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Monday, November 15, 2010

Lifestyle Changes To Combat Anxiety

There's been a lot of talk in the news about healthcare and the economy. Love it or hate it, the healthcare reform bill was passed, and if it actually takes effect it will certainly change a lot of things about how we view going to the doctor and how we pay for those visits and our medications. Regardless of your opinions on the healthcare plan, it can be pretty horrifying to need medical care and have no way to afford it. Being told by a doctor or a hospital that you can't be treated for a lack of funding is one of the worst, most hopeless feelings in the world...and when you need help with an anxiety disorder, such a feeling can send you into the depth of depression or a strong panic attack.

Although drugs aren't for everyone (I personally take no medications at this time, and would like to remain med-free) they often make life bearable for those who take them. If you would like to be put on medication for your anxiety, please reach out to the programs in your community. Google is a great place to start finding out about the mental health advocates in your community, and if you demonstrate financial need, these programs will often ensure you get your medication for a low copay.

However, if you prefer not to take drugs, or if you can't afford them, don't give up hope! Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways, and one the most effective for me has been a lifestyle change.
See, it's not just a matter of "eating better" or "exercising more", though those things are certainly quite helpful. The goal is to approach life differently, to rethink the way you live, and to start changing in whatever way benefits you the most. Sometimes, it's difficult to know where to begin with all this, and for that I recommend seeing a professional therapist or counselor. But even if that's not possible, sometimes it helps to take a deep breath and consider what things you can do to start living a life that lines up more perfectly with your ideals.

It's been a popular thing lately to "follow your bliss", and in this economy, that can seem entirely romantic and ultimately unattainable. The concept is a great one, but pulling it off can be largely intimidating and seemingly impossible. But if you break that down into smaller, more attainable goals, and you work hard toward those goals, following your bliss can be the best decision you'll ever make.

For example, it can start with something simple...taking the time to cook a few nights per week, trying to eat less processed foods and building up your mind and body with the nutrients that they need. It can start with walking five days a week, or joining a gym and working a simple cardio workout into your schedule. It can start with taking a few minutes each day to yourself, regardless of when you can fit those minutes in.

Society tells us that we need to do more and more and more, but the truth is that we are becoming so overwhelmed with this ever-increasing load that we can't attend to any of the things that actually matter to us, personally. This overwhelming workload can be blamed for much of the anxiety and stress related illness that plagues Americans, and the best way to combat it is to identify the things that matter to you and begin working toward them.

I began this blog as a way to help others with the information I've discovered. It was very difficult to find any comprehensive plan for myself, but I hope that I can help others by creating one concise area devoted to creating a practical, doable method for easing anxiety. Diet is a huge issue in a lot of ways, but it isn't the only one. You can't change having a disorder, but you can learn to live with it, to come to terms with it and to be successful and happy regardless of it.

The method of doing so differs for everyone, but by supplying your body with the necessary nutrition to thrive, you can give your mind the tools that it needs.

The Calm Cook

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister! Taking care of yourself and remembering to do simple things (breathe!) is always helpful. Thanks for the great post.