For many of us, anxiety is a nervous, jittery feeling that arises when we’re faced with a stressful situation. Worrying about day-to-day, situations such as a job interview or meeting your future in-laws for the first time can stir up a level of restlessness that is totally normal and healthy.
For some, however, anxiety symptoms can linger, or be so overwhelming as to become irrational or obsessive, in which case it becomes a full-blown disorder. Phobias, PTSD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and panic attacks all fall in this category.
Allopathic medicine practitioners usually prescribe prescription anxiety drugs, such as Xanax, but the side effects aren’t exactly trivial.
These side effects include:
- Aggression (shootings in US schools)
- Memory loss
- Impaired thinking
- Loss of balance
- An increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s
- Cognitive decline
What’s worse, anxiety drugs can be terribly addictive because they share the same brain “reward” pathways as opioids.
While methods like nutritional supplements and herbs might not resolve anxiety issues in everyone, they offer a drug-free means of attempting to manage the symptoms naturally.
Before getting into “natural remedies”, a brief note on EXERCISE.
Should People With Anxiety Exercise?
Keep in mind that anxiety is a response when one is faced with a stressful situation (be it physical, mental, chemical, or social).
When this happens the body releases stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol into the bloodstream to prepare you for action; fight or flight.
These hormones act to speed up your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, heighten your senses, and increase your strength and energy, among other things.
If the stress response is never allowed to “reset”, it can remain active and the symptoms of stress can be constantly present, giving people an edgy, fidgety feeling.
Short bursts of intense exercise, yes, like HIIT, have been shown to reset the stress response, lower stress hormone levels, and release endorphins, our “feel good” chemicals.
It might be a good ide for you to re-read:
- “A High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout With Dumbbells”, December 12, 2016.
- “HIIT-The Tabata Method”, October 26, 2015.
- “HIIT”, February 26, 2015.
Basically, working out helps to calm us down, rest our minds, have an improved sense of ourselves, and be more outgoing.
Now, Let’s Look at Some Natural Remedies for Anxiety
There are several natural substances that have been proven to lower anxiety symptoms regardless of the source. I’ll list them below and strongly suggest that you give them a try.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Valerian Root
- Social interaction
- Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (go easy on the fruits)
Please don’t hesitate to ask me for some details of what I’ve suggested above. You can, of course, Google them.
Last But Not Least
You might not believe this, but a cup of tea may be just what you need to feel less anxious.
What does the trick is the amino acid in tea: l-theanine.
L-theanine, or theanine, is a water soluble amino acid that’s found in tea leaves; it’s also available at higher concentrations as a dietary supplement (one dose equals roughly 10 cups of tea. When you drink tea, l-theanine passes through the blood-brain barrier and affects the brain directly.
Let’s see how l-theanine compares with Xanax. Researchers in Australia compared 200 mg of theanine to 1 mg Xanax. Subjects were given either theanine, Xanax or a placebo during a resting task or a task that provoked anxiety.
Theanine worked better than Xanax to induce relaxation during the resting task, though neither theanine nor Xanax had any significant effects during the anxiety task.
A typical 200 ml cup of black tea contains about 24.2 mg of l-theanine and l-theanine supplements are typically sold as 200 mg doses.
Two more points; theanine protects against stress linked memory problems and blocks stress related blood pressure spikes.
Throw away your habit forming, anger inducing Xanax and try supplementing with what I’ve suggested above AND DRINK TEA my friends.
See you next week.