Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response that is designed to keep you out of harms way when your brain senses that there is a threat. Often times this response may become exaggerated and when that happens either due to a real fear or even to a perceived fear, your body can react in ways that are harmful.

In today’s fast paced world, we are constantly faced with situations that your brains thinks is dangerous. You might not be running from a real saber tooth tiger but the fear your brain perceives is just as real. Sometimes it is not even a fear response it is just that you under constant stress and that creates a cortisol response that fools the brain into believing that you are in danger.

Constant anxiety can lead to panic attacks, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, trembling, insomnia, digestive and stomach problems, fatigue, weight gain and hormonal imbalances.

It is estimated that as many as 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety causing unnecessary stress and emotional pain. In this article I would like to share with you some of the more natural ways to manage this anxiety and get relief from your symptoms.


Foods That Impact Anxiety

There are a number of foods that might contribute to an increase in anxiety and several that might help alleviate anxiety. Here is a brief list of some of the most common:

Foods rich in the B vitamins such as grass fed beef, wild caught fish, poultry and green leafy vegetables are very helpful.

Magnesium rich foods such as nuts, avocados, and sea vegetables are great at calming the nerves. Many people are deficient in magnesium and a high quality magnesium supplement might serve you well in this respect also.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as wild caught salmon are also great for the brain. If you struggle to get enough fish in your diet, you might want to consider taking a high quality Omega-3 supplement.

Foods that contain high amounts of refined sugar and refined flour should be avoided. These foods can cause blood sugar fluctuations that can affect your mood. Caffeine is stimulating and can increase anxiety and alcohol can have negative effects on your mood.


Natural Remedies That Impact Anxiety

There are several herbs that may help decrease anxiety and improve your mood. Several of the most common are listed below.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries to help alleviate anxiety and offset the harmful effects of stress in the body.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) has been shown to help increase serotonin levels in the brain. The increased serotonin helps calm the mind giving some relief with anxiety and improving mood as well.

GABA is an amino acid that is responsible for decreasing anxiety in the nervous system and it has a relaxing effects on your muscles.

Magnesium and Calcium are both minerals that have a calming and relaxing effect on the nervous system.

B Vitamins are helpful to combat stress and improve mood. As we age, absorption of the B Vitamins may be impaired. Also if you consume alcohol, the B Vitamins can be affected and boosting the amount of B Vitamins in your diet might help.

Finally, Lavender essential oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and relax the body. Applying a few drops of a lavender essential oil to your neck may help relieve anxiety. Placing a couple of drops on your pillow at night may help you sleep better as well.

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dr. mike cockrell