16 Rules For A Fuller, More Effective And Anxiety Free Life!
Anxiety disorders over stimulate a number of bodily systems which would normally remain at a constant level. Digestion, circulation and breathing are heavily affected by anxiety and, whilst anxiety can�t harm you, efficient balancing of bodily systems is necessary for good all round health. The good news is that no matter how anxiety affects you, from mild shyness to the extreme manifestation of panic disorder, OCD and phobias, there is much that you can do right now to regain balance and peace in your body.
These are my top tips to live a healthier, anxiety free life:
Diet is vital for maintaining general good health. Avoiding over spicy foods, too many carbohydrates, sugary foods and bad fats are the expected advice of dieticians world over, but in the quest for eliminating anxiety, it is vital to maintain equilibrium throughout the digestive process. Minimise sugar highs caused by sugary drinks and carbohydrates by eating smaller, more regular meals of steamed vegetables, fish, poultry and fruit. Avoid piles of potatoes, bread, biscuits and cakes, they produce fast, short lived sugar highs which can leave you feeling tired and shaky as the blood sugar level drops. The buzz word in any diet is �balance�
Whether you drink every day or in larger quantities over short periods, alcohol can cause anxiety levels to fluctuate dramatically. Many people find that wine is the worst culprit and that during times of high anxiety and stress, it causes much more pronounced symptoms.
Alcohol contains high levels of sugar which has obvious negative affects but also, the psychological affect of the experience of being drunk or tipsy can alter the sufferer�s perception of the world in a way which can cause higher levels of sadness, worry and other emotions. Alcohol consumption should always be minimised for maintaining general good health but in anxiety conditions and times of stress, it is advisable to abstain completely.
Smoking can cause blood sugar fluctuations but also bodily changes caused by its stimulant affect. Smoking cessation is also not advisable during times of high anxiety, adding nicotine withdrawal to the anxiety you are experiencing could be very counter-productive indeed. If you smoke regularly, minimise the daily amount, if you smoke occasionally, stop completely if you feel you can do so with ease.
Good posture is vital to maintaining healthy circulation, digestion and breathing. Slouching can compress the thoracic cavity meaning that the heart, lungs and digestive tract have to work harder. Be sure to take regular breaks if you have to sit for long periods, use a comfortable chair and make sure you sit upright and squarely. There are many posture aids on the market if you feel that you are struggling to maintain good posture.
Exercise is an important element of maintaining good health, but what you might consider strenuous could be a �walk in the park� for die hard exercisers. If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress, it is advisable to do exercise which doesn�t raise the heart rate more than 20 beats per minute above your resting heart rate. In many cases, anxiety levels can be adversely affected by strenuous exercise. Walking, cycling and swimming are the best forms of exercise during high anxiety but you must monitor how they make you feel which is dependent on your fitness levels.
What is stress? Often, people experiencing life or work pressure refer to this as �stress�. Stress is the physical illness caused by constant, inappropriate levels of life pressure. Stress can manifest itself in many ways including high anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal complaints and high blood pressure for example.
Experiencing true stress can be the result of making a bad decision. What is this bad decision? Anyone who gives work or life events too much credibility, allowing it to become invasive and damaging to the pleasures of life has made this bad decision. Consider what is important, ask yourself whether what you are doing or your lack of participation in something will cause any actual harm; prioritise your activities, make to do lists and take regular �mental health� breaks. Talk to other people involved in your routines to discover whether what you are doing is productive or correct and plan ahead of time to avoid time allocation conflicts. In a sentence: Decide what is important and make that the focus during the time you allocate to it but remember nothing is as important as you and your loved ones.
You probably don�t need as much sleep as you think in order to function efficiently during the day, however, for those who suffer with severe insomnia, there are many things you can do to promote healthy sleep patterns.
� Drink a mug of warm chamomile tea 30 minutes before bed time.
� Make sure you are comfortable in bed � bad sleeping posture is responsible for many cases of insomnia
� Make the bedroom a place of rest only. Put a sign on the door saying �sleep room� to emphasise this.
� Be sure and have a light snack 30 minutes before bed time, going through the night without eating is a struggle for healthy people, when you are anxious this becomes a bigger issue.
� If you lie in bed for more than 30 minutes trying to sleep, get up, make a drink of warm milk or chamomile, make yourself comfortable and snug on the sofa, turn on the TV quietly and watch till you fall asleep� no action movies though� something semi-boring!
