!)

9 Relaxation Techniques for Busy Women (That don’t cost money!)

 if Struggling to relax?

I hear your sister.

Finding it hard to think of low-cost relaxation techniques you can do?

Don’t worry I’ve got you!

As someone who is regularly busy and easily stressed / anxious, I have a few tips up my sleeve when it comes to natural low-cost relaxation techniques.

For a lot of my life, I struggled with effectively managing my emotions and stress / anxiety symptoms. It was probably because I would make myself so busy that I just didn’t have time to unwind.

Well I felt like I didn’t anyway…

As a result, I’d often find myself working and pushing myself to the brink of burn-out until my body would give me no choice but to rest. Usually because I’d get sick or become bed bound.

Yep, thanks… but I guess it was usually my own fault.

Since Identifying these 9 relaxation techniques, I don’t experience this feeling anymore. I’m much more self-aware, better at listening to my body and stick to scheduled down time during my week.

I no longer feel guilty about it either.

These 9 relaxation techniques are a great no cost / low cost way to relax and unwind. 

 

1) Meditation is a Great Relaxation Technique

Meditation is something that I regularly use to unwind, detach or start my day in a relaxed state. It’s also fantastic for reducing stress and anxiety.

Meditation a learned skill that is easy for anyone to pick up. All you need is patience, commitment and consistency.

One of the benefits of meditation is that it can be done at different locations and at different times in your day. You can also choose whether you want to meditate in the morning, before bed, at you work desk, lying down and even whilst walking.

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation, why it is great for our health and why is can be a great natural technique to relieve stress and anxiety, you can start with our mini email course: An Introductory Meditation Course for Beginners. 

Register by entering your details below o the course modules can be sent to your inbox.

 

2) Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an amazing relaxation technique for busy women. It is something you can do at anytime, anywhere.

One of the more common deep breathing strategies is the 4-7-8 breathing rule.

The 4-7-8 rule breaks down deep breathing into three memorable and easy steps.

  1. You breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (Breathe deeply into your belly, not your chest)
  2. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
  3. Breathe out for 8 seconds

You then continue to repeat this process until you can start to notice your body relaxing and returning to state of balance.

Read more about the powers of deep breathing here and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

 

3) Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Day

Similar to meditation, mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the present moment.

There are several ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day. You can be mindful whilst washing dishes, having a shower, walking to work, driving, hiking, running and more.

Mindfulness is a great natural relaxation technique because it gives you a moment to wind down and focus on the present rather than being consumed by worries of the past or future.

Have a bath during your week - relaxation techniques for busy women

4) Have a Warm Bath or Shower (anything warm)

For me, having a bath and going to the sauna at least once a fortnight is a non-negotiable.

Both of these relaxation techniques truly help me to unwind at the end of my day.

Whilst in the bath or at the sauna, you can also stretch your body which is a great way release any built-up muscle tension from the week.

Our bodies have the tendency to store emotions in our joints and muscles. Therefore, it is important to stretch regularly to release this built-up tension.

If you don’t have a bath or access to a sauna, a hot shower is a great free alternative and offer similar benefits.

For most of us, warmth promotes feelings of relaxation and comfort. This is why doing something warm during your day / a few times a week is great for your health…and no your normal morning or evening shower doesn’t count.

Using warmth to your advantage can aid relaxation, especially when you’re busy or on a tight budget.

 

5) Cuddles With Your Partner

People often overlook the power of affection, love and comfort for relaxation.

For those of you who have partners, I’m sure you can relate to that amazing feeling you get when your partner wraps you up in his / her arms after a tough day at work.

There’s something extremely comforting about it.

A feeling like everything is going to be ok.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, or need to find a relaxation outlet – why not spend more quality time with your partner cuddling.

If you’re thinking to yourself right now that you “don’t have a lot of extra time for snuggles”, I’m telling you now…

MAKE time!

Even if you can just add 5 minutes of cuddles before you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to sleep each night, I promise it will help you and your partner will likely love it too.

 

6) Go for a Run or Walk in Nature

I don’t know about you guys, but I find nature to be one of the most soothing things. It’s also such as great relaxation technique, that is completely free.

Same with exercise!

Depending on where you live in the world, there are so many places you can go to a dose of nature.

You can go to one of your local parks, a national park, a botanical garden – honestly anywhere that has trees, flowers, birds or even flowing water.

The reason we often feel refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed in nature is because of something called “negative ions”.

Despite their name, negative ions are great!

In addition to cleansing and purifying the air around us, the negative ions released by natural resources (eg. Running water, trees etc) are beneficial to our health.

According to Webmd, once negative ions reach our bloodstream, they are believed to produce biochemical reactions in the brain.

These reactions can increase levels of serotonin (the hormone that impacts our mood and feelings of happiness) and reduce depression, relieve stress and boost our energy throughout the day.

Exercise is also known for its stress relieving properties because it helps reduce stress hormones in our bodies such as adrenaline and cortisol.

It also stimulates the production of endorphins that make us feel awesome post exercise.

Pets make great Relaxation Techniques

 

7) Spend Quality With Pets, Family or Friends

The proven impact of pets and animals in general, on our mental health and happiness is legit. The truth is, pets make us happier….

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or are finding it hard to unwind, grab your favourite fluffy friend and give them some love.

By doing this, you’re also guaranteed some unconditional love back.

If you don’t have a fury friend, then spend some time with close friends or family.

Laughter is its own form of natural medicine and can also be an amazing stress relieving activity.

The great thing about pets, friends and family is that they also provide a distraction from what may be stressing you in your life.

You’ll need to deal with it eventually, but for now relaxing may better until you’re in the right head space or frame of mind to address the problem.

 

8) Watch a Movie / TV Series that You Love

This relaxation technique is not rocket science, but a great one nonetheless!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes after a busy day all I feel like doing is plonking on the couch and watching a soothing romance, drama or comedy.

Watching a movie is a great way to distract your mind temporarily by giving you time to detach from the thing stressing you, and instead tune in to something that you love.

Sure, Netflix and some other movie subscriptions cost money – but even if you don’t have access to those programs – most of us have at least one DVD lying around.

Alternatively, if you have nothing at home to watch, tune in to your local TV channels which usually play a movie on Friday and Saturday nights OR catch up a friend who does have some great movies.

Kill two birds with one stone by socialising with a friend and being able to unwind whilst watching a movie.

Listening to a music - Awesome relaxation techniques

9) Listen, Dance or Sing Along to Your Favourite Music

Of all of the relaxation techniques mentioned in this article, this one is a classic. It’s crazy how good it can make you feel!

There’s nothing more that I love to do than singing along to my favourite song or music playlist.

Depending on your degree of confidence, you can sing or dance it in most places…

There’s the car, your bedroom, whilst showering, in the bath, whilst shopping. There’s no shame in singing along to your favourite tunes.

You can even get creative like this guy…

Dancing Squirrel Meme

 

After all, we all do it!

And those who say they don’t are lying!! haha 

If you don’t have a favourite kind of music, my favourite backup genre is classical music.

I know some people aren’t all that keen on classical, but for those who are interested in trying it I can 100% recommend.

There are some great classical playlists available on Youtube, Spotify and Apple music, so do a search and see if you come across anything that tickles your fancy.

You can also listen to relaxing music instrumentals which contain guitar, nature sounds, etc. These can be a great option to look into as well.

 

Which Relaxation Techniques are Best to Start With?

 

If you’re a busy woman like me, trying to work out which relaxation technique is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck can be tricky.

Especially if you have limited time in your day.

Personally, my #1 recommendation would be meditation.

Why?

Because with meditation you can knock off 3-4 of these relaxation techniques in one.

I’m an “achieve as much as I can with as little as possible investment” kind of girl.

How about you?

With meditation you get to incorporate deep breathing, mindfulness and listen to relaxing music all in one.

You can also tick off “keeping warm” if you wrap yourself in a blanket or doona (bed spread) like I often do.

If you haven’t done meditation before, you’re probably wondering “what’s the easiest way to learn?”

Don’t worry girlfriend, I’ve got you.

 

How to Meditate When You’re Busy?

Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated.

Once you get the basic concepts down you’re pretty much good to go and can do it on your lonesome.

The best way to learn how to meditate is to get guidance from someone who has been where you are, meditates regularly and knows what they’re doing – aka ME!!

At Finding Happiness, we offer an awesome meditation for beginners course for our clients called Journey to Calm.

In this course, you will learn everything you need to know about meditation. You’ll also gain an insight into other relaxation techniques such as self-care and natural remedies that can relieve stress and don’t demand a lot of time.

Making time for ourselves and filling our cups up, is just as important what we do for others.

Icon Journey to Calm Course

Click here to start the Journey to Calm Course.

 

If you’re not ready to commit to the complete course, you do have another option – you can sign up for our free “lite” introductory version of the course below.

Now with this mini course, you’re not going to get as much value as you would from doing the complete course.

But, you’ll gain an insight into the basic concepts of meditation so you can decide if that’s something you want to do before jumping into the bigger course.

Get started by entering your details below.

 

Next check out are article about: 

The Proven Benefits of Deep Breathing for Meditation & Stress Relief

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!

Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:

  • Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
  • Your heart throbbing in your throat
  • Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
  • Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
  • AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
Yep, having anxiety can suck...

But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.

As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.

I get it….

But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.

It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.

Managing Anxiety - When people Don't Understand

And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.

I think that was the greatest pain of them all…

BUT!! There’s a silver lining!  I don’t feel that way anymore!

I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.

And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.

But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?

I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.

To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!

If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.

But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.

It’s such an amazing natural way to decrease anxiety symptoms, reduce stress and has a whole range of other benefits for general health and wellness. 

In this article, I’m going to highlight how and why meditation has helped me to decrease anxiety and how it can help you too.

 

How to Decrease Anxiety & Stress with Meditation 

If you’re struggling with managing anxiety, you probably experience at least one of the following thoughts in your day-to-day functioning:

That you/you’re:

  • Not good enough
  • Unattractive
  • Unloved or unlikable
  • Unworthy
  • Dumb or don’t have what it takes to be successful
  • Prone to fail
  • Difficult for other to understand
  • Have something wrong with you
  • Have no time or are too busy to do things you enjoy

Sound familiar???

The problem is that these thoughts are usually ingrained limiting beliefs that have developed at some point in your childhood or early years of life.

When you have anxiety, or are stressed, these thoughts are triggered regularly and can often occur in a scattered fashion.

The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and detach from your thoughts.

You are not your thoughts! 

