Is anxiety crushing your professional and personal life? Here’s how to control it

anxiety

Cold sweats, rapid heart beat, shallow breathing, butterflies, lightheadedness, restlessness…we all know the symptoms of feeling anxious.

It’s like this monster inside of us that threatens to wreak havoc if we give it a little too much permission…a little too much leash.

I’m not really a guy that gets anxious, but life is unpredictable and sometimes anxiety peeks around the corner to see if it can get a foothold. It’s during this phase that we have to squash it and not let it fester and take over like a rapid growing, thorny weed.

Anxiety can pop up due to a variety of different reasons, but most of the time we can quell it and move on. Sometimes we get tunnel vision and look with a microscope at the issue instead of zooming out and seeing the bigger picture. Once the bigger picture has been obtained, we can much more easily come up with solutions to the issue that we thought were insurmountable.

By looking through the microscope at the issue, the issue seem much bigger than it is and we often even make up situations in our minds that aren’t even true. For instance, you might ask someone to do something for you and they say no, thus you think they said no because you’re unworthy, there must be something wrong with you, or something like that, whereas they might just have said no because they have a very busy schedule. If you’d just asked when would suit them best, you could have gotten to an agreement instead of assuming that you were rejected. This is just a simple example, but most of the time it IS something simple.

So let’s dive right into it.

How do we abolish anxiety? When it rears its ugly head, what do we do?

Here are a few tips!

 

#1 Breathe

The first thing you can do when you realize you’re getting anxious is to stop, shut down your mind, focus on the now and breathe. Deep diaphragmatic breaths. Once you have inhaled, hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. Do this for about 4 breaths and you should definitely feel better.

Alternative, if  you’re somewhere by yourself and have a paper bag at hand, breath into the paper bag (while enclosing it around your mouth with your hand) for about 30-60sec and that should also greatly relieve anxiety.

Most of the cases this help at least 70% plus, but in severe anxiety cases, this might only help about 20-30%.

Then you move on to the next step.

 

#2 Mindset

Once you have calmed down a bit, you have to start identifying the thoughts that are causing you anxiety.

If you’re feeling anxious, most of the time it’s because you’re feeling overwhelmed by something. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I have to identify why I’m feeling overwhelmed and therefore I ask myself a series of questions.

Some of the questions I ask myself include:

  1. What is the worse thing that could happen if I did nothing today? Instead of feeling overwhelmed and rushing through my work, doing subpar work, what if I just took today off? Went to the beach with my wife or something similar. What is the worse thing that could happen?
    Immediately I realize nothing bad would happen and that I’d just feel better and more energized if I went to the beach instead. My brain would stop feeling like a cork and actually expand and I might get new ideas that might be far better than working on a project closed minded and stressed.
  2. What if I could only spend 2 hours on a project per week, what would I focus on? This question can greatly help you to narrow down what is really important. Too often we get overwhelmed by the small things and we have to do this and that, but is it really important?
    So instead of being overwhelmed, I know if I focused on that most important project first, all would be right with the world for the future.
  3. What is the one major thing that I can do that will make many other things or decisions easier or unnecessary? This also helps you focus on the big picture to get the most important thing done. For example, I could write a blog to help a lot of people, or I could answer everyone individually per email, which would take much longer.

 

#3 Planning

Anxiety can come from not planning effectively, or deviating from your plans.

