Anxiety – Why We Get It & Tips to Let Go of It

Anxiety hits every one of us from time to time. There are many levels of anxiety and many causes of it. Anxiety or anxiousness can be happy and caused by excitement to do something, go somewhere, to meet someone and a number of other good things we look forward to. Other anxieties can be negatively caused by PTSD, the environment, illness, confrontation, stress about school, work, money, relationships, trauma, loss, side effects of medications or other substances and more. Whichever your anxiety, it’s a good idea to learn to handle it and/or get professional help.

Sometimes, you can make yourself physically sick if you’re overly-anxious. This is caused by your body releasing stress hormones. Different parts of the body release different hormones which help the organs to run efficiently and in stressful situations, those organs become ‘stressed’ causing us to feel stomach aches, diarrhea, headache, fatigue…etc.

Positive anxiousness is easier to manage and likely will come to an end soon; such as when you arrive to your destination, meet that person and any other happy moments that bring that anxious twinge of excitement.

When negative anxiety hits you and you feel out of control, it’s important to take steps to relieve it especially before the sick-feeling symptoms begin. Steps to try before anxiety hits hard include:

  • Slow down, breathe deeply and take inventory of what is real and what is just negative thoughts or negative self-talk. Remind yourself that XXX hasn’t actually happened and it might not even happen. This is a way of dealing with what is real and what is or isn’t possible; it’s better to deal with what is real that very moment.
  • Another way to calm anxious feelings is to determine if the issue is in your control or out of your control; if it’s out of your control, follow the steps in the first scenario described above. If it is in your control, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly then decide what your next step will be and then the second step after that until the issue is resolved. Remember, don’t hold tightly to what you cannot control, trust the process.
  • Take a time-out session, meditate, just sit quietly letting your thoughts come and go without overthinking them, listen to soothing music, drink warm tea, go for a walk – short or long walks help a lot! Any form of exercise helps release stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive and happy people, laugh often, talk with a friend (even if it’s not about what is stressing you).
  • Journal it – writing your thoughts, worries, wishes and feelings helps to release them privately
  • Try to have a positive attitude. Learn to ‘let go’ of negative thinking.
  • Eat healthy! The foods you choose to eat help your body run either efficiently or sluggish and ill. Choose whole, natural foods rather than pre-packaged, processed, sugary, salty, chemically treated (for shelf-life) foods.
  • Work with a therapist, counselor or coach depending on your level of anxiety and your personal needs.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a way of life for you. You can learn how to adopt healthy behaviors and habits to let go of negative anxieties and to handle them in the future. Anxiety is normal from time to time but it should not be a regular visitor in your daily life. Now, take a deep breath in….let it go.

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving your worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva-Initiate Wellness

Anxiety: What Eat & What to Avoid to Ease It

We all have suffered with anxiety at one time or another and we all will suffer with it again. Anxiety, unfortunately, is a part of life as we know it – but you don’t have to cave in to it. By eating the right foods, avoiding the anxiety feeding foods and learning simple lifestyle habits, you can overcome personal anxiety.

What is anxiety? It’s a normal reaction; anxiety is a feeling response of worry, nervousness, fear, uneasiness and even feelings of eagerness/impatience toward a situation. Usually anxiety is temporary; if you find that you have anxiety that has been going on for a very long time, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about it, maybe even your doctor.

Food and lifestyle habits play an important role in dealing with anxiety. There are some foods that feed feelings of anxiousness and some foods that calm those feelings. How food affects your body’s nervous response is of key importance. Without going deeper into the explanation and reasons for anxiety, let’s look at the foods that help us and then the foods that we should avoid.

Anxiety Easing Foods & Supplements include tryptophan rich foods, B-vitamins and B-vitamin rich foods, chamomile & green tea, lemon balm fresh herb and tea, hops, valerian root, lavender [an emotional anti-inflammatory], fermented foods [probiotics] and probiotic supplements.

Foods to Eat:

  • Tryptophan: turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, sesame seeds, peanut butter
  • B-vitamins: beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, citrus, rice, nuts, eggs, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, whole grains, wheat
  • Carbohydrates: [yes! Don’t turn away, they’re important!] whole grains (true whole grains, not additions to convenience foods), wheat, brown rice, potatoes, all vegetables
  • Fermented foods: yogurt, kefir, soy milk, Miso soup/broth, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, micro-algae drinks
  • Omega 3’s: salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, nuts, supplements
  • Lean Protein: plain Greek yogurt (add your own fruit, honey/maple & nuts), fish, meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, lentils
  • WATER!

Foods to Avoid [or at least Limit]:

  • Caffeine – (at least cut down if you drink coffee and soda all day long)
  • Sugar – (causes depression) incl. sweets, candy, cakes, pies, cookies, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup and other highly refined sweeteners, aspartame,
  • Processed food – boxed, frozen, canned, fast food…etc.
  • Added chemicals – MSG (depression, headaches, fatigue) food dyes (disrupts normal nervous system function)
  • Salt – messes with blood pressure, heart works harder to control the stress hormone adrenaline, *don’t buy/use pre-seasoned or flavored meat as they are high in sodium and added chemicals
  • Fried foods
  • Fatty foods – causes depression, hot dogs, deli meats, sausage

Focus your diet on clean eating whole foods, vitamin & mineral rich foods, calming herbal teas and plenty of water all year long and avoid the foods that trigger the ‘stress response’ and you can better control anxious situations. Of course stressful times will always be part of our lives, but we don’t have to let our lives revolve around our personal stress; it doesn’t have to be part of who we are.

I hope you try some of these suggestions and I hope to hear from you on your experience and/or thoughts about anxiety. Now, full breath in………let it out…exhale!