by NativeRemedies on March 11th, 2010 at 7:00 am
For years I’ve suffered from anxiety, needlessly worrying about everything, struggling with racing thoughts and sometimes waking up in the middle of the night not being able to fall back asleep, in addition to other troubling symptoms of chronic anxiety caused in part by my inability to manage stress.
Since I love to read and research, I decided to find a solution that wouldn’t involve prescription medication. I found an array of natural ways to help me cope, including watching what I eat, walking and practicing yoga, as well as supplementing my diet with herbs from nature’s medicine cabinet.
Although applying these changes definitely helped, they didn’t completely rid me of the heavy burden anxiety imposes on the body and mind. Still, not one to give up, I kept researching and came up with something that might actually be the simplest approach yet; slowing down. Now I said it was simple which doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy!
Learning to Slow Down
I decided that I had to apply the “slow down” technique to one activity at a time for it to have any effect. So, for me, the process began with a daily activity – dinner. I used to get home and rush through the cooking process, because I was hungry and because that’s how I was used to doing most things; in a Tasmanian devil-style rush.
Then one day I decided to try a new recipe: Mexican stewed potatoes. Since I knew it was going to be a long process I made myself a smoothie before I started, so hunger wouldn’t take over my entire being and push me into my usual “stressed-anxious” state of mind.
I gathered my ingredients in a deliberately slow and calm manner. I took my time chopping, sautéing, mixing, actually smelling everything as it came together. It was cooking, but slowing down the process made it feel more like a vacation than a frantic chore. My thoughts were focused on the task at hand; I was relaxed and happy.
Do I think all my anxiety is gone forever? Well, no but I’ve stuck to my technique and slept much better the night I applied this technique to my dinner prep. I learned a technique that worked for me in one situation and I believe I can use that technique to relieve the stress I feel in many other areas of my life including work, household chores, money management and much more.
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