10 Science-Backed Anxiety Reducing Hacks to Calm Your Mind, Sleep More, and Feel Better Fast!
I used to think anxiety was something people made up to avoid doing things they didn’t want to do….until I experienced it for myself. Six years ago, I pulled up to the valet at a 5 star restaurant for a meeting with a highly successful prospective client. I clearly remember my heart starting to pound, my hands starting to sweat and my mind racing as I looked for a way to exit without running over the valet.
I was stuck. There were cars in front of and behind me. The valet walked up to my car and asked for my name. I threw on a smile and stepped out of my car. I pushed down the fear that was coming up like one too many tequila shots. The guy I was supposed to meet was very well known in the industry and I had been trying to get a meeting with him for months. This was my chance. “What was I doing here? He’s not going to take me seriously. I’m wasting his time.” I was scared and anxious but forced myself to go inside. I couldn’t back out now.
Fast forward six years later and that same man is like a brother to me. He became one of my biggest clients, dearest friends and closest mentors. The universe aligned that day and a door to my next chapter was opened. But just because you see the door doesn’t mean that you have the courage or the capacity to walk in. Sometimes anxiety robs you of that. The part of me that wanted to stay safe clung on tight. The scared little girl inside kicked and screamed in revolt. But I knew that not walking in the door would mean I would always stay outside watching others through the window when I belonged at the table.
The reality is that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the US each year. Many of us turn to prescription medications to help manage anxiety which often come with unwanted side effects. I know… because I was on them for years. But then I learned new ways to manage it.
Below are 10 science-backed strategies that can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep and make you feel better fast.
If you’re feeling anxious, your first instinct might be to hold your breath. But surprisingly, breathing exercises can actually help lower anxiety levels. When you’re feeling anxious, your heart rate and breathing speed up. By focusing on your breath and taking slow, deep breaths, you can signal to your body that it’s time to relax. Plus, deep breathing is a form of meditation that can help clear your mind and calm your thoughts. So next time you’re feeling anxious, try one of these breathing exercises to see if it helps lower your anxiety levels.
Box Breathing: The technique involves inhaling for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 4, exhaling for a count of 4, and then holding your breath again for a count of 4. Repeat the cycle 5-10 times. Some people find that box breathing helps to ease anxiety and improve focus.
I also love using a breathwork necklace. It’s not just a beautiful piece of jewelry and a great reminder to breathe throughout the day, but it offers a practical solution to help you decrease the stress hormone, reduce blood pressure, loosen muscles and decrease heart rate. All you have to do is breathe through the necklace. I recommend putting one of these around your neck every day.
- Komuso Design Shift Necklace: https://www.komusodesign.com/tori-gordon Code: JUSTBREATHETORI10
- Flo Stress Relief Necklace: https://amzn.to/3CseujS
Add Superfoods to Your Diet
Stress, cravings, and hormones can all be connected to cortisol levels. Since having a healthy cortisol pattern throughout the day is essential, a daily glass of green juice first thing can support:
- responses to stress – with 600mg of ashwagandha.
- food cravings – by reducing cortisol levels that elevate urges.
- hydration & balance – bringing the body back to its naturally-balanced state.
Superfoods and adaptogens help to bring your body into balance. I recommend taking Organifi Green Juice in the morning to help alkalize, energize and balance your body for the day but if you really want the best bang for your buck and body you have to get the Sunrise to Sunset Kit (Organifi Green, Red + Gold).
You can’t afford to take any chances with your health, which is why aromatherapy has become so popular. If you think that sounds a little too…woow woo, the US National Library of Medicine study shows how scents like lavender have positive effects mentally and physically as well spiritually! This anxiety hack doesn’t require much effort at all so why wouldn’t you try it?
Memories are triggered by smell, but even if you can’t always remember the details of your bad memories, there are ways to make them happier. One way is by bringing in happy scents that will help trigger good feelings and images instead; this includes things like lavender oil for those who have trouble with stress or anxiety issues. Try these essential oils to help you relax after a long day.
News about the benefits of CBD (the healthy cannabinoid that doesn’t get you “high”) are popping up everywhere, and I’m getting more and more questions about it all the time.
It seems like everyone is trying it. From Moms, to Athletes, to Scientists.
In fact, a new Gallup poll showed that 14% of all Americans say they use some form of CBD to help with sleep, joint and muscle pain, anxiety, and the immune system.
When I first heard about it, I’ll admit I was skeptical. But I had been experiencing high levels of stress which was causing me to sleep terribly for weeks. After I dug into the research and personally experimented with different brands…
I found CBD really does work.