That is something I have personally learned throughout my meditation journey.

How to Use Meditation to Help Decrease Anxiety and Stress


Why I Tried Meditation to Decrease Anxiety

In 2016, I went on the greatest adventure of my life!!

I spent 1 year backpacking around the world including South, East & North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Before my travels, I had read about the benefits of meditation for anxiety and had also heard about the powers of mindfulness.

Although I really wanted to decrease anxiety naturally, I felt that meditation was a bit too “woo woo” and wouldn’t work for me.

I also wasn’t a spiritual person, had very little extra time to invest into it and had some preconceived assumptions regarding what meditation was aboutwhich I later found out were complete myths!

Maybe right now, you’re feeling a similar way?

When working full-time, I’d put off trying meditation because I felt there were more pressing issues. But when I was travelling, I had no excuse…

I now HAD the time to give it a shot and didn’t have much to lose….

 

My First Experience Meditating #FAIL

Learning how to meditate was not easy, especially given I tried to be smart and do it all on my own (Not something I’d recommend if you’re just starting out too)

It took a lot of trial and error, time and I rarely had any idea what I was doing!

And because I didn’t have a dedicated meditation space, I felt so paranoid that:

  1. My room-mates would wake to find me looking like some uncoordinated passed out starfish on the floor
  2. People would think I’m dead or passed out and would notify the hostel staff
  3. Travellers would walk in on me, ruining my practice, focus, and also causing a big red face of embarrassment (on my end!)

 

My Experience Meditating Now

Now, several years later, I have developed a steady morning meditation routine. 

And what can I say, it’s freaking awesome!!

I love to meditate in the morning. I find it really sets me up for the day.

These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.

Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety and Manage Stress

The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation

1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax. 

One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.

Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.

 

2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts

Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.

 

3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better 

I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.

Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.

 

4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself 

Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.

I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.

I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.

 

How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress

 

Something to remember…

Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.

There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!

Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.

But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.

Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.

Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.

Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.

Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.

I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.

Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.

If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.

How to Meditate to Manage Anxiety & Stress

How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner

Wanna know what’s awesome?  Yeah you do…

Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.

You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.

I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.

Not ideal, but proves it can be done.

To start a meditation practice, all you need is:

  • Yourself;
  • A quiet place to sit or lie down;
  • and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.

And that person is me! Yay!!

If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.

Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners

Icon Journey to Calm Course

In the course, Journey to Calm, you’ll get to learn about the following:

  • How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
  • About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
  • How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
  • About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up again
  • How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
  • How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
  • How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
  • Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
  • Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
  • How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in just 14 days.

Click here to learn more about the Journey to Calm Course. 

 

If you’re not ready to jump into the complete course, you can alternatively sign up to our FREE / Lite version of the course below. 

In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, the benefits and why it is so great for decreasing anxiety and stress symptoms.

Like most things in life, you can never be 100% sure what the outcome will be until you give something a go…

Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

Since the age of 16 anxiety and stress have been a common occurrence for me. 
Just like many of you I’m sure…

At this age you start to enter the world of VCE (Year 11 and 12) and all of a sudden you’re required to decide exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life…AND start making plans to get realise it…

All within those last 2 years of school – crikey! Talk about pressure.

Then by the time you’re 18, you’re required to start “adulting”, which can come as quite a shock to some of us.

  • No more pocket money….
  • No more parents driving us around when we feel like it….
  • No more packed lunches…
  • No more 2 week boyfriends… (ok maybe that was just me)
  • And you officially get your drivers license….

Eeee shits getting serious….

Then, as we enter our 20’s we hit that point where we need to make some big life decisions including whether we go to uni (for most), work full-time, buy a house or even starting a family.

To be honest, life in my early teens had been pretty sweet, but once I turned 16, I was hit with a mass of self-inflicted stress and anxiety.

The kind of stress and anxiety that has a massive toll on our bodies – yep you know what I’m talking about…

It was in my 20’s that I started to discover natural remedies for stress and anxiety, and goodness me, it was one of the best things I did.

So here’s an insight into 10 helpful natural remedies for stress and anxiety.

 

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

If you know me personally, you’d know I’m not a big fan of taking prescription medications. This is why I rely on natural remedies and techniques to help cope with my anxiety and stress symptoms.

It may not be the be end all solution for everyone…I get that.

But, these natural remedies can definitely help you to reduce your symptoms, even if used along more conventional medicines.

So without further ado, let’s kick straight into it.

P.S > If you prefer to watch videos over reading text you can also check out the video below:

 

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation– originally an ancient Buddhist practice used by various religions around the world, but as of the last few years, has become a mainstream therapy for treating stress and anxiety.

It is a great natural technique where you’re key focus is to bring yourself into the present moment, and usually involves bringing your attention to your breath.

There are many scientifically proven benefits of meditation, including its ability to:

  • Provide stress and anxiety relief
  • Slow racing thoughts and overthinking
  • Help you gain greater clarity, focus and concentration
  • Promote greater happiness, well-being, a positive mindset, greater quality of life and inner peace
  • Lower blood pressure, cholesterol and your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Help improve sleep and insomnia
  • Improves your resilience and patience,

For anxiety sufferers, the practice of mindfulness is an easy technique to add to your daily routine.

Types of Meditation - Loving Kindness Meditation Image

How to Meditate for Beginners

If you’d like to learn how to meditate, but need help grasping the basics, I encourage you to sign up for our “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This course is awesome because it not only teaches you how to meditate, but also helps you overcome many of the challenges newbies experience and build a fool-proof meditation routine.

You can read more about the Journey to Calm course here.

 

2. Get Off Your Phone!

It’s easy to forget how dependent we’ve become with the technology in our lives. Often most apparent by the immediate panic and worry that we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone. Followed shortly by the relief when we realise it’s been sitting right next to us the whole time…

Phew, the relief! 

This constant need to check our electronic devices, regardless of whether there’s an alert or not, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Even just idly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing your life to others can make you feel a sense of stress.

Sometimes it worries me with how intensely people’s phones seem to control them.

And, no! I don’t mean in a crazy sci-fi thriller kind of way.

What I mean is how so many of us multi-task with our phones:

  • Watching TV…but also scrolling the social feeds on our phones
  • Typing a task at work…and then suddenly feeling the need to check our phone
  • Walking down the street…with our face in our phones not even looking where we’re gong
  • And the worst of them all, driving….and texting on the phone.

Look guys, I admit I’m no angel! I’ve been a sucker for all of these things too.

But it’s something we all need to mindful of, especially if we’re wanting to reduce stress and anxiety on our bodies.

 

 

3. Get Yourself Some Herbal Teas

Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard about the power of herbal teas before.

But, as a natural remedy for anxiety, herbal teas are just so simple and easy to add into your daily life.

They’re not expensive and some have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms; promoting relaxation and improving sleep.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, revealed that patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks, saw a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms versus patients taking a placebo.

That’s why chamomile tea can be a great natural remedy to look into if you need help relaxing and de-stressing in the evening.

4. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Essential oils are another natural therapy that can be used for stress and anxiety relief. It is one I absolutely LOVE and rely on almost daily.

Of the many essential oils out there, Lavender, Chamomile and Cedarwood are known to help:

  • Reduce your heart rate
  • Reduce tension in the body
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep

Another great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in such a variety of ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

They can be smelt, inhaled, burned, diffused, put in a bath, dabbed on your skin, put on your pillow etc.

But just remember, this is mainly for essential oils only. Many fragrance oils are not recommended for your skin or in the bath so be aware of this when looking to buy some new oils.

Related Articles:

 

5. Spend Time in Nature or With Animals

Why is it that we feel so refreshed and happy after spending some time outside and amongst nature?

Well, a key reason is that nature including waterfalls and streams are known to release negative ions into their air.

Once negative Ions reach our bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin in our brain. This is said to help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy.

So, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a moment to get outside and go for a walk in a nature reserve or park.

You’ll feel so much better for it.

In addition to getting up and close with nature, pets are also great for reducing stress. They offer companionship, love and support.

Research has shown that pets can be beneficial to people experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety.

 

6. Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

They are believed to have numerous benefits, including their ability to counteract the positive ions released by many electronic appliances in our home environments.

Himalayan Salt Lamps are also believed to:

  • Improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety symptoms
  • Purify the air; restoring and preserving natural air quality
  • Correct the imbalance of ions in our home environments
  • Neutralise the Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) that we get in our homes, due to having extensive electrical devices surrounding us
  • Reduce symptoms of asthma, allergies and other illnesses
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost serotonin levels

Himalayan Lamps provide similar benefits to what we discussed above about nature and negative ions. However, they provide those benefits in the comfort of your own home.

Related Articles:

Meditation Resources - Himalayan Salt Lamp

7. Exercise

Yeah, yeah. Another one you’ve probably heard of before.

However, for me this one has been HUGE!!

In my case, I need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week in order to keep a lid on the box of my anxiety monster.

If I miss a day or can’t exercise for a week due to sickness or another event, I immediately notice a change in my anxiety levels. Something inside me just feels different and my mind can start to race unnecessarily.

As has been proven on many occasions, regular exercise is good for the brain and is a powerful cure for both depression and anxiety – immediate and in the long term.

Some even say that just 20 – 30 mins of exercise daily can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.

This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break or a quick gym session before or after work. it doesn’t need to be a burden on your life. Especially if you’re not really one who is very keen on exercise.

My advice is to just DO IT!!

Stop being a lazy couch potato, get your heart rate up and let’s burn off some of that anxious energy!

 

8. Eat a Healthy Diet

Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet. It’s not exactly a new concept.

Yet, with the amount of conflicting information about health and diet on the internet, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about what to do.

From an anxiety perspective, diet can have a HUGE impact on your energy levels and nerves.

For anxiety sufferers, it is recommended that you focus your diet on:

  • Whole foods
  • Lean Meats & Seafood
  • Leafy Greens
  • Foods rich in omega-3
  • Reducing your sugar intake
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol

According to Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of “The Happiness Diet, “people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.”

I don’t disagree with you there, Doctor. I definitely get anxious and #HANGRY when I’m hungry. Bring on the meal…

In the book, they also highlight how during anxiety attacks, our blood sugar can start to drop.

This is why having a snack can be the best thing to do if you feel your symptoms coming on (but of course, avoid unhealthy sugary snacks).

Over the last year, I’ve cut out quite a bit of sugar from my diet. So, now, when eating something naughty like a chocolate bar or a snack high in sugar, my heart starts to race and I feel anxious.

