Your manage anxiety strategy can include a lot of components, many of which are under your control, like diet, exercise, sleep, positive thinking, exercise, stress management, and of course, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication from your doctor.
I like to add in biofeedback including Heartmath heart rate variability biofeedback and Open Focus, which is a wonderful meditative kind of tool created by Les Fehmi,Ph.D.
In fact, I combine CBT, Heartmath, and Open Focus for many clients, and I use an over all model of Brain Fitness to indicate that if clients are willing to put in regular effort (and not a super effort) they can increase neurogenesis or the growth of new brain cells and neuroplasticity, which is the connectivity of neurons.
I always argue that when it comes to brains, bigger is better, so creating brain fitness also manages anxiety.
Perhaps you have never heard of the concept of Brain Fitness? Then I would suggest you read an excellent book called Brainfit for Life by Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D. who are neuroscientists at the University of Michigan.
Their book will give you a clear model of brain fitness, and the pillars of brain fitness, which are physical exercise, nutrition including antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acid, stress management, good sleep, and novel learning experiences.
So it looks like a managing anxiety strategy has some real overlap with a brain fitness lifestyle.
The most important brain fitness pillar is the physical exercise pillar, and I think regular aerobic exercise has a good impact on anxiety as well, because of increased blood flow to the brain.
But for now I want to skip ahead to the stress management pillar and the use of a combination of Heartmath heart rate variability biofeedback and Open Focus to accomplish a managing anxiety strategy.
I have used Heartmath heart rate variability myself and in my practice for 10 years, with excellent results, in part because my childhood left me hypervigilant and with a very strong startle response, sort of a partial PTSD physiology which I learned to medicate with alcohol.
Alcohol is a very poor choice, and I do not recommend it at all.
Heartmath is non-invasive and actually facilitates the growth of new brain cells rather than destroying them, and it feels better than alcohol.
Couple Heartmath heart rate variability and the pillars of brain fitness activities and you have a real plan for managing anxiety which is available on a heart beat by heart beat basis.
Your heart actually has neurons in it, an intelligence if you will, and like neurogenesis, the extent of the heart's nervous system, and its ability to learn and make decisions was undiscovered until a few years ago.
But it turns out that with the use of biofeedback I can train the brain in my heart to beat very coherently and sustain the feel good coherence for long periods of time.
Heart rate varibility coherence actually opens the higher perceptual centers in your brain for better decisions.
Heartmath feels good, certainly better than anxiety. I welcome you to click on the links below to discover more about creating your own manage anxiety strategy.
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