It isn’t disrespectful to the complexity of existence to point out that despair is, often, just low blood sugar and exhaustion.” – Alain de Botton
Don’t get me wrong, I love doctors. I am so grateful that we have someone who has taken the time to do everything that they do. That person could never be me. But, also, they could never do my job. A job is a job. It’s all relative, isn’t it? We all get bored and lazy in our jobs. I understand that. What I don’t understand is why prescription drugs are always (exaggeration) the answer from doctors. I don’t want a bandaid that comes with side effects. I want you to figure out the problem. I want you to ask questions and actually listen. I don’t want to be talked down to. I know not all doctors are like this. Fortunately, I only had to go through a few before I found mine. She is up to date in her research and always willing to listen and learn more (even if it is from measly ole’ me). And because of this I have found out that, even though I try to take my vitamins, eat right, and exercise, it’s still not enough. I tested positive for several food sensitivities (and leaky gut), on top of a genetic mutation. I’ll get in to those issues in another post. Needless to say, they affect how my body absorbs what is put in it. This even includes environmental toxins. If my doctor didn’t do extensive testing (I had 13 viles of blood drawn), nothing would have been discovered. Most doctors would then start prescribing pharms. However, I was prescribed vitamins…and a healthy diet. I feel better, despite the fact that I sabotage myself by keeping late hours and not eating enough.
Recently, I came across a few articles that truly spoke to me. Kinda like when you’re in church and the preacher is speaking specifically to you. It was an eye opener, like they always are. I’m sure many of you guys are just like me…so, I’ve decided to do a quick summary of them for you! Your welcome :). Here goes:
5 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
- Maintain a stable blood sugar level. Our bodies are on constant roller coaster with the way most of us eat these days. We consume high amounts of carbs and sugars for every meal. Our blood sugar spikes and then drops, leaving us feeling miserable and anxious. Do you know the recommended daily sugar intake? You can’t look on a product to find it. Sneaky, huh? Its 9 teaspoons for men, 6 teaspoons for women and 3 for children. Do you know how many grams of sugar are in a soda? 10. Hopefully that puts things in prospective. There’s no need to worry too much about the sugars in fruits and vegetables. I sometimes eat my weight in them. Don’t judge. You should do the same to satisfy your sweet tooth. Processed foods are full of added sugars, so be sure to steer clear of them. Also, add healthy proteins and fats to your meals. This will help you stay full longer and stabilize your levels. Don’t be stupid and skip meals. Sorry I used the “s” word. I can skip meals and they leave me feeling awful, and then I’m famished and fill up on crap. Does that sound familiar? I have the hardest time eating in the mornings. There are so many things that we have to do that we usually forget about it. I have recently begun starting my day with a spoonful of coconut oil. It helps balance me out until I make it to breakfast. Try this tip any time throughout that day. And don’t be scared that it’ll make you put on pounds. It actually does the opposite. Just be sure to always have a snack on hand.
- Go caffeine free. Yes, those words just came out of my mouth. I have been a Starbucks Gold Member for years! I probably wouldn’t have given it up had I not been sensitive to caffeine. True story. We should all recognize caffeine as a stressor, though. I’m sure it makes our lives so much better, but on the days when we have a scare while on caffeine and our anxiety attack sets in, we realize life isn’t much better; that’s the day we will quit caffeine. If you are suffering from anxiety you might as well try to go caffeine free. You don’t have to go cold turkey. Ease in to it baby. It’ll be ok. You’ll love green tea in no time. Some of my favorite teas are rooibos, dandelion and pu-erh.
- Sleep! Makes sense, right? But so many of us skimp out on this. The scary thing is this one goes hand in hand with the previous triggers. Both caffeine and an unstable blood sugar level interfere with sleep and anxiety. The best thing you can do is make a promise to turn down the lights and electronic devices at night. Slow your body down. This will prep your hormones for sleep.
- Heal your gut. The gut is the second brain in the body. If there is something wrong with your gut then there is something wrong with you. An imbalance in your gut can cause mood, anxiety and memory issues. It’s very important to incorporate some sort of probiotic and/or fermented foods into your diet. These help balance the flora in the gut and heal it. I also add glutamine and collagen to my diet to help soothe my leaky gut. If you do suspect a leaky gut, be sure to avoid processed and artificial sugars, alcohol, gluten, and industrial vegetables oils. Prescriptions can do a number on your gut lining, as well as antacids. Our gut can be affected by lack of sleep and stress. Do therapeutic things to help counteract this. Try yoga, meditation or acupuncture. Go for a walk. Just get moving.
