It’s easier said than done. What makes you anxious? I’m sure you can name a list of 5 or more things that add to your anxiety level. Your list might include visiting your ailing relative, your dental visit, long lines or the ‘Sunday Scaries’.
To understand our anxious moments we need to know what anxious means in this context. anx·ious: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness. Concern about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
The key words = ‘uncertain outcome’. We want to be able to predict the outcome, to know what is going to happen, to control the event.
Let’s talk Sunday evening anxiety or the ‘Sunday Scaries’. The term “Sunday scaries,” although not scientific, describes a common feeling of anxiety that builds up over the course of Sunday afternoon and evening. According to a survey conducted by job site Monster, up to 76% of Americans self-reported having “really bad” Sunday night anxiety. Andrea Petersen, author of On Edge, a memoir about her own struggles with anxiety, identifies with work-related anxiety, and its effect on her. “Work is one of our major stressors,” Petersen says, if you’re talking about anxiety in the workplace, it could be the anticipation that you’re not going to be able to accomplish everything that week, or that you’re gonna mess up somehow.”This leads us back to “uncertain outcome’
In my job as an essential oil educator, we often say, “I have an oil for that”. In this instance, I’m going to say, “I have a tool for that”. We cannot allow anxiety to get the best of us, so we use tools to banish that anxiety.
Here are 6 simple tools to put into your anxiety relief toolbox.
- Hot Potato it to God. As a believer in Jesus Christ, this is my first step. Pretend anxiety is a hot potato, then throw it out of your hands into the hands of the One who created you. Remember Peter? He tried walking on a stormy sea. Talk about anxiety! Jesus put out His hand and said, “Peter don’t look at what’s around you, look at Me, take my hand. I’m God. I created the waves you’re walking on, I can handle them” (my paraphrase), Matthew 14:27. You may also recall when Moses asked Joshua to take over his job. Talk about some big shoes to fill! Moses said to Joshua “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them(Israel). For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” Deuteronomy 31: 5 NLT
Get Enough Sleep. You’ve heard this a million times, but it’s true. “If you’re consistently getting less than enough, your body’s not working at its top level, which makes you more susceptible to feeling anxious.” Most people need to between 7 and 8 hours per night to avoid feeling more irritable, distracted, or weak.
- Dump What’s in Your Brain. Write down your appointments and to do’s. When your brain is trying to store too much, it’s working overtime. Pick up a physical or virtual calendar. Use it!
- Eat Nutritiously. Eating nutrient-dense foods instead of processed snacks can go a long way when it comes to reducing your anxiety levels. GH Nutrition Director Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN recommends snacking on dried, unsweetened tart cherries. ”The polyphenolic compounds can help you chill,” she says. “They’ve been linked to increased production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, which makes them great for when you’re feeling anxious.”
Write in a Journal. Journaling helps keep the chaos in your life in order. Writing things down can help you pin-point triggers, so you can avoid them in the future. Journaling also provides an avenue for positive self-talk.
- Aromatherapy. The idea that the smell of fresh-baked cookies triggers fond memories is true. Research shows aromatherapy can help relieve stress. Our olfactory system sends signals to the limbic system and amygdala. These are in charge of our emotions, memory, and mood. Which essential oils are good for decreasing stress? Lavender, Peace and Calming, Valor, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, and Clary Sage.
Today is the day you can begin to take action over your anxiety. Which one of these will you put into action first? (Between you and me, my first action is to remember to hot potato my concerns to God. This will allow me to enjoy my here and now!)
Love in Christ,