Recently, Cindy, a friend of mine, confided that just the thought of a job interview makes her palms sweat. So when Cindy’s prospective employer scheduled a job interview over lunch, my friend was left with both sweaty palms and an upset stomach.
Excessive perspiration and a lack of appetite, are two very familiar and uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety. Recently, Cindy, a friend of mine, confided that just the thought of a job interview makes her palms sweat. So when Cindy’s prospective employer scheduled a job interview over lunch, my friend was left with both sweaty palms and an upset stomach.Excessive perspiration and a lack of appetite, are two very familiar and uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety.Fortunately, Cindy contacted me before her interview and asked if I knew of any herbal supplements for anxiety. I did. Armed with my t recommendation, Cindy aced her interview and got the job. One recent study demonstrated that supplements containing extracts of Kava-Kava and passionflower can effectively treat anxiety and its related conditions without the risk of serious side effects.
Here are two of the best supplements for anxiety:
Neurosed II – a soothing combination of vitamins and botanicals that delivers safe and effective relief for anxiety
L-theanine – An amino acid found in green tea. Historically, green tea has been used for promoting relaxation without drowsiness.
Occasionally we all suffer from anxiety. In most cases, it is a natural human response to a stressful situation. While healthy levels can be beneficial, unhealthy levels can harm our bodies. According to the US National Institute for Mental Health, 40 million people over the age of eighteen suffer from an anxiety disorder.
These disorders include:
- Panic Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
In the case of a panic attack, the swift escalation of symptoms can mimic a heart attack. In turn this can lead to frightened calls to physicians and expensive emergency room visits.
Generalized anxiety can also result in physical symptoms such as:
- Increased blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Racing pulse
- Jaw pain (usually from chronic tightening or clenching of the jaw muscles),
- Joint pain (often from unconscious flexing of muscles)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Gastrointestinal upset, e.g. constipation, diarrhea, or nausea/vomiting
- Repetitive, obsessive thoughts
If you find yourself dealing with frequent episodes, you should consult your doctor to rule out a physical ailment. In some cases there may be an underlying health problem, such as a heart arrhythmia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), causing the symptoms. Because of hormonal fluctuations, many premenopausal woman also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
Natural anxiety relievers
Exercise is a natural stress relief treatment that is 100% free and readily available. When you exercise, your brain is better able to regulate important neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters have a profound effect upon mood stability. Exercise also increases the level of the neurotransmitter galanin, which regulates and lessens your body’s stress response. Besides its other benefits, exercise can also be the least expensive form of treatment you’ll ever find!
Nutrition and anxiety management
If you’re unable to discover the cause of your problem, you might try dietary changes.
Caffeine can cause increased heart rate, shakiness, and lead to difficulty concentrating. People prone to these symptoms might benefit from limiting the amount of caffeine in their daily diet.
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is another culprit. It is added to many foods as a flavor enhancer. Within the body it acts as a toxin which overexcites cells. It can cause panic attacks and anxiety, along with anger and agitation.
Chinese restaurants use MSG frequently, so most Chinese food should be considered suspect unless the establishment states clearly that no MSG is used. Monosodium glutamate is also added to many processed foods such as frozen pizzas, soups, processed meats, salad dressings, and many, many more. Even when checking labels it is still difficult to avoid this damaging ingredient, as food labels are misleading. If you find the words autolyzed yeast or hydrolyzed protein, then the product contains MSG.
On the upside, good nutrition can improve brain function and ease some of the symptoms of anxiety. A diet rich in Omega 3s has been linked to healthy brain function. Dietary and supplemental sources of Omega 3s include flax seeds, krill oil, salmon or fish oil, walnuts, and basil.
Vitamin D is also an important nutrient for mental health. Human genes contain Vitamin D receptors, and low Vitamin D levels can lead to a number of health problems such as sleep apnea, insomnia, diabetes and more.
Our bodies produce Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. We also get Vitamin D by eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, beef liver and D fortified milk. However even with sun exposure and ideal eating habits, it still can be difficult to get enough of this essential nutrient. Taking a professional grade Vitamin D supplement can ensure optimum levels.
Keep a kit handy
If you’re prone to panic attacks, you might find it helpful to have a stress-relieving first aid kit on hand. Since these attacks often come without warning, keeping your “first aid” kit nearby can be useful.
Add a small bottle of lavender oil to your kit. For optimal results buy a steam distilled lavender oil such as this one. At the first signs of an attack, apply a drop of the oil to the palms of your hand. Rub your hands together, then cups your hands over your face and breathe deeply.
If possible, add a drop of the oil to the bottom of your feet. Since there are more pores per square inch on the bottom of your feet than anywhere else on your body, you will absorb the oil very quickly if applied this way. You should feel a lessening of the panic within minutes.
Besides the ingredients in your physical kit, gather a set of skills and practices that can help you through the attack. Repeat a calming chant or mantra. Breathing exercises are also useful. If you begin to hyperventilate, breathing into a paper bag can help regulate the oxygen levels in your brain and help clear your head.
Another item in your “first aid kit” should be the phone numbers of trusted friends, family members, a counselor, or a doctor you can call to help you through the attack. Keep these numbers in your mobile phone, wallet, or by your bed so they are readily available.
Most importantly know you aren’t alone. Remember that more than 40 million Americans face this challenging condition. But now you have the information to make a change.
Choose one or more of the recommended ideas and get started. Then, take a deep breathe and smile. You can take charge of your anxiety.