Let's talk Lyme and Anxiety Disorder for just a minute. I have struggled with severe and debilitating anxiety pretty much all my life, I just didn't truly understand it until I was diagnosed with Lyme. Since then, I've learned that Lyme and anxiety go hand in hand. It's often common for people to experience severe anxiety when they are battling Lyme, and the more you know about Lyme, the more that makes sense.
Lyme spirochetes are spiral shaped bacteria that can drill into any part of your body and infect any organ system, including your nervous system. When Lyme infects the nervous system this can be known as a neurological disorder that can cause many symptoms such as anxiety, depression, nerve pain, unpredictable rage, etc. Since we're all biologically individual and different, this infection of the nerves can affect each person differently. For me I experience intense anxiety, and although it has improved greatly since I was first diagnosed with Lyme, it is still a struggle and I have been on a long journey to find things to help remedy my pain.
With that said, here are the top five things that I have done to remedy my severe anxiety!
These are remedies. Not cures. These are not things that have cured my anxiety, but they sincerely help in taking the edge off and giving me clarity of mind. With Lyme you must have LOTS of tools in your toolbox to experience healing, and it doesn't occur in one moment, it's a long journey. So, if you're like me and you're looking for some things that could help along the way, here's what I do!
1. Pressure Points
A lot of you have probably heard of acupuncture. Acupressure is a similar concept except less evasive, and you can do it yourself. Simply apply light pressure with your pointer and middle finger to the pressure point and hold until you feel a pulse. Once you feel a pulse, hold for about a minute and that's it!
Here's the points you need to know for anxiety!
1. Point 1 is know as the third eye and is located between the eyebrows.
2. Point 2 are your temples and you can apply light pressure with your thumb and pointer finger with one hand, or you can apply pressure with your pointer fingers with both hands.
3. Point 3 is right underneath your nose and above your upper lip.
When you press these pressure points in your head, you're pulling blood back up into your head that your brain needs to be in balance and to function properly. It also is relieving built up pressure in your head that's brought on from stress and toxins in the body. This helps with calming the mind and the nervous system.
2. Chamomile Tea!
I love chamomile tea! It's super easy to make and whenever I drink chamomile tea it's almost like I can feel my whole body taking a breathe of fresh air and releasing some of the tension in my nerves! It's a wonderful way to take the edge off of anxiety!
*If you prefer a sweeter tea you can add more honey.
3. Essential Oil Inhalers
These are something I've been using that have been helping me A TON lately! The blend I use is something that I call "Calm My Nerves" and it really helps me to relax when I'm in the middle of an anxiety attack.
For this oil blend you will use:
6 drops lavender
6 drops geranium
3 drops roman chamomile
3 drops clary sage
3 drops of ylang ylang
For each inhaler you're just going to drop the oils into a small bowl (you can drop straight from the bottle, or if it's easier you can use the dropper that they come with) and then you role the wick in the oils long enough for it to absorb the oil. (Each wick can hold about 20 drops of oil) and then you put the wick inside the glass part of the inhaler, and then insert the glass holder into the colored part of the inhaler and your done! I always label mine to know which blend is which.
You can buy essential oil inhalers on Amazon, and they are AMAZING! This blend is especially helpful for social events and places with lots of people if you have social anxiety because they can just be slipped into your purse or pocket and then used discretely when needed. I also keep one of mine on my night stand next to my bed to help me sleep if I'm struggling with night panics or painsomnia.
4. Lay Off The Sugar!
This is less like a remedy, and more like an overall suggestion. I was an absolute sugaraholic when I was a teenager! Chocolate, candy, dessert, and anything rich was my favorite thing, and little did I know that my severe anxiety in high school had a direct correlation to all the sugar that I was consuming!
When I quit all refined sugar at age 18 my panic attacks went from 3-4 a day to 3-4 a week. It's sounds awful, but given the terrible state that I was in, it was quite the improvement! Then as I continued detox and other changes to my diet I am now at the point where I generally only have a couple of panic attacks a month, and my anxiety is still a problem, but it's bearable. One thing is for sure, if you struggle with an anxiety disorder of any kind, processed sugar is your enemy! Quitting sugar was one of the best things I ever did for myself, and I'm never going back! Trust me, when you give up sugar, your nerves will love you for it because sugar feeds the bacteria that's causing the anxiety in the first place.
For sugar substitutes I use:
5. Just Breathe!
One thing that I tend to do when I'm having an anxiety attack is to stop breathing, or breathing only when absolutely necessary. It's important to always remember to breathe deeply when you're feeling anxious because your brain and nerves need oxygen in order to function properly.
One of the breathing techniques that I use for anxiety is Alternate Nostril Breathing. This form of breathing helps to balance the two sides of your brain, calms the nervous system, and relieves tension brought on by stress and toxins. It's also a great way to help the body prepare for meditation!
This is how you practice alternate nostril breathing:
Welcome to the Journey!
Health is not a destination, it is a journey! And for Chronic Illness warriors like myself, it's been one long, painful journey! I've learned so much about health and wellness along the way, and my hope is to share my experience with those who are so desperately seeking for answers to the mystery that is chronic illness. My goal is to raise awareness for debilitating illness all over the world, and then share a worldwide message of hope and healing ahead. I hope to bust some myths about illness, and spread my passion for truth into the hearts of those who need it. Most importantly, I hope to build a community of chronically beautiful people who need to know that they are never alone in their suffering. Together, we can knit hearts together, and fight a good fight knowing that there is a source of rescue and happiness ahead.