Summary - Anxiety can be very threatening to your system and in order to overcome it, a psychological, spiritual, and nutritional approach often needs to be taken. That is anxiety from anything such as a break-up, loss of a loved one, loss of work, anticipation, mounting stress, alcohol or drug withdrawal, etc. Learn how here.
Overcome Anxiety in 4 parts:
1. Mental approach:
In my book, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships” I offer many aspects of what are the causes of anxiety and how to overcome them using a psychological approach.
In chapter 16 one technique is knowing what your “Emotional Prison” is. An emotional prison is your place of strong negative emotion created by your ego, that prevents you from asking for what you want. It’s the place you go when you are worried about something negative happening in the future that you feel is out of your control. In relationships it is places people go when they feel they don’t matter, they are unloved, or become jealous, or start accusing others of things that are really their issue and not their partner’s. These can be triggered in an instant, but if you know what yours is, you can also get out of it in an instant by asking for what you want. A big part of overcoming anxiety mentally is awareness. There are many techniques that point out as to why your attention is in the future, creating an negative outcome.
Another important thing to know is how you “escape.” You can see my blog on that as well.
2. Spiritual Approach:
The benefits of mediation are endless and more and more research is coming out each week proving more. Harvard University found that two parts of the brain actually increased in size after only six weeks of meditation. It has also been proven to help with many psychological issues including depression, stress and anxiety. The best type of meditation to start with is a Zen meditation. This video is below explains the benefits. The meditations tab explains how to meditate with guided meditations available.
3. Physical Approach: Exercise
Almost any strenuous exercise for 30 minutes three to five times a week can reduce or eliminate symptoms of depression or anxiety. This can include activities like strenuous walking, hiking, rowing, biking, running,
weight lifting and especially basic Chi-Gong (click here to learn).
What Happens in the Body?
When we exercise, our bodies release certain mood-enhancing endorphins, releases muscle tension, improves sleep, and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Study after study has shown that exercise promotes mental health and reduces symptoms of depression. The antidepressant effect of regular physical exercise is comparable to potent antidepressants like Sertraline.
If you can’t do 30 minutes three days a week, as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time, can still improve mood in the short term.
Dr. James S. Gordon, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, uses exercise extensively when treating depression. He says “Physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And also, it can increase the number of cells in your brain, in the region of the brain called the hippocampus.”
4. Nutritional Approach:
The most overlooked aspect of anxiety in my opinion is nutrition.
Especially considering the effects of antidepressants have been shown to be overestimated or don't work at all. (click here for the 60 minutes video on that.)
Foods to avoid:
Studies show how sugar has very similar effects on a person’s mood as drugs do. In the video below Dr. Lustig talks about how sugar has the same effects as drugs and should be regulated especially in schools.
See the short version of this video here - www.depressionanxietydiet.com/how-sugar-causes-depression-anxiety/
(Foods to avoid continued)
Keep in mind white carbohydrates and flour such as pasta, cereal, and breads (wheat and white) turn to sugar after eating them unless you burn them off right after eating with exercise.
Avoid Processed foods – researchers in London found that eating a diet of processed foods increased the risk for depression. The study found that people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, pasteurized dairy products and sugary desserts had a 58 percent higher risk of depression that those who healthy foods.
Avoid Genetically modified foods (GMO) and any foods containing GMO’s in them.
Avoid table salt. Table salt is known to raise a person’s blood pressure. Instead use Himalayan salt because it’s loaded with natural minerals that will nourish your body. Always avoid table salt and processed salts because they’re basically poison, processed with bleach and often filled with other chemical additives.
Choose Himalayan salt over table salt
Drinks to avoid:
Avoid soda, energy drinks, fruit juices, and coffee. Instead drink plenty of water. Like sugar caffeine is a stimulant and will get your the heart rate up.
Although drinking alcohol seems to have a calming effect short term, it dehydrates the body, and raises heart rate and blood pressure, leaving us feeling more anxious than ever.