This never used to happen to me before!!

I believe it’s related to the sudden hit of energy you get from consuming sugar. This is why I now try to avoid eating those things as best I can.

Note: Being a chocoholic, this can be really hard!!

 

9. Relaxation Exercises

Breathing deeply and also engaging in other relaxation exercises such as body scanning and stretching can help to relieve tension in the body as a result of stress or anxiety.

 

Yogic/Deep Breathing

If you suffer from anxiety, deep breathing is a great habit to get into. Also termed “yogic breathing” or the “4-7-8 breath”, deep breathing has been shown to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.

One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. It also helps to slow down your body.

To do the 4-7-8 breath:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth
  • Then inhale through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
  • Repeat several times in a row until you start to notice that you feel a greater sense of calm.

Body Scanning – Relaxing Different Muscle Groups

Some people unconsciously tense muscles in their body, such as clenching their jaw, in response to anxiety. To combat this, try lying in a comfortable position on the floor, close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe.

Can you identify any areas in particular that feel tense?

If so, slowly constrict and relax each muscle group, beginning with the toes and working up to the shoulders and jaw. Do this for a few moments.

 

10. Self-Care – Making Time for the Things You Love!

Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after treating yourself to some time in a sauna, a bath, or a steam room? Or even just by cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea?

Well, the sense of relaxation you feel is associated with the release of tension from your body as a result of feeling warm.

Research suggests that sensations of warmth boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

One study in particular, revealed that “whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after work, or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being.”

In addition to seeking some warmth, allocating time for self-care and downtime is really important as part of our weekly routines.

Whether it’s watching a movie, painting your nails, getting a massage, meditation, yoga or going for a walk, making the time for these things will help to make you feel much more relaxed.

I guarantee it!

 

So, there you have it, 10 Natural remedies for anxiety & stress relief.

I hope that you now have some ideas of things you can try to aid in managing your anxiety naturally.

Note: When trying these remedies, keep in mind that some remedies may work better for you than others. Everyone is different. Ensure to try several different remedies before deciding if they work for you.

For chronic anxiety sufferers, you may want to suss out some other treatment options as highlighted below.

Other than that, I wish you all the best with giving natural remedies a go!!

If you would like to learn more about meditation, we cover this an more in our free Journey to Calm course below. 

 

 

Other Treatment Options

For those who suffer from chronic anxiety, you may require some additional treatment or therapy to prevent anxiety from interfering with your daily functioning. This is where it can be necessary to seek advice from a doctor about your symptoms.

The great thing is that Anxiety is becoming much less of a taboo topic these days. So, don’t feel awkward about seeing someone about it.

Even though mine isn’t chronic, I went and got some therapy myself (in the earl days).

It helped me to identify my triggers and make positive lifestyle changes. 

It could be the same for you!

You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has also been very effective for anxiety sufferers. I personally haven’t tried this though.

CBT is all about helping you to understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviour. And then, replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives.

Finally, there is always medication. However, for me, this would be my last resort. But maybe it’s the best solution for you.

Speak to a doctor and they will be able to help you to explore your options.

All the best!!

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

As an anxiety sufferer and chronic stress-head, I understand the frustration of not being able to calm your mind or relax after a stressful day at the office.

Thoughts on constant churn, muscles tense, sweaty palms, a tightening chest or churning stomach.

Yep, it truly sucks!

Essential Oils to help calm and crazy anxious mind

But, thankfully I’ve found a solution that is natural and pretty easy to do Boo-Yah!

It’s time to fill your room with the nourishing aroma of natural 100% pure essential oils…
I’ll talk in more detail about essential oils for anxiety below.

Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety

I can tell you from my own first-hand experience, essential oils are a great natural remedy to reduce anxiety and stress-related symptoms.

Although there isn’t much scientific evidence available to consistently show the exact link between essential oils and anxiety / stress relief, I personally find essential oils have a really nice relaxing effect on me.

I guess it’s each to their own….

If you find that beautiful smells and aromas can have a soothing effect on your mind and your emotions, get on the essential oils train – I promise you won’t regret it.

Essential oils can be used in a diverse range of ways too. Whether it’s, diffusing them whilst you meditate, burning them whilst in the bath, diffusing them in your bed room to promote relaxation or dabbing them on your pillow to aid sleep.

If you prefer learning visually, you can watch a video version of this article below:

 

Here’s a list of 6 relaxing Essential Oils that you may love to add to your tool kit:

 

1. Lavender

This essential oil is so versatile. I love it!

Not only is Lavender great for enhancing sleep, but clinical trials have revealed that it has relaxing and soothing properties that can help to:

  • Relieve stress, depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Reduce hypertension, muscle tension and panic attacks
  • Reduce Irritability and restlessness
  • Calm the nervous system and an overstimulated mind – which for us anxiety folk, is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

And, if that isn’t enough, some say that it can even help people with migraines.

If you don’t have a lavender essential oils, this is a staple essential oil to add to your tool kit.

 

2. Ylang-Ylang

I have many essential oil blends containing Ylag Ylang, yet I am 100% certain that I mispronounce it every time I say it.

This weird-named essential oil comes from the native “Ylang Ylang” tree in Indonesia and is best known for its medicinal and cosmetic uses.

As an essential oil for anxiety, Ylang–Ylang is said to promote relaxation by reducing feelings of hypertension, stress and frustration.

It contains sedative elements that aid in reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body.

Interestingly, it can also be used as a/an:

  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic to prevent infections
  • Treatment for insomnia

Cool huh!? Definitely worth adding this one to your Essential Oils stash too!

Ylang Ylang Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

3. Lemon

Lemon is another essential oil known to have relaxation inducing properties that:

  • Fight stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improve your immune system

Some people don’t like the smell of lemon (Take exhibit A; my boyfriend), but personally, I find it refreshing and uplifting.

When meditating, my favourite essential oil blend contains lemon as a key ingredient and I find it really helps with maintaining concentration and focus.

 

4. Bergamot

Of the fragrance and oil blends I have, I actually don’t have Bergamot as an essential oil on its own.

It seems to be a popular one to blend with other oils – such as lavender, lemon and eucalyptus (which is a blend I have). Apparently, it can also be found in Earl Grey Tea.

The benefits of the Bergamot essential oil include its ability to:

  • Ease stress, anxiety, agitation and insomnia
  • Help soothe an anxious and busy mind
  • Boost your mood

This is why it is often used as a natural remedy to treat depression.

I actually found out recently, that my mum has bergamot plants in our garden…Iif only I knew how to create my own bergamot essential oil concoction. hmmmm…

 

5. Frankincense

Frankincense, another very versatile essential oil.

Its sedative properties can be great for:

  • Reducing irregular breathing or a tight chest due to fear, nerves or anxiety
  • A natural anti-depressant
  • Providing emotional relief 
  • Soothing the mind
  • Increasing focus and patience

If you’re interested in meditation, it can be a great oil to burn or infuse during your practice.

Frankincense Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

6. Roman Chamomile

Mmmmm Chamomile...one of my favourites.

Many of you would know of Chamomile as being a delicious herbal tea, but did you know that it also makes a great essential oil for anxiety and stress relief too?

If you’re a herbal tea-lover like I am, you’d be familiar with some of the main benefits of Chamomile, such as:

  • Relaxing muscles
  • Calming the nervous system
  • Promoting better sleep

It can also help to:

  • Treat skin conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • and much more

According to Dr.Axe (a doctor of natural medicine), Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.

 

 

What to Look Out For When Buying Essential Oils

Essential oils are now available all over the place. This can come in handy, but can also be a disadvantage.

Here’s why…

Due to the growing popularity and demand for essential oils all over the world, there are more and more companies starting to sell “look-alike” and impure essential oils. 

These companies of course continue to market their overly diluted and tainted oils as 100% pure, because the industry is not strictly regulated at the moment so they feel they can get away with it.

This can make things very confusing!!! Especially for beginners.

There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between pure essential oils and fragrance oils.

If you’re a nature bum like me, you DON’T want to purchase some shitty fragrance oils that smell like fake rose, fake lavender or something that was whipped up at your grandma’s house… No offence grandma…

If you’re wanting top spec, high quality essential oils, be sure to look out for the following:

  • 100% natural & pure –Find a brand that contains only aromatic plant compounds and not any additional fragrances, fillers, artificial ingredients or synthetic oils.
  • Try to find essential oils that have been extracted using more natural methods.
  • Purchase a brand with a good reputation
  • Keep an eye out for sellers who reference the scientific botanical names of the oils rather than a generic name, but this can be a hit or miss with most companies not referring to scientific names.
  • Check whether the oils are free of pesticides or other chemical residues
  • The oils should by GC/MS Tested.This report shows all the chemical components that make up the oil. This should reveal oil there are any impurities in the oil.

+ MLM Companies

There’s also some essential oils brands that are network marketing companies. That’s why you may have noticed that DoTERRA is everywhere on Pinterest and the internet…because they have often bloggers, influencers and other people to act as reps for their products.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does mean that it gives them an advantage over some of the other really good quality brands out there that are smaller. It also doesn’t mean that their products are better than everything else or the “be all, end all” for essential oils.

So, what brands are good options to check out???

I did some research and stalking on Amazon, and below have highlighted the Essential Oils brands I would go for personally (if you’re planning to take advantage of the convenience of buying online).

 

 

A Review of 5 Popular Brands on Amazon

At home, I have over 15 different essential oils and blends, of various brands, which I absolutely love!

If you don’t have any, looking at a package option can be a really great idea. Here are some of the top brands that stood out to me:

 

~ The Best of the Best – The Winner! ~

 

#1 – Edens Garden – 6 Essential Oils Set 

Edens Garden is another pretty well known and growing brand in the essential oils space.

The have a beautiful 6-set of Essential Oils comes with Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Sweet Orange and Tea Tree. This gives you some great variety, especially if you are new to essential oils and are not quite sure what scents you life or dislike yet.

 The Good

  • Their mission is to sell products that are 100% pure and therapeutic grade.
  • NO add bases, fillers, additives, etc to any of their oils! They try to keep the oils in their purest forms.
  • All oils are GC/MS tested
  • Their products are sourced from organic growers and distillers and extract the oils using steam distillation or cold pressed methods. They avoid synthetic additives – which is a good sign in my books.
  • They don’t engage in MLM or pyramid selling and were actually voted the #1 Non-MLM essential oil company
  • 10% of profits are given to organisations which they feel are helping to build a better tomorrow
  • Customer reviews on Amazon say that the oils smell great and that they appear to be high quality.
  • The price is also really reasonable.

