Posted on by Village Green Nutrition Team
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It is normal to feel anxious from time to time, but if you feel anxious most of the time and it is interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States.
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Sleeping problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Feeling tense or jumpy
- Having a racing heart or shortness of breath
- Nausea, diarrhea, or other stomach problems
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Problems concentrating or thinking clearly
Types of Anxiety
There are different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Generalized anxiety disorders are the most common, affecting 6.8 million American adults.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Symptoms of GAD include excessive worrying about everyday things, such as money or health, difficulty focusing or sleeping because of worrying thoughts, restlessness or feeling keyed up and tense much of the time, fatigue, and irritability.
This type of anxiety affects 6 million American adults and is characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear that come on suddenly and reach their peak within minutes. Symptoms include pounding heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself, tingling sensations in the extremities or chest region, hot flashes or chills, nausea, or stomach discomfort.
Social phobias affect 15 million American adults and are characterized by an irrational fear of social situations in which the person might be judged negatively by others. Specific phobias affect 19 million American adults and are characterized by an irrational fear of specific things, such as spiders, rats, flying, heights, etc.
OCD affects 2 million American adults and is characterized by obsessions (unwanted intrusive thoughts), compulsions (repetitive behaviors done to relieve the obsession), or both. Obsessions are thoughts that are persistent, intrusive, and unwanted. Compulsions are activities that a person feels they must do to relieve their obsession. They can be overt behaviors such as handwashing or checking locks multiple times, or covert behaviors such as praying excessively or counting objects.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
PTSD affects 7 million American adults and results from exposure to one or more traumatic life events, such as assault, disaster, war, etc. Traumatic life events can cause flashbacks, nightmares, hyperarousal and avoidance behavior.
Natural Approaches to Help Manage Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are very common, affecting 40 million American adults each year. While there are many treatments available for anxiety disorders, including medication, therapy, and self-help methods, not everyone who suffers from an anxiety disorder receives treatment.
Anxiety disorders can have a serious impact on daily life, causing problems with school performance, work productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life. However, there is hope. Thorough diagnosis and treatment can help those suffering from an anxiety disorder to reclaim their lives.
There are a number of supplements that can be helpful in managing anxiety. Some of these include:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may help reduce symptoms in patients with clinical anxiety, According to this study, omega-3 PUFAs were associated with significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared with placebo controls.
Magnesium: A review of 18 studies on the relationship between magnesium and anxiety suggests that magnesium may be beneficial for anxiety sufferers. One of the reasons is that serotonin is one of the main neurotransmitters when it comes to anxiety and low magnesium in the body may reduce serotonin levels.
Vitamin B6: Research shows that Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may help to decrease anxiety in those with premenstrual syndrome. It also has shown that a deficiency in B6 appeared to increase psychological stress in grieving men. Vitamin B6 has also been shown to particularly effective when combined with magnesium.
Relaxation Support: This formula combines a variety of relaxing herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Key ingredients include Relora®, a patented blend of Magnolia officinalis and Phellondendron amurense, studied for its calming effects. In addition, this supplement contains SunTheanine®, which has been shown to aid in relaxation, as well as calming herbs, chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap, hops and passionflower.
It is important to work with a practitioner to determine what combination of therapies works best for you, as each person's situation is unique. In addition, advanced lab testing can be a helpful tool in uncovering underlying biochemical imbalances impacting one’s mental health.
Exercise & Breathing
Regular exercise can be very beneficial for reducing anxiety. When we exercise, our brains release endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel good. This can help reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise can also help us sleep better, which can also help reduce anxiety.
Though yoga is often practiced for its physical benefits, it also has profound effects on the mind. Yoga teaches you how to breathe deeply and calmly, which can be enormously helpful in managing anxiety. When you're feeling anxious, try taking a few deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your lungs. This can help you to calm down and relax.
As you practice yoga, you learn to focus on the present moment and to let go of negative thoughts and worries. This can be incredibly helpful in quelling anxious thoughts. If you're feeling overwhelmed by worry or stress, consider taking a yoga class or doing some simple yoga poses at home. You may find that it helps to ease your anxiety symptoms.
What we eat has a direct impact on how we feel, both physically and emotionally. A healthy diet can help to reduce anxiety symptoms, while an unhealthy diet can make anxiety worse.
There are many different foods that can help to reduce anxiety. Some of the most effective anti-anxiety foods include fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, all of which help to support a healthy mind and body. It is important to eat a balanced diet and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can also be helpful in reducing anxiety symptoms.
When it comes to diet and anxiety, there is no one size fits all solution – everyone will have their own unique needs based on their individual situation. The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with different foods and see what helps to reduce your anxiety levels. By eating a healthy diet composed of nutrient-rich foods, you can help yourself to feel better both physically and emotionally.
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