After having connected with many women from around the world who struggle with endometriosis, it has become somewhat apparent to me that many of us struggle with anxiety. It can sometimes appear obvious but other times, it is just this ever presence that we simply accept as part of ourselves. I thought I would dive into some of the factors or reasons that you may be feeling anxious and hopefully give you some solutions to try and ease it.
1.The pressure to be perfect
I must admit that this has been one that has personally affected me for a big part of my life. It is this ever present feeling that I kinda just learned to live with. I thought it was just part of my personality or my star sign – perfectionism and wanting things to be orderly or “under control”. I didn’t really recognise that it brought with it a host of feelings, including this ever present feeling of anxiety. It would rear it’s ugly head whenever I tried to do something “big” or out of my comfort zone and it would combine with feeling of overwhelm, restriction and struggling to make decisions. Not really ideal when you want to do bigger things 🙂 LOL.
Since recognising that this trait is quite common with us endo sisters, I have realised that the drive to be perfect, is actually worse for our health – kinda ironic! It is a hard habit to break but I am finding a simple act of repeating to myself: “I love myself”, is really making quite a big difference. The obvious solution is also to just accept that we can’t control everything, that nothing is ever perfect and simply to let some things go.
2.Having hormone imbalances
When we have too much oestrogen – particularly in the luteal phase of our cycle (just before your period), it can bring with it, feelings of overwhelm. Essentially, we have too much oestrogen and not enough progesterone to balance it out. To balance out these hormones, we can support the body better through the REACH© Technique. Specific points which can help here are:
- Focus on rich, healthy fats like avocado and wild salmon
- Consume more yams and cinnamon
- Avoid soy products and flaxseeds
There are also herbs and creams which can help you short-term to get this balance right.
3.Simply not drinking enough water
This is the most basic principles of feeling well and yet most of us forget to drink enough water. We get busy or don’t want to have to go to the toilet too much but ultimately, your body needs water and without it, it will feel uneasy and anxious. I have found that by aiming for 3 litres (about 1 gallon) of water per day I inevitably land up with just enough to make sure my body has enough. There is a trick to drinking enough water – just have it within easy reach to you at all times. If it is too hard or far way, then you simply won’t drink enough. If you work in an office, simply have 3 full bottles sitting on your desk, to remind you to drink water :).
4.Worrying about your health
It is fairly easy to feel anxious about your health when the messages around endometriosis tend to be so negative. Words like: “there is no cure”, “the endometriosis will spread out of control” and “it will affect your fertility” are all so scary and when we can’t actually see what is going on, it is inevitable that we would get anxious. The ironic thing is that worrying about your health and thinking these kinds of thoughts, just creates more stress and anxiety, which inevitably makes your endo healing journey harder.
When you have a plan to follow and you have real evidence that it has helped others, your anxiety will ease and you will also feel more in control of your health and your endometriosis.
5.Your body is depleted somewhere
When we dive deeper into what anxiety really is… it is a feeling of not having enough or not feeling like we can cope. Your body might be feeling like this on a permanent basis due to having higher requirements than it might be getting. So, you may be deficient in certain nutrients or your body may be burdened with too many toxins or you could simply be lacking some basic essentials like enough sleep, sunshine and time to breathe.
We need to provide for our body and look after it. Anxiety is almost like a 2 year old child, throwing a tantrum because it is not getting what it wants. Listen to your body. Give it what it needs and much of that feeling of anxiety will disappear.
What is your experience with anxiety? Do you feel anxious a lot? Have you found some other techniques that have helped you? Feel free to share to help others.