Did you know that one in three people are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime?
Yes, anxiety is that common. It is also very pervasive and can have a significant impact on your health, relationships, work and your ability to enjoy life.
While prescription drugs can help to a certain degree, they have many side effects and do not address the underlying problems that cause anxiety. On the other hand, natural remedies offer an effective and safe solution to anxiety. Natural supplements work best when are used along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, thus you should consider using them together.
When Anxiety Becomes a Problem
Everyone had experienced anxiety at some point in life. It is normal to feel anxious now and then- for example when facing a deadline at work, before taking a test or making an important decision.
Anxiety disorders are different, though. It is not a temporary state that comes and goes quickly.
You should consider treating anxiety when the symptoms cause a marked distress. The symptoms seem to be out of proportion to what triggered them, are intense, persistent, distressing and affects your life.
The Many Faces of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders come in many forms. For example:
Panic disorder is expressed an intense feeling of terror, that comes all of a sudden. You may sweat, experience chest pain and palpitations which can mimic a heart attack.
Social anxiety disorder (aka social phobia) is associated with anxiety and feeling self-consciousness, embarrassed or ridiculed about everyday social situations.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) manifests as excessive, unrealistic tension with no apparent reason.
Phobias are characterized by fears that are specific to an object or situation- for example being afraid of heights, getting on a plane or seeing snakes. This fear is significant enough to make you avoid those objects or situations.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Mental/emotional symptoms include:
Feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed without reason
Reduced ability to manage stress
Problems with memory and concentration
Sleeping problems (wither sleeping too much or too little)
Specific phobias (snake, heights)
Feeling a lump in the throat
Increased sensitivity to light or sounds
Painful and/or heavy menses
A very interesting symptom experienced by many: the feeling of “not having enough time”. The real problem seems to be the underlying anxiety and stress, rather than a super busy schedule or not-so- great time management skills.
There are also physical symptoms associated with anxiety, for example:
Numbness or tingling
Shortness of breath
Muscle cramps and pains
Changes in appetite or bowel movements (diarrhoea, constipation or both)
Changes in blood pressure (either too high or too low).
Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia and depression are often associated with anxiety.
Note: Makes sure you see a doctor to get the right diagnosis. These symptoms above can be associated with other conditions, not only anxiety.
Have you wondered why your body has a physical reaction to anxiety? That’s because the centers of the brain involved in anxiety are connected with different parts of the body, stimulating nerves that travel down to the heart (and cause palpitations), or nerves that travel down to the gut (causing digestive symptoms).
Underlying causes of anxiety :
Brain chemical imbalances -especially GABA (Anti-anxiety drugs specifically target GABA) serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine (antidepressants target these neurotransmitters)
Nutrient deficiencies (from poor diet or food intolerances)
Hormonal imbalances (ie thyroid hormones, sex hormones) and/or other health conditions
Conventional treatment relies on anti anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and antidepressants, particularly SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa or SNRIs (Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Cymbalta and Effexor. But these drugs have many side effects. They may increase the amount of sleep, but they have a detrimental effect on the quality, deep sleep. They cause digestive problems, weight and appetite changes, sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches.
Did you know?
Nine commonly used antidepressants are currently on the FDA watch list as they carry too many and too serious side effects. They are assessed for possibly being removed from the market.Antidepressants and anti anxiety drugs had also been linked with increased risk of cancer in preclinical and human studies.
Let’s look at simple, yet effective and all-natural ways to treat anxiety.
Set up a lower room temperature (60-67F/ 15-19 C), get 7-8 hours of sleep, avoid lights/electronic devices
The best recipe for waking up calm, relaxed, yet energetic ? A good night sleep.
Did you know?
Room temperature (more on the lower side) can have more impact on your sleep quality than the light or time you go to bed?
The anti-anxiety diet includes plenty of green leafs and vegetables, lean meats, fish, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. Limit sugar and alcohol.
Did you know that eating high fat, high sugar (fast food type) diet or eating randomly at different times during the day increases anxiety ?
Healthy tip: experiment with a grain free diet as gluten and other gluten-like compounds in the grains had been linked with depression and other mood problems.
3.SUPPLEMENTS & ESSENTIAL OILS
MAGNESIUM (magnesium glycinate, pure magnesium, magnesium chelate)
OMEGA 3 (CHOOSE HIGH DHA)
Did you know ?
Not all magnesium supplements are created equally. Magnesium oxide is the most commonly found supplement in stores, yet your body does not absorb more than 2-5% of the magnesium in this form. On the other hand pure magnesium (ionic form), magnesium chelate and magnesium glycinate are better absorbed in the body.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) works as well as anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs yet safer. Caution: Should not be used in combination with anti-anxiety, anti depressant, blood thinners or oral contraceptive drugs.
Probiotics help raise GABA levels in the gut, which is connected with the brain via vagus nerve.Choose a supplement that includes both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species and make sure you consume prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the healthy probiotics and are found in various foods (ie asparagus, green bananas).
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION 10 MINUTES 1-2x DAY
YOGA 2 x WEEK
EXERCISE (HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING AND STRENGTH TRAINING)
SOCIALIZE MORE OFTEN
Did you know ? Research studies found that social interaction and healthy relationships to be linked with better mood, increased longevity, better health, while poor social ties correlate with worsening of cardiovascular disease, repeat heart attacks, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, cancer and slowed wound healing ?