It’s summer and people that I know are still battling some type of anxiety, whether it’s from travel stress, flying, the idea of the delta strain, or something stressful going on with your family. Whatever it is, there are some natural ways to conquer anxiety and boost mood.
First off, do not feel alone, millions of people are anxious over something. I’ll tell you one of my issues, it’s driving on big highways with other cars, and I assume that when they fly past me, they are texting. In fact, I assume pretty much everyone is distracted except for me and so I usually GPS the slower roads! I have been this way for years, and there’s no amount of lavender that helps me! But for other anxieties, there is help and today’s article will lend insight into some natural remedies.
Here are some symptoms of anxiety, which you may relate to, depending on the day, and the severity of your condition: Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, a feeling of impending doom, trembling or shaking, dry mouth, GI symptoms, and inability to think of anything else other than the perceived danger at hand. Some people also experience chronic anxiety that impacts their sleep and leads to insomnia. Furthermore, hypertension, gastric ulcers, and depression are also associated with prolonged anxiety.
Finding the root cause, or the root person that causes your anxiety is key to getting well, and for most people suffering from chronic anxiety, it may be time for a major lifestyle change or job transition, or perhaps a divorce so you can regain control of your life. For some simple anxiety-producing situations, natural remedies may offer you some degree of temporary peace of mind, or contentment. But if it is serious, you must see a qualified specialist.
My remedies and ideas are strictly for educational and entertainment purposes, so please run everything by your doctor. In no particular order:
Vitamin B1: Thiamine or B1 helps you produce and release serotonin and norepinephrine which reduce mental fatigue and improve physical energy. These are considered mood-boosting neurotransmitters. If you like to drink wine, you are sure to be deficient in this nutrient and therefore more prone to anxiety. Alcohol is a strong drug mugger of B1. [I have a graphic for this]
Vitamin B2: Riboflavin or B2 helps your adrenal glands which secrete DHEA and cortisol, and these hormones must remain in proper homeostasis in order for you to cope. If you’re coping abilities are kind of shot, I highly recommend the DUTCH test, which you can do at home.
Vitamin C: Without vitamin C, you can’t synthesize norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. The body needs vitamin C to keep your arteries and blood vessels elastic and bendy so they don’t crack or leak. Deficiencies of C correlate with heart disease and high cholesterol. As a side note, vitamin C is required for adequate collagen, which is a youth-promoting hormone. Beautiful skin begins with citrus fruits because they contain a lot of vitamin C! On that note, if you’re interested in beauty tips, you can click HERE to download an Ebook I wrote called “26 Cosmetic Secrets to Get Gorgeous Fast.”
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine or B6 helps you manufacture brain chemicals that are “happy” such as serotonin and others. At this point, you may be getting the sense that a high-quality B complex vitamin supplement would be useful. If you do take that, take it in the morning because it is energy-producing. In addition to the B’s, there are other minerals and herbs that could help you.
Folate: This is another B vitamin (B9) It raises dopamine. Folic acid is NOT the same as folate, please read this ARTICLE I wrote “Methylation & Your Telomeres.”
Folate is a naturally occurring B vitamin that is the biologically active form of folic acid. It’s the body-ready form. There is a prescription version of folate that is available called Deplin as well as the regular B vitamin at health food stores.
Probiotics: The friendly gut bugs help you activate thyroid hormone, which is a happy brain chemical, and a natural antidepressant in your body. For that matter, thyroid hormone has been proven in some studies to work better than classic prescribed antidepressants in some people!
If for some reason, you don’t want to take a thyroid supplement, you can try probiotics which convert a small percentage of inactive thyroid hormone to active. We know that a reduction in probiotics can indirectly cause profound anxiety and depression, through various different mechanisms including the thyroid connection.
Zinc: This mineral has a very calming effect on the body, perhaps it helps with the COMT gene that some people have and it is relaxing to most people.
Exercise: Few things work better than a run, or a trip to the gym. Physical activity is known to raise dopamine immediately.
Bath with Magnesium: Sometimes Epsom salts are useful and immediately relaxing because the magnesium is transdermally absorbed. Magnesium is known as one of the body’s relaxation chemicals. This mineral is powerful when it comes to mood enhancement, as it helps the body manufacture brain neurotransmitters. It works as a natural sedative and helps the brain calm down from stress and stimulation. Researchers have found that magnesium deficiency is associated with poor self-control, panic, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and agitation.
The L-threonate form of magnesium is thought to be the most brain-friendly of all the salts. Want to read more? Your Brain Loves Magnesium L-Threonate
Herbs: There are many herbs that can help you if you like herbal teas or herbal supplements. Among the best are chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, ashwagandha, catnip, and valerian. If you’d like to learn more about neurotransmitters and depression or anxiety, take a few minutes to read this article entitled, Ease Depression and Anxiety Now.
Let’s talk about medications for a moment. It’s always a shock to people to learn that some medications can agitate a person, for example, estrogen-containing pills, or even acid blockers due to the depletion or “drug mugging” of various nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
Conventional medical wisdom has programmed us to believe that sedatives and addictive medications are the answer to anxiety, but that’s not necessary for everyone. Just always know that research is evolving and balancing hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, neurotransmitters, and thyroid hormones are all crucial to your ultimate healing. While meds work for a short period of time, they may numb you also, and thus delay you from doing what you ultimately need to do. For the long haul, and the best outcome, I suggest you dig deep and determine the root cause of chronic anxiety and then address your hormone status with some good lab tests. In the meantime, if your situation is mild and intermittent, trying some of the nutrients above will be helpful.
Drug Muggers Linked to Mood Instability
Antacids sold over-the-counter like calcium carbonate
Acid blockers, including PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) like omeprazole
Antidepressants as the peaks and troughs occur with dosing
Breathing medications, such as fluticasone and others
Estrogen-containing medicines like menopause medications/oral contraceptives
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.