  1. Don’t make your schedule too hectic. When you read productivity books or look at other really productive peoples’ lives, they tell you to schedule things for certain times. Often times we tend to try to squeeze as many things as possible into a day to be as productive as possible.
    As an example, when I first started doing this, I would sit down with a notepad and a pen and lay out the hours in my day. I started with the most important task, for about 2 hours, then exercise, then meals, doing research, reading a book, listening to a podcast, answering emails, etc. Oh, here I have 20 minutes open, let me squeeze some reading in there.
    Guess what happened?
    I got nothing done the way I planned and felt more overwhelmed.
    Point being, don’t try to squeeze as much as possible into your schedule. That’s a recipe for feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Schedule a time for your most important task and do that first thing in the day. If you spent just 1 hour per day on something, over the course of a year you would have accomplished much more than you could have ever thought.
    I like to schedule 3 hours minimum for my most important task per day. You might ask, if a work day is 8 hours, why only 3 hours? That’s a good question, and here’s why.
    First off, after 3 hours of working on a specific demanding/creative task, your brain feels pretty much fatigued.
    Secondly, time yourself only when you are actually working on that task and you’ll see it often takes 5-6 hours just to complete 3 hours of work. This is because we often get distracted, get up and go do something different, make coffee, chat with someone, go take a dump (sorry), etc., and although we think we have worked 5-6 hours, we have actually only spent 3 hours on that task.
    So I challenge you to actually time yourself only when you’re working on the project.
    Get those 3 hours done and then you can take the rest of the day off if you wish. No need to procrastinate for 8 hours to do 3 hours of work.
  3. Schedule specific tasks for specific days. Instead of having a long check box to-do list (that ticks you off instead of you ticking it off), rather assign a specific task for a specific day rather than doing all the tasks everyday whenever you have a spot open. For example, Mondays and Thursdays are my email days. On Friday I release an article and my newsletter and so on.
    So on Monday I do my emails first and then I do my second most important task, such as discussed in bullet number two. When those two tasks are done, I can either relax, read a book or do whatever else I feel like doing and there is no pressure on me. So if I get additional research done, cool, and if I just do nothing, then it’s also fine, no guilt, because I got the most important things done for the day.
  4. Hire people to do things for you. One of the things that messes up your schedule is things that you have to do, like going shopping, buying milk and coffee because you forgot to buy more last time, going to the bank, mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, sorting stuff, designing things, etc.
    Make it easy for yourself and hire someone else to do it. How do you think do very important people get so much done while running 2+ companies? They assign people to do things they don’t want to do and are better at doing it, so they can focus on what is most important. If my job is to write well researched articles and helpful courses, how am I suppose to do that when my schedule is full of unnecessary things, like shopping. If someone can design your website for you much better than you can, or design a logo better than you can, hire that someone.
    “I will never again do something than someone else can do better than me”
    – From a good book I read a while ago, but can’t remember which one.

Now that we’ve discussed some easy things you can do to lower anxiety, I’m not just going to drop you like a hot potato, because anxiety is not only because of our mindset or schedule.

It’s often a result of things going on in our bodies.

Now let’s get into physiology.

Even when doing everything “correctly” like breathing, mindset & planning, sometimes we still get anxiety for no good reason that we simply can’t shake, and then it’s most often due to our physiology or stuff going on in our bodies. Or if you want some additional help to lower anxiety while working on the above, this might also help you out.

#4 Physiology 

Overmethylation

One of the main symptoms of overmethylators are that they are more anxious in general. This is because they create much more neurotransmitters than normal and break them down faster as well than undermethylators.

Even though the neurotransmitters are broken down rapidly though methylation, they generally have higher (fluctuating) levels of neurotransmitters. This is because the folate cycle drives the tetrahydrobiopterin cycle, which creates BH4, which is a cofactor for neurotransmitter synthesis.

Overmethylation also leads to low histamine and histamine lowers anxiety.

So slowing methylation down would lead to higher histamine and more stable neurotransmitter levels, which would help lower anxiety.

To slow down methylation, you can use:

  • Niacinamide or niacin, both of which quench methyl donors and increases histamine. Almost all overmethylators find niacinamide greatly calming.
  • Lower protein intake, by eating less meat, dairy or eggs, and adding in more gelatin (gelatin is very low in methionine, a methyl donor) in your diet. 
  • Consume less betaine and choline. Eggs, beef/lamb kidney and liver are rich in choline and spinach is rich in betaine.

