April 11, 2018

Dealing with Anxiety and Panic Attacks An As Entrepreneur (Naturally)

Hey entrepreneur!

If you’re here because you need help in dealing with anxiety, then I’m sad you’re having to handle that, but I’m glad you found this post. If you’re here because you’re just curious, also welcome. I’m glad you’re taking steps to understand how it feels like for someone who’s struggling. It will make you a better human being.

I wanted to write this post because anxiety is a common concern of many entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with. More common than I realized.

I was shocked to learn this since my anxiety started before I was in full hustle mode for my coaching business and was more random, but it has certainly affected my business over the years in numerous ways.

In this post, I’m going to share with you some ways that I have used that have helped me in dealing my anxiety symptoms and panic attacks so hopefully, they help you too. (Btw, everything on this list is totally natural).

Now, before we dig in, I realize this is a pretty meaty topic and post, so I wanted to make it easier.

Table of Contents:

  1. My Story Behind the Anxiety
  2. What Exacerbates My Anxiety
  3. What Helps Ease my Anxiety
  4. Testing Now (my experience with CBD)
  5. What Other Entrepreneurs In Our Tribe Have to Say

If you find this post helpful at all, please send it to someone who needs to see it. ❤

The Backstory Story

Before we dig into the things I learned, I also made a video where I go into this topic a bit more in depth.

The video is broken into three parts:

  • My story with anxiety – how I got it at 20 years old
  • How I first began dealing with anxiety and panic attacks naturally
  • And how I deal with anxiety today when it comes up

So if you’re curious about the backstory, definitely watch the video, and if you haven’t subscribed to the YouTube channel, make sure you do that by clicking right here.

Also, I talk about way more things in this post than I do in the video around how I deal. Mostly because I had to think longer about some of these anxiety relief tips than I could come up with on the fly when filming 🤪

Dealing with Anxiety and Panic Attacks An As Entrepreneur (Naturally)

Context: In case you didn’t watch the video, the gist is: I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks since I’ve been 21. They usually come on spontaneously and without warning. There’s nothing in particular that triggers them, but I have found some common threads that sometimes may contribute to them coming up.

I remember some of the most terrifying moments when panic attacks would come on suddenly. (trigger warning ahead)

  • I remember being on a call with a client back when I worked in an agency when all of the sudden the world closes in on you… You get tunnel vision. Your heart pounds. And you wonder if the client can notice how you’re probably about to die.
  • Or walking on a path on some mountain in Tennessee when it’s humid and hot, and feeling like you’re about to pass out from the heat, but all you think is how a doctor is very far away so you’ll probably just die right there…
  • Or starting to get sick and not being able to fall asleep at night in your studio being far away from family and friends in New York and wondering if you have a heart attack here will anyone even find you?

So many terrifying moments.

But first, let’s see what are some of the common threads I’ve found that made my anxiety worse?

>What May Contribute to Anxiety (What to Avoid and Look Out For)

This section is all about what are some of the things I’ve found that contribute to my feelings of anxiety and can even trigger my panic attacks.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine was the first thing I had to cut out of my life in order to deal with anxiety, which was sad because I love the taste of coffee. Mmmmm delicious lattes and caramel macchiatos. Ohhh, mama!

I was thankfully never addicted to caffeine but I just loved the taste of it. However, after I started getting panic attacks, I realized that anytime I had caffeine it was like a surefire way for me to cause an anxiety attack to happen… it happened without fail.

I cut out caffeine from coffee. But in the beginning, I was so sensitive even the tiny amounts of caffeine in green tea AND too much dark chocolate would make my symptoms come up. I mean, imagine! You have some chocolate and then your heart races for like 2 hours after! It’s not fun.

To this day, I have to make sure I limit the amount of chocolate I eat (if any) and I can’t usually eat it on its own (when it’s more than a few squares of a chocolate bar), otherwise the caffeine it can create some anxiety and give me acid reflux (which can sometimes also cause anxiety). Fun times.

So I had to switch to caffeine free everything. Today, I can manage some caffeine and drink white tea daily (and sometimes green tea when I really need it) without any problems.

2. Lack of Sleep

I used to stay up all night when I was in college, partying and staying awake until sometimes even 10am at afterparties. I was a wild child. But once I started getting anxiety issues, I realized how anytime I was lacking in sleep, I’d be more sensitive and it could cause my anxiety to increase, making it harder to manage.

I try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and sleep is very important to me. In fact, I’ve become more a morning person over the years, where I go to bed sometimes as early as 9:30 (and I read in bed) and then wake up between 6am and 7:30am each morning.

