Treating Stress and Anxiety Naturally

There are many things you can do to reduce your levels of anxiety and stress naturally. The list that follows may be helpful to you in dealing with your own anxiety, nervousness, and irritability. Consult with your nutritionist, physician or mental health provider to discuss which approaches might be best for you.

Anxiety Reducing Strategies

  • Sugar—Gradually reduce your sugar intake as much as possible. Too much sugar disrupts our metabolism and strips the body of essential nutrients. Watch out for packaged and canned food they are laden with hidden sugar. And don’t just replace the sugar with artificial sweeteners. As reported on 60 Minutes, Aspartame is implicated in many health problems, including anxiety reactions, dizziness, convulsions, etc.
  • Alcohol and tobacco—Reduce your intake of alcohol and tobacco. Both of these items cause major disruptions in our biochemistry and are leading causes of death in America.
  • Processed grains—Eliminate or drastically reduce processed grains as much as possible. This includes white bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pizza, etc. You can eat whole grains, but be careful—many people are allergic to wheat and other grains.
  • Protein—Try to eat protein at every meal, especially breakfast. Protein is a very stable energy source. This will stabilize your insulin levels and foster proper neuron functioning. Soy products, lean meat, and fish are good protein sources.
  • Vegetables—Eat lots of vegetables. Carbohydrates help us to manufacture serotonin. This chemical is important to the regulation of our moods.
  • Coffee—Gradually cut out coffee over a period of a week or so to prevent severe withdrawal.
  • Water—Drink a lot of water. Water assists the body in eliminating biochemical waste.
  • Exercise—Increases self-esteem, lowers body weight, and assists the body to function properly.
  • Meditation—Learn how to practice meditation or some form of deep relaxation. Meditation has many positive physiological and psychological benefits. It decreases tension, activates the parasympathetic nervous system (which slows our bodies down and gets us out of the stress mode), and slows biological aging.
  • Allergies—Eating foods that are bad for you causes intense anxiety or depressive symptoms. Many people are allergic to grains (including wheat and corn), beans and most dairy products.
  • MSG—Avoid MSG at all costs.
  • Vitamins and minerals—Aminobutyric acid is especially good for panic attacks and regulating the entire nervous system. Calcium supplements also produce calmness.
  • Herbs—There are many herbs that are beneficial in the treatment of anxiety. Valerian root, passion flower, chamomile, skullcap, and dandelion are very helpful in fostering relaxation.
  • Small meals—Eat six small meals throughout the day. This will help you maintain a balanced energy and coping level.

Making Changes

Don’t pressure yourself to make all of the changes listed above all at once. We all change at our own pace. The important thing is that you have made the decision to take responsibility for your health. Educate yourself about health issues. Consult with a nutritionally oriented physician, a nutritionist, or a mental health professional to discuss which changes may be most important for you. If you are in psychotherapy or under a doctor’s care, you may find your progress increasing as your body regains its health and balance.

Keep in mind that these suggestions are not a replacement for seeing the appropriate professional to discuss your needs.

For More Assistance

If you wish to speak to someone about feelings of anxiety and stress or other personal issues, you can make an appointment to see a personal counselor at the Personal Counseling, 0203 James Hall, 718.951.5363. All sessions are free and confidential.

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