What to eat:
Many nutritionist, such as David Getoff, and Dr. Mercola suggest foods high in animal fat, that is natural and organic animal fat aid in giving the brain nutrients it needs to heal. That means grass-fed, organic beef and free-range organic chicken, eggs from free-range organic hens. If they are not those types of organic fat, they are filled with hormones, pesticides and other unnatural compounds that will make your circumstance worse. Also suggested to eat are organic vegetables and nuts.
Here are a few foods that have actually been proven to lower stress levels:
1) Blueberries: The high potency of antioxidants in these berries counteracts the production of cortisol, the number one chemical that is released during a stressful time.
2) Acai berries: This superfood that should not be ignored. The acia berry has phytonutrients that have been shown to enhance your mood. They have additional health benefits, such as leveling your blood sugar which therefore reduces sugar cravings.
3) Cacao: Raw cacao is the ingredient found in chocolate. It is high in flavonoids. Flavonoids are potent with relaxation properties. It also contains phenethylamine, a chemical that enhances mood. You can add raw cacao to your smoothies, your macaroons or you can get the nutrients by eating a dark chocolate bar. The darker the chocolate, the more of these substances you are getting. Generally, opt for bars with 70% cacao or higher.
Alive and Aware Certified Organic Raw Cacao Nibs - 16oz/1 Pound
4) Maca root: Maca root is a powder made from a Peruvian root and can be found in certain supplements and drink mixes. Maca root, in its unprocessed form, contains a phytonutrient that helps ward off anxiety and depression. Some studies have found that maca root is just as useful at fighting depression as prescription antidepressants, since it contains so many mood enhancing nutrients. Another plus is that maca root is natural and does not have as many of the risks and side effects prescription anxiety medication. Maca root powder can be made into a tea or sprinkled over other foods to give you the maximum health benefits. You actually need very little—I add half a teaspoon to my smoothies.
HealthWorks-Wild Organic Peruvian Maca Root Powder Wildcrafted Raw Superfood 1 Lb
5) Spinach: This lean, green leaf is high in magnesium, improves your body’s overall response to stress and stops your blood pressure from spiking.
6) Walnuts: It has been shown that eating at least one ounce of walnuts a day can prevent your blood pressure from rising and keep your anxiety levels in check. If you tend to have higher levels of adrenaline and anxiety, make sure you get some of these delicious nuts into your diet so you’re not make your heart work more than it needs to. Walnuts can be a great addition to any salad or salad dressing.
In the articles cited below, Nutritionist David Getoff, Dr. Mercola and Dr. Amen and others recommend these types of supplements as helpful to those suffering from anxiety and depression. See my blog here on how gut bacteria effects your mood and mental health. The ones I recommend have the highest quality organic (& non-GMO) ingredients and no vitamin toxins. I personally take all of these below except Passion Flower on a regular basis, not for anxiety but for the many other benefits they provide.
Supplement – Probiotic – There are two probiotics that I have found to be the most beneficial. Because they contain different strains of good bacteria I switch between the two. Neither need to be refrigerated.
(see links below as per why Probiotics are beneficial)
Herb - Turmeric
(See links in sources below as to why Turmeric is helpful)
(Benefits of omega 3’s, EPA and DHA, fish oil for anxiety and depression - articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/04/this-fat-helps-reduces-anxiety-and-inflammation.aspx)
(Why B-12 helps with panic and stress - www.mdjunction.com/forums/panic-attacks-discussions/general-support/10082770-vitamin-b-for-anxiety-and-panic-disorder)
Herb - Passion Flower
(read why here - www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1318410/Bad-news-St-Johns-wort-wont-cure-anxiety-Good-news-passion-flower-will.html)
Herb - Vital-Adapt herbal tonic blend
(listen why vital-adapt herbs are helpful for stress here - www.naturopath4you.com/mp3s/Adaptogens.mp3)
Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius; P. ginseng)
Uses: Helps relieve and prevent mental and physical fatigue; shown to reduce the frequency and severity of colds; possibly beneficial for erectile dysfunction
Preparation and doses:
Tea: Simmer 1 tsp dried and sliced root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink 1–2 cups per day.