I also make sure to never use an alarm color so it doesn’t mess up my rhythm and doesn’t wake me up when I’m in the middle of a dream cycle. This was actually one of the reasons I wanted to be a full-time entrepreneur – so I didn’t ever have to use an alarm clock anymore. And so far I’ve only had to use it a few times since, just when I have a flight to catch or something in the morning.

3. Too Much Alcohol

A big thing that exacerbates my anxiety is feeling out of control of my body. This often happens when you drink too much alcohol. You get loose, you stumble, you talk funny, and when you’re really wasted, you might even have a sleepover with a toilet bowl.

And then… the hangover. Oh my god, the hangover. If you think lack of sleep is bad, try having a hangover. It’s like the worst thing ever for anxiety!

So yeah, since I got my anxiety I needed to control my alcohol consumption and limit it severely. In fact, I usually keep my drink limit to one or two drinks for the night. Sometimes I might have another if it’s a really long night but it’s rare (since I don’t usually stay out that late either, haha).

I find that being just a little tipsy is totally fine for me, but as soon as I get over the threshold into drunk, things go haywire. I freak out because I realize I’m not acting like myself and despite trying to be normal, it’s not just happening. And that freaks me out and causes panic.

So yeah, I limit my alcohol. In fact, I frequently go for months without drinking any alcohol at all. At the time of writing this post, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in almost 6 weeks. Before that, the longest period was 4 months. I mostly do it to avoid sugar and cravings, but since the after-effects of alcohol make my anxiety worse, avoiding it, in general, is also a big win for that.

4. Being Too Warm Somewhere

A weird thing happened after my first panic attack – I became overly sensitive to temperatures. Specifically, to warmer than comfortable temperatures. Goodbye hot yoga (or even, WARM yoga!). My reasoning? Warm temperature, plus activity, equals faster than average heartbeat and sweating. My overly sensitive self would notice these body changes and assume something’s wrong. Cue: panic.

This is also how I almost had a panic attack (or overheated, one or the other) when I was hiking one time in Tennessee. I mean, holy cow. I almost passed out, and that caused an additional wave of panic. Not fun.

Now that I live in California, I’ve gotten a bit more used to warmer temperatures but it’s taking me a while. I still can’t really be out in the sun for a long period of time without shade. I have to be very cautious of how I feel and make sure I don’t overheat. This means I don’t really do much hiking here since most places have no shade at all. Although I’m on a mission to go to some easy hiking trails (read: walking trails) in the mornings or evenings when the sun isn’t so intense.

5. Not Having Water Near Me

Water brings me comfort. A part of my panic, especially in the beginning, had symptoms of getting dry mouth. I’d try to swallow and couldn’t. That would freak me out. I remember having do to photoshoots with clients and all of the sudden needing to swallow but not being able to. Now I know how to help = drinking water.

Actually, it’s drinking water, PLUS knowing I have water with me in case I need it (I somehow still irrationally think I’ll pass out if I don’t have water with me even though people can go for probably 2 days without a drop).

Another thing that helps are cough drops. Or really, anything that’s minty and lasts in my mouth for a while to add some moisture.

Knowing that I have water available to me is a great way to ease anxiety and knowing I have access to NONE makes it worse.

6. Living in the Wrong Place

I mean, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it but sometimes it’s the place that brings out anxiety. For me it was NYC. I love visiting, it was my dream city, but living there was just too much for me. Concrete jungle, the smells, the buildings, the hustle and bustle, and the lack of connection I felt with people I knew… it was just too much.

My anxiety was at an all-time high when I lived there. I basically lived in Urgent Care, I went all the time due to my random freakouts, rapid heart rate, and getting sick like a hundred times in those 10 short months.

When I moved to San Diego, it all changed. The energy was softer, more feminine, more relaxed and I was finally around people who wanted to know me and actually deeply connect. It changed everything for me.

Now I know it’s not possible for everyone to move, but I’m always honest. So this was a big thing for me and it’d be unfair for me not to mention it.

>Natural Anxiety Relief From Personal Experience

So anyway. How did I deal? Here we go…

Btw I’m not ranking these in any order in terms of effectiveness as I pretty much use them all together. For the most part, these suggestions are based on my own personal experience and how often I use them, so I guess there’s a bit of an order to it.

Additionally, please note that I am not a doctor, I do not have any medical licenses, and this is not medical advice. I am simply sharing my experience. 🙂 #legaldisclosureyadig

1. Meditation

My first experience with meditation was actually through self-hypnosis. I did it when I was in high school to lose weight (successfully!) and I was hooked. I didn’t realize that meditation can have benefits outside of programming your mind to lose weight. So, I began doing meditation for the benefits of relaxation and dealing with anxiety.

I’ll be honest, meditation isn’t easy for me. I constantly have my mind running with marketing strategies I wanna try, offer ideas I wanna create, and more. Being super still and just getting quiet is a bit challenging especially when it’s just me myself and I.