It’s been a game-changer for me. It has helped me be able to reduce daily stress and anxiety and get the best sleep I’ve had in 5 years! I’m not kidding.
But it can be overwhelming with all the different products on the market. And I get a lot of messages from people that want to know if it actually works or which brands to trust…
The bottom line is: not all CBD products are created equal.
That’s why I recommend the one that worked the best for me: Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Hemp Elixir.
It checks all the right safety boxes…
- A full-spectrum product (not an extract)
- It’s organic and pesticide free
- Free of toxins (and lab tested by a 3rd party)
And the best part is that because of the colloidal water technology, it gets absorbed instantly under the tongue… so you feel it within 30-seconds (instead of 30-40 minutes). So you know right away that it’s working and feel the impact immediately!
You can grab your own bottle here.
Create A Restorative Nightly Ritual
The importance of having a night time routine can’t be overstated. Your body needs to recover every day so that you are able to get enough sleep and stay healthy! To begin implementing a nightly routine follow these steps below:
- Take a hot shower at least 30 minutes before bedtime – this will help remove any dirt/oil from your skin but if you want to take your shower to the next level use my favorite Aromatherapy Shower Steamers to increase your relaxation and get you ready for a good night’s sleep.
- Cuddle up with a heated blanket.
- Read for 15 minutes.
- Drink some tea or have a cup of the Organifi Gold which is specifically formulated to help with your evening wind down. (Gold is part of my personal evening ritual and it literally feels like having a soothing glass of creamy deliciousness. I’m obsessed!)
Art can be the perfect way to express yourself in ways that are meaningful and therapeutic. For example, drawing or painting is a great pastime for those who don’t consider themselves artists but still want some form of creative expression whilst feeling calmness wash over them at their own pace – without any pressure on what’s expected!
Some people find it helpful to draw what they’re feeling when their stress is getting out of hand. Grab a pencil and paper, or start digitally! It doesn’t have to be perfect – just let yourself go with the flow as much as possible during these moments where everything seems too much for one person alone (we’ve all been there before).
Coloring has become a popular activity for adults as well. For those who don’t feel artistic, but still want to create beautiful pictures; adult coloring books can be especially relaxing and satisfying!
Use Blue Blocking Glasses during Screen time
It has been scientifically proven that blue light from gadgets and electronics can impact focus and alertness as well as makes it difficult to fall asleep. Scientists have discovered that blue light—more so than other colors of illumination such as white or yellow- disrupts production and distribution of melatonin in the brain, according to a 2019 review published by Journal Biological & Medical Rhythm Research.
That’s why I highly recommend using blue blocker glasses whenever you’re on your phone, working at your computer or reading an ebook on an ipad.
Here’s a link to the one’s I personally wear. Grab them and we can be twins! Tori’s Blue Blockers
Magnesium is an essential mineral that many people lack. The TRUTH? There are actually multiple types of this important nutrient, each with their own unique purpose in your body!
Magnesium is extremely important for mental and neurological health. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency causes animals to be stressed and anxious. In humans, a low-magnesium diet is associated with anxiety and depression. You need magnesium to deal with stress. Stress causes you to excrete more magnesium through urine. Therefore, being deficient can create anxiety.
Most healthy” people only get 1-2 forms at best (much of the population is deficient in all forms) — but when you get all 7 major forms of magnesium, that’s when the magic happens.
BiOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough is the only supplement on the market to offer the full spectrum of all seven types of magnesium specially formulated to reach every tissue in your body to provide maximum health benefits and reverses low levels which could be causing health issues.
Grab your bottle of Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers:
Yoga is a great way to soothe your mind when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. The focus on breathing and being in each pose helps quiet the noise of life, giving us time for ourselves amidst all that pressure! Yoga was one of the first mind-body practices that really helped me to attune to what my body was actually telling me and learn the subtle ways I was carrying tension.
I recently did a 30 day hot-yoga challenge and I have literally never felt better than I did after finishing it.
This amazon yoga mat is perfect for the beginning yogi! Namaste.
Read A Book
I cannot stress how much reading has helped me learn about all of the ways I was blocking myself from feeling better. From avoiding my feelings, to being stuck in a victim mentality, our habits of over analyzing create more harm than good. That’s why I recommend these essential reads to anyone looking to work on themselves personally and elevate their mind-body-soul.
Books to help you shift your mindset, become more mindful and heal from the inside out.
- Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess by Dr. Caroline Leaf
- Feel Better Fast and Make it Last by Dr. Daniel Amen
- The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: Dr. Joe Dispenza:
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