Real quick, I have 2 events coming up that I want to make sure you know about, one in-person and the other online. The first is that I am participating in Park Avenue Fitness’s Health Fair! Come see me and some other top notch practitioners Sat, Sept 24th (details here). Second, I’ll be teaching a masterclass on weight release Oct 4th (details here). I would love to see you at one or both of these events!
Anxiety is becoming more and more common than in the previous years. In fact, recent studies concluded that more than 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetimes. Anxiety disorders are also more prevalent in women than men.
If you are looking for relief from anxiety, check out the following tips. And there’s a bonus: these tips will also help you boost your energy!
- Establish a good sleeping habit.
Anxiety and sleep are always connected. When you are worried and fearful, it is harder for you to fall asleep. On the other hand, if you don’t have well-rested sleep, you will have a decreased ability to process stress and react in a proper way (resilience).
According to Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley, deep sleep restores the brain’s prefrontal mechanism that regulates our emotions, lowering emotional and physiological reactivity and preventing the escalation of anxiety.
In order to accomplish good sleep (and enough of it), you first have to work on your sleeping pattern.
Make sure to “set your body clock”. Train your body to wake up and sleep on schedule–yes, you need a bedtime that you stick to! To help you feel relaxed and ready to sleep, your room should be dim lit and cool. Also, avoid blue light at night, so stay away from screen a couple of hours or so before bedtime. You can learn more about the benefits of reducing blue light at night (as well as blue blocking glasses) here.
- Exercise regularly
Aside from diverting your focus to exercise instead of the thing that is making you anxious, speeding up your heart rate during exercise changes your brain’s chemistry. Important neurochemicals, like serotonin, that support a positive mood are released.Also, when you exercise, the frontal regions of your brain are also activated. They help control your amygdala, the part of your brain that reacts to everything as a perceived threat to your survival. Your amygdala is like a filter or a security guard that sees everything as a possible threat. Exercise helps create more balance within this hyper-vigilant part of your brain and your frontal brain (in charge of higher level functioning, planning, goal achievement, organizing).
- Have sufficient vitamin D and other essential minerals such as vitamin B12 or iron
Vitamin D is as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. Your body makes vitamin D with the help of sun exposure. You can also get vitamin D from your diet (fatty fish and seafood especially). But if you still have low levels of vitamin D, consider taking supplements. Studies about vitamin D have found that supplementation can improve anxiety symptoms.
In addition to low vitamin D, insufficient essential minerals can lead to fatigue and mood-related conditions.
- Consistently eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Healthy foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, and fish and other proteins are high in antioxidants, healthy fats, and phytochemicals that protect the brain from disease.
Additionally, focusing your foods on protein, produce, and healthy fats provide other health benefits such as improving your blood sugar levels, gut health, and decreasing your risk for obesity.
- Drink soothing herbal teas and use essential oils
Try incorporating herbal teas such as chamomile tea in your routine. Chamomile lowers inflammation, improves sleep, and helps in digestion. It’s a caffeine-free alternative for green tea.
For essential oils, lavender is known to help ease feelings of anxiety. You can diffuse it before bedtime to help you relax and fall asleep. You can also dilute it in a carrier oil and place a drop or two at the back of your ears or temples anytime of the day that you feel you need to calm down.
- Take supplements that support positive mood
For example, omega-3 fish oil, according to a review published in 2018, may help ease anxiety symptoms in people diagnosed with a range of physical and mental health problems.
Adaptogens are a great option, too. These are plants or mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue, and overall well-being. Examples are Ashwagandha, Panax ginseng (aka Asian ginseng), lemon balm, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, and Rhodiola Rosea.
I hope that these tips are helpful for you!
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!