So personally, because of that I love guided meditation best. It also helps my anxiety (see #15). So those apps people rave about like Calm, Headspace, and others? They’re not for me. I’m not really into the silence.

My favorites instead are either music-only meditation MP3s, like those from Omharmonics (that’s my favorite, apparently they’ve been engineered to deepen your state of relaxation faster), but I also have found many great ones via Amazon Music (although those are also considered hypnosis recordings but whatever).

2. Yoga

Yoga has been a godsend for me when I first began learning how to deal with my anxiety. It came as a recommendation of my therapist and I manifested free weekly yoga classes at my college which randomly popped up. I went every week and it helped immensely. Then, I began to add more yoga classes from my gym and ended up going three times a week for several months.

I’ll mention here that I prefer the more relaxing gentle styles of yoga, not the crazy let’s-sweat-a-ton yoga (like CorePower), that’s a total workout and it’s not helping me with relaxation and easing tension. So gentle, flow yoga is perfect for anxiety (at least for me!).

Here’s a nice gentle yoga routine for anxiety from Yoga with Adriene:

3. Breathing Exercises

When you get into a state of panic, you begin to breathe differently. Usually, you start taking faster shallower breaths, which is why it might lead to hyperventilation. So you see, breathing properly is quite important. Taking deeper breaths and sometimes even counting how long each breath in and out is… I’d aim for 5 seconds each way.

I was able to really learn this a lot more through my practice of yoga, so it kind of goes together with that too.

4. Positive Thinking

I mean, this one is a no-brainer. If you think negatively, you’re going to attract negativity and you’ll be more prone to freaking out. Something that has really changed my life is putting an importance on thinking positive and practicing Law of Attraction to a degree. Like attracts like.

Also, whenever I’d feel panic come on, I’d start telling myself that I’m okay. I am secure. I am loved. I am fine. I will be fine. This is just a panic attack and not a heart attack or whatever else I was concerned with.

Practicing positive thinking can be difficult for people at first, especially if you’re more of a pessimist naturally. Well, guess what? I am naturally more of a skeptic, pragmatic thinker and a pessimist if I don’t keep myself in check!! I had to train my mind to release my habits of overthinking, paranoia, and worrying about the worst case scenario.

Does this mean I never worry? Of course not. But it does mean that I have become a lot more conscious of my thoughts and have mastered them to support me versus cause damage.

A big part of my growth in this area was first reading books about mindfulness and working with different life and mindset coaches.

Here are some books I’ve enjoyed:

5. Supplements

While I am all for doing things naturally, it doesn’t mean I am against taking supportive herbs to help us out. I’m just not a big fan of pharmaceuticals.

I think many of us are deficient in several nutrients and probably everyone could use a good balancing of our chemicals in our body and brain.

Here are some supplements I use both on a regular basis for anxiety maintenance but also whenever anxiety strikes.

Daily Supplements for Anxiety Management:

  1. Magnesium (with Calcium). “Magnesium and calcium are fundamental nutrients that need to be in balance with each other in order for you to fully experience good health. Their importance on a cellular level is critical. Calcium and magnesium are like opposite sides of a coin. Calcium excites nerves, while magnesium calms them down. Calcium makes muscles contract. Magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax. Calcium is needed for blood clotting, but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely.” (source: Amazon)
  2. Vitamin D. I was actually super deficient in this vitamin which didn’t come as a surprise living in cold and dreary Chicago at the time. I was put on a vitamin D protocol. Apparently being deficient in this can create a whole host of ailments and issues, including depression and possibly leading to anxiety.
  3. 5-HTP. Okay, so I actually don’t take this every day, and you’re not supposed to. Instead, you follow a protocol for a few days or weeks to get your serotonin back in balance. I first found out about this supplement from an incredibly eye-opening book called The Mood Cure (highly recommend).  “HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid commonly taken for assistance with your sleep cycle, mood enhancement, depression, stress relief and relaxation. It is commonly taken with vitamin b6 and b12, l-tyrosine, valerian, melatonin, l-theanine.” (source: Amazon)
  4. Omega-3. I don’t actually know if this affects my anxiety or not, but I’m for anything that’s great for the brain. So I always took these and have been for years. Sometimes I like to switch it up from taking fish oil to taking krill oil to flax oil, just so it’s not always coming from the same source.

