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My Wellness Story | How I Cured My Anxiety



Since I was a child I enjoyed being active. Basketball, dance, cheerleading, and the dance team in college. My soul always pulled me to move my body in some way. After college I moved to Colorado. I always knew I wanted to leave home (Pittsburgh) and this was a great stepping stone towards life after University. The year leading up to my move was when my health took a turn and declined well into living in CO.


I felt sick most days. I saw countless Dr's trying to find what was wrong. From cardiac tests to CT scans, blood sugar monitoring to gastrointestinal exams and a few trips to the ER. Everything came back normal besides having a Mitral Valve Prolapse which I was told I only had to worry about for dental visits. One Dr. diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder, and said "there's really nothing I can do for you." At this point I was not living a healthy lifestyle, but I was 22 and what I was doing seemed normal. Bad diet, stress, tons of caffeine and not moving my body at all except walking to and from my car.


Fast forward to my move to Colorado. I remember my flight there like it was yesterday. I had a low blood sugar drop on the plane from not eating for a day, going out the night before and having a ton of caffeine for my 6am flight. I honestly thought I was going to pass out or worse on that plane. Somehow halfway through the flight I manifested a seat in first class and a great flight attendant that gave me soda and snacks to help + a seat mate that chatted with me and distracted me. When I got off the plane my partner picked me up and I was still shaking. The shaking continued for days. This was a common occurrence during this time.


Within 4 months I gained over 30 pounds, had debilitating anxiety (would pull the car over because driving was overwhelming) drank sleepy-time tea at work to level out and felt sick every single day. There wasn't a day that I woke up and felt healthy. I prayed for that day to come and knew that it had to be possible. I would look at other people and think if they feel good, so can I.


My anxiety got to an all time high when I decided to finally look for another Dr. and see if I could get some help. I gave up months prior after being told there was nothing that could be done for me. I pulled up the health insurance website for my employer, looked for a Dr. nearby and booked an appointment. I didn't do much research I just wanted to see someone fast and feel better.


I few days later I went to my appointment. I sat in the exam room eager to meet the woman who could help me not feel sick every single day. The Dr. walked in. She asked me what was going on, I told her. Within 5 minutes she offered me samples of two types of anti-anxiety medicine to take for two weeks and then come back to check in. It all happened so fast and I was so anxious in that appointment that I just said sure!


When I left that appointment I called my dad. He was honestly my biggest supporter through all of this, always looking for alternative cures and ways to help me from a distance. As soon as I told him what the Dr. told me I could hear his concern over the phone. We talked about family history and one family member in particular who was put on the same exact medicine and was never the same. My dad challenged me to find an alternate way first, but if I wanted the medication, he understood (my dad had an interesting balance of logical Engineer and alternative healing curiosity). I felt the pull to seek a natural way to heal myself, and began my search.


The next two weeks were rough. I knew I needed to find a Dr. to guide me on a more natural path because I had no idea what I was doing. The panic attacks kept happening, the heart palpitations continued, the shaking became constant. I painstakingly looked through my insurance website again looking for Dr's and cross referencing backgrounds and specialities. I was looking for western and eastern medicine combined. This was way before reviews of Dr's and at a time when naturopathic and integrative were not common phrases. I finally found a Dr. on the site and felt a jolt inside of me that he was the right one to see. He was an MD and specialized in combining western and eastern methodologies.

He was booked up so a few weeks later I went in for my first appointment. I went to the Boulder Medical Center and didn't know what to expect. My last experiences wIth Dr's did not leave me feeling like they cared about my healing. Then enters this Dr. and my life changed for the better. He spent an hour with me (this was all through insurance not a pay per appt functional medicine model). Asking me what was going on, asking my family history, about my day to day routine etc. I never had someone be so thorough and actually care.


What is your diet like? Mostly fast food or microwavable meals

Do you have caffeine? Yeah 4-6 espresso shots each day and chai

How much water do you drink? No idea

What do you do to stay in shape? Nothing, I'm 22

How do you sleep? Not great I wake up with palpitations during the night


What he said next changed my life.


He told me to take the next two weeks to:

  • Walk outside 20 minutes a day if not more

  • Double my water intake

  • Stop eating fast food to lower my sodium


I felt very grounded in this appointment. Looking back now I see the value in giving someone your full attention and holding space. He did just that. I felt a little rocked by having to do things that may take a lot longer, but he explained that slow and steady wins the race. He wasn't about quick fixes, they cause more harm than good.


For the next two weeks I did exactly what he said, I figured what did I have to lose?


  1. Each morning I would wake up early and walk our dog before work. This did a combination of things for me. I got to be in nature first thing in the morning, do something calming right after waking up (instead of rushing around to get ready), and move my energy around (something that I found is the root cause of my anxiety). The time with our dog was an added bonus, seeing his joyfulness lit me up.

  2. I increased my water, and bought my first water bottle (now I can't imagine going someplace without my emotional support water bottle). I really felt a shift when I started to drink more water + move my body.

  3. Finally I changed my diet, I still wasn't cooking that much, but I was being very cautious of how much sodium I was consuming.


After the first few morning walks I felt lighter and happier. When I increased my water I began to feel my shakes go away. I learned that I could actually feel my Mitral Valve Prolapse when I was dehydrated, which would bring on anxiety and increase palpitations. Increasing water and being aware of my water consumption fixed this. Things started to come together. I continued to feel better, some days were harder than others but I was hopeful.


