Updated: Aug 3, 2022
I know what it’s like to feel discouraged and frustrated when you don't feel good in your body or mind. All you want is to feel calm, healthy and confident, but every day feels like a battle ground. From the second you wake up anxious thoughts come flooding in and your body feels on edge and exhausted.
When your mood is unpredictable and you're full of fear, it's hard to live a full life. So many people get stuck in this place and repeat the same patterns day after day. Until, eventually they hit a breaking point and decide to seek out answers and make changes.
My hope for you is that I can help speed along your search for answers. You don’t have to waste precious time fighting a battle with your body and mind each day!
If you don’t know my story, I battled with anxiety for over 5 years of my life. I was on medication and saw many therapists, but felt hopeless with the progress I was making. I was managing the symptoms of my anxiety, instead of addressing the root causes. I didn’t see relief until I started to research and examine my life as a whole from a holistic perspective. The changes came when I committed to doing the work to heal my body and renew my mind.
Let's dive in and talk about some of the roots I discovered on my journey that might be causing your anxiety too.
Culprit #1: Your Mindset
The mind has to be part of your solution because we need it to get anything done. It is the machine that pumps out our thoughts and steers our actions. I’m going to break this category down into two sub categories, even though I could write a whole book on this topic!
Identity & Beliefs
I want you to ask yourself a question. Do you believe it is possible to be free from your anxiety and feel healthy and confident in your skin? After years of battling with my mental and physical health, I began to put myself in a box. As uncomfortable as my symptoms were, it was comforting and validating to slap a label on myself.
“I’m an anxious person and always overthink things, that’s just how my brain is”
“I’m super sensitive and have never taken criticism well”
“I’m an emotional eater that's just how I cope”
What are the "I am" statements you tell yourself on repeat? These statements are more powerful than you think. They reinforce what you believe to be true about yourself. Your brain is always listening and looking for evidence to support your beliefs.
The truth is, God did not design your mind to be anxious or your body to have disease/dysfunction. When overcoming anxiety, you have to shift your beliefs around your identity. Get on board with the idea that you CAN change your mindset and behaviors. You aren't naturally an anxious person. You're a person who currently experiences anxiety and is learning how to overcome it. These small mindset shifts go a long way. You have to believe it's possible to live a life free from anxiety!
If we zoom out a bit further there is usually a deeper reason as to why we are experiencing anxiety. If you think back over your life, when did anxiety start popping up for you?
Did you struggle to make friends growing up because you moved to different cities? Did you feel overshadowed by an older sibling? Did you feel unworthy because of how your body looked? Did your parents place unreasonable expectations on you? Were you in an abusive relationship? Did an event happen in your life that lead you to be fearful of something? Did you grow up in an unstable family?
These events can mold our beliefs about life and ourselves. It can help to take a trip through your past to understand why certain things make you anxious. We all have wounds. The good news is they can be healed! Understanding where your fear comes from can give you more compassion for yourself.
It's possible to forgive, let go of the past and pave a new way forward. You can rewrite your story and change any underlying beliefs that are making you anxious. It just takes work and time.
Culprit #2: Nutrition
Mindset is not the only culprit to your anxiety. Your body needs nutrients for your brain and nervous system function. If you're not getting them in the right amount your body tells you! Symptoms are messengers.
When you are dealing with anxiety you might experience:
Anxiety and panic can bring on these physical symptoms, but so can imbalances in your body. For example, low blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration or a nutritional deficiency can all lead to the feelings above.
When I had anxiety I found out it wasn't all in my head. I was deficient in vitamin D, my gut was out of balance and I was dealing with hypoglycemia because of my poor diet.
Changing what I was eating played a huge role in overcoming my anxiety. I find when my clients start to improve their physical health through nutrition, their mental health tags along for the ride. If you're struggling with anxiety, rule out any nutritional causes that could be making you feel off.
Anxiety can also stem from your lifestyle. Are you setting up your days to provide your body with an environment to be healthy and energized? Are you creating space and nourishing your mind to feel calm and confident? Our daily habits compound over time and have a significant impact on how we are feeling. A few common lifestyle culprits I see with people experiencing anxiety are below:
Excessive caffeine intake
Over or under exercising
Lack of rest
Zero work life balance
Over consuming news/media
Side effects from medication
With all of these potential culprits you can see that it takes a holistic approach to tackle anxiety. It's all connected!
Your anxiety could be a result of your mindset, your diet, your lifestyle, or a combination of all three. I hope this blog has provided you with some insight as to what might be causing yours, so you can begin taking steps to tackle it.