Supplements As Needed for Anxiety Relief:

I have tried many supplements for treating my anxiety symptoms when they came up. Some would work better than others. Here are the ones I used the most:

  1. L-tryptophan. Words from Company: The essential amino acid L-tryptophan helps support relaxation, restful sleep, and feeling better. It plays a part in the synthesis of both melatonin and serotonin, hormones involved with mood and stress response. L Tryptophan also supports immune functions because it is the body’s precursor to the kynurenines that regulate immunity. If needed, L-tryptophan converts to niacin in the body, which supports circulation, a healthy nervous system, the metabolism of food, and the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system. Source Naturals L-Tryptophan is extremely pure and is regularly tested to ensure the highest standards of quality.* (source: Amazon)
  2. Calm 2. Anxiety Relief with Magnesium, Ashwagandha, Theanine.  Words From Company: “This natural anti-anxiety supplement combines the calming power of L-Theanine, GABA, Ashwagandha, Turmeric Curcumin, and Magnesium for immediate anxiety control. (Source: Amazon)
  3. Nature’s Answer Herb Passion Flower Passionflower. “Passionflower (passiflora incarnata) is an herbal supplement used historically in treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. A perennial climbing vine native to southeastern North America, passion flower is now grown throughout Europe.” (source) I used this one very rarely as I am usually afraid of taking anything that can have a real “body” effect on me, and comes with warnings that it can impair motor functions 😂

6. Essential Oils

I also use this humidifier (which is also an essential oil diffuser) in my bedroom and it make a tiny bit of noise which is perfect because white noise really helps me relax. I have another diffuser in my living room that I got for my birthday from my parents but I couldn’t find where they got that one from.

So, I have a few of my favorite oils I wanted to share here. It’s interesting because the one that soothes me the MOST is actually NOT the typical relaxing one. It’s actually one that’s meant for inflammation. And it’s maybe because my anxiety is mostly health related, so that’s why.

My three favorite essential oils for anxiety (not normally used for anxiety but they help me the most):

  • Anti-Inflammatory by Vibrant Blue Oils (plus, they’re a former consulting client of mine! Love them!)
  • Endoflex by YoungLiving (I love the minty smell)

7. Shower or Bath

There’s nothing quite like a good shower to make you snap out of your paranoia. I like to do either a hot shower, so it relaxes me, but also like the colder type of a shower so it snaps me out of my negative spiral and brings me back to my body. I experiment with both.

I also really like taking baths but don’t do it often because it can be a bit of a hassle. When I DO draw myself a bath, though, I use bath salts or Epsom salts. I really like this one since it also has essential oils in it that are perfect for soothing anxiety.

I also make sure that the water is not too hot, especially in a bath. I’ve found that if I’m in hot bath water for a bit too long it can cause my heart to race after and that, as you probably have gathered already, can increase my anxiety.

8. Personal Heater

Apparently, when I was a baby, my mom would take the time when I was sleeping to vacuum our apartment back when we lived in Poland. As I grew older, I began to really like the sound of a vacuum AND the fact that our vacuum would emit this warm air. I know now why my mom would always try to get me away from the vacuum when it was on, it was spewing dirty air that’s hot, but I loved that feeling of warmth.

I also have other memories when it would be cold and I’d go and cuddle up by our radiators. It wouldn’t really be that cold but I loved that extra warmth coming from one area to warm me.

From there, when I’d live alone I noticed that anytime I would dry my hair, I would get very comfortable.. that sound of the blow dryer plus that awesome warmth would make me feel like I’m wrapped in the warmest blanket. So I used it once in a while for just heating myself whenever I’d feel like I need extra comfort.

Then I realized personal heaters exist and they’re more energy efficient and less loud (so my roommate didn’t have to wonder why I was drying my hair for 20 minutes at a time, lol) and my life became so much better since then 😂

I’m currently using this one, which also looks like a little fireplace. I find that this one gets too hot sometimes though, and I’d rather have it consistently blow on me without getting too hot. That’s why my favorite one is actually this one, which is cheaper and simpler. But if you like the fireplace look, you can go for the other one.

9. Talking to My Mom

I honestly don’t think there’s another person who can calm me down better. In Chicago, it was easier because anytime I’d feel anxiety she’d tell me she can come get me or I can go to their house and relax there. Anytime I’m home at my parents’ house I can feel relaxed and secure because I know my parents are there for me. But when I lived in NYC I was many miles away, which made me feel especially alone and the opposite of safe and secure when anxiety would strike.

I was a bit nervous moving to California since it’s even farther but it’s been amazing for me. (see point #17) so I haven’t had the need to be calmed down in a while. But anytime I do, I know I can call her and she will talk me down, bring me back down to reality, and ease my mind.

Find that person for you, someone you can call anytime. It really makes all the difference.

10. Having a Community

I don’t necessarily even mean having an “anxiety” community. In fact, I think having a community of people who all struggle with it might be doing more harm than good. After all, I believe that we become who we surround ourselves with. So if you consciously surround yourself with anxiety-ridden people, you might attract more anxiety into your life, too.