The Bad

  • Some customers have complained about the smell of the oils saying that overtime they either disappear or start to smell chemically. But this seems to be a common trend with all oils really.
  • Apparently, their customer service isn’t great, leaving some customers quite pissed off.
  • Some have experienced issues with leaky bottles on delivery.

The Bottom Line

From what I can see, 81% of all customer reviews have been 5-Stars. This is a lot more compared to some of the other essential oil brands I looked at.  The bottom line for me – the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

In terms of the concerns regarding delivery (leaking or broken bottles), I think this is a common issue with Amazon and essential oil products in general. I’m not going to hold that against company itself. The changing smell comments are also interesting.

If you’re looking to get started with a reasonably priced, diverse and reliable essential oils product, I’d get started with these.

View on Amazon here.

 

Other Options

2. Plant Therapy – 6 Set of Organic Essential Oils

Plant Therapy is quite a well known brand for providing good quality essential oils. Their set contains 6 different essential oils including: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Lavender.

This is again another diverse set of oils for anyone who is a beginner to essential oils, or is unsure what kinds of smells they like.

The Good

  • Company claims that all oils are 100% pure and undiluted, except for their roll-on products which are diluted for safe use on skin.
  • Oils are apparently non-GMO and USDA Organic – but not sure whether there are such things as GMO and non-organic oils! Haha 🙂
  • Are GC/MS Tested
  • Offer some “KidSafe”formulas and options in addition to their usual oils
  • They have certified Aromatherapists on staff
  • Plant Therapy offer a vast range of different sized oils – from 2.5ml-10ml and 10-30ml.
  • Reasonable price and great reviews on Amazon.
  • Many customers state that the quality of the oils is really good for the price and that they smell really nice too.

The Bad

  • On the contrary, some customers on Amazon have said that the oils smell bad, are really faint or disappear after a while when burning them.
  • Some have mentioned leaking products on delivery which they found disappointing, but this a common problem with products bought online.

The Bottom Line

The Plant Therapy oils could be another good option to go for. They have many positives associated with their brand and products. The main negatives that customers highlight really come down to personal preference and opinion.

The “leaky” delivery concern is a common issue across many essential products on Amazon. This one could be a great on to consider for your essential oils purchase.

View on Amazon here.

 

3. Natrogix Bliss – 9 Essential Oils Set

I personally hadn’t heard of Natrogix’s Essential Oils before doing my research on Amazon.  Yet, they appear to be pretty popular. At the time of writing this article, they have almost 1,500 customer reviews with 74% positive. Jeeezus!

Natrogix offer a 9-set of Essential Oils which is think is great and really gives you a good diversity at a reasonable price. You get Tea Tree oil, Lemon, Lavender Sweet Orange, Rosemary Lemon Grass, Frankincense, Peppermint and Eucalyptus.

 

The Good

  • They claim that their oils are 100% pure with NO pesticides, herbicides, GMOs or other additives.
  • All oils are GC/MS tested and they give you codes and reports so you can see the results
  • Have super cute packaging
  • They include an e-book to help educate you about the oils, various recipes and general safety etc
  • Supposedly have good customer service
  • They have a really great and informative website: https://natrogix.com/about-us/

The Bad

  • Many have shared concerns regarding the quality of the oils. Some have stated that they appear to be highly diluted or impure.
  • Some have complained about the oils pouring out of the bottles really fast which causes them to go through them really quickly.
  • I can’t find any information about their extraction methods either, so not sure how natural their process is

The Bottom Line

The website, the e-book provided and so many other things make me want to buy this product. But, there are a few things including their extraction methods and the bad smelling reviews that make me unsure.

They also mention that “smell isn’t everything about essential oils”, which could put a lot of customers off buying. For me personally… I buy essential oils because I want them to smell good. Otherwise what’s the point! haha. I don’t want my house our bedroom to smell like “shite”…

Having over 1,000 5-Star Amazon reviews is pretty awesome in my eyes and must mean something. So, I’d probably give these guys a go.

View on Amazon here

 

#4 – doTERRA – 10 Essentials Oils Family Set (Approx. $136)

“doTERRA” is one of the most popular brands of essential oils out at the moment. Some might say it has become a hip trend of it’s own.

This 10 essential oil set by doTerra contains Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Oregano and Frankincense, as well as a few different essential oil blends; Deep Blue, doTERRA Breathe, DigestZen and doTERRA On Guard.

This would offer beginners some great diversity in trying different essential oils. But, do keep in mind that the bottles in this set are only 5mL rather than the usual 10mL of most gift sets.

The Good

  • They pride themselves on providing high quality oils
  • Classify their oils as being CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, but I think this may be based on their own criteria rather than being an industry-wide test.
  • They extract their oils through steam distillation and cold pressing – which is good.
  • Customers have said that they like how the gift set contains short descriptions about the products
  • Comes in nice and secure packaging

The Bad

  • Not sure if GC/MS tested
  • Some customers say it’s a waste of money
  • Issues with some bottles not being full or of equal volumes
  • The kit only comes with 5mL bottles, whereas many other kits contain 10mL.
  • Although you may be getting a larger variety of oils they are all super tiny in size.
  • They are a network marketing company.

The Bottom Line

If you’re after a reliable and quality essential oil for a pretty EXPENSIVE price, then go for it! There are many happy customers of doTERRA and they are popular, so I think in general, it is a pretty safe option.

Network marketing companies aren’t all bad and sometimes they do have really high quality products. But there are some dodgy brands on the internet too that unfortunately give the industry a bad name.

It’s just something to keep in mind compared to other brands.

View on Amazon here

 

#5 – Fabulous Frannie – 14 Essential Oil Set (Approx $25)

Fabulous Frannie is a relatively popular essential oils brand on Amazon.

I had personally never heard of them before, but they have almost 1,000 customer reviews, which I guess, is a pretty good effort.

This 14 set of essential oils contains Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Tea Tree.

For the super cheap price, I feel that this could be a bit too good to be true – but who knows.

The Good

  • They claim that their oils are therapeutic grade with no fillers, additives or carriers added
  • The oils are GC/MS tested
  • Many customers on Amazon have commented that the oils have exceeded their expectations.
  • Despite the cheap price, they also say that they love the smell and quality of the oils.
  • Comes in cute packaging
  • Responsive and helpful customer service

The Bad

  • I can’t find any information about how they extract the oils which is a red flag for me
  • They claim they are vegan and cruelty free – but this is a bit odd given essential oils come from plants not animals. Therefore, of course they’re vegan!! Derrrr!!! Unless they are referring to the oils being tested on animals which if I’m honest, I have no idea about…
  • Inconsistent volumes of essential oils in the bottles
  • Inconsistency with the names of the oils – with the ads saying pine oil, but then the bottles saying “fir needle.”
  • Customer complaints about leaking bottles on delivery (standard for oils it seems) and poor quality oils. 

The Bottom Line

If these oils are legit, then they are at an incredible price! I’m not sure I’m convinced that they’re 100% pure essential oils. But, I could be wrong… 

I can’t find any information about where they source their ingredients from, or how the oils are extracted. Their website really doesn’t have much detail about the products at all which does concern me.

My gut is telling me that there could be additional fragrances weaved in here, but it’s hard to know. Could be a good buy if you’re on a tight budget.

View on Amazon here

 

So, there you go!!

There are many other essential oils brands that you can research, but these are the main ones that stood out to me and were popular on Amazon.

It took me a ton of time putting this together, so I hope that you find the info helpfu and valuable so you don’t end up buying any dud oils.

All the best!!

Anxiety vs an Anxiety Disorder – What’s the difference?

Anxiety vs an Anxiety Disorder – What’s the difference?

I’ll never forget the first day I was told I had anxiety…

I was in high-school, trying to deal with the divorce of my parents, achieve high grades for my VCE and navigate the varying friendship groups and at times, the bitchiness that comes with high school life.

I would regularly worry about my future and whether being an “anxious” person made me weird to others, unrelateable or unlikeable.

Although relatively popular and with a large friendship group, I’d arrive at social situations feeling nervous, sweaty palmed and worried about saying something stupid, leaving myself humiliated or centre of attention.

I was afraid of being judged and cared so much about what others thought of me, and whether they could sense my insecurities through my confident facade.

I rarely spoke to anyone about my anxiety because I thought that I was on my own and that it was unusual.

But now, as I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve learned that every day anxiety is actually a really common thing!

If you suffer from anxiety, I truly want you to know that you’re never alone or need to suffer in silence. 

In fact, anxiety is considered one of the most common mental health issues across the world.

Below, I’ll explain the differences between anxiety / an anxiety disorder as well as a really powerful way you can overcome anxiety symptoms naturally.

Related Articles:

 

 

The Prevalence of Anxiety Across the World

Here’s some interesting facts about anxiety and anxiety disorders:

  • An estimated 284 million people across the world have been diagnosed with having an anxiety disorder. And of that number, around 62 percent (170 million) are female (Our World in Data, 2017)
  • In Australia, 4% of all adults are affected by an anxiety disorder every year, making it the most common health condition in Australia (Sane.org).
  • Within the US, anxiety disorders are said to affect 40 million people.

This makes anxiety / anxiety disorders the most prevalent mental health or neuro-developmental disorder in the world!! That’s pretty crazy!

Here’s a break down of anxiety disorders by country:

Despite what some will lead you to believe, anxiety is a really common thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed about or concerned about.

Most people are expected to experience some form of anxiety in their lifetime whether it be every day anxiety, or from an anxiety disorder…

Which I’ll explain in more detail below.

 

What is Everyday Anxiety?

As a rule of thumb, feelings of anxiety come as a natural response to stressors or unstable conditions in our lives. It’s our body’s natural way to respond to fear and to try and keep us safe.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time and there are certain levels of anxiety that are both normal and even helpful in certain situations.

For me personally, I know I’m feeling anxious when:

  • My heart rate increases or I can sense my heart throbbing in my chest
  • I can’t put words together to describe how I feel, causing me to close up to others
  • Worrisome thoughts consume and overwhelm me
  • I start overthinking and excessively planning for events or situations
  • Feel tension building in my chest and back
  • I’m over-analysing the behaviour of others around me
  • My instinct is to regain control
  • I become irritable and overly emotional
  • Feel hot and sweaty

There are many types of anxiety symptoms that you may feel.