Standardized extract (4–7% ginsenosides): 100–400 mg per day
Concerns: Purchase from a reputable manufacturer, as ginseng has often been adulterated in the past.
When placing the order use code "artofunity" and will get 5% discount.
- To prepare root for tea -
• Wash root
• Slice up the roots into thin rounds, about 2 cm thick.
• Bring to a boil about 4 cups of water in a saucepan or a stockpot.
• Lower to simmer, place about 2 oz. or a few slices into the pot.
• Steep the mixture by letting it simmer for between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
• Can drink both hot and cold.
• Honey can also be added to cut the bitter taste.
• Can eat the root as well
Kava (Piper methysticum)
Uses: Clinical trials have shown kava to be highly effective for relieving anxiety. Also has significant muscle-relaxing effects.
Preparation and doses:
Tea: Simmer 1 tsp dried and sliced root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink 1–2 cups per day.
Extract of root: Take 100–200 mg 2 or 3 times per day. (Do not exceed 210 mg per day of kavalactones.)
Concerns: Rare cases of liver toxicity; do not use if you have liver disease, frequently drink alcohol, or are taking acetaminophen or prescription medications.
Vitamin - Magnesium bath flakes – Considering 80% of people are magnesium deficient and it has great benefits for heart health and stress relief this is perfect to add to the list. Use in bath, foot bath or as Magnesium oil rub – Make oil using 1 cup flakes, 1 cup flitered water, heat till dissolves and store in jar. Spray skin on stomach and back once a day about a half to a tea spoons worth. It is absorbed through your skin
See here How to make and benefits - www.foodrenegade.com/how-make-magnesium-oil/
Magnesium benefits - articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/08/07/miracle-magnesium.aspx
Another one of my favorite things to offer to people for overcoming anxiety naturally is an earthing mat because it helps with so many aspects of health including mood. See my blog on earthing here
Earthing Mat Kit
Earthing Universal Mat with Cover Kit
Other options to overcome Anxiety:
Acupuncture, Tai chi and other martial arts, massage, dance, and any other sport or physical movement.
Sceletium Tortuosum (also commonly known as Kanna)
From South Africa, it gained notoriety for its ability to elevate mood and decrease the typical feelings of stress and tension associated with anxiety. It was used traditionally by African natives to help reduce anxiety and promote a happy disposition.
Since the herb helps promote an elevated mood and tempers the chemicals in the body that cause stress (cortisol and other destructive hormones), it also can greatly help with concentration as well. Anxiety is typically associated with disjointed thought patterns and lack of productive focus.
The sceletium plant is rich in alkaloids, some of which serve as a natural SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), which means it promotes the production and retention of the feel-good chemical serotonin.
Perhaps best known as a Chinese medicine herbal remedy for mental stamina, ginkgo biloba has many other promising properties when it comes to mood, cognitive function and overall ability to concentrate for sustained periods of time.
Ginkgo Biloba's primary benefit is that it improves the blood flow to the brain (and throughout the body). Not only does it help to dilate the veins and capillaries that carry the blood to the brain, but it also has some blood thinning properties which further helps to promote free blood flow.
It has been studied as a potential prevention mechanism, or even treatment mechanism, for Alzheimers disease. Although there is nothing conclusive yet, it may be a natural remedy for those who feel their memory is slipping.
For more blogs, videos, and advice like this click home or the "Relationship 101" tab above.
Sugar and depression
Sugar and heroin
Antidepressents don’t work:
– foods to eat – elephantjournal.com/2012/10/foods-that-will-lower-your-anxiety-levels/