In today’s circumstances with uncertainty all around us, it’s no wonder that anxiety has become such a common, well-known visitor in our lives. Whether it manifests itself as the awkward, nail biting cousin or as the uptight, obsessive compulsive aunt, or the consistently worried, unable to focus on life, next door neighbor; anxiety is everywhere. If you’re one of the 40 million people in the U.S. affected by some kind of anxiety disorder (generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder), don’t feel alone, don’t feel ashamed, and don’t feel hopeless!
Anxiety: Breaking Free
Anxiety can stem from a multitude of things. Dietary and lifestyle factors can influence the initiation and progression of this disorder and can exacerbate symptoms. Some factors include:
· Nutrient deficiencies
· Food intolerances
· Caffeine, drug, and alcohol use
· Chronic distress
· Childhood and/or significant adult PTSD
· Environmental factors
The amygdala is part of the brain where fear is activated. This activation can result in increased levels of several neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and serotonin, which can produce feelings of anxiety if not kept in control. Now, the question is, how do we control things in our brains that we can’t even correctly pronounce? (Hint: we re-balance our bodies!)
Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are all key components of managing anxiety. Ensuring proper amounts of arginine and lysine have been shown to reduce anxiety. L-theanine, found in tea, helps balance dopamine and serotonin, and maintain a relaxed, yet alert state. Taking a multivitamin is equally as important, since amino acids are rendered almost useless without their vitamin counterparts. Just like peanut butter complements jelly, vitamins complement amino acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are useful in combating anxiety. Lavender is a powerful essential oil used to help decrease symptoms of anxiousness, restlessness, and fatigue. Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, has been shown to increase dopamine receptors and reduce anxiety-producing effects of norepinephrine. Other options include Kava, Magnolia, Lemon Balm, yoga, meditation, and exercise…the battle with anxiety doesn’t have to turn into a war. Everyone is different in how their stress manifests itself, how high their threshold for symptoms is, and how they want to treat to ensure the highest success rate. The options are plentiful for those of you seeking an alternative to prescription medications like diazepam or alprazolam.
At Annie’s Apothecary, we have many supplements that support your nervous system such as CBD, multivitamins, magnesium threonate, l-theanine and combo products like Mood Food, Liposomal GABA/L-theanine, and RelaxMax. Our staff has the experience to answer your questions and help figure out the best treatment plan to support your happiness and well-being. When self-help isn’t enough, professional counselors are highly recommended to support you in handling your anxiety.