Natural ways to reduce anxiety

I’m always interested in finding natural remedies to life’s challenges. Here’s some ideas for managing anxiety.

Here are a 2 books I’m reading that offer neuroscience backed strategies for understanding what triggers anxiety, where it occurs in the brain, and how to minimise it’s affects.

Rewire Your Anxious Brain explains that there are two main areas in the brain that create anxiety, and offers ways to deal with both types. The areas of the brain are the amygdala (responsible for autonomous physiological functions), and the cortex (thought based processing).

Habits of a Happy Brain looks at examples from studying animal and human behaviour. It discusses how the brain chemicals and hormones are designed to operate and how to retrain your brain to build positive circuits that create and strengthen your happy chemicals.

The documentary Stressed (2019) talks about how stress affects health, and can even affect how we digest our food. There is also a strong connection between gut health and mental health which is mentioned. The solution they discuss is called Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), which is backed by scientific studies (see link below). show that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. It’s similar to kinesiology in that muscle testing is done by a trained practitioner to test physiological responses to potential stress triggers. Some counselling is provided, and NET designed supplement formulas are then typically prescribed.

A randomised controlled trial of the Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) for childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): a protocol. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646715/

Essential oils and aromatherapy
Essential oils can also help induce relaxed states by inhalation in a humidifier, or rubbed on the skin etc. They stimulate the olfactory receptors which is a direct path to the nervous system. Some essential oils that claim to help anxiety are Lavender, Bergamot, Lemongrass.

Anxiety reducing micro-organisms found in soil
Soil has also recently been shown to contain beneficial micro-organisms that reduce stress and anxiety. See the article below for more information.
Healthy, stress-busting fat found hidden in dirt

Psilocybin mushroom treatment for anxiety
The last approach that I’ve found which is also gaining scientific backing, and is considered very effective is psilocybin based treatment for anxiety using magic mushrooms. There are two main approaches. One is a full dose where you enter a deep mental and psychedelic state under medical supervision and the other is called microdosing where you take a small dose a few days a week over an extended period of time. The microdose is typically under 30mg of psilocybin so that it doesn’t affect your day to day activities. For a first try it’d be advised to try it on a weekend or a day where you have no commitments just so you can get familiar with it and be comfortable with the dose.

Avoiding Foods That Can Trigger Anxiety
Certain foods can trigger anxiety in some people. See if you consume any of the following foods and try to eliminate them to see if it reduces your anxiety.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Caffeine
  3. Aged, fermented, and cultured foods
  4. Sneaky added sugar
  5. Conventional nondairy creamer

I’m not a frequent coffee drinker, but I went through a coffee phase last year and I bought myself a cold drip coffee machine. Though after I started having it regualarly I noticed I’d wake up with anxiety the morning after. I’d only have one coffee before lunchtime, but that was enough to trigger anxiety the following day. I’d wake up with heart palpitations, which I’d not experienced from food before. I decided to listen to my body, and as soon as I stopped having the coffee the morning anxiety stopped as well.

Source
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/surprising-foods-trigger-anxiety#1

Nutrient deficiencies that can cause anxiety
On the other hand, a nutrient deficiency could also be a factor that causes anxiety. It might be possible to still have coffee if you address any deficiencies you may have. Consider stocking up on the following vitamins and minerals:

  1. Magnesium
  2. Zinc
  3. Vitamin B6
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  5. Choline
  6. Selenium
  7. Iron
  8. Vitamin D
  9. Antioxidant Nutrients (Vitamins A, C, and E)

Source
https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/9-nutrient-deficiencies-that-can-make-you-more-anxious

Meditation
There are many benefits to mindfulness meditation, such as reduced stress and anxiety, better emotional health and improved sleep.
If you are a beginner or don’t know where to start, explore the https://insighttimer.com/, which contains thousands of high quality guided meditations across multiple categories, including anxiety and sleep.

Sources
https://chopra.com/articles/how-meditation-can-help-anxiety
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20141305/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation

I hope the above help you or someone you know to find a better way to reduce anxiety!

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