My guest this week is Ashley James. Ashley actually had me on her podcast a few weeks ago. We had planned to focus on anxiety in this episode, which we did spend a good bit of time talking about. But we also talked a lot about general health and nutrition, and the important role of diet in our physical and mental health.
This is a topic that’s gotten a lot more attention in recent years. For some reason it was quite controversial for a long time to suggest that what we put in our mouths could affect our minds and spirits, and could contribute to conditions like anxiety and depression. But now that the research studies are being done, we’re starting to realize how important diet can be—not just for our physical health, but for our overall well-being.
We also talked a lot about the body’s stress response and the release of cortisol through the HPA axis, and of adrenaline through our sympathetic nervous system (our body’s fight-or-flight stress system). And in the second half of our discussion, Ashley offers a simple technique that can lower anxiety and turn down the stress response. Other topics we explored included:
- The many chronic conditions Ashley recovered from
- Taking responsibility for our own health
- The tendency to move toward what we’re focused on, even if it’s what we don’t want
- Dr. Peter D’adamo’s bestselling book Eat Right for Your Blood Type (affiliate link)
- The premise of eating in line with our genetic history
- What adrenal fatigue is
- The three phases of the stress response: Alarm, Resistance, Exhaustion
- The benefits Ashley found from eating all organic food
- How we often beat ourselves up for our health struggles
- The body’s ability to heal itself, given the right conditions
- What triggers anxiety
- The role of diet in anxiety
- The focus of anxiety on what we don’t want to happen in the future
- The importance of magnesium for healthy physiological processes
- A cognitive technique for lowering anxiety
- Focusing on what we want vs. what we don’t want
- How we’re not fully ourselves in stress mode
- How the body diverts resources for survival in times of stress
- The possible danger in trying to get rid of anxiety
- What to do if anxiety reduction techniques don’t work
Ashley James is a master practitioner and trainer of neurolinguistics programming (NLP), and also practices time line therapy, hypnosis, and coaching.
As a reiki master, she has taught healers how to incorporate energy work into their practice.
Ashley hosts the Learn True Health podcast, which connects listeners with experts, naturopaths, and holistic health practitioners.