Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Dear Beautiful You,
I remember the first time my symptoms went away. I worked so very hard at finding the answers that worked for me. I was so excited, and anxiety was behind me!!!!
Or so I thought....
And then those terrible symptoms came back, and this time with a vengeance. Not days later, but months later. I thought I was the most unlucky person in the world to have to endure this monster twice. So, I once again worked hard and my symptoms disappeared. But again, two years later they came back.
What was happening?
It was because I did not know that anxiety was a three-step process. I was under the impression symptoms and anxiety were synonyms. But the truth is symptom reduction is just the first step. Yes, you may feel great and victorious when the symptoms disappear and feeling good equates with health. And it should. There are just another few pieces to the anxiety puzzle that need to be addressed so that the anxiety condition does not return.
(There is a difference between an anxiety condition and "healthy anxiety" that you want to have, and actually embrace in certain situations)
There are so many businesses and people that try to sell you an "anxiety cure". And that is great, but it is important to note that what they are selling you in their product is just the reduction of symptoms. There is no oil, drink, vitamin, special potion in the world that is going to do the work you need to do to holistically heal.
That is why Step 2 and Step 3 are even more important that symptom reduction.
Step 2 is finding the root cause to your anxiety. When you address the reason and not just the symptom, you are on your way to emotional and physical freedom. There are many causes for anxiety, sometimes it is an underlying medical issue, if that is the case a doctor can get you on the road to healing. Mostly though, anxiety stems from poor diet, leaky gut, emotional traumas and a flawed belief system.
Correcting nutritional deficiencies, eating well and healing your gut can be done on your own, but even better with a coach, a nutritionist or a functional medicine practitioner. They can help you find the balance for optimal health in your diet. However, a good start is to let go of sugar, alcohol, caffeine and begin eating whole foods. There will be an immediate change in your body, and then you can begin your journey into the deep healing and nutritional goodness your body is craving.
It is also just as important to address traumas and beliefs that you have been holding onto and that are causing havoc in your body. By getting to the root cause of the anxiety and pulling it out, you are literally giving your body the rest it deserves. You can mediate, do yoga, utilize energy healing, therapy, whatever it is that allows you to let go and create a healthy mindset and develops a new set of healthy beliefs.
But, this is only step 2.
Again, you may feel great and believe it is all behind you. And it is, you have done great work when you complete Step 1 and Step 2, but life is not always stress free. Because you have had anxiety, your nerves have literally been trained to react, or overreact I should say, to stress. So, you may be smooth sailing for years, but then when a stressful situation comes into your life, BAM! anxiety again. That is why Step 3- maintenance is probably the most important step of them all.
Maintenance is literally maintaining a healthy lifestyle so that when extreme stress pops up in life, you have a balance that is healthy enough to withstand the anxiety that arises. We are all human and all will go through periods of high stress, grief and sadness. This is a perfect storm for anxiety to appear, but with a good maintenance plan, the anxiety will be much less a condition that sticks around and more just a few symptoms that pop up and rescind into the distance.
How can you maintain? Eat well, exercise, let go of toxicity in your life, be it relationships, messages from the media, thoughts, products in your home, etc. Basically, clean up your life and be the best you. And above all, be kind, to yourself and others. Watch the things you say, again to yourself and others. Do things you love and let go of things you don't. You are a beacon for what you send into the world. It all comes back to you. Believe in the amazing creature that you are and the power you yield in healing, in loving and in connecting.
Healing anxiety is not complicated, it is really only these three steps. But it can be an overwhelming process. That is why there is no right way or time limit on this, it is your opportunity to look inside and love yourself. To follow where your body, mind and spirit is leading you to and hear the guidance from within.
You got this.
If you need help, contact me. Would love to help.
Lucie Dickenson a wife and mom to three unique teenagers. She has just written her first book Overreacting: a memoir of anxious proportions.
As an anxiety coach, writer and speaker her hope is that something she has written resonates with another that is struggling. Her passion is helping others to truly understand that their life stories hold the key to healing and connecting with others.