As a holistic doctor, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are the two main treatments I use to help my patients struggling with anxiety, with great success. To enhance my patients' results, I always recommend home care, because sometimes the things we do on a daily basis can actually be one of the root causes of anxiety. In this blog, I will share with you my top 4 tips I recommend to my patients to help them significantly reduce their anxiety naturally!
Tip #1: Meditate Daily.
Meditation is a great way to start and/or end a stressful day.
Scientific evidence proves that meditation reduces stress and anxiety, alleviates depression, improves self-awareness, lengthens attention span, improves mental clarity, reduces memory loss, increases positive feelings, increases self-control, helps to fight addictions, improves sleep, controls pain, and decreases blood pressure!
Meditation doesn’t have to be just sitting there with your eyes closed. It can be anything that is meditative to you, such as painting, dancing, yoga, playing an instrument, singing, or listening to your favorite music.
Many of my patients love to meditate while they are getting acupuncture because they are already in a calm and relaxed state without outside distractions, so it is a perfect time!
If you are new to meditation or are having trouble meditating, I suggest starting with a guided meditation like this one.
Tip #2: Exercise Regularly.
When your anxiety is high, you may not feel like exercising, but exercise is actually exactly what you need!
Exercise is a wonderful way to to lower your cortisol levels (your body’s major stress hormone), improve your brain chemistry to activate neurotransmitters that elevate your mood, release endorphins (your body’s feel-good chemicals) and enhance your body’s natural cannabinoids (cannabis-like brain chemicals)!
Exercise is also a perfect way to distract you from stressful or negative thoughts, give you more confidence, and help you cope with your anxiety in a healthy way. Simply find a type of exercise you enjoy, and be consistent. If you are lacking motivation, I highly recommend hiring a personal trainer to keep you accountable. You can also work out with a friend or family member for additional support.
Tip #3: Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol & Nicotine
Sorry, I know this is the worst news you can get, but let me explain...
Caffeine stimulates your body's "fight or flight" response, making you feel "on edge" and jittery. It also accelerates your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, increases your stress hormone (cortisol), and can even trigger an anxiety attack. Replace your Starbucks with decaffeinated green tea, herbal tea, or caffeine-free herbal coffee for a great anxiety-friendly alternative.
While alcohol might temporarily improve your anxiety, once it wears off, it can actually make anxiety worse. Stick to a maximum of one glass (not bottle) of red wine per day, or trade your alcohol for kombucha or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Smoking a cigarette may seem tempting in a stressful situation, but the nicotine in cigarettes is actually a stimulant that ultimately makes your anxiety worse. Try these aromatherapy vapes as a healthy, stress-relieving alternative.
Tip #4: Eat an Anti-Anxiety Diet.
Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, food dyes, preservatives, gluten, and artificial sweeteners can all worsen anxiety. All of these trigger inflammation in the body, which negatively affects the gut. Often referred to as our "second brain", your gut (which contains its own nervous system) produces 95% of your body's serotonin - the neurotransmitter that regulates your mood, behavior, memory and sleep.
So, what is an anti-anxiety diet? An anti-anxiety diet is composed of foods that are brain-gut microbiome-friendly organic whole foods packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Anti-anxiety foods contain great sources of probiotics, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and folate (common deficiencies seen in people suffering with anxiety).
Food and nutrition are HUGE passions of mine, and I want to share much more about this topic with you, so I am including my FREE eBook "The Anti-Anxiety Diet" below so you can learn pricisely which foods to eat to help improve your anxiety. I hope you try these tips and start to experience a calmer, more peaceful version of yourself! Click the link below to download your FREE ebook!