Anxiety is the body and mind’s natural reaction to danger and stress. It is activated by the sympathetic nervous system and often called the fight or flight response. Anxiety is experienced physically and emotionally and affects our thoughts and behaviours. Its main job is to keep us safe and help us to react quickly and intuitively so we avoid or get away from a dangerous situation by running or fighting if we have to. When this job is done the parasympathetic system should naturally reset the body back to the rest and digest mode.
Anxiety affects adults, teens and children; it can be triggered by chronic stress or a trauma including bullying and childbirth and becomes a problem when the sympathetic fight or flight response remains alert.
Common physical sensations that people report are palpitations, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, overwhelming feelings of fear and worry causing restlessness. Symptoms can become out of proportion to the actual danger or stress of any situation causing irrational thoughts, behaviours or panic attacks.
In response to the flight or fight response, the adrenal glands are prompted to produce cortisol, which is an important hormone to help us deal with inflammation (it is also the hormone that works with melatonin to regulate proper sleep patterns). When the adrenals become overworked they produce more and more cortisol requiring more and more nutrients such as vitamin C and B. Depletion of your nutritional reserves or needing more than your diet or body can provide can lead to a wide variety of health concerns and an increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma.
Anxiety when untreated can continue to increase in severity and potentially cause a nervous breakdown in extreme cases. Because of the accumulative effect that anxiety has on mental and physical health, a better outcome can be achieved when a holistic approach is taken.
Holistic avenues that should be considered are:
Remove Stress –Uncertainty and too much stress makes anxiety worst. Reducing or removing current stresses and learning how to manage future stress to a motivational level helps to promote better mental and physical health.
Resolve any past trauma and reset the sympathetic response – How we initially respond to danger or threat even at an early age becomes our default response, so identifying and resolving the root cause of the anxiety, plus reprogramming ourselves to deal with it differently in the future is key.
Bin the junk food – Junk food draws on your nutritional reserves. Sugar and processed carbs are linked to mood swings and anxiety. Fresh vegetables cooked or raw, good quality meat/eggs and essential fats will improve your mood. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, as skipping meals leads to cravings and an increase in symptoms.
Supplements – When nutritional reserves are depleted, it is difficult to consume enough nutrition from food to rebuild nutritional stores. Natural whole food supplements are best. Taking omega 3 daily will help to relieve anxiety and promote brain health.
Exercise – Go out and walk in nature. When you start do what you can, then build up gradually to 40-60 minutes daily.
Get quality sleep – Blue light from electrical devices effect production of the body’s sleep hormone melatonin. Turning off electrical devices an hour before bed and reading a book will help to create a positive sleep environment
If you would like to recover from Trauma, Anxiety or Stress Amanda Roe uses a range of holistic therapies to help clients improve their mental, physical and emotional health. For more information or to book a session call/text 087 633 1898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org