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How do get rid of my anxious feelings?

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Feeling occasionally anxious is a normal response to modern life. However, for some people their anxiety is like a little monster living inside, who stirs up uncomfortable feelings when faced with simple everyday situations. If you or someone you know avoids social gatherings, work meetings or confrontations due to anxiety, then don’t ignore these feelings. It’s time to get some help to tackle the anxiety monster.

I have noticed a steep rise in anxiety levels with clients as well as socially over the last 18 months.

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety is experienced at different time points for different people, and can be a perfectly normal response to a one-off stressful period or worrying event. However, for some, anxiety can persist and become a chronic mental health condition. In this instance, the triggers for chronic anxiety are multi-factorial, encompassing genetic predisposition, work stressors, traumatic life events, family or relationship issues, abuse, and physical disease. Personality traits of low self-esteem and/or perfectionism can also predispose individuals to experience anxiety. Therefore, the key to reducing or eliminating anxiety lies in addressing these underlying causes. However, making big life changes or processing large emotions can often take time, and it isn’t always possible to rectify right away. So what can you do each day to reduce your symptoms and boost your ability to cope in the moment? It can be really helpful to have some tools that will help to manage and reduce your symptoms.

Symptoms can be both physical AND emotional

Symptoms of anxiety are often very unsettling. Your heart rate increases, your mind races and it becomes hard to think straight. Though everyone experiences anxiety a bit differently, there are some more common symptoms to look out for.

Physical sensations: racing heart, hot flushes, sweating and skin clamminess, rapid breathing, frequent gastrointestinal upsets (can be anything from diarrhoea and needing to rush to the toilet, to constipation and indigestion)

Emotional sensations: feelings of excess worry, panic, fear or guilt, obsessive thinking and behaviours, feeling generally tense and wound up.

If you can relate to any of the above, I can support you! These feelings and symptoms don't have to be your everyday ‘normal’.

As well as the plethora of dietary and lifestyle interventions available, several nutrients and herbs work specifically to calm the nervous system and nourish a stressed body and mind.

Some of my favorites include:

1. Magnesium: When anxious, your body actively eliminates magnesium, which is a catch 22 situation, as a magnesium deficiency actually leads to releasing more stress hormones. *Also, if you increase your sugar intake due to anxiety you will further deplete your magnesium levels.

2. Glycine: This amino acid has shown particular benefit in improving sleep quality by promoting an inhibitory effect on the nervous system. As anxiety often disrupts sleep, and poor sleep is a primary trigger for anxiety, ensuring a good night’s sleep goes a long way in helping to reduce anxiety levels.

3. B vitamins: The primary drivers of stress in the body are the neurotransmitter adrenaline, and the adrenal hormone cortisol. B vitamins are required to synthesize both of these hormones, which are depleted with stress. B vitamins are also needed for your brain to produce several key anxiety reducing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). So By taking a quality B complex supplement, you can support your body during times of increased stress, while ensuring the production of calming brain chemicals. Individual B vitamins are indicated for specific symptoms as well, however taking them individually for long periods of time can cause deficiencies and imbalances of the others.

4. Bach Flower Essences: There are 36 remedies in the bach flower range, some that are useful for anxiety:

Aspen: Fear of the unknown, fear that something bad is going to happen but you can not put a name on it.

Red Chestnut: Fear that something bad is going to happen to your loved ones.

Rock Rose: Frozen fear, terror, the deer in the headlight type of fear.

Cherry Plum: Fear that you may lose control on yourself, explosive anger, the feeling you wish to hurt yourself or others.

Elm: If you feel overwhelmed, too much to do, not enough time.

White Chestnut: If you have repeated unwanted thoughts or worries.

Scleranthus: when you waver between two different options/ decisions

Agrimony: putting on a brave face

You can purchase bach flower essences in some Health Shops as well as naturopaths and other natural health practitioners. (I make them up for my clients.)

4. Herbal Remedies - available in supplements, or as herbal teas, or purchase from a herbalist.

Kava: an excellent herb for anxiety

Passionflower: works fantastically to increase the activity of your master anxiolytic neurotransmitter GABA, and does so without causing drowsiness (unlike benzo- diazepine medication).

Lemon Balm: a calming herbal is often included in formulas for sensitive people who find themselves feeling teary and weepy when they are stressed or anxious.

Withania (Ashwaganda) is useful for those experiencing stress and unrest due to excessive nervous energy.

Zizyphus: This herb has a long history of use for states of nervous tension, it inhibits excess stimulation within the brain that occurs during stress; calming anxiety, frustration and irritability, and has the bonus of promoting sleep.

What else can you do?

Learning to breathe correctly will help. When we are anxious we tend to breathe very shallowly and get reduced oxygen to our brain - over time we shallow breathe all the time. Yoga, and other breathing practices are so important, they will help with sleep, relaxing and general wellbeing.

Practising mindfulness is another great technique, finding gratitude in each moment is another.

Some other relevant articles I've written about my own experiences which you may find helpful:

If you are suffering from chronic or severe anxiety, seek help with your local counsellor or psychotherapist - they will help you develop skills in managing your thoughts and emotions

If you need some help with supporting your anxiety with food, supplements and some lifestyle guidance and would like me to help you with a plan - book here booking page.

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