According to World Health Organization (WHO), 3.6 % of the population of the entire world is affected by an anxiety disorder.
What is it?
Anxiety is the body's natural response to stress, a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxious before a job interview, a public speech, or taking a test.
In the short term, anxiety increases your heart rate and breathing, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. It’s your body's response to prepare yourself to face a challenging situation. It can be a positive stimulus and motivation to enhance the performance until it doesn’t interfere with your life.
But what happens when it gets too intense?
When it gets excessive and persistent (more than six months), anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.
It can happen at every stage of life, but it mainly occurs around the 40s and affects more women than men.
What are the symptoms?
They may vary according to the person, but the main symptoms are usually: palpitations, sweating, trembling, shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, fear of losing control, specific phobias, hot flushes, compulsions.
It can also manifest as somatic symptoms like IBS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, excessive blushing.
What causes Anxiety?
Besides environmental factors (like pandemic for example) and psychological components, there are some physical causes too:
Chronic stress and excessive cortisol can have a disruptive effect on your brain, in particular causing anxiety.
- Hormonal Imbalance
As we get to our 40a our hormone balance changes and this has an impact on our mental state causing, among other symptoms, anxiety.
A diet high in refined foods and sugar can increase inflammation in our brain and alter our mood and mental function.
Low functioning thyroid can have an impact on the functions of the brain causing anxiety
The gut is linked to the brain, if it doesn’t function properly, it can affect mental health as well.
How can we cope with Anxiety naturally?
Here are some tips:
- Try to release stress by meditating, take a yoga class, walking in nature, breathing, have a massage, follow your hobbies
- Considering test your hormones to check if there are imbalances so that can be addressed
- Go for a low glycaemic diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and wholegrain
- Have your Thyroid properly checked to see if it works correctly and fix it if you find out it doesn’t.
- Have some probiotic foods like Kimchi, Cultured Yoghurt, Sauer Krauts, Kefir to restore gut flora.
- Exercise and stay active as these have an impact on mood and mental health.
- Avoid alcohol. Although few glasses of wine or spirit can give you relief and make you feel calmer in the short term, they can cause alcohol dependency in the long run with even worse consequences.
- Reduce caffeine as taking an excess has been found to induce nervousness and anxiety.
- Have a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep has been associated with anxiety disorders.
- Take supplements like Adrenal Support, 5HTP, or Theanine (always under health practitioner supervision if under medication).
In conclusion, anxiety is a part of life, but when it becomes a daily struggle needs to be addressed before it could get worse and have a consequent huge impact on the quality of your life. Some natural remedies that can help managing it, some of them have been indicated above, try them out.
That’s all for now!
PS. Book your FREE consultation on my website to see how I can help you if you think the cause of your anxiety is more physical than psychological.