Yep, anxiety sucks.
Unfortunately, the fast paced & social media influenced world we live in has a lot of us feeling the pressure, without any techniques to help us cope.
There are so many degrees of anxiety ranging from classic stress symptoms to full-on panic attacks, here are some common signs of anxiety.
Signs of anxiety:
– you have trouble falling asleep at night (staring at the ceiling contemplating every questionable decision you’ve ever made…)
– cold or sweaty hands / feet
– you’re a total perfectionist
– excessive worrying and overthinking things
– you have trouble with change (especially when it’s unexpected)
– muscle tension
– indigestion and bloating
Nutrition & Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms can be drastically affected by our nutrient intake, when I am under a lot of stress or when I’m not taking good care of my body I tend to feel the anxious symptoms much more.
Nutritional factors that lead to increased anxiety:
– drinking coffee
– consuming refined sugars
– adrenal fatigue
– B vitamin deficiency
Try to avoid putting yourself in stressful situations, but those can vary depending on the person. Surfing instagram before bed and comparing your life to that bikini babe who really seems to have her sh*t together, can really stress you out before bed! On the other hand I sometimes feel anxiety when I’m at the mall, on busy public transport, or at the airport.
keep reading to be prepared for when the anxiety hits
Taking some time to go inward with a yoga practice can help equip your parasympathetic nervous system for stressful situations to come.
I like to grab a cup of tea (herbal of course) and practice these yoga poses before bed to prevent staying up all night. But they can also be practiced in the morning before a particularly stressful day.
Yoga for Anxiety
Before you start: deep belly breathing (you can do this anywhere! anytime)
How to do it: lay flat on your back, place on hand on your lower belly take a deep exhale and let your stomach rise toward the ceiling. Exhale and feel your belly fall toward the ground.
Do this 3 times before starting the yoga practice and try to maintain this breathing throughout the practice.
Benefit: This type of breathing is clinically proven to reduce anxiety and the parasympathetic response within 3 breaths.
standing forward bend
How to do it: Place your feet firmly into the mat (or grass hehe), exhale and bend forward from the hips and gently reach for your feet or grab on to opposite elbows. Stay here for 5 inhales and 5 exhales.
Benefit: Calms the brain and helps to relieve stress and anxiety as well as relieving insomnia
cat + cow pose
How to do it: Start on your hands and knees (shoulders over wrists, and hips over knees) as you exhale round your back toward the ceiling. Inhale and come back to a neutral spine. Then move into cow pose: from neutral position as you inhale, lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling allowing your belly to sink toward the floor and keeping your gaze forward. Exhale and come back into neutral pose. Alternate between the two of these for at least 5 breaths.
Benefit: A very calming pose that relieves any abdominal cramping caused by anxiety.
How to do it: Kneel on the floor with your big toes together, separate your knees as wide as your hips. Hinge forward from the hips and allow your torso to fall in between your thighs resting your head on the mat. Stay here for 10 inhales and exhales.
Benefit: Another brain calming pose that is particularly good for calming the parasympathetic nervous system.
legs up the wall
How to do it: This one is pretty self-explanatory… find yourself a wall and throw those legs up it! If your hamstrings are tight your can move your butt further away from the wall and if you’re loose as a goose then let your buttcheeks touch the wall. Stay here for 5-15 minutes. Its totally normal for your feet to get tingly, just make sure you’re feet are back to normal before you try to stand. You can put your arms out into a T shape or put your hands on your belly to feel the rise and fall of your deep inhales and exhales.
Benefit: This is one of those poses that ancient yogis believe can heal anything! They believe that if you practice this pose for 6 months grey hairs and wrinkles will disappear. While I haven’t seen that happen, I do know that this is an absolute essential pose in my anti-anxiety toolkit. Also, having your legs above your heart will let gravity help with circulating blood and lymphatic fluid through your body.
PS: If you are suffering with anxiety I would love to chat, I know how difficult it is to live with and how a few nutrition and lifestyle changes can make a HUGE difference. If you’re ready to make those changes in your life connect with me asap and lets get on a FREE 30 minute consultation. APPLY NOW for your nutritional consultation.