TAP 102 - Ryan Light on OCD, Anxiety & Chasing The Runners High

Summary:

In this episode I speak to Ryan Light about his experience with Anxiety.  We discuss some of his specific struggles with OCD and then talk about some of the things he's found to be most useful in his recovery.  

Links:

Ryan's site: http://realrunryan.com/

In this particular episode you will learn:

- About Ryan's own experience with anxiety

- How in running Ryan found an outlet to share his struggles

- How sharing our vulnerabilities takes the pressure off of having to maintain secrets

Ryan's 6 Strategies For Instant Anxiety Relief

1. Exercise
It has been scientifically proven that inactivity makes the body susceptible to anxiety. In the words of an old maxim, inactivity breeds fear. So move around. Not only does exercise chase away anxiety, it also releases body chemicals and hormones that contribute to relaxation. If you cannot access a gym or another appropriate place for exercise, then jog on the spot, and watch the anxiety pangs subside. Read my article on how running can help with OCD and other anxiety disorders.

2. Distract Your Senses
Constantly brooding on your predicament or whatever is causing you anxiety is certainly no remedy to anxiety. Think about other things. Read a novel. Talk to friends or family. Go out of your way to help somebody else. Just don’t occupy all your waking hours with thoughts about how anxious you are or how much you are dreading an event. Thinking too much about a problem actually magnifies it, especially if you are looking at it from a fearful angle. Another quote holds here: Nothing minimizes your adversities like ignoring them!

3. Eat More Magnesium
There is scientific evidence that magnesium does help in keeping anxiety at bay. Magnesium is a naturally occurring vitamin. This means that you should eat more foods rich in magnesium. These foods include dark green vegetables, milk products and fruits. However, if you are experiencing too much anxiety, you might want to ask your doctor for magnesium supplements. This is because naturally occurring vitamins normally occur in scanty quantities, which might not give you much help. You should however be cautious about those who claim to have instant foods or herbs that can reduce anxiety, especially if not backed by scientific proof, which is almost always lacking in most cases.

4. Have An Anxiety Disaster Plan
Anxiety might attack without warning, so it is wise to have a tried- and- tested plan in case of unwarranted attacks. Look for things that uplift you when you are at the verge of falling in to pieces. Is it a song? A comical magazine? A friend who when you talk to, you feel that things will actually work out? A role model who boosts you confidence when you really need someone who believes in you? Or is it an inspiring story that you can identify with? Keep these things on speed dial, and reach for them when you feel the waves of anxiety closing in on you.

5. Keep A Journal
Take time to write down whatever it is that is bothering you. You will be surprised at how much help that can be. When you write issues down, you might get solutions to them or a different angle of approaching them. This certainly is a relief to your troubled mind, much better than having dreadful thoughts constantly swirling in your brain. Order does bring calm. Moreover, when you write issues down, it gives your brain security that your thoughts are safely stored and frees up your mind to think about other things.

6. In The End
All in all, it is important to accept that anxiety can bring us down, but more importantly, that the power to overcome it lies within us. So relax. It might seem insurmountable now, but rest assured that it is not beyond your power. And also, remember that keeping busy might do wonders for you in overcoming anxiety… it will conveniently help your brain forget about the looming problem, which is of great advantage to you. Also remember that you are not alone in combating anxiety, and that others are willing to help you in the battle.