Forty-seven percent of Americans report experiencing higher levels of anxiety than the prior year.
The human brain is wired to experience anxiety when it signals something is not right and can help us avoid a dangerous situation. But persistent anxiety that disrupts our lives can signal an anxiety disorder. One-third of adults will grapple with this at some point in their lives.
When we experience anxiety, the brain signals to our gut we are under stress and a combination of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. This can affect us in different ways. Common reactions to anxiety are heart palpitations, knots in the stomach or dizziness and light-headedness.
While encountering a saber tooth tiger may not be a problem these days, there are many less-lethal stressors that affect us today.
We are going to look at how to deal with anxiety naturally. We will discuss breathing techniques, types of therapy and chemical imbalances and nutrients.
- Breath -
If you are experiencing anxiety, start by focusing on your breath. One study found that people with high anxiety had lower levels of carbon dioxide and a faster breathing frequency than those with low anxiety.
Hyper-ventilation reduces the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. Over breathing decreases our body’s performance by eliminating too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is what allows our body’s organs to receive oxygen.
educing CO2 causes blood vessels to narrow, reducing the delivery of oxygen to the brain. An oxygen-deprived brain is more excitable and susceptible to anxiety-causing thoughts.
Taking big, deep “calming breaths” through the mouth actually does the opposite - it deprives your body of CO2 and your brain is unable to fully receive oxygen.
To help control anxiety try this breathing exercise:
- Take a small, silent breath in and out through your nose
- Hold your breath for 2 to 5 seconds
- After each breath, breath normally for 10 seconds. Do not interfere with your breathing.
- Continue to do a small breath and hold followed by normal breathing for 10 seconds
- Practice this exercise for 5-10 minutes
For more on breathing exercises, check out The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick Mckeown.
- Therapy -
People with anxiety tend to react to unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and situations in a more extreme way. Therapy can help address negative thinking to help you manage anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps examine your negative thoughts and perceptions to identify distortions. It can help manage anxiety.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a therapy treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping.
EFT practitioners believe tapping the body at certain points can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. A 2016 study showed EFT was effective in treating anxiety.
Check out Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist to view therapists in your area.
- Gut-Brain Axis -
In many cases, anxiety can actually be the result of your chemistry being out of balance. I often find that it is the chemistry driving the anxious behavior, rather than emotions driving the anxiety.
It’s also important to look at the brain-gut relationship. Our gut breaks down and absorbs the vital nutrients we need. So if you don’t have the proper gut bacteria, digestive enzymes, or are having symptoms of leaky gut, you could possibly become deficient in certain nutrients that can lead to the feeling of anxiety in your body.
If you go to a psychiatrist for anxiety, the doctor rarely asks about gut issues, but that is likely to change as the relationship between the gut and the brain becomes better understood.
Anxiety is not just an emotional problem, there is often more to it than that. You sometimes need to balance out your chemistry, which can lead to a more balanced and peaceful state of mind. :
- Nutrients and Vitamins -
Below are some nutrients that are necessary for a healthy mental and emotional state, as well as overall health and well being:
- B vitamins
- Magnesium - We are often deficient because our soil is depleted.
- Vitamin D
- Digestive Enzymes
- Trace minerals
- Amino acids
Our top 3 recommended anxiety supplements may only be taken when not on anxiety/depression medication. Please check with your health care provider before taking these supplements:
Stress Factors - Nutra Biogenesis
Stress Factors is a blend of nutrients and amino acids designed to nutritionally support an increased parasympathetic response.
Neuro GFR by Welltrients
Neuro GFR contains a dietary, synergistic blend of 19 biologically-active cofactors that supports the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. This helps maintain optimum concentration, attention, learning, and motivation.
Calm by Systemic Formulas
Designed to help promote a feeling of calmness and relaxation during times of stress. CALM provides nutrients that play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine with L-Dopa and SAMe.
- For Gut Health, We Recommend -
Klaire Labs Target 6B Gut-Brain Axis
It regulates healthy gut bacteria and is clinically demonstrated to help support a positive mood.
CBD is well known and well studied. There is less than .3% THC and there is no “high”. Many people report this helps their anxiety. Start at 15mg and you can work up to 50mg.
- B Vitamins -
Mag Plus by Welltrients
Rich in the important minerals that support the anabolic processes of the muscular and skeletal structures in the body. Mag Plus has magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc. It will help calm the system.
- We Also Carry Several Homeopathic Formulas -
Stress Drops - Professional Complementary Health
Anti Stress Drops use homeopathy in addressing stress-related problems such as anxiety attacks and exhaustion. Great when there is an emergency for stress.
Eating and sleeping poorly, racing through the day and not properly hydrating can leave you susceptible to anxiety.
Anxiety is a complex issue and it’s important to experiment with different treatments to find what works best for you.
If you have any questions or we can support you in any way, please respond to this email or call our office.
I released a podcast episode where I talk more about anxiety. You can listen to it on your favorite podcast app:
Yours in Health,