What I do mean instead is having a community of people who get you and are there for you regardless and hold you to a higher standard. A community is the reason why I left Chicago and then New York. I was on a mission to find a sisterhood, a community, real friends. I found them in San Diego.

My friends are very important to me. While I’m friends with pretty much 90% entrepreneurs (part of the reason why San Diego is so great!), we don’t only talk about business when we’re together. We talk about life, dating, culture, growth, anything at all. We can share what’s going on in our lives and feel safe knowing we’re not judged. And when we need to be just held, we can be.

That’s exactly the type of community I’ve been seeking for years. I encourage you to find yours if you haven’t yet. (P.S. This community began online! In fact, I knew many of these ladies I’m friends with now through either paid group programs or masterminds I’ve been a part of! This is part of the reason why I’m such a believer in masterminds!)

11. Distractions

Oh yes, this one is sooo important. It’s so easy to get lost in the feelings of anxiety, but what we think about and focus on, grows. The best thing to do instead is to think about and focus on something else so you forget about the anxiety. After all, panic is only temporary and it can go away as fast as it came on.

Some of my favorite distractions include:

  • Talking a walk with a podcast or good music
  • Talking to a friend
  • Watching an engaging and FUN and light-hearted movie or TV Show (like, The Mindy Project)
  • Reading an engaging and fun novel, whether it’s via kindle or on audiobook

Find some things that you can do to distract you, whether it’s knitting, dancing, doing yoga, baking, or something else.

12. Water

If you read #5 in “what makes my anxiety worse” you know that I need to have water with me at all times. It’s not as extreme now but I still feel like having water has the power to ease my anxiety. Often, my anxiety and panic come up when my mouth is dry and I feel like I can’t swallow.

Water, to the rescue! This is why I need to have water with me all the time. Especially when I’m out somewhere where I won’t be able to get water anytime soon, like in a car, or out walking around, or something else. Having a simple drink of water can make me feel calm and like I’ll be fine.

13. Tea

I love tea. I drink it every day. I had to switch to mostly herbal types so there was no caffeine but now I can handle drinking white tea and green tea without any issues.

However, anytime I’d feel anxious I’d go to tea first. My favorite stress relieving types are Chamomile and Tulsi Sweet Rose.

I also never add sugar to my tea, because sugar can sometimes make my anxiety worse. In fact, avoiding sugar in general has been a great help in my management of the anxiety.

But for those sugar cravings, particularly for chocolate I opt for healthy hot cocoa…

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao is awesome. I love drinking it when I have chocolate cravings (there was a time where I couldn’t have chocolate due to the caffeine content, yikes! I know, right?!) plus it helps to relax me.

“Reishi is so esteemed that in ancient scroll paintings, it’s often depicted as the “bridge between Earth and Heaven”. Other nicknames for this regal fungi include “mushroom of immortality,” “mushroom of spiritual potency,” and “rule of herbs”. (source: Amazon).

14. Moving Outdoors

It’s that outdoors part that actually is very essential, although in the beginning moving outdoors would create anxiety for me because I’d be afraid of having a panic attack in the middle of the street or a park and not being able to protect myself, or get help, or that people would think I’m crazy.

But, I forced myself to do it. Armed with my phone, a water bottle, and knowing that I could easily go into a store to ask for help would help me relax, albeit just slightly in the beginning.

I think that factor of having fresh air, feeling the breeze on your face (especially crisp morning air) and being able to move freely with your arms swinging by your sides and looking at nature…. it just does something lovely to the soul. I was in Central Park all the time when I lived in New York, and I walked around by Lincoln Park Zoo or by Oak Street Beach often when I lived downtown Chicago.

15. Soothing Sounds

This one is huuuge for me! I actually am listening to relaxing ambient music as I write this (but this one is from a source, Focus@Will, that’s focused on productivity, but still, it IS very chill). Honestly, if I could live in a spa, I would and it’s not just for the massages. The whole environment, the soothing vibes, and the ambient sounds are amazing for me.

So, I like two types of sounds that directly improve my symptoms of anxiety:

  • Soft electronic (or ambient) music
  • Ambient (nature) sounds

I listen to electronic music pretty much 80% of the time I listen to anything. Most of the music I enjoy is more of the chill variety, not necessarily for relaxation but just in general, I like to listen to more chill music. This playlist below is called Chill Tracks. 

Then, if I was to listen to something that’s even MORE chill and therefore relaxing, I would find some kind of a spa music station on Spotify or a sleep station of Spotify.

One of my favorites is Jazz for Sleep, which I know isn’t electronic but hey, I also really love instrumentals, especially piano and violin. I wanted to share another favorite with you, this one is called The Piano Bar.

