I’ve seen a lot of posts from friends and acquaintances recently about their personal struggles with anxiety. I also have many people come by my market stall to ask which oils can help. Chances are you are one of them and you may or may not have read this far because I know when anxiety was an integral part of my life I would have felt terribly bitter reading a title like this one, from “one of those people” who finally kicked their anxiety for good; because at the time that felt impossible.
Looking back now to the way I felt day in day out, I’m not sure how I survived it. From the minute I opened my eyes in the morning I felt this nonsensical feeling of urgency and fear. I couldn’t lie in bed and ignore it, but getting up to face the world felt unbearable. My hands would shake and I would feel nauseous. I distanced myself from friends because I thought they’d think me crazy if I explained how I was feeling (and didn’t have the words anyway). Normal things (and when at my worst this included opening the curtains) would get me into a terrible state – a few too many people in the supermarket, the bus, a meeting. The commonality was people, but that didn’t explain why I’d wake up in the middle of the night anxious or begin to hyperventilate when walking alone. One day at my lowest point I almost ran my car off the motorway to escape from what I was feeling. My hands started to turn the wheel, but I came to my senses, took my foot off the accelerator and careered to a stop on the hard shoulder. I can’t remember exactly when my anxiety started, I do understand why it manifested, but boy I remember the day I realised it wasn’t there! It was only this year. I was sat breastfeeding Jade, tv was off, it was quiet. Usually in this instance I would turn the tele on to distract myself from the anxiety biting at my throat and basically be unable to just sit, but this day was different.
I was relaxed, fully relaxed, present and I felt in control. You see, the best way I can describe living with anxiety is like a cup almost filled to the top all the time. It only takes the tiniest of things to tip the cup over, whereas ‘normal’ people, those without anxiety can take a lot more before they tip.
So, what had changed?
- The first step was to take myself off the medication I was on – beta blockers for the anxiety. I also chose to come off my contraception pills and take a much more natural approach to illness
- I then made a life changing choice to move away from some of the triggers of the anxiety. I don’t believe this has to be as dramatic a move as I made, but disconnecting yourself from obvious triggers is worth it, in my experience
- Something that followed this step, although it wasn’t an intentional recovery step, was some gut healing. Simple things like probiotics. dōTERRA do a great one called PB Assist.
- When we moved to New Zealand it was much easier to access holistic resources and solutions and it was here that my real journey of healing began. My advice to you would be to reach out to a holistic doctor and talk to them about what’s going on. I learnt all sorts of things and techniques, like the importance of sunlight and fresh air, using a simple walk somewhere green and exercise as relaxation anchors, how to breathe into the depths of my belly instead of my chest that was causing me to hyperventilate, meditation and more
- In 2016 after I’d had Jade I undertook a dōTERRA Challenge called TERRAfit to lose my baby weight and it really changed the way I was eating, which I think also helped. I don’t think we place enough focus on how the fuel we put in our body helps and hinders our mental health. TERRAfit is all about eating clean, so no heavy metals, pesticides, sugar and other things that play havoc with our system.
- In 2016 I also branched out with the essential oils I was using to help with my anxious feelings. Lavender was always my go to, but with dōTERRA I discovered a blend called Balance. It contains Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Osmanthus, Blue Chamomile; all the grounding oils, which helped me to start the day in a place of calm and focus. I applied 2 drops to my feet every morning and reapplied to my wrists as I needed throughout the day. When I felt suddenly panicky I would apply Wild Orange, which I felt stopped that first domino of anxiety in its tracks, so the other dominoes didn’t spiral out of control. I also used another blend called Serenity to help me relax and sleep and Bergamot to help my emotional healing journey. Essential Oils became part of my daily routine and for a while I was glad to have dōTERRA’s loyalty rewards to help pay for so many oils!
- The turning point from managing my anxiety to taking control of it was life coaching. I guess a big part of my anxiety was wanting desperately to make changes in my life, but lacking the confidence and self-esteem to make them happen and so sitting there feeling anxious that they weren’t happening! The coaching helped me reframe my anxiety and its symptoms and change my perspective of stored memories. I also created more integrated beliefs, improved clarity and confidence and decluttered my physical space because, heck that clutter was adding to my anxiety!
- The final step has been supplements, as certain deficiencies can really worsen anxious feelings.
- The B vitamins help with nervous system functioning, and being under a lot of stress can deplete your levels.
- Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a part in more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates the release of stress hormones.
- Studies on both humans and mice have shown a strong connection between magnesium levels and depression and anxiety.
- Tryptophan isn’t a vitamin or mineral, but rather an essential amino acid. It is the number 1 supplement purchased for stress and anxiety.
- Tryptophan converts into a compound called 5-HTP, which then converts it to serotonin (the “feel good chemical”), which plays a huge role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep.
- Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because its main source is sunlight.
- Research has shown that individuals with depression and anxiety disorders also commonly have low levels of Vitamin D.
- Calcium. The nervous system needs calcium in order to operate properly, so mood issues and anxiety very often result from not getting enough calcium.
My journey with supplements began with the dōTERRA Microplex VM, which is a balanced blend of vitamins that includes antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; an energy
complex of B vitamins; and natural vitamin D3. It also contains a bioavailable blend of essential minerals, which includes bio-available forms of the bone nutrients calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. Finally there is a blend of essential trace minerals for cellular metabolism, communication, and regeneration and a great blend of polyphenols such as: grapeseed extract, quercetin, pomegranate fruit extract, resveratrol, and more for their great antioxidant power.
The tryptophan I took from natural sources and pea protein.
In the last 2 months I have added dōTERRA’s omega mix and cellular vitality mix, plus a blend called DDR Prime.
DDR Prime contains frankincense, wild orange, summer savory, niaouli, lemongrass, clove & thyme to help protect the cells in our body from oxidative stress. When there is an imbalance in our body between the creation of free radicals and the neutralization of them via antioxidants, our cells become stressed and age. DDR Prime supports the body’s process of the cell’s destruction or repair, rather than just having it hang around impaired causing other issues. I really do feel exponentially better with these last two supplements on board and I’m keen to get my bloods redone this week to see whether DDR Prime has improved my thyroid and adrenal function, which have suffered from years of ‘fight or flight’.
There’s a lot here, I know. If you’re struggling, just try one thing first and don’t be overwhelmed. Or, to understand the potential of using essential oils for your emotional balance better, and to get started <<click here>>
Believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you want to talk to me, just shout.
Much love x x