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Three Simple Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the many mental illnesses affecting countless people around the world. Anxiety often manifests as strong feelings of fear and nervousness and can impair us in all areas of our lives. The sources of our anxiety can come from anywhere; trauma, the pressures of daily life, interpersonal relationships, traffic! Here are some very effective ways to cope with anxiety that are simple and easy:

Breathing Exercises

Our breath more than keeps us alive, it connects our minds with our bodies, hearts, souls and spirits. Those experiencing anxiety have probably noticed at one time or another that they are breathing in short, quick, shallow breaths, or that they are struggling to be able to take deep breaths. This is often due to the inner turmoil of anxiety, and it can also be due simultaneously to lung problems such as asthma. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lungs are associated with grief, and many people with chronic anxiety have also experienced serious trauma and the grief that can accompany it. There are countless helpful breathing exercises such as yogic breathing techniques, including alternate nostril breathing and the ujjayi ocean breath.

One super simple exercise specifically for anxiety, and for asthma also interestingly, is easy to remember- 1:2 breathing, where your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, meaning if you breathe in for 4, you will breathe out for 8, pausing at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale. The longer exhale and pausing help to balance your body’s CO2 levels, which are often high in over thinkers, over breathers and asthmatics. As you read this, how does your breathing feel? Is it shallow and fast? Is it labored and difficult? Being conscious, mindful and intentional with our breathing can do wonders for our anxiety.


Breathing is a fundamental part of meditation, which itself has countless different methods. Those who have come to believe they can’t meditate might not have found a method that works for them. Focusing on our breathing while allowing our thoughts to come and go without attachment is just one of many different forms of meditation. There are walking meditation, visualization, chanting, repeating affirmations, listening to meditation music, meditative activities like knitting, staring at a single point such as a candle flame, and so many more. One beautiful meditation technique is visualizing healing light coming from above- from the Universe, God, Source, your higher power, your angels, (whatever name feels right for you)- and flowing into your crown and third eye chakras, located in your head and between your eyes, respectively. When your mind wanders as it will naturally do, gently bring it back to the light. Any form of meditation you find that works for you helps you to slow your breathing and your heart rate. Meditation in general helps increase our sense of calm, inner peace and resilience, ultimately making us happier, stronger and more at peace.


One simple way to meditate is by repeating affirmations, a method that is powerful for reprogramming the fears and doubts stored in our subconscious minds. For anxiety, try saying and writing:

I am at peace within myself.

I am calm and balanced.

Everything happens as it’s meant to.

I trust in my higher power.

I am manifesting everything I need to live my best life.

I am grateful for the beauty of life.

Anxiety doesn’t have to derail your life. Let Enlightened Solutions help. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.

Can Crystals Help Anxiety Attacks?

Anxiety is a common experience of addicts entering recovery, especially in the earliest stages of recovery.  It is one of the feelings that addicts are seeking to mask with substances.  Anxiety is the escalation of excitement.  Excitement has risen to an intensity that causes distress.  Crystals are a simple yet powerful tool to support the ability to be present with this, and other, emotions.  

One of the primary ways that crystals support with anxiety is to have a grounding effect on the escalating energy.  Rocks, in general, can help root down energy that is rising.  The rooting down of this energy can keep it at manageable levels for the addict.  

Being in contact with a gem also activates the senses.  Anxiety, and the escalation of any emotion, is simply the intensification of the amount of attention on a triggering event.  Any amount of attention currency that can be placed elsewhere will soften the intensity of the emotion.  The senses are one of the most accessible ways to shift the attention.

Crystals have very long lives and they have been holding energy for the planet throughout.  They can also be engaged to hold energy for the addict in recovery.  When there is a specific challenge present, it is possible to release some, or all, of this energy to the crystal through a meditation practice.  The crystal can hold this energy for you until the full  moon comes.  On the eve of the full moon, you can place the stone in the full-moon light and this will transmute and release the energy.  You can also achieve this by submerging it in water with sea salt at any given time.  Remember to express gratitude to the gem for processing the energy for you as well as any other earth resources involved in the release process.  

