Check out some of anxiety coach and practitioner, Lisa Gumieniuk’s amazingly simple and super effective ‘little known hacks’ to assist you in overcoming stress and anxiety. Lisa is passionate about finding the root cause of anxiety, stress and overwhelm and finding simple and holistic ways to help overcome these tricky feelings.
Little Known Hack #1 – Make the first 7 minutes of your day count.
These early minutes of your day are so important for your brains functioning. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing we often see is negative stimulation from our phone. Lisa explains that this really isn’t setting our brain up for success. What should we do? Don’t turn your phone on yet. Turn your alarm off and leave it alone, for at least that first 7—15 minutes! Instead treat yourself to some productive and positive stimulation instead like meditation, breathwork, reading, journaling, visualising your favourite places or getting some fresh air!
Little Known Hack #2 – Have you heard of Limbic System Training?
The limbic system is the storer and centre of emotions and memories in our brain. It is also the area that is responsible for or behavioural responses, most commonly needed for survival. Training and working this powerful part of the body can be done in a number of ways. One of Lisa’s favourite ways is through something called ‘tapping’ or the EFT (emotional freedom technique). This is where you tap on the meridians and acupuncture points of your body such as the top of your head, around your eye, under the nose and on your collar bones. This allows for emotional releasing and physical movement to occur. Lisa says, “It can sound a little ‘woo-woo’ for some people, but it truly is an incredibly evidence-based way to release fear and worry.” Your body knows what it wants, so will often tell you what it needs. Do you ever find yourself bouncing your leg or putting your hand to your chest for example? This is a very common example of EFT.
Little Known Hack #3 – Food, glorious food.
As delicious and amazing as food is, ultimately, food is fuel for our body. If we aren’t fuelling ourselves with the right foods, our cells and brain aren’t going to work to the best of there ability. Consuming nutritious, fresh, whole foods is always the best way to ensure you are giving your body what it was designed to thrive off. Lisa says that intermittent fasting is also one of the best hacks when it comes to the connection between brain function and eating. Allowing your body to have a break both mentally and physically from food is extremely beneficial. On top of this, Lisa says food reviews can be a great way to understand how your body is reacting to foods. Review the foods you eat, how often you eat and why you are eating. Simply keep a food diary to start, and if it persists visit a healthcare professional, such as a nutritionist. The connection between food and mental health is huge and should be considered if you aren’t really feeling yourself.
Little Known Hack 4 – Prioritise community & connection.
It is no secret that connecting with others brings about joy, purpose, and experience that we don’t always experience on our own. Of course, as much as independence and solidarity can help to re-energise many of us, having a tribe is so powerful in building a foundation of belonging, support and friendship. Find events, clubs, communities, and people to connect with that do similar things that you love. Even going online to be a part of podcasts or networking Facebook groups and Zoom calls is amazing too! Head out for a walk and a coffee with a friend, or even pick up the phone to call a loved one on the way home from work.
Little Known Hack 5 – Acknowledge gratitude.
Having the attitude of gratitude is something you can create, foster, and grow in yourself. Write out or simply think of three things you are grateful for at the beginning of the day to set you up positively, or at the end of the day as a powerful reflection tool. Feeling and practising gratefulness places your brain in a beautiful and calming alignment. It doesn’t have to be complicated or high level. Simply notice and feel thankful for the weather, your comfortable bed, or your connections with loved ones. It can really help you feel grounded and reduce overwhelm.
Little Known Hack 6 – Get that body moving.
Research has told us for decades the importance of movement when it comes to mental health. And Lisa couldn’t agree more! Movement allows us to break our overthinking cycles and create positive chemicals called endorphins. Movement can come in all sorts of ways – exercise, walking, yoga, Pilates and even shaking your limbs! Our emotions and energy can physically get stuck in our body, so getting that body into action can really help to release that energy. You might have noticed that even cats and dogs often start shaking to release that pent-up nervousness and fear, for example. Amazing, right?
Little Known Hack 7 – Smell the roses, and get some vitamin-D.
Spending time outside in nature often provides a calming feeling plus a great sense of connection and awareness. Getting outside to soak up some Vitamin-D helps to boost immunity, which directly impacts our mental and emotional health and wellbeing. We spend so much time on our devices working, watching and scrolling, being busy and preoccupied that time outside can be less prioritised. Being outside somewhere you love is so healthy and so beneficial to how you feel overall. Whether it is going out to enjoy your lunch break in your local pack, or walking along the coast in the morning, there is no doubt it provides a great sense of happiness and calm.
Little Known Hack 8 – Keep up routines.
Morning routines, evening routines… the body love routines! It creates a sense of safety and reassurance for your brain. Certain activities should absolutely be included, but some can probably be cut. For example, try and avoid your phone before bed. We get dopamine hits when we get notifications. Being aware that these negative habits shouldn’t be in your routine is important. At night, try to switch your phone off 1 hour before bed! Similarly, start your day doing things in your routine that are positive and helpful in setting you upright for the day, as mentioned in the first little-known hack like getting some fresh air or meditating!
These tools and techniques above are extremely powerful! Having an idea of hacks that work best for you to find positive ways to decrease your own stress and overwhelm is so important. Maybe you simply incorporate a walk outside each morning or think about what you are grateful before bed? Give them a go.
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