What is Anxiety?
(including generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, PTSD, OCD, agoraphobia, nervous illness, nerves, overwhelming stress, traumatic stress, and other anxiety disorders)
Panic attacks are a part of our body's fight, flight, or freeze response. They reach their peak within a matter of minutes at which time they can be very uncomfortable and includes some (or many) of the following Anxiety Sensations:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- Fear of losing it or “going crazy”
- Fear of dying
- General sense of dread.
- Feeling constantly "on edge"
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
- An inability to be still and calm
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Muscle tension
Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
This is not a comprehensive list of the sensations that you may feel when panic arises from your anxiety or PTSD, simply a list of some common occurrences. Since anxiety impacts nearly all of the parts of our bodies, we may feel any number of different things when we are anxious.
If you are reading this and thinking, "that's me alright, but what do I do now?" Then you have come to the right place!
Step one is to start teaching your body to calm down and begin living a more mindful life. Other factors may include diet, lifestyle, movement for healing anxiety, and many more which you will learn though our podcast, blog posts, and 1-on-1 coaching with any of our Anxiety Coaches.
Even Better, all of our Anxiety Coaching is done by phone or Skype so you can get help from wherever you are!
What could be more convenient than online or phone anxiety coaching?
Now where do you turn for help?
We often look for a process or magic cure that will "fix" our anxiety.
We try all sorts of stuff, like:
- wearing magnets
- consult a shaman
- check out eastern medicine
- study zen
- try yoga
- art therapy
- find a guru
- eat special diet
- drink medicinal teas
- give up caffeine
- cut our sugar intake
- go organic
- see a psychic
- find religion
- and just about anything else that someone, somewhere claimed on the internet to help with their anxiety.
That is a pretty long list --right!?
Look, we're not putting any of that down...we've been there too. In fact several of those things are very helpful and good for you, BUT they don't take away your anxiety.
We have tried a bunch of that stuff. You'll even hear us recommend some of those things on the podcast as steps to help you out, but those are for more immediate and acute situations and for learning to calm down enough to get some perspective and begin to learn the truth about what you need to do...or NOT DO. The truth is we just need to learn to accept and surrender rather than fighting and seeking out something or someone to do it for us. Anyone who has recovered from anxiety will tell you, as soon as they stopped trying so hard, they started to feel better...and stopped caring so much when they didn't feel great!
Once we begin to let go and start "being" instead of always "doing" things begin to change. The reality is that the things on that list that help us the most actually lead us to acceptance and surrender.
AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE HERE TO TEACH YOU!
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What besides stress can raise cortisol?
We all know that stress can raise our cortisol levels and keep us in a ramped up or even anxious state but what else besides stress raises cortisol and how can we prevent that from our daily lives? Here are a few that come to mind:
⚛The first one I list and the last one anyone wants to hear is caffeine. I know we all have our own relationship with it but if it's cranking up the cortisol day in and day out causing you to run for help for your anxiety it’s time to break-up!
⚛Caffeine's partner in crime in daily life is alcohol yes it too raises cortisol levels and many people with high-stress or anxiety-panic will tell you they get triggered by drinking (not everyone as some people do feel the sedative effect of alcohol. I think it depends how over sensitized you may be when you have the alcohol.) Another place alcohol is a problem is with the day after, the hangover this is commonly the scene of a “first” panic attack. So two reasons to take note of alcohol.
⚛Increased insulin is next on the list and insulin is best controlled by our diet and by reducing stress....ouch! Yes, stress causes our insulin to rise, and now we are in a cycle that feel and bad as it sounds. While we are here with insulin, we also have poorer insulin control when we are
⚛Not getting enough sleep so again we can feel trapped in a cycle here.
If breaking out of this cycle seems impossible I invite you to consider eliminating caffeine for herbals such as Dandi blend, reduce or eliminate your alcohol and see how things change for you, your sleep may improve and your morning cuppa may no longer even be necessary! Switch up your diet to add lots of fiber-rich fruits and veggies that will naturally crowd out the fast acting carbohydrates and added sugars that can easily spike both glucose and insulin levels. And finally get more quality sleep! Check out these three episodes for info and tips on how to get more and better sleep.
May you have a day that brings you joy and peace!