Two weeks later I went back and was so happy at that appointment. I still had some anxiety but I felt a lot more balanced and happier. My next step was to continue to grow and not plateau. To keep up with my foundation and build onto it. The beauty of all of this was that my Doc didn't give me 20 things to do to start. He gave me manageable steps to start my wellness journey. It was like he had done this before.


While I was on my two week journey my dad was looking for other ways I could heal. He found The Linden Method which is something I seriously contribute to my anxiety healing journey. Anyone that comes to me and is suffering from anxiety I suggest this method. This was my first experience with meditation, and now I am a meditation teacher. I attribute not only the meditations but the mindset shift of this program to my overall wellness.

P.S. - My stress relief meditation is a take on The Linden Method meditation that helped me heal.


This time in my life was challenging but was also a catalyst to move forward. I began taking care of my body and honoring my own energy and health. Within a few months of starting my new protocol I began having a few days cluster together where I felt good. Not only good but great. What I prayed for was coming true. I started to see when anxiety crept back in and how I wasn't taking care of my body. Sometimes it would take me a while to make the connection but I went back to my tools and my healing journey continued. Slow and steady wins the race.


Now if you are a believer of energy and karma, let's look back at how I found both Dr's:


  • I found the first Dr. within 5 minutes. I did no research and booked the first Doc I could find. She showed up for 5 minutes, had no curiosity of my bigger picture and left me confused and undervalued.

  • I took weeks to find the second Dr. I put so much energy into researching and cross referencing. I looked for a Doc specializing in my issues and stayed patient when his calendar was booked for weeks before my first appt. I felt empowered and heard.

I received what I gave for both. Doesn't make one better than the other, it simply shows how intention creates our reality.

 

What cured my anxiety was unique to me, but maybe it will help others.

  1. Increasing movement. Our energy needs to move. Our energy needs somewhere to go, otherwise it cannot find outlets and becomes anxiety. We have an energy field around our bodies and we receive energy from others within 10 feet of us. If we don't move, our energy gets murky, choppy and chaotic.

  2. Drinking enough water for my body. I learned during my wellness journey that to be healthy we need half our body weight in ounces of water, more if you work out vigorously. This varies from person to person, but find what works for you. *Trace minerals help us to absorb water since most water is demineralized now.

  3. Honoring my body with the foods that I eat. Everything is energy and what we consume can either do harm or good. A diet high in trans fats and sodium is a gateway to stress reactions and anxiety. Our body wants to feel lighter and more in flow. Eating balanced also helps with movement. The better we eat the better our energy moves. If you believe in the energetic side of things, blessing our food goes a long way for our wellness. Check out Dr. Emoto's water experiment to see how powerful our words really are.

  4. Having a mind balance/mindfulness practice. Mindfulness, meditation, breathwork, journaling, a difficult workout, whatever you prefer. This gives your mind time to process all of the stimuli around you and also time to disconnect and take a rest. If we are always in overdrive of course we will have stress and anxiety, our body doesn't know what rest is. Additionally I added in subliminals and sound frequencies to help balance my vagus nerve. 7.83 hz is the frequency of Earth, this grounds us when we are wired.

 


Fast forward to now, I have a new wellness routine and adjust when I feel it is time for a change. These are now my habits. It may seem like a lot, but once something becomes a habit, it is integrated and flows with your day.


Currently my wellness routine is:


  • Morning routine - no input for 30 minutes (no social, emails, texts - read more in this blog) affirmations/subliminals, meditation, stretching, gua sha, natural sunlight within the first 20 minutes of waking up (no sunglasses), matcha, walking, raising my vibration (dancing, laughing, good music etc.).

  • End morning shower with cold water (this turned me into a morning person, intuitively I felt inflammation weighing me down, making it difficult to get out of bed even with enough sleep. 30 seconds of cold water a day changed that).

  • Walking 20-30 miles a week (about 2-5 miles a day, this is my zen time in nature and has been my foundation since the start).

  • Yoga 3 times a week + getting my teacher certification (Nov 2023 graduation!).

  • Cooking most meals at home with 80/20 eating - 80% foods in their purest form, 20% not, but avoiding my triggers (gluten, dairy). I am not all in on this all of the time, I do love pizza and have some if I am craving it.

  • Food group eating (something I learned from Natalia Rose, I don't always follow this either but I utilize the principles with most meals).

  • During meals, taking time to eat and being purposeful and respectful of food (chewing 20 times for each bite) and a reiki blessing for all food and drinks.

  • Walking after every meal (thanks Glucose Goddess).

  • Fasting (I am not dogmatic about this, but I fast overnight and try to have 15 hrs in between dinner and breakfast/lunch if my schedule permits).

  • Meditation (20-45 minutes a day).

  • Sound frequencies - (Neowake is my go to, I choose what I need for the day and listen for 30 mins).

  • Night routine - f.lux filter on my laptop after sunset, night filter on my phone after sunset, facial exercises (love my face yoga), Neville Goddard inspired sleep meditation, affirmations/sound frequencies.

  • + Supplements that support my journey (love Kimberly Snyder's offering).


The reason why I wrote this: Maybe the methods I followed will help someone on their journey.

I chose to go the natural route first, and have been on the natural route ever since. But we are all different and everyone is on their own journey. Western medicine helped my family through some tough times, follow what feels right for you.


Much love, Nikki




Disclaimer - this is not a medical reading and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult a physician before starting something new.




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