Does the thought of certain activities, tasks on your to-do list or certain people make your heart start pumping, your breathing become shallow or your palms turn sweaty? These physical feelings can be the direct effect of an anxious mind. These symptoms can come on almost seemingly out of nowhere.
While anxiety is classically seen as a “mental/emotional” condition, anxiety can stem from a number of physical areas in the body. Anxiety and the feelings of overwhelm are often made worse when there are specific physical imbalances.
Specifically the stress response is activated when your mind believes you are in trouble, be it physically or emotionally. This system is referred to as your “fight or flight” system and it helps the rest of your body prepare for making quick, potentially life saving decisions. The sympathetic nervous system makes your heart pump faster and your muscles/brain get oxygen (blood) quickly. The neurotransmitters, adrenalin and noradrenalin, as well as the hormones that are part of our adrenal system come out and cause a flood of symptoms. If you are someone who is under stress constantly and you feel your anxiety is connected with your stress level, then your adrenals may be negatively feeding your anxiety.
If your microbiome and gut health are out of balance where the balance of good bugs to non-health promoting bugs in your gut is off, your gut isn’t breaking down foods adequately or you aren’t absorbing nutrients, it may worthwhile to heal the gut to help your anxiety. Since 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, and we now understand the gut communicates directly with the brain, this is often a key area to look at to reduce anxiety.
Other reasons you may have constant anxiety is from hormonal imbalances, thyroid imbalances, or neurotransmitter imbalances. Nutritional deficiencies can also make you more prone to anxiety.
However, no matter where your anxiety stems from, you may feel (often without much warning):
- out of control
- unable to proceed with discretionary direction
- overly sensitive or reactive
- unable to concentrate of focus
- and much more…
According to the principles of feng shui, clutter prevents chi (positive energy or life force) from flowing throughout your home. Clutter may contribute to feeling stuck or of being unable to relax in your home. This can indeed bring up feelings of anxiety, worry and stress, from what feels like “nowhere.”
While clutter might seem somewhat inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, you’d be wise to consider the feng shui take on an untidy space.
Next time you are looking at a cluttered desk or you open that closet that hasn’t been gone through since you moved into your place two years ago – ask yourself how this makes you feel. You may be surprised how much these little things are adding to your overall level of anxiety.
When I was younger, every so often I would re-arrange my room. We’re talking complete rearrangement. Not just moving a couple things over here, or a few things over there. I would move my desk, bureau, pictures, bed and so on. Looking back, there were just times in my life I was looking to switch up the energy or more basically put: feel more at ease in my own environment.
Listen to those whispers from yourself. Your environment either makes you feel at ease or has you all revved up. If your house, bedroom, or office has been making you feel on edge or not relaxed, maybe a simple solution is to look at what you can literally change up in the space!
And not even just change up, but possibly even get rid of.
3 Simple Steps to De-clutter
Step 1—Commit to a project. This can be either a room, a floor or the entire house. BUT here is the deal, do not pick something so big it is going to cause anxiety. Start small!!
- Every day, take small steps towards reducing the material you have in your chosen area. Create a calendar and place small feats on it daily: clean out filing cabinet, re-arrange filing cabinet, organize filing cabinet, go through kids toys they don’t play with, donate the kids toys, etc, etc. DON’T, I repeat DON’t try to do it all at once or you are likely to succumb to extreme stress, anxiety and overwhelm!
Step 2—Keep, Toss, Donate.
- Create boxes for Toss and Donate, to help add organization to your process. This way as you are working through different rooms, you are ready to toss or donate when you have gone through all the tasks in Step 1.
Step 3—Stay Detached (as much as possible). This is probably the most important one!
- Sentimentality or a sense that “I’ll need this someday…” completely cuts you off from being able to live life a little more freely, TRUSTING that what you need will come your way when you need it. Now, of course I am not talking about the last picture you have of your grandmother with the family. Instead I am talking about books, clothing, toys, gifts, etc. If you haven’t used it, pass it on to someone who will.
- Here is the deal: when you set things into movement, FLOW has a lot better chance of being in your life. Get rid of things you don’t need or use, and you’ll be surprised at what just may show up. I have seen this numerous times, where people de-clutter and let go of things, and the next day a check shows up in the mailbox, or a toaster over (that you have been wanting to replace) comes your way from a great Aunt who never uses hers.
Oh, and the best part? Your feeling of anxiety pretty much goes with all the stuff you are getting rid of.
Really, when you trust that you will have what you need when you need it, small miracles appear to happen.
Anxiety and Change
De-cluttering allows you to create space for the things you want to achieve. The mere act of clearing clutter in your home, can renew your life by aiding in the release of negative emotions & feelings.
Decluttering can make space for you, so that internally you feel at peace, calm and grounded while at home! In The Power of Less, Leo Babauta explains, “Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty—it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do.”
By clearing space you’ll not only reduce some anxiety, but be making room for wonderful things & amazing opportunities to flow in.
On top of de-cluttering to release anxiety and overwhelm, there are a few tools you can have in your back pocket to use daily to help keep that anxiety in check…
Keep Your Anxiety De-cluttered For Good With:
Anxiety Reducing Habits
1) Get out in nature. I cannot stress enough how grounding it feels to just BE in nature. You will feel completely recharged. You will be way more productive from a place of calm and centeredness, than you are from a place of anxiety. If you don’t have any nature around you, then just get outside. Being in fresh air can do wonders as well for calming the body and mind. If you can, take your shoes off and walk in the dirt for 10 minutes. A technique known as earthing. This also helps reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
2) Drink a cup of nervine tea. Your nervous system (along with your adrenals) are on over-drive right now. Good stress, bad stress, its all still stress. And some stress is good! But constant stress can be really taxing on the body, so why not give your nerves a little support. Some of my favorite calming teas: Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Catnip (Nepeta cataria)- not just for cats, and Holy basil (Tulsi).
Just get it all out. It’s stress management. You need to get these feelings off your chest….(there are sayings for a reason). When you give yourself the chance to give voice to your feelings, they free up your body and mind from holding on to them. This is a great way to keep you energized, rather than anxious, exhausted and drained.
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