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How to reduce anxiety

anxiety health first Dec 12, 2018

If you are an anxious person, you will likely always need to manage and use tools to keep on top of anxious habits.

Here are our best tips, and how to implement them

  1. Psoas Release
  2. Manage your 'bucket'
  3. Sunlight / walks + acceptance
  4. GABA + Theanine
  5. Masseter massage
  6. Modify Training
  7. Meditation
  8. More sex

 

Release Your Psoas

Your psoas is the muscle that connects your upper body to your lower body. It originates on your T2, down to your thigh. The psoas also connects to your diaphragm. At times, when you feel anxious, the best feeling in the world is to curl up in a ball. You are likely slouching and leaving your hips in a forward position all day.

 

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Releasing the psoas has helped myself, and a lot of people, for the following reasons

  • It makes you feel like you are doing something active to stop your anxiety
  • It forces you to breathe big, deep and slow (trust me, it hurts)
  • It releases tension in the hips, back and abdominals

How to do it: Lie on the floor with a lacrosse ball and run down the path of red in the diagram above. It will take a bit of work to find it (it's a deep muscle) but you will know when you hit it.

If you are at the gym, you can lie on your back and let the 'pointy' part of a KB handle drop into the insertion. Again, this is going to hurt.

Do some big deep breaths while you work through and open up the area.

 

Manage your 'bucket'

Every single stress in life contributes to a great chance of feeling anxious.

 We go over this at in length in the School of Gains, but you need to understand 'the 5 stresses' model.

Think of it this way, when something stressful happens, its another cup of water in the bucket. When the bucket overfills, you are going to be an anxious mess.

The easiest stresses to manage are digestive and training. If you are going through tough emotional or financial times, those are very hard to fix. Eating well is difficult in tough times but pays huge dividends.

If you are an anxious mess, halve your training volume. It will feel like you are going backward, but the reality is your health is more important.

That's the tip. If you are having a stressful day or time, reduce all the stresses you control. You may be able to control emotional stress by reducing time with people that cause you stress.

 

Sunlight / walks + acceptance

There is a lot of power in saying 'yes, I'm am a person feeling anxious, I am not an anxious person'. You are not your anxiety. It's something you feel at times.

When you are really feeling it, saying 'I accept I am feeling anxious right now, but I am doing what is possible to reduce this feeling'. Don't try to fight it (you know it doesn't work).

The very best way to do this is walking. Walking in the sun is even better.

Walk in the sun, breath in for 5, hold for 2, breath out for 7, hold for 2, repeat. 6 big deep breaths this way.

You should do this walk every day in the sun. Do it every lunch hour you can, and in the morning if possible. Your goal is to be in the sun every day.

Ever had a day on the beach, even when you lay around all day, you still sleep well that night. Sun helps everything.

The more anxious you feel, the more sun you should get. The more anxious you feel, the more you should focus on accepting the feeling, and keep up your breathing.

 

GABA + Theanine

I wrote a whole blog about Gaba and how it changed my life. You can find it here on the blog. It helped my anxiety an absolute treat. A huge amount. I 100% recommend it.

 

Masseter massage

If you are anxious, you likely grip your jaw tight. We've worked with people that have added muscle to their jaw because they clench so much.

Open your jaw, and massage like above. Massaging your whole jawline basically feels amazing. You know you've found the right spot when your neck loosens up (and probably cracks)

 

Modify Training

If you are going through a long time of anxiety, as much as I love heavy deadlifts and squats, they may put you into overdrive. During touger times mentally, go to the gym for fun. Literally, do what you like, 15 sets of curls while you smile is better for your mind than beating yourself up over a bad set of squats.

Once you are managing your anxiety, train as consistently as possible. Its going to help a stack. Consistency is really the key.

 

Meditation

This advice is age old. Cold room, download headspace or calm, and relax yourself. Sometimes I'll go to youtube and just get the meditation music, and lay on the floor and breath deep. Whatever works for you.

 

More Sex (or pat a dog)

We release a series of chemicals during sex, the most important being oxytocin. Its the enemy of anxiety.

Its part of our social bonding. If sex isn't available, hug friends. Its released during social bonding. Being a hugger could literally change your life.

Oddly, the only animal that release oxytoxin is dogs. Even wonder why it feels great to pat dogs? this is why. Pat dogs on the street, get a dog, or sign up at madpaws to look after other dogs.

 

Further reading

Almost everything I write somehow relates to how I dealt with anxiety. The below will also help

https://www.jcfschoolofgains.com/blog/howtofixyourbody

https://www.jcfschoolofgains.com/blog/gaba

https://www.jcfschoolofgains.com/blog/gratitude

 

Summing up

All of these tactics should help. The more anxious you are,  the more you need to try to take on extra tactics.

As a person that has gone through a lot of this, I'd love to help. You can always send me a messge on facey. 

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