You could feel anxious because you have a big exam or deadline coming up, you’re overloaded or stressed at work, you have a big social event coming up, you’re buying a house for the first time or because you need to face a personal fear (Eg. Getting an injection or climbing heights).

In these instances, anxiety is a normal part of life. It is rational, usually short-lived and is unlikely to continue after the stressor is gone.

Why Do We Feel Anxious?

Feeling anxious in certain situations, especially those requiring you to face a potentially harmful or worrying event, is not only normal but necessary for survival.

Back in our caveman days, our brain used to be on high alert for predators and incoming danger. When sensed, it would trigger an alarm and physiological response within us, usually consisting of:

  • An increased heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to our surroundings
  • Additional sweating
  • A quick release of adrenaline

All of these responses were intended to help trigger our bodies into action. Often called the flight-or-fight response. This rapid response would enable us to physically confront or flee threats in a few seconds and get to safety.

Nowadays, our environment has changed, but our bodies are wired exactly the same way.

So, rather than running away from lions or tigers, our stress response is triggered by our jobs, life, money, family life, relationships and health crises.

The problem with this is that rather than only being switched on for a short period of time or a certain event (Ie. to escape the threat) our stress response is being activated for longer periods of time.

Now, many find it difficult to switch off, even after the stressor is gone.

With anxiety, the fight-flight response is overstimulated, depleting your internal resources. This causes you to feel exhausted, tense and irritable by the time you finally settle down.

This is very different compared to someone with an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Meme

 

What are Anxiety Disorders?

According to Anxiety.org, people who suffer from anxiety-related disorders feel a great degree of fear, worry or nervousness, even after the stressor has subsided.

In some cases, they may even feel unsafe due to intrusive, extreme, negative, unrealistic or exaggerated thought patterns.

People with anxiety disorders tend to worry about hypothetical disasters or perceived threats rather than real ones. They overthink and “over plan” in an attempt to prevent something from happening.

They may choose not leave their house for an extended period due to fear.

Anxiety disorders often interfere with the individual’s daily functioning and activities including going to school, work, going outside and with developing close relationships. It can also affect how they process emotions and behaviours.

Anxiety disorders are believed to develop over time and can be caused by a combination of factors including:

  • A family history of the disorder
  • Physical health
  • Personality traits, or a
  • Stressful life event or traumatic experiences.

Understanding the difference between everyday anxiety symptoms and an anxiety disorder is important and is why you should seek the services of a licensed health professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Self-diagnosis is never a good idea.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Here is a brief list of some common anxiety-related disorders. I’m not going to go into detail about them all in this article but will explain them in more depth in a future article.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder: Usually involves excessive worrying about anything and everything and not something in particular. It could even be worrying about worrying in certain cases.
  • Social anxiety disorder: This relates to people who avoid social situations due to fears of embarrassment, doing something wrong and being judged by others, often resulting in them pulling out of events.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorders: People who have this disorder often experience repeated panic attacks, and feel extreme and anxiety worry about having future attacks
  • Specific phobias: Relates to an intense and often irrational fear of a certain object or situation (e.g. Needles, Birds)
  • Agoraphobia: Is a disorder related to feeling extremely anxious about having a panic attack in certain situations and not being able to escape or get help

 

How to Overcome Anxiety!

Since being diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve tried many things to regain control over my thoughts and emotions. I was never interested in medication, and luckily my anxiety has never been bad enough to warrant it.

Of the natural activities and remedies I tried, meditation, mindfulness, positive self-talk and holistic health have had the greatest change in my life.

Since learning about mindfulness and how to meditate, I am SUCH A DIFFERENT PERSON!!

  • My stress & anxiety symptoms have decreased
  • I feel happier and more content than ever
  • I have a better understanding of myself and my body
  • I am more self-aware and aware of others
  • I have greater control over my thoughts and emotions
  • I find pleasure and gratitude in the small things
  • I’m not as impacted by others or their opinions of me
  • I’m much less go go go all the time  and can now find a state of peace and comfort that I’ve never had before
  • I’m more focused and productive than ever
  • I’m more resilient in stressful times and able to keep a level head space.

Meditation has truly been a god send for me…

That is why I created the “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course am now working my way towards becoming a certified meditation teacher.

Icon Journey to Calm Course

You can read more about how I use meditation to manage my anxiety & stress here.

My aim is to help other women to better manage their stress and anxiety symptoms naturally, before turning to medication. 

In the Journey to Calm course, I cover everything you need to know regarding meditation, building a meditation routine and reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms naturally.

If you feel:

  • Tired of feeling stressed and anxious, but have no idea where to start or what to do,
  • Constantly overwhelmed, or like you’re too busy / don’t have time to unwind,
  • Unhappy or unfulfilled in your current life or with yourself, but are not completely sure why,
  • That there may be something wrong with you or you’ll have to deal with anxiety for the rest of your life,
  • You just can’t seem to stay MOTIVATED,

You’re in the right place!

 

Start your meditation journey with the FREE Lite version of the complete Journey to Calm Course, below.

In this 5-day mini version of the course, you’ll learn about the basics of meditation and how meditation & mindfulness can be used to better cope with stress and anxiety symptoms. 

Get started today towards becoming a happier, healthier and calmer version of you.

Related Articles:

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Sadly, chronic stress and anxiety are becoming a normal occurrence within society these days.

With many finding it more and more difficult to manage the multiple demands in their lives and find stress relief.

In Australia alone, nearly 5 million people are feeling more stressed than ever due to a lack of sleep, work pressures, juggling too many things at once and even expectations set by social media, a Medibank health study revealed. 

Prolonged stress not only causes us to feel awful, highly strung and on edge a lost of the time, but it can also severely damage our health in 3 ways.

This is why it is more important than ever to take back control and learn of ways to manage stress effectively.

In this article, I’ll be highlighting 10 stress relief tips to help you regain control over your life and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms during your day. 

But firstly, let’s cover the basics so we’re all on the same page.

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc).

For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health. If you’d like to read more about how prolonged stress negatively impacts our health, you can click here. 

 So you’re probably thinking, “Ok great, thanks! But how do I actually get better at managing my stress!!”

 I’d now love to dig deep into some stress relief tips for you guys, that you can use in your daily life to better overcome and manage you stress and/or anxiety symptoms.

 

10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

 Here is a list of stress relief tips to help you cope more effectively with stress during the busyness of your week ahead. 

 1) Identify the Stressor

 The first step to coping with stress is to identify what it is that is stressing you out. 

Is it:

  • Your job
  • Money frustrations
  • Excessive exercise
  • Self-expectation
  • Pressure from others
  • Family conflits
  • Juggling too much at once, etc.

 

A little tip to remind yourself…

If it’s: 

  • Out of your control – there’s not point stressing yourself over it. If you can’t control it, learn to let it go.
  • Within your control and you can change – take note of it and address it.

 Yes, I know! Sometimes this is easier said than done. BUT, the more you train your brain to do this as a method of reflection, the more you’ll reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing in your life.

 I love this quote:

“Grant me the serenity  to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things  I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  – Reinhold Niebuhr

 

Another way to flip your stressor into a positive is to ask yourself: “Is this something I can be grateful for?”

 

2) Choose How You Respond to the Stress

 The second stress relief tip is better management of HOW YOU RESPOND to the stress in your life. 

How do you typically respond to stress? Do you get:

  • Angry?
  • Emotional?
  • Anxious?
  • Passive aggressive?
  • Introverted?
  • Super calm/?

The way that you respond to a stressful stimulus can be productive or destructive, as can the way you perceive the world around you.

If you constantly see yourself as being victimised or attacked, the emotions you feel in response to stress could act as a catalyst for even further stress and even create havoc to your body.

Whereas, if you take the same experience but perceive it as a chance to grow, learn and empower yourself, you’ll likely find yourself coping in a much more effective and productive way. 

Our expectations on ourselves and our own perceptions of how urgent something is can heighten stress. In some circumstances it may not even be needed.

Sometimes, I find myself setting unachievable deadlines for my to-do list for no apparent reason. It’s almost like I like to be running around with a sense of urgency. In this case, my stress is all self-inflicted.

I’d love you to take a moment to reflect on how you typically respond to stress. Rather than stressing yourself out in response to a demanding situation, is there a better way you could respond?

Ask yourself:

  • What can I do to feel better about this?
  • How can I feel less stressed right now?

“Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

 

3) Diaphragmatic Breathing for Stress Relief

Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

Deep breathing can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe. You can follow the 4-7-8 rule which means a deep 4 second breath, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

 To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it – eg. During morning meditation, at lunch, in the car home from work.

 Deep breathing can activate our parasympathetic nervous system which is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state. It is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair. 

 This is why it can also be a great technique to help reduce anxiety symptoms naturally.

 

4) Meditation for Stress Relief

 Meditation is an amazing technique you can introduce into your days as stress relief.

Meditation has a range of health benefits but from a stress perceptive it is particularly great because it can help us to:

  • Train our mind and body to slow down
  • Brings peace and calm to the mind
  • Activate our parasympathetic nervous system (as mentioned above)
  • You can picture stress or anxiety leaving your body through visualisation

 Even just 5 minutes day can make an incredible difference to how you feel. It doesn’t need to be demanding or excessive, and no you don’t have to be spiritual or a religious person to master it.

I sure wasn’t!

 If you’d love to learn more how you can use meditation to relieve stress & anxiety, ensure to sign up for our FREE 5-day “Journey to Calm” Course for Beginners:

 

 

5) Exercise Regularly (Low vs High Intensity)

Exercising regularly can be an important way to relieve stress as it can help to rid our bodies of “stress” energy.

 Depending on what you prefer or find best for you, there are so many different exercises you can use for stress relief. When it comes to exercise, the truth is that we’re all individual.

 The energy that comes when stressed can cause some to feel hyper and overly energetic. Whereas for others, it can make them feel lethargic and fatigued.

Using me as an example: 

  • I tend to feel ultra hyper, anxious or fidgety – so I feel a great NEED to get this energy out of my body by running or with some high intensity exercise. But, to prevent myself burning out or draining my energy from running off adrenaline over time, I also balance this high-intensity exercise with some restorative activities like meditation, yoga, stretching or walking.

If you generally prefer high intensity exercise to release stress (like I do), there is something you need to keep in mind: Too much high intensity exercise can actually be BAD!

To much high intensity exercise can actually lead to the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) into your body, due to the physical stress you’re putting it under.

 Elevated cortisol in the body for long periods of time can cause disruptions to our menstrual cycles and how we burn fat in our bodies.

