Anxiety disorder is rapidly increasing in the modern world. This is not surprising as the pace of society continues to quicken with constant additions of stimulants. People with anxiety often experience an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. It is easy to believe that the nervous, shaky, and uncontrollable feeling is unique to you and that no one else will understand. However, the truth is that it is more common than not to be affected by anxiety at some point in one’s life.
Mental imbalances often stem from hormonal imbalances, especially in young girls.The first step in healing anxiety is with a whole-foods and herbal approach. Anxiety does not have an on and off switch, but the decisions you make in your everyday life can increase internal balance and create a continuous sense of calm.
Common Causes of Anxiety:
Excess computer use
Lack of social interaction
Major life change (like moving, switching schools, etc.)
Too much time on social media
Lack of exercise
Panic attacks are often triggered by stress (conscious or unconscious) or pent-up unfelt emotions. But they can also occur in response to certain foods, drugs or illness. Food allergies and hypoglycemia can promote panic attacks. An attack may follow overindulgence of caffeine-based stimulants like coffee or energy drinks.
Consume foods with vitamins and minerals depleted by stress. These include apricots, asparagus, avocados, bananas, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, dried fruits, dulse, figs, fish (especially salmon), garlic, green leafy vegetables, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, and organic yogurt/kefir. These food contain high amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. This allows the body to process smaller quantities of nutrients at a time. Absorption is hindered when stressed. Therefore this will allow greater absorption and utilization of nutrients.
Avoid commercial animal products. Animal protein is highly likely to contain synthetic hormones and antibiotics that worsen anxiety symptoms.
Avoid caffeine. This includes avoiding coffee, tea with caffeine, soda drinks, chocolate, and any other product that contains caffeine as an ingredient. Caffeine can trigger worrisome thoughts and increase stress which can trigger anxiety.
Reduce anxiety-producing foods. These include processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates.
Keep a food diary. Record everything you eat in a day as well as when you have anxiety. This will help you determine if food sensitivities or allergies are triggering you.
Breathing Techniques for Anxiety: A simple tool you can use ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
- Inhale slowly through the nose for a count of five.
- Hold your breath for a count of 2.
- Exhale from the mouth slowly for a count of seven.
- Repeat this sequence until the anxiety subsides.
Regular breathwork can help reduce stress and calm the mind. Techniques to include in your routine are alternate nostril breathing, humming bee breath, and one-minute breath.
Create a Calm Space
Our attitudes and feelings are often reflections of our surrounding, so creating a healing environment can assist with bringing a sense of peace and joy to your life. To increase a calm sensation in a room, paint the walls or buy a comforter/blanket in a color you find soothing, let natural light in during the day, spend time outdoors, or hang pictures of calm landscapes.
Try: Using a Himalayan salt lamp, filling your space with plants & clear quartz crystals and using dim lighting.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep allows our body and brain to process the day’s happening, heal and support areas of concern, and bring balance back into our systems. Aim for 8-10 hours sleep per night to receive full benefits.
To Aid Sleep: Try drinking a calming tea like lemon balm before bed, take magnesium or a magnesium flake & lavender bath, and listen to relaxing music like binaural beats or anything from Steven Halpern (this music works on brain waves & will bring you into an alpha or theta state for deep relaxation).
Also referred to as grounding, earthing is a practice that involves placing the soles of one’s bare feet in direct contact with the earth. Contact with the earth exposes our body to healing negative ions. The benefits of doing this are stress reduction, free-radical accumulation reduction, reduced inflammation and canceling out anxiety-causing positive ions within the body. The act of connecting directly with the earth is grounding on an emotional and energetic level, helping to soften and dissolve the stress-inducing, neurotic energy you may feel during bouts of anxiety.
The earth can be used to regulate the endocrine and nervous systems, reduce mood and emotional imbalance, reduce body-wide inflammation, relieve chronic pain, promote more restful sleep, protect against the effects of stress, normalize cortisol levels, improve memory, and promote cardiovascular health.
Try: Walking on the beach, dipping your toes in the ocean, walking on the earth barefoot, laying on the earth for 15 minutes taking deep breaths, forest bathing.
Take a moment several times a day to stop what you are doing and move your conscious awareness from the mind back into your body. Stay quiet, and listen. If needed, practice short intervals of meditation and breathwork to get into a mindful state. Listening to your body allows the mind-body connection, and you will better be able to provide your body with what it needs at any given moment.
Flower remedies, or flower essences, are herbal infusions made from the flowering part of wild plants. They are used to address the mental and emotional realms of one’s health, in which anxiety symptoms are deeply rooted. Rescue remedy is a fantastic option.
*Unplug from phones & tech as often as possible!
Supportive Herbs & Supplements
Herbs that promote relaxation and prevent anxiety include: Chamomile, cramp bark, hops, kava kava, linden flower, motherwort, passion flower, and skullcap
Feverfew - Relieves anxiety-induced headaches.
Mandarin Essential Oil - Helps to alleviate the oppressive feelings of anxiety and depression. It can be breathed in, rubbed onto the skin, added to bathwater, or used as aromatherapy.
Other helpful herbs include: Ashwagandha, milky oats, reishi mushroom, he shou wu, mucuna pruriens, CBD oil, nettle leaf, tulsi, red raspberry leaf.
*If you think you are experiencing extreme hormonal or nutritional imbalance - reach out to a holistic practitioner for support
Multivitamin and Mineral Complex
Take a multivitamin to provide all the nutrients needed to support the body in balance. Ensure proper amounts of potassium, as it is essential for proper functioning of the adrenal glands, and selenium, as low levels have been found in this disorder. Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the heart
Dosage: As directed on label.
Vitamin B Complex or B12
Helps maintain normal nervous system function, helps reduce anxiety and have a calming effect on the nerves, a known energizer that also exerts a calming effect, and is important in the production of certain brain chemicals.
Dosage: B-complex as directed on the label *Check in with a holistic practitioner to see about testing for genetic imbalances prior to supplementing with B vitamins.
Helps relieve anxiety, tension, nervousness, muscle spasm, and tics. Best taken in combination with calcium.
Dosage: 450 - 750 mg daily
A natural tranquilizer. Best taken in combination with magnesium.
Dosage: 1500 mg daily