 

Glutamate

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which, if in excess, promotes anxiety. Glutamate acts on multiples glutamate receptors, namely NMDA, AMPA, Kainate receptors and mGluR1-8.

Glutamate can be chronically elevated due to a low energy state (low thyroid hormone production), low magnesium levels or chronic EMF exposure.

A few simple ways to lower glutamate include, optimizing thyroid hormone production, avoiding/protecting yourself against EMF exposure, supplementing magnesium, theanine, Ferulic acid, taurine, valerian root, Magnolia and/or lithium.

Ketamine is a potent drug that inhibits the NMDA receptor and can reduce anxiety, but it might cause drowsiness. Glycine is also great for lowering glutamate without causing the drowsiness.

 

Adrenal overstimulation

When we’re under chronic stress the thyroid slowly stops working and the adrenals take over. With a reduction in thyroid, androgens such as DHEA and testosterone also drop which makes us much less stress resilient.

We want to rein in the stress, calm the adrenal and let the thyroid speed up again to restore normal metabolism. Bag breathing is a great way to increase CO2 in the body, stop stress and promote proper metabolic function.

Good herbs and supplements to calm the adrenals include Tulsi, Rhodiola Rosea, cordyceps sinensis, phosphatidylserine, tribulus terrestris, ginseng, etc.

> How to lower stress and cortisol

 

Gut issues

The gut is not called the second brain for nothing. What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut. It affects the whole body and especially the brain and how you feel.

Most people are so out of tune with what foods they do good on, so as a first exercise, identify gut irritating foods. Start by eating food that you know digest very easy and eliminate allergenic foods, such as eggs, dairy, gluten, spices and the nightshade family. Basically paleo, but without going low carb. If that doesn’t work, try the autoimmune paleo diet and also the FODMAPs diet.

If that still doesn’t work, you might potentially have bacterial overgrowth, excess pathogenic bacteria, yeast, parasites or something else in your gut that is causing chaos.

Then I’d recommend blasting it with anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal herbs and substances, such as olive leaf extract, oregano oil, clove oil, bitter melon, wormwood and black walnut extract and lastly, monolaurin, serrapeptase and lactoferrin to dissolve biofilm.

 

Lower serotonin hypersensitivity

Not many people know this but serotonin can actually be involved in anxiety. Or more specifically, one of its receptors, namely 5-HT2A. Blocking this receptor has anti-anxiety properties (R).

Cordyceps (R), Ginkgo Biloba (R), Yokukansan (R) and Kanxin Jieyu San (R) are a few examples of compounds that can lower or antagonize 5-HT2A and lower anxiety.

> How to lower excess serotonin

 

#5 EMF/wifi

We are constantly bombarded with wifi like never before. The earth does emit some electromagnetic frequencies of its own, usually around 7.83Hz on average, whereas wifi and cellphone towers emit frequencies between 900 MHz & 60 GHz. A major difference. And these frequencies definitely have an effect on us…and it ain’t good.

EMF activates voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in our bodies which allows calcium to rush into our cells, which overstimulates them. This stimulation does a variety of things, and one is to lower energy/ATP production and stimulate the release of glutamate. A low energy state also increases total glutamate levels. A double wammy. 

Only a small amount of the population is hypersensitive to EMF and can actually feel it, but just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you. Those VGCCs are activated by the EMF if you feel it or not and is increasing glutamate and can majorly contribute to anxiety. Luckily, the most potent natural VGCC antagonist is magnesium. Load up on it and it should greatly help to lower anxiety. Forms like Mg glycinate, malate, taurate and threonate seem to work best at lowering anxiety. Many people take a combination of them for a synergistic effect.

> How to mitigate the damages of EMF

As always, thanks so much for reading my article. Let me know if this article was helpful in the comments below.
If you found it helpful and insightful please like and share so others can also benefit from this information and feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions for me.

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