 This is why it’s key to have balance! Mix things up.

 Do some high intensity exercise during your week but also schedule time for restorative and low intensity activities such as meditation, yoga and walking.

 

6) Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down

 Stress relief tip number 6 is to give yourself permission to slow down. This is so important, guys!!

 As we mentioned above, slower forms of exercise like yoga, meditation, stretching and walking can help to balance out your parasympathetic nervous system.

 

 But some other ways you can slow down your mind and reduce stress is to pre-schedule down time during your week. Set a night aside which is for relaxation time.

 As an example, here are some self care activities you can do:

  • Have a bath one night a week
  • Catch up with friends.
  • Have a movie night
  • Get outside. Immerse yourself in some nature and breathe in the fresh air and nourish your body with some Vitamin D.
  • Schedule in white space in your calendar to break up your day
  • Do at least one thing that makes you happy during your daily routine
  • Practice gratitude each day – slow down and enjoy the present moment
  • Place your legs against the wall (apparently highly calming and resorative)
  • Establish a morning and bedtime routine that you love (eg. No phone at certain times)
  • Get enough sleep each night – 7 – 9 hours.

 It’s important to give yourself time to switch off rather than being go go go all the time….which in the long term, isn’t sustainable.

 

7) The Power of Whole food Nutrition

 Stress is not just about what is going on outside of your body. It can also be influenced by what you put INSIDE your body too.

 If you’re fuelling your body with crap (sugar and fatty foods), you’re not nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished and will likely feel lethargic and unbalanced.

Let’s be completely blunt and honest…

 Most of the highly processed junk foods you’re putting into your body these days aren’t real “food”. Sure it may taste good at the time… but it can have a significant negative impact on your mental and physical health long term.

This is why it’s so important to fuel your body with good whole food nutrients and plant-based ingredients.

 For optimum functioning and performance, the USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend that we have 3-5 servings of vege and 2-4 servings of fruit every day and eat a variety off whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables is the basis of healthy eating.

 Eating a wide variety of nutritious plant-based whole foods helps our bodies get the levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that we need for optimum health and performance.

 For many of us though, when we feel stressed, our diets are almost the first thing to go out the door!!!

 A super simple and great way to combat this and ensure that your body is getting the right level of nutrients every day is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these.

 

The Benefits of Taking a Whole food Supplement

They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas. 

I take these babies twice a day because they contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Better skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

 And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • Improved sleep

 

If you’d like to learn more about these capsules and how they can help you to cope with the negative impacts of stress on our bodies, click here. 

 When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

8) Reduce Caffeine and Sugar Intake

 For those avid coffee drinkers out there, don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to completely remove coffee from your diet. That would be like you telling me to remove chocolate from my life…

 Grimace faceit ain’t going to happen!

 But something I did really want to point out is how too much caffeine and sugar can heighten our feelings of stress ands anxiety.

 The reason for this is because caffeine blocks receptors in the brain that help us to slow down. It also activates our stress response causing us to release more adrenaline.

 Sugar, on the other hand, causes peaks and troughs in our blood sugar levels. This can lead to short bursts of energy which feels awesome, but often causes us to hit a wall shortly after.

 When it comes to coffee and sugar, I suggest reviewing how much coffee you are drinking each day.

 Is it more than 3-4 cups?

 If so, it may be time to cut back a bit, even just to 2-3 or maybe even just one in the morning.

Just some food for thought… or should I say.. coffee for thought? hehe.

 

9) Social Media Detox

 Are you in desperate need of a social media cleanse or tech detox?

 These days social media is also being considered a stressor for a lot of people. All that comparison, judging and social pressure. Sometimes we just don’t need it!

 Here are some cool stress relief tips that can help you take back control over that device of yours:

     1.  Turn all your app notifications OFF

 I can already hear some of you gasping in devastation:

  • “OMG! What!”
  • “But but but….”

 No guys. Switch them off!

If you’re truly serious about feeling less stressed and scattered in your life, rip the band-aid off and get it done. Stop taunting and distracting your brain with meaningless alerts and vibrations. I promise you won’t look back!

 Continuous phone and social media alerts can actually create additional stress that you honestly do not need in your life…especially not 24/7.

 I did this a year or so ago, and my gosh the FREEDOM you feel!!

 No more buzzing! No more alerts! No more pop-ups and text rushing across your screen with people’s demands.

 People can wait for you… Empower yourself. Check your phone on your terms, not on the terms of everybody else. 

 

     2. Unfollow people who make you feel bad

 If you’re following someone who is always posting photoshopped photos of themselves or are constantly negative, UNFOLLOW them.

You have the power over what comes up on your news feed. Follow people who inspire and motivate you or who make you feel good about yourself.

 Some other stress relief tips relating to your phone:

    3. Put airplane mode on when you don’t need it (eg. At work, sleeping) 

    4. Set time limits on your apps

    5. Keep your phone away during meal times

    6. Don’t bring your phone to bed with you – keep it out of your room

    7. Avoid using your phone as the last thing you do before night / first thing in the morning

 These can really help you to keep a clear head and also reduce distractions during your day.

 

10) Set Personal Boundaries / Choose your circle

 Guys this is a biggie…. Remember that you’re important too.

 Just like everyone else, you deserve to set boundaries and be protective of how you spend your time and energy.

 Time is our most precious commodity, yet many of us are so willingly to waste it on meaningless sh** or giving it away to others without even having a second thought.

Consider:

  1. Where do your priorities lie?
  2. Are you delegating things that someone else could do for you rather than you doing it ourself?
  3. Do you allow time for “you” and self-care during your week?
  4. Are you doing things that make you happy?
  5. How many things are you wasting your time on that don’t serve you?

 To reduce stress, another great thing you can do is SIMPLIFY.

Simplify how you spend your time and how you live your life each day. Set boundaries for what you are and are not willing to do. Also be kind to yourself regarding what is achievable in a given day.

 Break your to-do list into “Do, delegate, dump.”

  • What do you need to DO for the day?
  • Is there anything you can delegate to someone else?
  • What can you dump? Is there a task that doesn’t need to be completed right now?

 It’s time to get rid of the clutter around your mind and also in your environment.

That way you will be able to maintain focus on the things that are most important to you and of the highest priority to complete by the end of the day.

 

At the end of the day, feeling stressed and overloaded sucks!

 I really hope that you can take away some of these stress relief tips to help you better manage stress and anxiety during your day.

 Whilst you’re here, ensure to get your FREE copy of the Stress and Anxiety Relief Printable. That way you can keep this handy as a reference to help you throughout your journey.

 Enter your details below to get your free checklist.

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Never before has stress been considered such a normal way of life than in the 21st century. Yet, research is revealing the numerous ways that stress critically affects our health – physically and mentally. 

In this current era, we are regularly finding ourselves with:

  • exploding calendars
  • overloaded to-do lists
  • never-ending work
  • family and health concerns
  • social media influencers
  • and multiple financial demands and burdens

It feels like there’s just never enough time in the day to do the things we want to do!!

Strangely, it’s become the norm to glorify the term “busy”, almost using “being busy” as a way to justify our self-worth, being enough and desirable to others.

Take exhibit A:

Person A: How are you? How’s work? We should catch up soon!!

Person B: “OMG I’ve just been sooo busy! Work’s been full on, I’m constantly on the run. I’m sorry but I just don’t have time atm.

Person A: Cool…

Sound familiar?

 

The problem with being “busy” all the time is that we’re not giving our bodies the rest it needs. We also put ourselves in a state of constant stress and overwhelm, which severely affects our health long term.

Back in caveman days, our fight / flight response was only activated in times of imminent danger. For example, when we were in fear of our lives.

These days, with our demanding jobs, constant distractions, self expectations and social pressures we’re finding ourselves activating this flight / fight response for longer than our bodies can handle.

In most instances, this can lead to chronic stress which can have a significant affect on our health. People can become sick – mentally, physically and emotionally.

This is why it’s important to talk about stress, what it is and how stress affects our health in a negative way.

If you’re someone who regularly feels stressed out, it’s time to understand what this constant stress is doing to your body and take action to reduce it.

 

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc). For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health.

 

3 Ways Prolonged Stress is Bad for Health

Chronic stress is bad for our health because it can cause us to:

  • Be more susceptible to illness
  • Have less energy
  • Struggle to get good sleep
  • Experience headaches
  • Judge things poorly
  • Gain weight
  • Develop anxiety and depression

Chronic stress also impacts the functioning of our central nervous system and autonomic nervous system.

 

1) How Stress Affects Our Health: The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is designed to keep us alive and is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight / flight response. It releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to prepare our bodies for a quick response if required.

Whereas, the parasympathetic nervous system is designed to bring our bodies back to homeostasis. It is responsible for calming and relaxing our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

Having a balance between these two systems is crucial a healthy life.

One of the downsides of the autonomic system is that it can’t differentiate between an actual threat and a perceived threat. That is why, when we are stressed about something (regardless of what it is), the body’s natural response it to activate the sympathetic nervous system.

This drains our energy and also activates the release of numerous stress hormones into our bodies which can be detrimental to our health long term.

The Impact of Stress Hormones

The release of adrenaline actually signals danger to every cell in your body stating that you’re not safe causing the following natural reactions to occur:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • You start burning glucose rather than fat, so naturally start to crave sugar
  • Blood is directed away from vital organs, to the arms and legs so you can run if needed
  • Blood directed away from your digestive and reproductive systems
  • Start to sweat

Having large amounts of adrenalin circling around in your body is bad, because it creates inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic health conditions, illnesses and also shorten our life span.

If adrenalin levels remain too high, the body will start to release cortisol.

Cortisol is our long-term stress hormone and is designed to keep us safe when food is scarce. It deposits fat around the body as a resource to be used to maintain survival.

This used to be really effective when we were cavemen. It would allow us to survive if we were in a famine with food not readily available. This is because cortisol helps to prompt our bodies to store and preserve fat for energy.

But overtime, too much cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies can lead to:

  • Reduced Sleep quality
  • Poor memory
  • Poor gut health & decreased metabolism
  • Decreased libido
  • Visceral fat storing and fat retention around key organs
  • Muscle break down
  • Inconsistent energy
  • Poor nutritional choices due to emotional/ stress eating (sugar or high carb) or not eating at all
  • Insufficient vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant intake
  • The body wanting to use only fast burning fuel such as glucose, rather than fat
  • We lose the ability to burn fat because our parasympathetic nervous system remains out of balance.