When beginning a journey with crystals or other gemstones, remember to trust the process.  The mind will want to know all the facts! Allow yourself to be in the mystery of the unknown with these ancient healers.  Explore intuition when choosing a gem to guide healing.  Let in the gentle reminder that these rocks hold the ancient wisdom of the life of the planet.


If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.

How Anxiety Can be a Motivating Force Instead of a Debilitating One

Anxiety is often discussed in terms of being one side of a two-sided coin.  The other side is excitement.  It a short journey to harness the power that is accessible to a person in recovery through the experience of anxiety. There is tremendous opportunity in learning how to transmute anxiety into excitement.

The first opportunity in this journey is by beginning to use anxiety as a cue.  This is a pathway to increasing your awareness about your emotional presence throughout your day.  Anxiety is more manageable when you can observe it in its beginning stages.  As you move beyond the beginning stages, it gains momentum and power.  So, beginning to learn the signals as to when it has begun will be a great tool.  

In order to be able to identify anxiety, you will first need to cultivate awareness about how it shows up in your life.

  • What are the body signals? Some possibilities are stomach pain, neck tension, or headaches.
  • What are the mental signals? Perhaps you begin to have a repetitive thought pattern or begin to excessively think abou the past or future.
  • What are the emotional signals? Do you detach? Or do become excessively angry?

These are just two possibilities.  Learn what your mind, body and emotions do at the beginning of an anxiety cycle and begin to use these as guides to develop tools to harness the power of anxiety. Once you have cultivated awareness of your early stages of anxiety, you can begin to develop tools to harness this energy and transform it into excitement about your life!

There’s a bit of a bridge between being spun out on anxiety and arriving to a place of excitement. Remember to be kind and compassionate with yourself.  You can begin to develop some tools using the following suggestions and guidelines:

  • Perspective: the bridge between anxiety and excitement is mostly built upon bricks of opportunity.  Begin to train yourself to look for the opportunity with that causing your anxiety.  
  • Medicine: once you are aware of your cues, you can use these to build tools by taking opposite actions.  For example, if your pattern is to become angry when anxious, teach yourself how to release anger with more ease.  

Remember, this is a journey. Allow yourself to blossom within it!

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Contact us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism.

Does Mindfulness Work For Reducing Anxiety?

Anxiety has little to do with being in the present moment other than spending that present moment worrying about the future. Getting caught up in anxious thoughts feels like getting lost in an uncontrollable stream of worry, concern, and fear over things which might not even be real. Millions of people live with anxiety and co-occurring disorders like addiction or alcoholism but do not receive treatment. Each day, they live under the rule of their anxiety, which takes a toll physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Recently, Brigham Young University conducted a study on anxiety and the effect of mindfulness in reducing anxiety. Mindfulness helps those with anxiety accomplish three important states. First, it helps them focus on the present moment. Second, it returns them to their breath. Third, it helps them get in touch with their true emotions. “People who are not aware of ‘moment-to-moment experience’ many times void difficult emotions,” the article explains, “This behavior leads to negative thoughts.” It can also lead to a heightened heart rate, rapid thinking mind, and muscle tension.

20 minutes of mindfulness a day can effectively reduce the symptoms of anxiety before, during, and after an anxiety attack or an episode of anxious thinking. Mindfulness practices tend to include focus on the breath. Practicing breathing exercises for anxiety helps increase mindfulness and reduce activity in the brain. Deep and controlled breaths are like a reset button for the brain, especially during anxiety. When we think of being anxious, worried, or afraid, we might notice our heart rate increasing. Anxiety typically does not come with long, deep breaths, but short rapid ones. The cross-signals of the rapid heart rate and short breathing actually trigger the brain’s anxiety further and vice versa.

Breathing For Anxiety

Start by identifying five things in each of your senses while trying to slow down your breath. After you have slowed your mind down with focus, turn your focus to your breath. Try breathing in through your nose for five full seconds, holding it for five full seconds, then letting it out for five full seconds. Repeat this breathing process. You will find that your body is systematically relaxing and your brain is starting to slow down. Soon, your anxious moment will be over and you will be in a clam state of mind.

Anxiety can be a trigger for relapse on drugs and alcohol. Recovery starts with holistic treatment of dual diagnosis issues, targeting mind, body, and spirit for transformative change. Our integrative programs at Enlightened Solutions bring together the best of both worlds, helping our clients find freedom in recovery. For more information, call us today at 833-801-5483.

