The role the mind plays on the body is still not well understood. Long term stress and anxiety can be a massive drain on your health and can actually be the trigger for many chronic diseases. Instead of turning to medications at Turmeric Vitality we prefer to take a more natural approach; focusing on diet and health instead of masking symptoms with drugs.
Within the U.K. 8.2 million people have been diagnosed with Anxiety. It is often accompanied by severe depression which can take an even greater toll on the body.
It’s not all doom and gloom… as there are many all natural solutions to anxiety that are much safer and far more holistic than traditional medications. Diet is so often overlooked as the root cause of many health issues, mental health being especially overlooked.
How Anxiety and Stress works:
Anxiety is actually a natural part of the body. When the mind perceives a situation as potentially dangerous or is feeling overly stressed the flight / fight response is triggered. This can become an issue if someone gets into a cycle of triggering this response. Lack of sleep can lead create a fragile emotional state and the downward spiral begins.
Common triggers of anxiety include:
Poor diet (sugar, caffeine, alcohol).
Being female actually doubles your risk factor for suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Having a constantly anxious state of mind can do severe damage to the body.
Physical responses to anxiety include:
Tension throughout the body
Heightened blood pressure
Change in appetite (both more, and less).
Fighting back -> How to kick anxiety with ALL NATURAL solutions.
TIP #1 - Eat a clean and well balanced diet.
You are what you eat. And if you eat inflammatory foods all the time this is going to reflect not just on your body but also in your mind. Consuming too little food can trigger various physiological symptoms. While consuming too much can do the same, it can also lead to weight gain which in turn leads to poor body image and lack of confidence. All triggers for a potential downward spiral as mentioned above.
What you eat has shaped who you are since the moment you were born.
A balanced diet is one with healthy fats, slow burning carbohydrates and lean protein. It is also important to make sure you are getting all your essential vitamins and minerals; vitamin B, magnesium, calcium and omega 3 all being important in reducing anxiety and stress.
Here is a small list of some of the good foods that should make up the majority of your diet.
Avoiding inflammatory processed foods is key. It’s OK to snack on what you enjoy every now and again, (we all love and deserve the occasional treat) but it becomes an issue if snack food is what you eat to keep you sustained.
Legumes - Lentils / Pinto Beans / Red Beans / Black Beans / Snap Peas
Nuts are also great to eat as a high protein snack, as well as dips like hummus being made of whole foods. A glass of red wine in the evenings has been shown to have many health benefits and can help you to relax but moderation is key. It’s also important to note that everyone is different so see how you feel the next day.
And of course, we 100% recommend adding Turmeric to your diet. A double blind study was recently done in Australia and results showed that supplementation of Curcumin (the active compound in Turmeric) succeeded in reducing the overall symptoms of depression in all study participants.
AVOID EATING SUGAR WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Sugar is not only highly addictive but it’s high glycemic index contributes to anxiety and depression due to the large fluctuations of insulin playing havoc on your hormones.
TIP #2 - Get outdoors, get active and get more sleep.
Regular physical activity has so many health benefits it’s basically impossible to detail everything in here. But for the purposes of reducing stress and anxiety regular exercise will:
Improve sleep quality
Reduce inflammation throughout the body
Improve energy levels
Ease stress and tension throughout the body
If you are not someone who exercises regularly you don’t need to add anything intense to your routine. Simply going for a walk in nature is enough to combat stress and anxiety for the day.
We recommend a morning or afternoon walk (weather permitting), and practising something simple and calm like yoga once or twice a week. Exposing yourself to early morning daylight helps set your circadian body clock for the day meaning your much more likely to get a good night sleep as your body goes through a natural light to dark cycle.
If you are feeling more spirited the list of exercises becomes endless! You could change your nature walk into a nature jog or run, or try hiking if there are nice trails nearby. Dancing is also a very fun way of combating stress. And finally if it’s your type of thing, lifting weights does more than just make you stronger; it also reduces stress and aids in fat loss.
It is also important that you get enough rest
Lack of sleep can place strain on the parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional processing. When you operate on a lack of sleep and are faced with difficult or stressful situation you are far less likely to be able to manage and control your emotional state. This can contribute to anxiety and amplify depression symptoms.
For the average person, you should be aiming at 8 hours of sleep every night. During these 8 hours your body deals with stress by balancing your hormone levels. Getting a good night sleep can be the first step in turning a downward spiral into an upward one; leaving you feeling energised when waking and being able to face the day with a clear head and a controlled emotional state.
Tip #3 - Get social, with family or friends.
Humans are social creatures. Conversing with others, sharing experiences and bonding are all basic needs for us. So it’s no surprise that spending time in a positive environment with others helps overcome anxiety. Finding support from family, friends and community can be an extreme help.
Be aware though, that the opposite is also true. Spending too much time around toxic individuals can heighten stress and anxiety. Be sure to identify the people in your life that can act as a supporter and shield against stress and anxiety.
Further, if stress and anxiety are a problem in your life, there is no shame in seeking help from a medical professional such a therapist. Therapists are trained to uncover what lies at the base of anxiety and stress. And then work with you to help you change your thought patterns so that you can better approach situations day to day.
Finally, it is likely that there are community support groups in your area that are dedicated to helping with anxiety and stress. These groups often arrange shared experiences and natural remedies that everyone can participate in together. It is also helpful to share and work through states of mind or situations with the support of a like-minded group.
Summing Everything Up:
Anxiety effects more than 8 million people in the UK today. You are not alone if you’re feeling anxious or depressed and there is always someone to turn to.
Make sure you are eating plenty of clean foods and getting the correct vitamins and minerals in your diet. You are the person you are today because of what you eat.
Exercise daily, either with morning walks and something light like yoga, or with more intensity such as jogging or resistance exercise like Pilates or weight lifting.
Call on the support of your family, friends and community. And if you do feel overwhelmed there is no shame in seeking the help of a trained therapist.