On the other hand, I also really like nature sounds. But I’m weird. My favorite combination is that of rain, thunderstorm, and vacuum cleaner.😂 I actually found an epic free iPhone app called Relax Melodies that has any and all sounds you might want so if you’re weird like me, you can create your own blend of sounds too.

16. Physical Touch

This one is KEY! As a single gal, it’s also some of the most challenging to get on a daily basis. People say a huge a day keeps the cold away but when you live alone and don’t have a lot of in-person friends or a boyfriend, it’s tough, man! That’s probably one of the reasons why New York was so hard on me, I didn’t get many hugs and I wasn’t in the space to date since I was so focused on my business.

What did help me was getting regular massages. Now, New York is a bit tricky with messages since most places in my area on the Upper East Side were Thai massages which are painful AF and I’m a delicate flower, ya know. I did eventually find a regular normal massage place that offered Swedish Massage (which is my favorite for relaxation) but I paid like $160 for 60 minutes which is a bit nuts. But now you can see how badly I needed it 😂

Then, after I moved to San Diego I learned of on-demand massage apps (like Soothe and Zeel) which are basically Uber for massage. You call someone over and they come to your house and massage you. It’s rad.

So I’ve been doing a combination of both, plus sometimes going to a spa. There are many great deals you can find on Groupon for massage places.

17. Environment

I’m really big on ambiance. So, something that makes me feel very nice and relaxed is having mood lighting, soft music, warm blankets, and clean orderly place. I hate cleaning personally so I get a cleaner every 3-4 weeks, and I do organizing and cleaning in between. I know that anytime my place gets a deep clean though, I feel 100% better.

Back to the ambiance. I own like five salt lamps. I’m obsessed. They’re supposed to ionize the air and therefore are good for us, but honestly, I just think they look freaking cool and the soft lighting rocks. I have a few, but this one is my favorite.

I also really enjoy being under blankets. One of the newer blankets I got is a Gravity Blanket.

It was pretty pricey but it’s a cool experience and I think it’s a godsend for someone like me who needs to feel something close to a hug when she’s feeling anxiety. I made a video review if you wanna check it out above.

Testing now – CBD

So, I’ll be the first to admit, I was very skeptical to try CBD. Not because I don’t believe in cannabis, because I know it can have great healing properties (one of my best friends used it during her cancer treatment and it really helped her manage her pain), but I was really concerned about the “high” factor.

Because of my background, feeling out of control and “high” can cause a massive amount of anxiety and panic for me so I’ve stayed away from any substances that can do that for me since I’ve been 21.

California, however, is full of stoners and hippies (gotta love them!) and I’ve had many conversations with Uber drivers about weed and CBD and their positive effect on treating anxiety. I’ll say that they in large have been able to convince me to do more research into it. I know, it’s UBER drivers! Haha!

CBD oil from hemp

So, after copious amounts of research, I learned that CBD can help with anxiety and it has no psychoactive properties, meaning you will not get high from it (source). I was still skeptical. I remember when I ordered my first CBD oil bottle, I was SOOO nervous to try the first dose. I was filled with anxiety and it was just because I was concerned about what might happen.

Nothing happened. I was fine.

In fact, nothing happened AT ALL. I didn’t feel any different whatsoever. I tried CBD oil numerous times, including when my anxiety was higher, and I feel any effects. Then I decided to get vape pens because I read that CBD absorbs and affects us quicker when it’s vaped or smoked versus ingested. (source)

I found a cool brand called Select CBD that combines essential oils with hemp CBD. Someone in my building had it and I felt fascinated. I decided to get it. The cool thing about industrial hemp is that it’s legal anywhere (I think?) in the US, they can ship it to you without checking much of anything, like whether you have a medical card or anything.

I definitely liked the vape pens a lot more. I felt more of an effect with them, obviously not psychoactive still but definitely a bit more of a soothe that happened quicker. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it really eased my anxiety when it was coming up, but it was a step in the right direction.

CBD from cannabis

While doing more research, I found out that CBD from hemp is totally different from CBD from cannabis (source).  I don’t know enough to get into the science of why, but it’s the same reason why cannabis is not legal everywhere but hemp is. So, cannabis has more healing properties. That’s the first thing. You also need to either have a medical marijuana card to buy it, unless you live in a legal recreational state. (source)

I also read that CBD, when coupled with just a little bit of THC (and terpenes), it works even better in terms of their benefits. (source) Again, I am not an expert so I’ll spare you with that, but I’m linking helpful articles throughout this section to help out.

Anyway, I decided to get my medical card (yes, I realize I live in California but I found that there are more options for medical use, particularly if you want to get your weed delivered. Yes, I wanted to get it delivered. I was way too self-conscious and too much like a newbie to feel comfortable going to a dispensary) and got my first high CBD low THC strain.