How To Calm Panic And Anxiety

Anxiety and panic are reality disorienting mental disorders. When we experience an onset of anxiety and panic, we are losing touch with reality as we know it personally. Our minds our suddenly convinced of the worst case scenario, death, humiliation, shame, and more. The problem with anxiety and panic is that we have a difficult time separating ourselves from the experience of panic anxiety. If you read that sentence and felt shocked that you even could separate yourself from panic and anxiety, this article is for you.

Panic and anxiety are emotional experiences. Any emotional experience can be observed with a healthy mindfulness and nonjudgment. However, it takes therapeutic work to get there. The key to creating a sense of calm during panic and anxiety is recognizing that calm is possible. Anxiety and panic are fleeting, transitory emotions, even though they don’t feel that way. 

Problematically, when we aren’t actively aware of that our panicked and anxious reactions turn into habits. Habits are hard to break. It takes awareness and practice to change a habit. How you react to stressors in your life is completely in your power, should you seek to use it.

First, Understand The Difference Between Panic And Anxiety

Panic and anxiety are not the same thing. Having an anxiety attack and having a panic attack are two different kinds of episodes. Most contrastingly, panic is when the brain becomes convinced it is about to die. Panic is not set in various fears or insecurities- panic is narrow mindedly focused on imminent death. Anxiety, on the other hand, is paranoia run wild. Anxiety attacks are the feeling that everything is getting out of control and the worst case scenario is about to occur.

Second, Use That Knowledge To Create Some Distance

Now that you have differentiated between having a panic attack and having an anxiety attack, or experiencing one of the two emotions, you can create some distance between them. By labeling what is going on, you can start to detach yourself from it. Naming the problem is a way of making it separate from you. Instead of being panicked or being anxious, you are experiencing panic and experiencing anxiety.

Third, Take A Moment To Breath

Utilizing mindfulness meditation during the onset of panic or anxiety can curb the experience and reduce the intensity of symptoms. Focusing on the breath, you can help yourself feel more grounded in the moment, concentrating on the fact that this too shall pass.

Enlightened Solutions is an integrative care treatment center providing holistic healing and 12 step inspired care to clients. Our dual diagnosis problems welcomes mental health disorders as well as substance use disorders for treatment. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

Does Marijuana Help Mental Health?

Marijuana is legalizing and medicalizing around the country. 2016 alone has seen the legislative approval of recreational marijuana use in 4 states. Many others have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana as well as medicalized it. As the normalization of marijuana grows, research continues to grow as well. CBD oil, which removes the high-inducing THC molecule from marijuana, is being used to treat cancer, autism, ADHD, depression, and more.

A recent review of research has found that marijuana can benefit mental health disorders. Social anxiety, PTSD, and depression can all be benefited from the use of marijuana, according to the review. Specifically, these mental health disorders benefit from the use of marijuana. Other mental health disorders like bipolar might not benefit from the use of marijuana as they result in more negative effects.

According to Time.com, one of the main encouragements for expanding research into the positive benefit of marijuana in treating mental health is to aid in the war on opioids. Quoting Zach Walsh of the University of British Columbia, Time cites, “If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits.” Walsh continues to explain what millions of Americans know to be true: “The level of opioid overdoses is so high right now.”

Isn’t Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana is not considered to be an addictive or habit forming drug by most. However, marijuana use disorder has become a realistic problem. Marijuana today is stronger than it has been in previous decades, causing more a chemical alteration and creating a dependency. Regular marijuana users do experience symptoms of withdrawal without using marijuana. For this reason, recovery professionals are concerned about the use of a mind altering substance to treat the addiction to another mind altering substance.

As controversy still reigns regarding medication assisted treatment and the use of natural substances like Kratom, it is unlikely marijuana as an addiction treatment will gain traction. Additionally, marijuana, though legalized at state level for some states, is still a federally illegal drug. Until the DEA lifts the Schedule 1 label on marijuana, conducting further studies will be difficult.


