Kick that anxiety!

(Average reading time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds)

If one may trust NHS’s statistics, then it appears that only 5% of our population have an anxiety disorder. This is not a bad figure at all; hence, we shouldn’t treat it as a significant problem – right?

By working in the health shop, I see real everyday people who have a severe anxiety disorder, or other symptoms, that are connected to anxiety. It is important to remember that the people who visit health shops have already some degree of understanding about well being, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. So if half of the people with this mindset have the anxiety issues, then what about the ones who live in the darkness of wellbeing? By relaying in this logic, please forgive me if I come across a little sceptical about the “5%” claim by NHS.

The real problem lies in the fact that having anxiety in our life, becomes a sort of “Status Quo”. It is now standard to feel this way. One may even feel slight guilt if the feeling is absent for a moment as this can be translated to; not doing enough. Our lives have become constant battles in the war of nonsense, where we genuinely believe that if we meet the next deadline, or solve the next issue, then everything will be calm and splendid again, like it was before; no matter that we can’t remember when was the “before”, nor how did it feel like. We are living in a society where everyone believes that being successful means having to sacrifice our peace of mind.

So are we doomed?
Not at all. The good news is that it is so much you can do! Below I share some of the advice that if followed, can indeed be one of the essential steps that you have taken in your adult life, in order to turn the battle against the anxiety around to your favour.

1. Analyse your day to day life and the feelings that it creates.
If you feel the constant rush and adrenaline shots that are released in your body, then it is time to accept that you may have a problem and that you may need to do something about it. A most potent way to admit to yourself is to share it with people who are close to you.

2. Change the day to day rules.
Make notes of the triggering points. If running after a bus is one of the triggering factors, then make the new rule. You always must skip the first bus, even if you can take it with no rush. Obviously, this logic won’t work if you live in a rural area where a bus comes once every hour. I am talking about cities such as London, where the next bus is pretty much always 5 minutes away.
If the triggering factor is; you not being able to choose which shirt to wear or what to have for the breakfast, then use the “Always right” rule. Choose the item that is positioned on the right-hand side. So what if you are ending up wearing that pink shirt or having a bland oat porridge; as a result – the important thing is that you are training your subconscious mind about the new way of thinking, where the anxiety has no room.
Perhaps it’s not what triggers it, but who triggers? Although this can be a blog on its own, remember to fight for your boundaries, and do not be afraid to be assertive if someone mistreats you! Speak to people who are close to you, and seek help from the authorities if you are a victim of bullying.

3. Meditation is not for everyone!
One may read this and take me for a hypocrite, as I am one of the most pro meditation fanatics there is. If you are the person who can successfully meditate at least 20 minutes per day, then you have won half of the war already. Nevertheless, if the meditation itself becomes a triggering point for the anxiety, then find alternative ways to exercise mindfulness. Although we want the stay away from staring at electronic devices, playing easy going games such as Angry Birds, Candy Crash or Tetris, can be an alternative way to fight the anxiety. Word of warning, though! Don’t start using this as a way to escape every time there are minor symptoms; you may then confuse the mindfulness with escaping!
Or perhaps, absorbing the texture of the food that you put in your mouth and eating slowly can also help to live in the moment; hence, allows you being mindful.

4. Seek help from those supplements, such as:

CBD hemp oil
CBD oil is thought to work with a brain receptor called CB1. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond.

The exact way CBD affects CB1 is not fully understood. However, it’s thought that it alters serotonin signals. Serotonin is one of your body’s chemicals and plays a role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are common in depression. Not having enough serotonin can also cause anxiety in some people.

Ashwagandha
The results, published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, showed that ashwagandha benefits just about every measure of stress. Compared to those who got the placebo, those taking ashwagandha had 28 per cent lower levels of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone.” While cortisol is helpful in small amounts, it causes problems when you’re battling chronic stress when your cortisol levels may remain mildly elevated for extended periods.

Rhodiola
If you have social anxiety, general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, or you just feel nervous in general; then you’ll often need a supplement that will make you feel calm but not sleepy.

Rhodiola reduces the stress hormone cortisol significantly, and it makes a lot of people feel very relaxed, focused, and terrific because it also stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin – the body’s “happy” or “feel good” neurotransmitters.

Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has a direct impact on the nervous system, soothing and calming frayed nerves. Known as a relaxing nervine, lemon balm relaxes, soothes and supports the nervous system as a whole.

Fun fact: Lemon balm has long been used as a remedy for the nerves. Hippocrates, Galen, Culpepper and even Shakespeare all spoke of its attributes. There are also records of Thomas Jefferson growing lemon balm at Monticello. Around 1696, John Evelyn wrote that “balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy.

Avena Sativa
Avena Sativa has been used since the Middle Ages to support mental health, primarily to combat anxiety and balance mood. Modern science has identified Sicilic acid, arginine and triterpenoid saponins called avenocosides as the active compounds responsible for this herb’s nootropic effects.

Avena Sativa has been found to inhibit the production of “monoamine oxidase-B” (MAO-B), an enzyme which regulates the exact amount of dopamine we need in the brain. As we age, MOA-B levels increase, causing dopamine levels to fall. Research has shown that inhibition of this enzyme preserves brain function by protecting dopamine. Thus Avena Sativa can work as an anti-depressant, reduce anxiety and help with stress levels.

The magic of magnesium.
In my opinion, regardless of what kind of supplement you are deciding to start taking (check the list above), ensure that we are combining it with magnesium. Not only you will see benefits that are helping to relax your muscles, but magnesium itself is also a perfect natural antidepressant. Be warned though, that full benefits may occur in some cases only after three weeks of taking it; hence, don’t give up too early!

Let us tackle this little “anxiety monster”, and show to it, who is the boss! If you ever need any additional (free) advice, then pop by our shop, and we will be happy to share it with you – with no obligations to you!

Final tip:
If you were anxious, just count to Zen!

Ivo Aulik

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