Last night I had an anxiety attack.
In the moment it was horrific and the mental and physical symptoms were super strong. It lasted about 15 minutes and then faded. After it passed I felt exhausted, drained, and defeated.
After it passed I texted some friends who have anxiety and started reading the book my roommate gave me about natural ways to handle anxiety.
After a bit of examination I narrowed down some culprits that contributed to the anxiety attack:
- skipped cardio at the gym in favor of a strength workout with my weights at home (exercise/cardio is very important)
- drank more coffee during the day than normal because I felt sleepy (caffeine can trigger)
- ate a slice of roommates cookie cake to try it out (sugar is a trigger)
All of those combined plus general stuff came together to send my brain to crazy town with me along for the ride.
I’d love to not have another one. Seriously. Anything I can do to avoid that would be stellar. For that reason, I’m giving up a few things.
What I’m Giving Up To Improve My Anxiety
Alcohol. This one was the first thing I gave up and the easiest since I’ve never been a big drinker anyway. I do miss it occasionally on weekends but I find it’s not something that is missed.
Coffee. It’s not surprising to me now that the period of worst anxiety in my life also coincided with the start and escalation of my coffee drinking habit. I now drink 2-5 cups a day depending on how my day goes.
Sugar. It’s also clear how much sugar affects me and how it can trigger things like this. I’ve got a sugar addiction so this one will be the most difficult since I’ve been downing sugar like a boss since I was a kid.
To be honest, I’ve avoided giving up both coffee and sugar because they “make me happy”. I enjoy them. They are little treats. They are inexpensive ways to feel better. I’ve also avoided giving them up because it feels like I’m giving up everything these days in this quest to heal myself.
However, I know it’s necessary. My body isn’t tolerating them as well as I’d like to think and there are huge negatives that come with these things. Huge negatives like having anxiety attacks at 9 pm on a Tuesday.
So, What’s The Plan?
Honestly in this moment I don’t have an exact plan other than to not drink any coffee today and go to the gym to get 30 minutes of cardio. I know these two things are critical so I’ll start with them.
I’m going to finish reading a few books to craft a plan.
Right now I’m finishing Natural Relief for Anxiety: Complementary Strategies for Easing Fear, Panic, and Worry and will combine it with Potatoes Not Prozac: A Natural Seven-Step Plan to: Control Your Craving to come up with a complete plan for myself to follow to relieve the anxiety without drugs. It will happen and I’m already to the point where I know giving up coffee and sugar are necessary in this quest.
If you’ve given up coffee or sugar before, how did you do it? Was it crazy hard or a breeze? Got any tips for me?