By. Jannika Rask
Founder of Neue Reveal, Health Coach for anxiety management
When anxiety shows up in our lives, it can often feel like we’re in this mental prison, where we feel physically and emotionally disconnected. As someone who’s experienced crippling panic attacks and anxiety, I’ve spent a good deal of my twenties looking for natural ways to manage anxiety and connect to myself at a deeper level. There’s a lot we can do for ourselves, but the reality is that we live in this fix-it now society where we expect change and transformation to happen overnight through some miracle product.
Our body’s have an innate ability to heal itself when given care, attention, awareness and time every day in a way that makes us feel good. It takes a holistic approach, one that considers our physical, mental and emotional health not just one.
For healing and transformation to occur, consider the 5 pillars of wellbeing: mindset, gut health and nutrition, movement, self care, and nurturing environment.
Before we do anything in life, whether we’re prepping for a job interview, asking someone out on a date, training for a marathon, or giving birth, it all starts with our mindset first, the goal setting, and action second. The same is true for our health. This process involves taking a deeper look at what may be holding you back, such as fears, obstacles, and roadblocks. You’ll want to consider any limiting beliefs that are standing in your way, and bring your awareness to your thoughts. Are your thought patterns rooted in negativity and self-judgment or positivity and self-validation? What’s your self talk like these days? Do you have a “nothing is working out for me” mentality, or an “everything is going to work out” attitude?
Our thoughts and beliefs directly affect and influence our outcomes. I’m always reminded of a quote by Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or think you can’t. You’re right.” It’s the law of attraction at work.
Gut Health & Nutrition
Diet has an impact not only on our physical health but on our emotional health, and what we choose to fuel our body with has a direct effect on our mood. And when you understand that the food you are eating is either supporting or harming your mood, your functionality, and your long-term health, the choice is pretty simple.
In order to create optimal brain function, a thriving gut microbiome, and a healthy body and mind, we have to come back to nutrient-dense, whole foods — foods like leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and on occasion grass-fed meat and wild fish. It's been proven that improving gut health can help to regulate immune response, predisposition to weight gain, and mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
If you want to feel good now, eat nourishing foods. If you want to feel good later on, eat nourishing foods. Start now by listening to your body. If you feel slow, tired, cranky, or have an upset stomach after a meal, take note of what you ate. On the other hand, notice when foods make you feel light, energetic and vibrant. This awareness and ability to adapt can make the biggest difference.
Regular physical activity and exercise provides a multitude of benefits for body, mind and spirit. It is important to include movement into your daily life to not only improve health and boost your vitality, but to feel good and think clearly. Daily, not just once a week or once a month, because consistency is key, and what we do every day, forms our habits and affects our health.
By moving our body, our energy is flowing freely. Everything is energy and this force field includes the mind and consciousness. Thought (invisible energy from our mind) not only shapes our body, but shapes our relationship to the external world we live in. For someone who’s experiencing anxiety, determining underlying friction will help resolve it. Where are you blocking the flow of energy in your life? Maybe it’s work stress or feeling like you’re not in fulfilling, purpose-driven work, or there could be friction in a relationship with a close friend or loved one, perhaps even with yourself. You need to get honest with yourself. Once you find where that friction is coming from, move your body with mindfulness to get the energy flowing again. Consider Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi-Gong which are all centered around breath work and energy. When you flow with the energy within and around you, you naturally become happier and healthier.
Self care means taking care of your body, mind and soul regardless of whatever else is going on in your life. We all have busy schedules, work and personal lives, and family obligations, but it’s the people that carve out time in their daily life for themselves that cultivate creativity in their lives, are more productive, and foster a deeper connection to themselves.
The beauty of self care is that it’s very personal. You get to make the choice how you want to care for yourself. Choose practices that bring you joy, make you feel good, and that align with your vision and goals. If it’s reading a chapter of a motivating book, meditating, or cooking a healthy meal for your family, choose forms of self care that foster inner peace and help you grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It’s so important to show up for yourself and invest in yourself. Until you do, you can’t take care of anyone else.
Our outer environment is a direct reflection of our inner environment, so if we want to develop a sense of calm and inner peace, a good place to start is with our surroundings. Look around your work and home space, if we’re in a cluttered space, chances are we’re going to have a cluttered mind. Can’t find the one document you need amongst a desk full of papers? Trying to focus on work when your house is a mess? Pretty stressful. This also applies to the people we surround ourselves with. Are you surrounding yourself with people that lift you up, support you and want to see you thrive, or do you spend time with people who are negative and bring your energy down?
Get rid of physical objects that no longer serve you, cut ties with people that aren’t good for you, and make space for new energy, new opportunities, and clarity of mind. Our physical settings can have a direct effect on our mood, so cultivate a space that brings you serenity and peace, and surround yourself with people that make you feel good.
When we take action steps in each of these pillars, we pave the way for transformation, healing and inner peace. The result is a deeper connection to self, regardless if you deal with anxiety or not.
Jannika is a mindset and confidence coach for women with anxiety. She guides and empowers clients to put themselves first, break free from limiting beliefs, and heal from within through simple, yet profound shifts. When she isn’t mentoring clients, Jannika is exploring NYC by foot, inspiring self-care and conscious living, and getting creative in the kitchen.