As a mom to twin boys, I’m very familiar with stress overload and anxiety! When my boys are screaming or fighting for a toy, or my attention, my stress goes through the roof, leading to anxious episodes sometimes. Anxiety, we might all experience it. Some more than others. It is a perfectly normal response to stressors, like being caught in up a dangerous situation, taking a test, or having to make an important decision. That said, when anxiety becomes a constant response or a response to inappropriate situations, it becomes problematic.
And we need to make sure we have the right responses to deal with our anxiety.
Anxiety affects many people throughout their lives, women more than men. For some, it is merely situational, but for others, anxiety is constant and can lead to disorders. These include generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Is it normal to feel anxiety?
Some causes of anxiety include:
- thyroid disorders
- adrenal dysfunction
- dysfunctional serotonin
- excessive alcohol consumption
- caffeine and sugar intake
- hormonal imbalance
Physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety include:
- muscle tension
- chest tightness
- heart palpitations
- high blood pressure
- digestive problems
- panic attacks
- difficulty concentrating
- inability to socialise
Psychotropic drugs and cognitive behavioural therapy are the conventional methods for anxiety treatment, and with an estimated one-third of the population suffering from anxiety, it is no doubt that the number of medications is equally high.
However, there are many natural remedies for anxiety out there that have been proven effective without the adverse side effects. These include several changes to diet and lifestyle. And that’s what I wanted to share with you today.
A natural approach to anxiety
Here are some natural, proactive lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety:
Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods
Consuming foods with a high glycemic index, like processed and fast foods, can contribute to anxiety and depression. Additionally, sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate wildly, increasing anxiety, nervousness and fatigue.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can both enhance anxiety symptoms by causing tension, moodiness, and the jitters. Reduce anxiety by avoiding alcohol completely, or by limiting your intake to 1–3 drinks per week, with no more than two at a time. Limit coffee or black tea to no more than one cup per day. You might even want to try some of the recommendations my clients gave me for my other clients: Teeccino and Cafix.
Ashwagandha, a powerful herb, is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety, as it helps to stabilize the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha improves focus, reduces fatigue, and helps to fight anxiety without the attending side effects of anti-anxiety medications. See my personal recommendation here.
Kava root is used to treat anxiety by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain, which induces euphoria and a sense of wellbeing. It is a great alternative to anti-anxiety medications because it is non-addictive and non-hypnotic, but still increases positive mood and relaxation. Kava should be taken under the guidance of a health care provider, as it has been known to interact with certain medications. My personal recommendation here.
Because magnesium is a common deficiency in adults, you should consider supplementing as it is great for relaxing muscles and the nervous system. My personal recommendation here, to spray on your body after your daily shower or bath.
Lavender is a natural sedative, and it helps reduce anxiety by allowing the body to relax. My personal recommendation here.
Physical activity helps to reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce inflammation, increase energy, and boost confidence. It takes around half an hour of sustained exercise to see the effects on anxiety levels.