Let’s talk anxiety
Anxiety is something that all people feel at some point in their lives. Eg. You’re worried and nervous about doing a speech in front of the class. You’re rushing and frazzled trying to catch the plane you’re running late for. You’re nervous of what’s going to happen while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones (Am I right!?). Whatever example you can think of where you were stressing, worried, fearful, nervous, or panicked is some form of anxiety and it’s quite natural.
Anxiety is a natural response that our body has during times of stress, although for some, it can be a lot higher and chronic and affect quality of life on the daily. When we’re stressed it’s natural for our body to jump into fight or flight mode. Our heart beat increases, blood flows to our muscles and away from our digestive system, our eyes sharpen focus and we breathe more shallow. We are no longer in the cool comfy “rest and digest mode” because we’re gearing up for battle or running away!
A panic attack is actually quite similar to the stress response our body goes through during an intense fight or flight moment, but for some people, they are not dealing with a scary tiger chasing them and it’s quite traumatic for the body and mind to experience this sudden onslaught of symptoms.
Stress and anxiety is a lot higher these days than ever before. Some suggest this is due to our fast paced lives, higher stress, poor support systems and go-go culture. Stress and anxiety and depression are all very connected. So although you’re not getting chased by a tiger; your endless to-do list, stressful emails, busy job, juggling kids, and having too much on the go can increase stress and often anxiety and it’s best friend depression.
So what can we do about it?
Before I jump into some killer awesome nutrition + lifestyle suggestions I want to share some pros of being more of a highly sensitive or anxious type personality.
The PROS of anxiety
In past cultures or in groups of animals, it was most likely the anxious individual who aided in the group’s survival. A lot of folks who lean towards being the anxious type of personality are often more sensitive and highly aware of their surroundings. This can help us in so many ways and our past ancestors probably relied on someone being highly on the ball, highly responsible and keenly aware of a tiger lingering around the family!
So, if you are this type of personality, there are benefits to this trait and it can be also viewed as a strength! Boom how bout dat!?
(The book I share in the video and in this post goes into deeper detail on this subject too!)
Alright let’s dive into some tips.
Diet + Lifestyle Tips:
We know that anxiety is closely connected to stress. There is the psychological component and the physiological component. Definitely consider working with a professional eg. psychologist, counsellor, life coach etc as it can be very important and helpful to support the psychological component.
As for the physiological component, here are some key strategies you can incorporate:
- Manage Stress like a mofo – self care, sleep, meditation + mindfulness, exercise, hanging with friends – it’s integral to find ways to process stress daily to manage stress levels.
- Balance your blood sugar – oh baby this is KEY. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are very connected to mood fluctuations and anxiety. Work on having 3 balanced meals each day and be sure to include the three important amigos PFF in each meal. (Protein, Fat + Fibre)
- Ditch the sugar – Sugar is not good for us in a myriad of ways, but especially it throws our blood sugar all over the place like a rollercoaster. Gradually lower sugar or quit it cold turkey and see how you feel after a week 🙂
- Fill up on real food – When we’re stressed, we burn through nutrients eg. vitamin A,C,D, zinc and B vitamins. We need high quality organic foods. Real foods. Ditch the processed junk and focus on #realassfood
- Feed your brain – Your body breaks down protein into amino acids which become neurotransmitters which your brain uses! eg. happy brain chemicals. Be sure to eat adequate high quality protein daily in plant form or high quality organic animal form. Your brain is also 60% fat and NEEDS fat to thrive. Fill up on good fats. Eg. avocados, nuts/seeds, olive oil, flax oil, eggs, fish and omega 3 fish oils
- Digest like a boss – If you’re not digesting like a boss you’re not absorbing worth a poop. Strengthen digestion so that you absorb your key nutrients which feed your brain!
- Look upstream – Is your anxiety connected to other health concerns? It’s good to work with a health professional and look upstream. Consider thyroid issues, nutrient deficiencies, light deficiency (hello northern living), autoimmune conditions, unhappy digestion, imbalanced hormones all can contribute to our moods, mental health and anxiety
- Simplify – What can you cut out of your schedule, to lower stress, simplify your life and focus on what is important and makes you happy? Do you have social engagements you dread each day/evening? Can you start saying no to things that don’t light you up and yes to things that do?
- Smart supplements + super foods – this could be an interesting rabbit hole to explore further but I won’t go too far down, as it really depends on the person and what the root issue is for them. Many strategic supplements can support the nervous system and adrenals, (eg. B complex vitamins, L-theanine is calming for the mind, or adrenal supportive herbs) along with superfoods which are good for the brain, stress and hormone health eg. holy basil tea is calming, macca root is an adaptogenic herb good for supporting the body’s response to stress.
PS: Check out an awesome book called “First we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson – this book taught me a lot about anxiety and the different ways of viewing it!
NOTE: If you want to work on your stress levels and anxiety but you don’t know where to start, feel free to book a complimentary discovery call with me and we can chat! I’m here to help 🙂
I hope you found today’s blog/vlog helpful!
Cheers to tuning in,