Seven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Seven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

There are a number of lifestyle activities and natural remedies that support a feeling of well-being. Most people are stressed-out these days and a little help can go a long way towards feeling free of anxiety.  Anxiety is characterized by feelings of uneasiness, tension, worried thoughts and physical changes. Below are seven examples of natural approaches that can help in managing anxiety. 

1. Daily sunshine and time outside (at least 1-2 hours). Our stress hormone production is regulated via the central nervous system, in part, when we experience sunlight. Even when it's cloudy, the light environment outside is magnitudes higher than indoor light making the outdoor light more conducive to wellness.  Numerous studies have shown sunlight imparts feelings of well-being, natural opioid-like chemicals and beneficial nitric oxide in the body. It also activates serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, which are hormones that regulate our mood, focus and relaxation. Too much indoor blue light suppresses healthy hormone and neurotransmitter production and promotes excessive levels of stress hormones like cortisol.  Check out my upcoming webinar on the anti-inflammatory effects of light for more details. It is scheduled for March 20. Make a plan to go outside daily for at least 1-2 hours on average, and more if you can. 

Though sunlight activates hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis, many nutrients are required for healthy hormones. For those with anxiety, I offer a neurotransmitter survey in consultations that identifies which nutritional supplements may help with neurotransmitter balance. Schedule a consultation today.

2.  Daily exercise, especially strength training. Through stress, poor diet, and poor light environment, many people's nervous system can seem "locked" in an upregulated state. Strength training is one of my favorite exercises for promoting calm. Heavy work with the deep muscles connected to the spine and internal organs allow the parasympathetic nervous system to strengthen, bringing about a feeling of calm afterwards. Although this is not true in all cases, for many people, extended cardiovascular exercise exacerbates anxiety due to the excess cortisol needed for recovery. Therefore, for those who suffer with anxiety, exercise that incorporates more strength components can be more beneficial than extensive (long time intervals) cardiovascular exercise.  

3. Meditation and a good attitude. I am a fan of left-nostril breathing which is a breathing exercise known to have a calming effect and even lower blood pressure. I will release a video on this simple exercise soon (check the News tab for updates). Other forms of meditation and mindfulness exercise can be invaluable tools to help calm the mind and body.

4. Low carbohydrate/ Paleo/ high Omega-3 diet.  A diet high in protein (amounts well-suited for the individual) will help relieve anxiety in many cases. Quality protein at each meal helps to stabilize the blood sugar and reduce spikes of the stress hormone, cortisol. Fish and seafood, naturally high in Omega-3s help support a healthy nervous system and balanced mood also.  Foods and circadian rhythms that do not support good blood sugar control will result in more anxiety and stress hormone production. Read my book The Body Tune-up for a 6 week template on how to upgrade the diet via a food-based cleanse.

5. Natural cannabinoids.  Natural cannabinoids, extracted from the hemp plant, can help the body to manage stress from physical, mental or emotional sources. Hemp extracts help ease pain but also help improve sleep and reduce feelings of anxiousness. I'm offering 20% off a new cannabinoid gummy that is for all ages with a lemon ginger flavor. Sereniplex+ is a hemp extract with the herb Zembrin that allows for calm and focus during the day. Use coupon CALM with this product for 15% off online or email me to order while supplies last. (You'll need to establish a login on my website, if you don't have one, in order to check out. Or email or call me to order). For those that prefer hemp extract in MCT oil (versus a gummy), I suggest EndoScientific's full hemp extracts for supporting health recovery from stress.

6. Magnesium as a supplement. Someone that is deficient in the mineral magnesium may be anxious, have trouble sleeping and may also be prone to muscle cramps or heart palpitations. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including relaxing the blood vessels, helping recover from physical activity, reducing pain, and supporting a balanced nervous system. Different types of magnesium vary in their absorption. Magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable. Even a strong magnesium bath (with epsom salts and magnesium chloride) as a routine can be invaluable for achieving a sense of wellness and pain relief.  Other forms of magnesium can be less absorbable but help with digestive issues like constipation.

7. Hormone balance. Men and women may experience anxiety and irritability as a result of hormone imbalance. I offer hormone testing and interpretation in individual consultations. Oftentimes, the source of a hormone issue is blood sugar instability, lack of sunlight and exercise, and circadian rhythm issues. In other cases, natural remedies that support healthy hormone production help with relieving mood issues.  Schedule a individual consultation to get guidance on your hormone levels.

Besides those mentioned above, there are other natural ways to manage anxiety including cold therapy and other natural herbs and supplements. I'm here for you as a resource to support your well-being.