� Try relaxation or visualisation CDs to enter a deep state of relaxation, these work wonders.
8. Environment & behaviour
Your environment and your behaviour and your reaction to them, is one of the most important factors in the formation and perpetuation of high anxiety, it is the �software� that feeds your �hard drive� with the information it requires to �re-set� at a higher benchmark level in your mind. You know what things in your life are positive and which are negative influences and the solution to gaining equilibrium is to implement a filtration process� we only live once, we need to maximise the potential of everything around us to feel fulfilled; removing negative behaviours and influences is key to our happiness and wellbeing and to re-programming the subconscious mind.
Assess what your relationships bring to you, how fulfilling they are and how they could be improved. Decide how you can minimise the negative ones, maximise the positive and mend the broken ones. Being surrounded by happy people has an enormous impact on how we feel, capitalise on this.
10. Avoiding confrontation
Confrontation is the largest cause of elevated anxiety. As anger rises, so too does adrenalin which causes a flood of anxious emotion, thoughts and symptoms. Avoiding confrontation is simple, just remove yourself from the person who causes it, count to ten mentally, take yourself to a place where you can calm down. The only person who benefits from your anger is your opponent, every time you become emotional in these situations, you are reinforcing your anxiety and perpetuating how you feel. You hold all the cards, you can choose to stay or to go, to react or not too� it�s difficult, but, if you can turn the cheek, you will win out every time.
11. Avoiding �power sappers�
Who or what are power sappers? Power sappers are people who draw energy from you but give nothing in return. Avoid them at all times, they do not positively contribute to your life and serve no purpose. IF they are people that you can�t avoid, such as your boss or a work colleague, simply shut down your emotions when in their presence and do not allow them to influence your anxiety or mood� they sap your power to build their own and have no respect for you and your wellbeing. Surround yourself with �power givers�, you know who they are.
12. The past, present and future of you
You have experienced the past, you are living the present and the future is the only thing you can influence. Memory has a purpose; it�s a filing system for your experiences, both negative and positive. Negative memories need to be filed away in the archives of your mind allowing your opportunity to create positive memories to be your focus. Live for tomorrow, not yesterday and make today the first day of the rest of your life. Those who hang onto the past never experience a positive future.
13. Goal setting � your personal challenges
Take a blank sheet of paper and write down your short, medium and long term goals. Be realistic about your ability but stretch your expectations. Never be disappointed by your lack of achieving your goals, instead, be impressed by your ability to chase them. Try everything, take every opportunity that arises and regret nothing, it�s all part of the challenges and your personal enjoyment of life.
14. You time
Selfishly claim a section of each day, say 1 hour, to do things for you. You could have your nails done, have a massage or simply read a book, the choice is yours. Remove yourself from interruptions, from noise or stress and make that time yours, every day. Ask a friend or partner to assist you with this if need be� it�s the only link you have with the old you, pre-children, pre-work, pre-marriage� it�s your �grass roots� time.
Regardless of your ability or achievements, have confidence in the decisions you make and take responsibility for the consequences. Be able to apologise for wrong decisions and be prepared to adapt to changes. Confidence comes from not fearing the outcome of your actions, only you can take control of this but if you do, you will be able to do and say thing that are usually the reserve of super achievers.
16. Feeling fulfilled
Feeling fulfilled is the key to happiness, to anxiety free living and to enjoyment of each and every day. Feeling fulfilled is the result of a combination of realistic goal setting, removal of stressful influences and personal achievement, in fact every positive influence you can gather on your journey. Feeling fulfilled is simpler than you think and if you apply all the rules outlined in this list, you won�t go far wrong.
The Linden Method for Anxiety, Panic Attacks & Phobias
The Linden Centre
+44 (0)1562 742004
Charles Linden, ex anxiety disorder sufferer and developer of The Linden Method for anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and phobias is also head of The Linden Centres International. Charles, 38, is married to Beth and has two children Charlie and Florence.
Charles suffered with anxiety for most of his childhood up until he was 27 years old which is when he �reverse engineered� the solution which was to become his internationally renowned anxiety elimination methodology.
Charles and Beth manage The Centres from their bases in Europe, providing support for English, Spanish, German and Spanish language versions of The Linden Method.
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