Many people don’t know that for years, mostly when I was struggling with ill health back in 2012, I suffered with anxiety/panic attacks. They would come on suddenly and keep me debilitated on the bathroom floor as I waited for them to pass and tried to calm myself down through deliberate breathing.
Anxiety is a strange thing as it can’t actually be measured and many times it felt like something was seriously wrong. The heart palpitations, sweats, racing pulse and heavy breathing, not to mention the irrational thoughts, led me down a dark spiral very quickly. There were times when I felt like a hypochondriac as they would leave as quickly as they came and I was left wondering “what the heck just happened?” I felt I couldn’t tell anyone and even my husband didn’t know what I was doing all that time in the bathroom , “what if he thought I was going crazy” I’d think.
I’d always been a pretty chilled out, peaceful person but the downward turn with my health back then led me also to experience anxiety for the first time in my life. I feared everything, from what foods I could eat, to not going to the toilet regularly and worried that I was “storing more toxins”, to even getting cancer. I couldn’t even say the word “cancer” because I feared it so much and thought that by saying it, I would bring it into being (that kinda happens when you lose a brother to cancer at the age of 29 in just 8 short weeks).
It was a major uphill battle to not just get on top of my physical symptoms but to fight my anxiety attacks and negative thoughts as well.
Now in 2017, I honestly can’t remember the last time I suffered with an attack the way I used to and I believe a lot of it has to do with things that I actually implemented and took action on at home. I’d love to share with you what I did to help myself overcome anxiety in the hope that it may shed some light for you.
- Significantly changed my diet. I took out all processed foods and anything with additives, toxic fats and processed sugars. This made the biggest difference. Once I just started to eat real wholefood it made so much difference to my mental health. It’s no lie that up to 70% of your serotonin (your happy hormone) is made in your gut by your gut bacteria so a diet high in processed and artificial food is going to kill off good bacteria and thus decrease your levels of serotonin.
- Incorporated fermented and probiotic rich foods and drinks. I flooded my gut with good bacteria to help increase the population of good bacteria in my gut. Probiotic foods (good bacteria) and prebiotic foods (food for your good bacteria) are proven to decrease your risk of anxiety and depression for the reasons mentioned above.
- Started walking and getting sun exposure daily. Vitamin D deficiencies (from lack of sun exposure) are heavily linked with increased risks of anxiety and depression, as is lack of physical movement…we weren’t made to sit still all day long! Not only did I notice less anxiety, I also noticed a clearer and more positive mindset just from taking time out to myself and being in nature.
- Started using Frankincense Essential Oil. Frankincense has anti-depressant and sedative qualities and has been shown to calm down the nervous system. Studies show that Frankincense helps you to naturally release and overcome stresses and tension that lead to feelings of anxiousness by reducing heart rate and high blood pressure. Smelling its aroma and absorbing it through your skin helps you to feel a gentle and serene sense of upliftment. When I learnt of Frankincense’s properties I knew it would help me and I started to incorporate it into my daily routine. When I felt particularly anxious I would place 1 drop under my tongue for immediate relief and to keep on top of my anxiousness I would apply 2-3 drops topically to my wrists, the back of my neck and bottoms of my feet as well as diffuse it into the air through an ultrasonic diffuser. I also believe it has helped with a lot of other symptoms in my body as it’s also good for decreasing pain and inflammation, aiding in sleep, easing digestion, balancing hormone levels and boosting the immune system.
I never would have thought that I’d become an essential oil hippy but my goodness how grateful I am!! 😉
Anxiety is common amongst so many of us and I know that the usual conventional protocol is anti-depressants which can come with a whole host of other side effects and problems. If you’re interested in learning more about how to support anxiety naturally and without the side-effects from anti-depressants, I would love to support you. Dealing with anxiety on your own behind closed doors is no fun and can be a lonely and painful pathway. Please reach out, get the help and support that you need and know that you are worth it!