Enlightened Solutions provides a continuum of care to men and women seeking a creative approach to treatment. Our programs combine evidence based treatment with twelve step philosophy and include holistic modalities for care. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

Anxiety Changes Your Attention Span

Anxiety creates what is known as attentional bias. The brain creates all kinds of biases. There are long lists of cognitive biases which are the brain’s way of essentially getting lazy. Cognitive bias is the way the brain skips out on thinking more than it has to. Attentional bias, on the other hand, results in a change of what we pay attention to. If that seems obvious, the actual occurrence is a bit more obscure. On the sly, anxiety shifts our attention beyond what we are even aware of. By creating a change in consciousness, anxiety has the power to change our reality. How we experience reality is a debate usually left up to philosophers, neuroscientists, and psychologists alike. Simply stated, the way we think decides our reality. If our thinking, and attention span, is being skewed by the onset of anxiety, then so is our reality.

To someone with anxiety this may not be so scientific. Experiencing an anxiety attack is definitely a reality-jarring occasion. As the heartbeat starts increasing and the thoughts start running, there is little other reality left than the blatantly obvious and undeniable: I’m having an anxiety attack.

The repercussions of being focused on an anxiety attack might seem inconsequential. After all, if one is experiencing an anxiety attack they should probably be attentive towards it. However, the way that anxiety interacts with attention has more effect than just that. According to BBC, “anxiety’s effects on attention my shape worldviews and belief systems in specific and predictable ways. It can even affect our politics without us knowing.”

Attention has a primary purpose rooted in survival: helping us survive. By paying attention, we can be open to seeing what might be out of the ordinary or threatening. BBC writes that. “…anxiety causes this quick and simple threat detection system to become hypersensitive, changing the behavior of the attentional spotlight in a way that does harm.”

Learning to manage the symptoms of anxiety comes with treating anxiety. Untreated mental illness is one of the leading contributors to the development of addiction. Abusing substances only makes anxiety works, though it might seem like it is helping to take focus away from it.

There is a way to treat both substance abuse and anxiety.

Enlightened Solutions is a certified dual diagnosis treatment center offering comprehensive care programs for substance abuse and other mental health disorders. Recovery starts today, with you. Call us for more information 833-801-5483.

Anxiety Behaviors You Might Not Notice

Introvert or Anxiety?

Someone with anxiety might be overly intimidated by the prospect of attending any kind of social event. As a result, they will consistently decline invitations to go out. It’s easy to write social situations off. Someone might be introverted, anti-social, isolating, or just prefers being alone. Anxiety is all of these things, on an extreme scale. If you notice a loved one socially withdrawing more and more, it might be time to lovingly confront them on their anxiety.

Always Awake, Always Tired

When your thoughts are running a thousand miles a minute in a thousand different directions without any sign of stopping, it’s hard to get a good night’s rest. Late to sleep and early to rise, living with anxiety can sometimes look like an abundance of energy. In truth, anxiety is an abundance of stress, worry, and uncontrollable looping thoughts. Despite emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion, a loved one with anxiety might be up and at it, regardless. Sleep medications, anxiety medications, and holistic evening rituals can help contribute to better sleep. Herbal teas, warm baths, and mindful meditation can help the mind relax.

Can’t Take a Compliment Or A Hint

Not everyone is well versed in openly receiving kind words or criticisms. It is difficult for someone with anxiety to hear someone express their concerns towards them. Though a loved one will mean well, they will likely cause someone with anxiety to become more anxious. Furthermore, if a person with anxiety is recovering and receives a compliment about how well they are doing, that too might cause them more anxiety. Mindfully pay attention to how your loved one reacts to different kinds of statements. There could be more than meets the eye.

Total Disability

Keeping up with an anxious mind is exhausting. Living with a mental illness such as anxiety is all-consuming. WIthout the proper medications, life skills, and coping tools, anxiety can be too much to bear. If you notice that your loved one frequently needs to take a down day where they hardly move or function unless completely necessary, there may be coping going on. Take a rest day is a vital practice for anyone. Taking multiple rest days in a short amount of time is a sign of exhaustion.

Enlightened Solutions is a licensed and certified dual diagnosis treatment center serving those with substance abuse issues and mental health disorders like anxiety. Through a combination of twelve step philosophy with proven treatment methods and holistically inspired healings, Enlightened offers a compassionate and comprehensive program. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

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