 

 

2) The Reproductive System

Too much stress in our bodies can impact our sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.

Oestrogen is responsible for prompting our bodies to lay down the lining of the uterus.

Progesterone is then released into the body when we ovulate. Progesterone is also known to be a natural reliever of anxiety & depression and acts as a natural diuretic. (I did not know this originally!)

As women, we want our body to naturally produce progesterone for these reasons, but being in a state of constant stress can shut down production.

After all, why would it want to bring a baby into the world when there is a perceived danger or threat to our survival?

Our bodies are seriously SMART!!

This is why we must take better care of ourselves!

 

3) The Digestive System

As more research is revealing, our digestion is one of the most important systems in our body. Poor digestion is often a signal that something isn’t right in your body.

Did you know that these days, 1 in 5 people in Australia have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and unfortunately stress worsens these symptoms.

Prolonged stress has the tendency to negatively impact our digestive systems by:

  • Diverting blood away from our digestive organs
  • Limits the resources that the gut has to digest our food
  • Worsening IBS symptoms
  • Altering what we discrete from our digestive system
  • Altering our gut bacteria profile
  • Increasing intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut).

There are some ways you can reduce the impacts of stress on your digestion.

For example, you can eat more mindfully.

Being more mindful when you eat gives your body more time to process your food and also trigger when you are full. This is important because it can reduce weight gain and also prevent you from hitting that “way too full!” feeling. 

Be present when eating your food – savour each mouthful, take time to chew it properly, enjoy the flavours and put your cutlery down between bites.

When you take the time to notice just how much you scoff down food on the go, you’ll understand why mindful eating is becoming a really important thing for our digestion (whether stressed or not). 

 

The Importance Wholefood Nutrition

Given many of us are finding ourselves in a state of prolonged stress state, we must ensure that we are giving our bodies the right fuel and nutrition they need to perform optimally.

This means flooding your body with good whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants each and every day.

A simple and great way to do this is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these. They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas.

I take these babies twice a day. They contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits of these capsules include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Improves skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • improved sleep

If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your health and reduce the negative ways stress affects our health with these whole food capsules, click here. 

When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

In Summary,

So as you have read, there are many ways that stress affects our health.

The problem is that rather than responding effectively to stress, many assume that they’re bodies are betraying or failing them. When actual truth of the matter is that your body is just responding to the info it is receiving (Ie. what you are putting into it).

Our bodies are incredibly smart and are usually just doing what they’re programmed to do.

Unless we take the time to stop our bodies from perceiving stress, they will continue to send messages to our brains to prioritise survival.

Overtime, this is what impacts the function of our internal body systems; digestion, reproduction and contributes to fat storage.

It’s your job to look after your body and you can do that by reducing the amount of stress in your life.

You can also get your FREE copy of the Stress & Anxiety Printable here.

With this FREE download, you’ll learn of some simple activities you can implement into your day to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.

Enter your details below to be emailed your copy of the A4 printable.

 

7 Real & Raw Truths About Managing Anxiety

7 Real & Raw Truths About Managing Anxiety

This week has been a whirlwind. However, let’s be honest for most anxious super-achievers, that’s just how it goes!

The life of an anxious super-achiever can be pretty full on – you:

  • Have the tendency to overthink EVERYTHING
  • CONSTANTLY push yourself to the brink of burnout
  • Find yourself trying to CONTROL the uncontrollable
  • ALWAYS watch the clock ticking down and
  • CONSTANTLY worry that there’s never enough time in the day to achieve your goals

These things happen subconsciously. It’s not like we consciously want to be worry-warts or stress heads, it just kind of happens.

And unless you’re very self-aware, in tune with your body and able to grab yourself, give yourself a shake and step back, it can be really easy to fall into this cycle.  

When talking about super-achievers, I’m referring to those “who achieve more than most” in their daily lives. That’s the definition behind it – if you don’t believe me, you can google it.

For those who don’t experience anxiety, you may look at someone with anxiety and perceive them as being:

  • Control freaks
  • Overly dramatic
  • Big over-thinkers
  • Stress heads / Worry-warts
  • Or even in some instances, Selfish

But when you’re living the life yourself, I can tell you now, most of us don’t enjoy being that way. Here are some real and raw truths when it comes to being an anxious super achiever.

 

 

1) You Continue To Push Yourself To Your Limits, Even When You Should Stop & Rest

I don’t know about you, but for me, this is something I find REALLY hard!

Once I start getting momentum in something, I find it really difficult to JUSTIFY stopping and resting as it can sometimes make me feel like I’m being lazy. But, it can be a double negative, because when I’m NOT feeling in momentum and am NOT achieving the results I feel I should be, I feel there’s NO TIME to rest, or that I even don’t deserve to.

This can create problems because we subconsciously lose that work/life balance that we need in our lives.

These days, I actually schedule down time in my diary to allow time for me, quality time with my partner as well as the things I love and that fill my cup up.

If you suffer from anxiety or regularly pushing yourself to burnout, I highly suggest you do the same. Otherwise you’ll naturally fill your rest time with “busyness” and find excuses for why you “don’t have time”.

2) Your Anxiety Causes You to Try and Control Everything, Even The Uncontrollable!!

This is a biggie!!!

Anxious super-achievers are often very naughty – we think we have the power and ability to control everything. And even when we can’t, we still try.

Whether it be:

  • you’re daily schedule
  • you’re partners daily schedule (tongue in cheek)
  • what you eat / what you don’t eat
  • Exercise or sports regimes
  • Our EMOTIONS and that of others
  • Our BEHAVIOUR and the that of others
  • Our MINDSET and that of others
  • …And sometimes even our pets

Some of these things are controllable and it is really beneficial to remain committed and consistent with them, especially to be productive and achieve your goals.

However, sometimes trying to control all the things in your life to reduce your anxiety symptoms actually leads to insanity rather than SANITY (which is what we’re often trying to achieve in the first place).

In the end, you can only control what’s located within your circle of influence. For anything outside of that, it’s near impossible to control it.

Doing so will only lead to added frustration, stress, anxiety and resentment.

Life naturally has it’s up and downs, everything occurs in duality. So there needs to be some element of flexibility and spontaneity in your routine. This is something that I too am trying to improve.

A quote I’d love to leave you with is:

“While learning to stop sweating the small stuff won’t solve all your problems immediately, it will make dealing with them a little easier. As you learn to be more accepting of life, and as little things don’t get to you as much, you will get used to handling things in a healthier, easier way and with far less struggle. You will become happier, more content and confident, and more at peace with yourself.”

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

3) You Constantly Worry That You’re Never Doing Enough to Achieve Your Goals

Another thing that many of us super-achievers struggle with is letting go. We find it hard to accept or forgive ourselves when we haven’t achieved everything we set out to do in a given day.

You often feel unsatisfied by the end of the day, because there’s always that one thing churning around in your mind that you feel you could have done, but didn’t. And despite all the other amazing things you achieved, you beat yourself up due to not pushing yourself more to #getitdone.

This can make it really hard to switch off your mind at the end of the day. Your head is consumed with numerous thoughts and you honestly find it difficult to relax and unwind.

If this is you, a really handy technique to incorporate into your routine is mindfulness.

If you have not heard about mindfulness before and would love to learn how be more mindful, express gratitude, adopt a more positive mindset, feel happier and more content, ensure to get your copy of the The Mindfully Happy HandBook

You will also gain insight into how to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thoughts which could be holding you back from achieving your true potential!

 

4) You’re Too Hard On Yourself When Things Don’t Go to Plan

Similar to the above, super-achievers are naturally hard on themselves, especially when things don’t go to plan.

Although others say “don’t sweat the small stuff” sometimes it honestly feels freaking awesome when everything you planned actually goes to plan.

So, when it doesn’t, even if it’s just something small, you can feel like you’ve failed.

Again, this is not usually the case, but when you have anxiety and you worry about every-single-little-thing and controlling every-single-little-thing, having something happen that you haven’t planned for can #freakyouout.  

That’s why it can be so important to try as much as you can, to be open when something outside of your plans pops up. Even if it’s just someone asking for your help or to join them with something.

Before you react, take a moment to absorb it and think about it. Then decide what you want to do.

 

5) You Can Get Tunnel Vision

When you’re a super-achiever, it can be so easy to become ultra-focused on your goals and vision, that you accidentally overlook the needs of others.

It’s never intentional, but can cause us to lose sight of what’s important in the present. And don’t get me wrong, I’m literally talking to myself when I say this.

As much as I am passionate about planning and setting goals for the future, I am also a big believer in mindfulness, meditation and living in the present moment.

Sometimes we get so used to all the current abundance, wealth, love and opportunity we have in our lives, that we forget to appreciate it. Instead, we find ourselves constantly striving for the things we don’t have.

I’m not saying to be selfless, that’s not the point. But, when we become so consumed in achieving our own goals and desires, we can often overlook the importance of nurturing and showing gratitude for the people and things we already have right in front of us.

If you feel yourself being in the “tunnel vision” state or becoming overwhelmed with anxiety, it can be helpful to:
  • Pause
  • Look up
  • Give your closest loved ones a cuddle
  • Reflect on all the amazing things you’ve achieved so far in your life and all the amazing things that you’re grateful for
  • Spend some quality time with your loved ones
  • Spend a moment doing something you love to fill your cup up
  • Then continue in pursuit of your vision

 

6) Your Anxiety Makes You Feel Like You’re in An Emergency / There’s Never Enough Time

My gosh. If only, I did not do this…

To me, if I’m honest, nearly every day seems like a new game to play. A new challenge for myself and how much I can possibly get done within the hours of 5am – 9:30pm.

From my morning ritual of meditation, stretching, moon tracking, vision board gazing, goal reviewing and getting ready for work to listening to self-development, eating, working on my business, working in my day job, going for a walk, going to the gym, cooking dinner, working on my business again, spending time with family/loved ones, bathing, life, sleep, repeat. *deep breath*

It’s not a comparison game with others, but literally a competition for myself.

Every minute I can feel the clock ticking down, which acts as a constant reminder that there’s less time in the day for me to achieve my goals.

It’s partly ridiculous I know, and yes it puts me under a lot of stress and pressure, but, at the same time, I kind of love it because it gives my day purpose and gives me a new lease of life and energy every day.

For other anxious super-achievers, I’m sure you relate to feeling a similar way – that constant worry or fear that you’ll never have enough time in the day to complete everything on your to do list.

The funny thing about this, and I’m not sure if you can relate, but doing this every day can sometimes cause us to enter a state of defiance, rebelliousness and self-sabotage.

