Diablo Gazette – Lower Your Anxiety
February 4th, 2023
Co-authored by Dr. Holly Holmes-Meredith and Bill Yarborough.
Even in good times, anxiety is a challenge. And today our “new normal” is fraught with financial swings, political divisions, increasing violence, climate change, and an uncertain future.
Key signs of anxiety include headaches, fatigue, overeating, mood swings, angry outbursts, and other health or emotional symptoms. If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen and become chronic, creating significant health problems.
- Physical illnesses. Recent studies show chronic anxiety can compromise your body’s physiology. Stress and anxiety trigger the release of hormones as a part of the fight, flight, or freeze syndrome. These hormones stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules. Such a response can protect you when faced with danger, but if it becomes chronic, it can compromise your health, creating a path to inflammation-related diseases, including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
- Mental illness and behavior problems. Studies show chronic stress on the brain can increase the chances of mental illness, create mood and behavioral problems, and affect memory.
- Insomnia. Chronic stress can contribute to insomnia. Stress and sleep have a cyclical relationship. High levels of stress can negatively affect your sleeping patterns and the lack of enough sleep can create additional stress.
In our modern world, we no longer need to flee for safety while being chased by a tiger. But we may feel a tiger is at our back when we hold down two jobs, struggle to pay our bills, or engage in repeated arguments with our life partner. Daily life challenges can become overwhelming and many times we feel like there is no way out. If you find you cannot manage your daily life or if you are getting to the point of self-harm or harming others, get professional support. Medical and psychological interventions can help you stabilize.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to lower stress and manage anxiety before it reaches severe levels. Here are some strategies and tools that can change your responses to the stressors of daily life. In some cases, you can pursue these strategies on your own, while with others, you may need an experienced life coach or therapist to help you navigate the use of these approaches.
- Look at the stressful patterns in your life and take steps to change them. Do you hate your job? Are you staying in an acrimonious relationship? Is your health going downhill because of a poor diet, no exercise, and a stress-inducing lifestyle? Take an honest look at situations that keep you stressed and take steps to change them. For example, you could explore new job opportunities, start a new diet, join a gym, find supportive friends, or seek professional help in resolving relationship issues.
- Use de-stressing tools to manage your anxiety while engaged in everyday activities. These tools can help you recognize early warning signs of stress and anxiety. For example, take time out to relax and tune into your body. If you feel tension, constriction, or other forms of physical discomfort, consider de-stressing activities—a short walk, breathing exercises, relaxing to music, or meditation.
- Identify the negative or limiting beliefs that keep you stuck. Limiting beliefs reinforcing low self-esteem can affect your behaviors. Language patterns that include the words can’t, have to, and never may highlight limiting beliefs. Certain statements can perpetuate helplessness: “My mother makes me so angry” and “he always makes me late.” Look for dynamics of co-dependence and disempowerment in your life and work toward owning your sovereignty and honoring your own needs. Through understanding the role of a co-dependent, you may discover how you have unconsciously created much of your own stress. Energy therapies such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be effective in overcoming limiting beliefs and co-dependency. It’s a fast, easy, and proven method, and there are many sites on the internet and YouTube that demonstrate its use, including the EFT Coaching page at billyarborough.com.
- Release the original traumas. Severe anxiety, panic attacks, or phobias can be treated to help your energy system release the traumas that created your stress response. Hypnotherapy or hypnotic regression is one approach that can bring you to the original traumatic event or events repressed from your conscious mind. Anxiety, PTSD, and phobias often trace to childhood traumas, birth, or even a past life trauma. These traumas are re-triggered by current life events that echo the original trauma and can create severe stress responses. Once you access buried memories and release the energetic patterns creating anxiety, a new homeostasis emerges, freeing you from the disruptive symptoms.
- Show up and make a difference. Volunteer in ways that are meaningful to you. Many people find such volunteer work a natural de-stressors. It feels good to make a difference and it may help you feel you are part of something bigger than yourself.
You may not avoid feeling stress and anxiety altogether in our modern world. But it is possible to manage your stress and anxiety before it creates problems with your health and happiness. The techniques above may also provide an opportunity to expand your sense of being and better clarify your life purpose and place in the world.
If you have questions or comments, please reach out to us via the contact information on our websites: Holly at hypnothearpytraining.com or Bill at billyarborough.com.
If you have questions or comments, please reach out to us via the contact information on our websites: Holly at hypnotherapytraining.com or Bill at billyarborough.com.
By Dr. Holly Holmes-Meredith, D. Min., MFT, Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Bill Yarborough, CHT, and Certified EFT Practitioner.
This article is scheduled to be published in an upcoming issue of The Diablo Gazette.
Categories: anxiety, EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, Emotional Health Articles, Hypnotherapy, therapy, trauma