This one I got is 10:1 CBD to THC which makes it also pretty much non-psychoactive for the most part. I honestly don’t feel any different in terms of my headspace after I have it, but I DO finally feel more relaxed and I think it can take care of my anxiety in a more effective way.

The vape pen I got is by a brand called Dosist which is pretty pricey but I felt safer with it because it’s engineered to provide a predictable dose every time. As a newb, I knew I wouldn’t then smoke too much and get high or whatever. It basically shuts off after you’ve gotten your dose. It’s freaking awesome.

I also bought another vape pen from another company, that’s 3:1 CBD to THC, called AC/DC from Era Pax.  I haven’t tried that one yet since it has more THC I’m vary… and will do it once I get some courage, haha.

Stay tuned . 😂

>What do Other Entrepreneurs in our Tribe Have to Say?

This is a combination of some responses we got in our Facebook Group and on Instagram.

“My anxiety is most of the time “overthinking” related. So to stop that anxiety I need to snap out of my own head… Mantras. Going for a walk with my dog saying “I’m awesome, I’m strong, I can do anything” for 30 minutes to stop all the other BS in my head.  If I don’t hydrate I’m more prone to anxiety attacks. Same with low magnesium level.  And if it gets really bad… L-tryptophan” Yvonne Heimann, Business Efficiency Consultant, Roseville, CA

“I have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks for years. I remember one of the worst ‘episodes’ was when I was in a room talking with a client and I had to stop her midsentence to excuse myself. I ran to the bathroom and locked myself in… I tried to take deep breaths, visualized my body relaxing and I think the coldness of the tile and having the light turned off helped too. After about 5 minutes I was able to calm myself enough to go back into the room and finish up with my client. After I’ve had panic attacks I feel so drained though and I had to take the rest of the day off. I have used Bach’s Rescue Remedy for the past few years and it’s amazing! I also try to focus on giving myself more downtime throughout the day instead of being booked with back to back things to do. In the past when I haven’t done this the panic attack will hit out of nowhere because I’m not present enough to notice that it’s creeping up.” Jaime A. Ballew, Health + Life Coach from San Luis Obispo, CA.

“I do this myself but also see great results with clients – it’s the 4 step breath and alternate nostril 👃 breathing.. basically breathing in for the count of 4 and breathing out on the count of 4 only through the nose. This requires you to slow down and it balances the left and right hemisphere of the brain 🧠usually panic attach can be linked to over left brain activity… I don’t love panic attacks of course, no one does.. but they are just a symptom. They are not a cause.” – Petya H James, Mind-Body Therapist/Wellness Lifestyle Coach from Toronto, Canada.

“When I was getting my certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling, it was in a place where we had to practice on each other using the methods that we would use in our practice. A LOT of my own issues came up, but that was the purpose of making us use what we learned on each other. It’s like doing a detox of the heart and soul.

One of the BIGGEST things I realized as I was going through that process is that my anxiety was almost always related to some old traumas and dramas from my childhood or early adulthood. At one point it got so bad that it would give me stomach cramps, some really crazy back spasms or diarrhea!

I truly had to learn what it meant to “live in the present”. I had to learn how to evaluate each situation I was in for the presence of any real danger and proceed accordingly. It took a LOT of practice! That is the most important part..not to give up and to keep working at it. I really had to learn how to “put my past in my past” and deal with what is happening in the “hear and now”.

I also use music, plugged DEEP into my ear drums and turned up loud enough that I can’t hear anything else. What works best for me is Worship music that takes the focus off of me. I can’t do that when I’m in a conference or consulting so I still had to really learn how to “get a grip” on myself. I really has gotten easier with practice.

What’s really amazing is that I have computer clients that have a similar level of anxiety over using technology! I can walk them past their fears and I can use my personal journey to show them there is a way out of those scary places. Another very interesting side note I often encounter is that their fear or anxiety about computers is almost never related to computers at all! Go figure!!!!!” – Peggy K. Harris, Digital Midwife from Southern California

“I’ve dealt with anxiety for over a decade resulting high blood pressure, IBS and weight gain from emotional eating. I learned natural therapies, energy medicine and also become a life coach trying to deal with this in my life. I was working hard at managing my anxiety naturally but working hard at being healthy wasn’t always working. That all changed when I found full spectrum hemp oil. Everything I knew about cannabinoids (especially CBD) made me curious if it would work for me, but the first hand experience changed my life. Im such a believer I teach regularly about hemp oil and cannabinoids, especially why we don’t need to be afraid of it, how we don’t need to “get high” to experience the benefits and how it’s legal. I’m just stepping into sharing this information in an online format in a private FB group. I should add that I am in the cannabis industry and understand that not every state is an easy one to gain access to cannabis products. While I am a believer in low THC doses to aid in panic/anxiety, hemp is accessible to everyone. Personally, I’m very open about both and am an advocate for legalization.” – Shelbe Ogburn, Wellness Advocate from Michigan