Due to being so disciplined and focused most of the time, sometimes our brain/ body just wants to fight back and switch off.

As an example, sometimes despite knowing all the things I want or need to do, I will self-sabotage by deciding that suddenly I’m going to have a movie day. Then by the evening, I’ll be running around the house feeling guilty and stressed, because surprise, surprise, I have not achieved my goals for the day. Funny that….

Here’s an amazing quote that I read today that I feel, puts thing greatly into perspective:

“It’s important to ask ourselves whether we really want to go through the rest of our life out of control, flying by the seat of our pants, and treating life as if it were an emergency. Wouldn’t it be nicer if we could calm down a little bit and regain our sense of perspective? One of the keys to regaining a feeling of peace and composure is creating at least some degree of balance in your life.”

– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Boom baby.

Related posts:

 

7) You Worry a Lot About What People Think of You

Another key characteristic of high-achievers who suffer from anxiety, is that they often care a lot about what others think of them. Sometimes, even more so than what they think of themselves.

This is something that can decrease as we build our own confidence and self-love, however, there’s often a natural tendency to seek approval and reassurance from external sources.

Constantly doing this isn’t good for us because it means that we often discount the powers of our own opinions, judgement and perception to make way for others’.

Another great quote to expand what I mean:

“Many of us inadvertently create stress in our lives by making the mistake of underestimating ourselves. Failing to have adequate confidence in our abilities, intuition and wisdom means that we must rely on others to guide and direct us.

This is potentially stressful because it encourages us to seek acknowledgement, acceptance and approval from outside sources – peers, parents, friends and others – rather than from within ourselves.

People with genuine self-confidence make a conscious decision that, although guidance is always welcome and approval and acknowledgement are always nice, ultimately the only lasting confidence comes from within.”

– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

How Can Super-achievers Cope With Anxiety, and the Stress That Comes With it?

Here are some things that you can try throughout your day to help cope with the anxiety and stress that come with being a high-achiever:

  1. Ensure to engage in at least 1 thing you love and find pleasurable during the day
  2. Incorporate some Yoga / Pilates into your day
  3. Practice Meditation / Mindfulness for at least 10 mins a day
  4. Exercise regularly during your week
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  6. Take deep breaths when you feel your symptoms arising
  7. Set time aside for Self-care (Eg. Having a bath)
  8. Listen to music, sing or dance around the house
  9. Eat a healthy diet and drink less caffeine
  10. Take a break from technology and social media for a period of time
  11. Be kind to yourself and challenge negative self-talk
  12. Try to keep things into perspective, and focus only on what you can control
  13. Slow down what you’re doing and take a break, burn some essential oils
  14. Get 7-9 hours a sleep per night
  15. Manage your time better by using a diary and scheduling your priorities for the day
  16. Make time for cuddles or quality time with your partner
  17. Plan things ahead rather than being reactive
  18. Get outside and enjoy some sunshine

Related Posts

 

If you’re interested in learning how to reduce stress and anxiety naturally, ensure to sign up to the FREE “Lite” Version of our complete “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

In this 5-day Meditation Course you’ll learn about meditation and why it is so effective at educing stress and anxiety symptoms.

Get started by entering your details below.

Positive Affirmations for Anxiety & Stress | The Beginners Guide!

Positive Affirmations for Anxiety & Stress | The Beginners Guide!

Positive affirmations are truly awesome! They’re so simple, yet incredibly powerful. 

They can help to drive positive change in your life. Whether it be raising your confidence, increasing control over negative thoughts & emotions, improving productivity, reducing stress and anxiety, improving self-esteem or reducing bad habits.

In this article, I’ll explain:

  • What positive affirmations are
  • The benefits of repeating positive affirmations
  • The 4 steps you can follow to get started
  • Key things to know before getting started 

At the end I have embedded 2 videos to help you get started with positive affirmations and will also introduce you to my recently published Mindfully Happy Handbook.

In this handbook, you will learn all about mindfulness, gratitude, positive mindset and mindfulness meditation, and how they can be used to complement positive affirmations.

 

 

What Are Positive Affirmations?

Positive affirmations are simply positive statements that mirror desirable characteristics you aspire to have in the future. They are usually repeated to oneself regularly to bring about positive changes in mindset and behaviour.

Positive affirmations are powerful because they can help you to:

  • Become a more positive person
  • Feel more motivated to achieve your goals
  • Be more grateful of what you have
  • See the good in the bad
  • Overcome limiting beliefs & negative thoughts
  • Reach your true potential
  • Live your best life!

Just as negative thoughts are imprinted in our minds over time with repetition, positive beliefs are formed the same way.

I’m sure that many of you will have used repetition to improve a certain skill before. Whether it was training at the gym or studying for a test.

In addition to improving our fitness and memory, repetition can also be used to reprogram our mind. We do this by continuously repeating positive and empowering statements to ourselves until eventually, the brain starts to believe that they’re true.

This can be a very powerful technique to use, especially when paired with visualisation, gratitude and goal-setting.

It can transform the way we think, the way we act as well as how we perceive the world around us.

What Benefits Will You Gain by Repeating Positive Affirmations?

Sometimes when people hear of “positive affirmations” their initial reaction is that it’s a bit too “woo woo” for them or that it’s just unrealistic wishful thinking.

But this actually isn’t true.

The results and benefits of using positive affirmations to reprogram the mind have actually been backed by science.

Some studies have revealed that positive affirmations can help to:

  • Reduce stress & mental health issues
  • Promote greater well-being
  • Improve problem solving
  • Keep you motivated to achieve your goals
  • Challenge limiting beliefs and negative thoughts
  • Build self-esteem, confidence and a sense of empowerment
  • Improve overall performance at work
  • Give you control back over your mind

This is especially true when in high-pressure situations or when completing a task you lack confidence in (Eg. Public Speaking).

 

The 4 Steps You Can Follow to Get Started

 

1) Identify Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are toxic! They can also become self-fulfilling prophecies if left unchecked.

The problem is that so many of us talk ourselves into believing we’re not good enough, that we feel like sh**. We also lose confidence and sabotage our personal lives, relationships and careers.

This is why you must identify the negative thoughts that have been holding you back from achieving your true potential.

Here are some examples:

  • I’m not good at my job and will never be successful because I’m not smart enough confidence…
  • I’m ugly and don’t deserve to be loved
  • Nobody likes me. I’m all alone.
  • I’m so stressed and overwhelmed, I can’t handle this anymore.

You can read more about the toxicity of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs in this article: How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs.

 

2) Consider the Opposite Alternatives

The second step in the process is to think of a thought or behaviour that is the complete opposite to your negative thought or limiting belief. Put it into a short sentence or statement that you find empowering and that is achievable.

Your affirmation should be personal to you and specifically related to what you want to change.

Examples:

  1. I am happy and I am healthy
  2. I am strong, powerful and good at what I do.
  3. I am harmonious, I am at peace and I am relaxed.
  4. I am kind to all people, loving, forgiving and compassionate.
  5. I am successful and I can do this!
  6. I am honest in my life, and my work.
  7. I am confident socially and enjoy meeting new people

3) Repetition, Repetition.

When happy with your affirmations, repeat them to yourself regularly (Eg. Once or twice a day), especially when you notice yourself engaging in negative self-talk.

With practice, you’ll start to remember your affirmations off by heart enabling you to recite them to yourself easily, with little thought or preparation.

 

4) Bring Some Imagination into the Mix

It can also help to visualise the positive behaviour you wish to achieve.

Let your imagination run wild and consider what emotions you might feel when you have achieved or are performing that specific act.

Do you feel happier, more confident or maybe even proud?

This will help to add extra power to your affirmation.

 

Key Things to Know Before Getting Started

1) When first getting started with affirmations, I’ll be completely honest with you, you’re going to feel a bit awkward and like a dork. You may even feel quite detached from the affirmations or that you’re lying to yourself.

When this happens, just recall why you chose to recite positive affirmations in the first place.

I can tell you now, it was likely because you aspire to BECOME a better version of yourself or have certain traits you’d like to IMPROVE. Not to confirm to yourself who you CURRENTLY are (Otherwise, that would defeat the whole purpose…)

Continuous repetition will help to imprint these positive beliefs into your subconscious mind helping to replace any negative thoughts that existed there beforehand.

It will also make them seem less weird…I promise!

2) You will also need to prepare yourself that in some instances, you’re going to have to go into battle with your mind. Repeating affirmations to yourself is not always as easy as it sounds. 

For example, when stressed or anxious, sometimes your mind and thoughts can feel out of control. This can make it really hard to focus on anything positive at that point in time. It can also be a time where you feel skeptical and in denial.

However, you just need to keep practicing, remain committed and consistent.

Overtime it will become easier and your affirmations will start to create a new reality for you, where you truly believe they are coming true.

 

In summary, incorporating positive affirmations into your life is all about replacing negative vibes with more positive ones.

When paired with gratitude recitations, visualisation and goal-setting, you’ll become an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

If you like to meditate whilst listening to music or guided meditations, you should try listening to these videos during 2 of your sessions. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I find listening to someone else saying the affirmations to be really powerful.

It also means that I don’t have to worry about remembering them all which is a bonus.

 

Video 1: “I AM” Positive Affirmations to Start Your Morning Right (Under 12 mins)

 

Video 2: “I AM” Positive Affirmations For Success (Under 30 mins)

 

Now it’s up to you to start practicing and to give positive affirmations a go.

Improve Your Results With the Mindfully Happy Handbook!

Mindfully Happy Handbook Product

If you’re interested in improving your mindset and learning to be more mindful throughout your days, ensure to get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook.

This beginners handbook was created to help people, just like you, live happier and more fulfilled lives.

To feel truly happy with ourselves and our lives we must start from the inside out.

We must learn to overcome all the obstacles that have been holding us back from achieving our true potential, including limiting beliefs and negative thoughts.

Within this 20+ page handbook, you will:

  • Gain an introduction to Mindfulness & Mindfulness Meditation
  • Learn how to incorporate Mindfulness into your life (Eg. Mindful eating, showering, walking etc)
  • Gain an introduction to gratitude & why it’s so important for living a happy life. 
  • Be taught ways to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thoughts
  • Be given the tools and information you need to start your own daily Mindfulness Meditation practice

If you’re interested in living a happier and more fulfilled life through mindfulness, meditation and gratitude principles,  you can read more about it get your copy here.

Other than that, I wish you all the best!!