For those of us who suffer from anxiety, it’s important that we get on good terms with our parasympathetic nervous system. This is our relaxation response. In modern society, we basically live in our fight-flight-freeze response, ruled by our nervous system. Our society is jarring, there’s too much going on at all times, and we are stimulated by so much.
If you are an empath or a highly sensitive person, or if you’re neither but suffer from anxiety – I happen to be all 3, I want to talk to you about what really has helped change my life.
-I know that this feels like a given, but learning to cultivate the breath in times of heightened anxiety has been life-changing for me. When it’s really high, take a moment to sit down and do deep belly breaths from the nose, in from the nose, and out from the nose. You’ll need to do this for at least two minutes – I often need to take 10 minutes for it.
– Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and sends a signal to the brain that tells it you are safe. When you are breathing slowly and deeply, the fight-flight freeze response relaxes because you wouldn’t be deep breathing in a tense situation. The body relaxes, and so does the mind.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
(Switch to matcha if you must, but we really want to be limiting caffeine.)
Drinking caffeine is known to affect sleep, and activate the nervous system. Do you get the jitters, and become immediately anxious after a sip of caffeine? Cutting coffee out completely can lessen your daily anxiety, ESPECIALLY for highly sensitive people.
We all know light can affect your mood. Something that I try to do every single day when I first wake up is to get myself outside and get some sunlight on my face. Light can positively affect your circadian rhythm and tell your body “it’s time to wake up now!”
Limit Your Screentime
-There are several links between light and mood. This is especially true for people who are sensitive to their surroundings. Getting out in the morning and getting sunshine on the face, even for just ten minutes, will uplift your mood. It will also help your circadian rhythm, making your sleep later that night deeper and more nourishing.
-Blue light disrupts our circadian rhythm, which messes with the expression of serotonin, dopamine, and other mood chemicals that can lead to anxiety and depression. It is a matter of mental health to be off our devices more often – and we all know there is a link between social media and mental health issues now.
Turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, hypnotherapy as well.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep your body tends to become on HIGH ALERT, making us more prone to anxiety. Personally, when I don’t get enough sleep I become a nervous wreck.
Make Intentional Time For Relaxing
You HAVE to schedule your you-time. To relax, to walk, to watch your favorite movie, read your favorite book. You need to plan time for decompression with low stimulation for internal peace.
The more you relax, THE MORE success you will see in your life.