“I don’t have diagnosed or chronic anxiety but i do deal with the general anxiety that comes with running a business and little kids! I do a LOT of work with my clients and myself with Acceptance and Commitment therapy. Noticing and naming emotions/thoughts. “I’m having the thought that x y z” – it’s all about not getting hooked by your thoughts and emotions. It’s like you are they sky and thoughts and emotions are the weather that comes and goes. It’s about practicing that in the room are your anxious thought and emotions AND all the other things that make up the full experience of life.” – Emma O’Sullivan, from Australia

“I’ve always struggled with anxiety but in 2010 I suffered a concussion that caused my symptoms to worsen into full blown panic attacks and agoraphobia. My life completely changed and I never thought I would feel “normal” or function again. About a year ago I started taking a prescription of CBD drops (medical cannabis through my doctor) . Within 2 weeks of taking it regularly 2x a day it was literally like a miracle. I’m not trying to sound like an infomercial (not that kind of gal lol) but the stuff literally saved me. I haven’t talked about it too much outside family because there can be a stigma around such things so it feels good to share here!  I can actually function like a human again! Sounds weird but it’s true!!!” – Michelle Varga,

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for a bit but after losing our daughter I did a massive switch and became a Life and Grief Coach. I have anxieties because grief is such a heavy word but we experience some type of loss in our lives without realizing its grief. I created something I couldn’t find but now I know why. My anxieties are around people feeling uncomfortable around it and people who are grieving, feeling weak, or lost to speak to me. How I move through my anxieties is through meditation, yog anad movement to shift my energy, affirmations, and remembering my WHY – I am doing this for my daughter and for all those who feel shame sharing their stories and need their voice.” – Jenn Hepton, Intuitive Life & Grief Coach from Seattle, WA

“I can definitely say that I’m way more familiar with anxiety than I care to admit. At the same time, I think recognizing anxiety in one’s own body can lead a person to a very fulfilled life. For example, a lot if very useful ideas were bounced around that could be used by somebody who never had to deal with major anxiety. Here are a couple of relatively unknown techniques that have helped me.

3-Part Movement/Stillness Circuit: This is a three part circuit that is meant to be repeated as many times as I want. Each part of the circuit provides a unique way of relaxing the body and reducing anxiety. But each part can be done many different ways.

  1. MOVING MY BODY – Spend approximately 5 minutes moving my body around in a gradual, low intensity way.
  2. VOCALIZING/MOVING MY VOCAL CORDS – Spend approximately 5 minutes humming, sighing, and making other gradual sounds that just seem to naturally come out of my mouth. I wait to do any mindful type of breathing until part 3. This part of the circuit is about moving my vocal cords, which seems to create a bigger and faster shift in my level of anxiety than breathing does. But the twk eork hand and hand.
  3. BEING STILL – Spend approximately 5 minutes lying down on my back with my head, neck and spine aligned. Do progressive muscle relaxation, progressive relaxation, a short guided imagery, or other familiar techniques. Focus on my breathing and ehere the breath goes in my body. And, most importantly, I allow myself not to do anything.
  4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for as many times as I want.

This circuit is good for stress maintenance, maybe by doing it for 30 to 45 minutes every couple of days. And it’s good for releasing higher levels of stress by doing it for a couple hours or even longer. Or a couple hours on one day off followed by a coiple hours on the next day off.

I can get lost in time, so I find a non-rooster, soft chime type of phone timer works nicely. I like to put some nature sounds on in the background (YouTube – michael sealey: rainforest, ocean waves, rainshower, etc). I’ve been known to go all out with the scented candles too.

It has been a long time since I gave myself this gift. But I did include a form of this type of circuitry into a full weekend of healing modalities, meditation, epsom salt baths, etc. I’m pretty certain if there is anything that is the complete opposite of a panic attack, I experienced it that weekend.

Back to the movement thing. If you have stretches that you know how to do safely without thinking about, those are good for the time of movement.

In general, for movement, I do the following:

  1. Shake around the different parts of my body
  2. Stretch out the different parts of my body
  3. Squirm the different parts of my body. I consider squirming to be a combination of stretching and moving at the same time.
  4. Start doing some type of motion with my arm and repeat that motion a few times.
  5. Then walk around the room while still making that same motion. I allow that motion to change or find a new motion with another part of my body. Soon I’ll allow my body to move into its own dance.
  6. I’ll often move right into dance if I do several circuits.

If anyone wants to learn more about that, feel free to contact me.” – Jeff Breting, Story Sharing Coach from Chicago, IL

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