After I launched Cora & Bodhi I was overwhelmed with the response I received; text messages from friends, emails from yoga students and strangers. The support was amazing, kind words from friends, family and people in the yoga biz. I have never felt so loved and supported.
However, something surprised me. I got an enormously large amount of feedback from people who were struggling with anxiety themselves.
I was unaware of this until today, but anxiety is the number 1 mental health concern in Australia. I’m sure the numbers aren’t much different for Canada, the US & UK. One of the leading organizations for mental health in Australia ‘Beyond Blue’ states that 1 in 4 Australians will experience anxiety at some point in their lives.
Holy shit you guys, we are all in this together.
In the last 8 years, I have designed my entire lifestyle around keeping my anxiety at bay. It hasn’t always been easy, but I can tell you for the most part, it works. When I start to get lazy and let my routine slip, the anxiety creeps back in. I wake up with a general feeling of dis-ease, and a terrible sinking sensation in my belly. Free time starts to become unbearable, as a cloud of panic rolls over me. My mind begins to visualize opening a bottle of wine, or rolling a joint. In the past, this was the best way I knew how to deal with those feelings. Luckily, I didn’t accept that I had to live with anxiety, medication, or self medication.
Here are my top 5 non-negotiables, when it comes to living a (mostly) anxiety free life.
1. Yoga (Asana), meditation & pranayama (breath work).
No matter what is going on in my life, I practice these three things daily. Sometimes its for 5 minutes, sometimes its 90. I can whole-heartedly say that together these three techniques have helped keep me off drugs or medication.
2. I limit my exposure to technology.
The more time I spend looking at a screen, weather it’s on my phone or my Mac book the worse I feel. I do my best to keep my devices out of the bedroom and create a technology free zone. I take 1 day a week away from my computer.
3. I go outside regularly.
Spending time in nature is uber important to me. The vastness of the sky and ocean put it all into perspective. Whatever is going on with me, ain’t so bad.
4. I go on a spiritual retreat at least once a year.
For me, a few days of silence spent in nature restores my connection with my inner wisdom like nothing else. When I connect with my own true nature, I know anxiety is just a surface issue. Meh.
5. I limit my intake of drugs and alcohol.
This one is pretty obvious. One drink feels good, 3 not so much.
There are many, many more strategies that I use on a daily basis, but these 5 have had a huge impact on my wellbeing.
What do you do to manage anxiety? Share it with us so we can all do our happy dance more often.
Photo cred: Andreas Ivarsson
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