- Make sure you are getting enough magnesium. Magnesium is one of my favorite supplements. I take two every night before I go to bed. I believe it helps me rest at night. It’s way better then taking a hormone (such as melatonin) or something over the counter to help you sleep. And for an added bonus it also helps our digestive system! You shouldn’t need your antacids if you add magnesium to your supplements. And, of course, it’s helps with anxiety and depression. Magnesium is pretty much a power house for our bodies. I would highly suggest you reading a little more in to it. Another great way to get magnesium is with my yummy date paste.
The other article that I came across talked about The Q.U.O.T.E. System. It is a series of exercises, both mentally and physically, to help you deal with every day stress and anxiety. Aren’t acronyms wonderful?
- Quiet I can never manage to get enough of this is my life. It doesn’t help that I have a little one. What I try to do is utilize ever moment of silence I can get. Sometimes that’s when I’m nursing Dean to sleep. Other times might be a silent car ride while I pick Xander up from school (and Dean just so happens to be asleep). These moments give me peace. Sometimes (
all the time) I can be so wrapped up in everything I need to do that I don’t take these moments. That’s when we need to realize that our health is way more important than listening to that podcast on the road (or whatever it may be that distracts you). We really do need more time for ourselves. My best friend is great at “mindful meditation“. Releasing all of the thoughts that have been stored up in your brain is very relieving. I sometimes wish I had a pen and paper around. Stop it. If you do have time to do a proper meditation, I would suggest sitting in a quiet room in a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths for 5-10 minutes. Now, that’s your restart button! Just let your mind flow…
- Understand That’s right. We need to understand why we feel this way. What is on your mind? What’s going on at home or work? Are you eating right and exercising? I tend to create my own anxiety and stress. I don’t take the time to eat because I’m so busy. I don’t take my vitamins or drink enough water. I stay up too late and wake up too early, because I’m so busy. And then, there is the work and home stress. What am I doing to myself? Ha, and I ask myself “What’s the matter, Ashley?” Sounds like I need to change a few things, huh? How about you? Let me tell ya, our happiness reflects on other people. If we are causing this stress in our life by being neglectful, then shame on us (me). I know I take it out on my family (sorry sweet family). So, let’s work on ourselves before we try to fix other people :).
- Ommmm… Yes they did. And you know what it means. Yoga. It’s not just for girls. The past several years I have been in to Bikram Yoga. It just worked for me. I felt amazing. My body felt detoxified (due to the high intensity and 100f room). I sweat more in a 90 minute class of Bikram then I have in my entire life. And I loved it!! Choose a form of yoga that works for you (even if that means doing a few moves in your living room). Yoga is a great way to calm the mind and breath while you are stretching and lengthening your body. More flexible muscles means stronger muscles
men. This is the claim I make to my 10 year old son when I drag him to Bikram.
- Talk We rarely do this anymore. People don’t talk no mo’, all we do is text, all we do is text… Ok, sorry about that. I randomly sing in conversations. I should have a disclaimer about that too. But, seriously. It really, really, really helps to have someone to talk to. It doesn’t have to be friends and family. It doesn’t even have to be a counselor. Maybe you prefer to journal. This seems to help me. You think you don’t have anything to say and then you can’t keep up with your thoughts! And, yes, it’s relieving too. Just have some way of getting your thoughts out. If you keep these things on the inside they build walls. I learned that in church:) Release this burden. You will feel so much lighter!
- Exercise I’ve been slacking on going to my yoga classes since the birth of my youngest son. I can tell a huge difference in myself, both mentally and physically. Exercise is a drug to me, and to you. It releases endorphins that are similar to street drugs, for goodness sake. And it can be free! I feel so much better about myself and I eat better when I’m on an exercise routine. My mind seems to clearer. Our bodies actually produce chemicals when we exercise that help prevent degeneration of the brain. I sleep better and, therefore, have more energy! The good thing to know is that any form of exercise helps. When I don’t have a routine, I will still try to go on several walks throughout the week. It’s amazing what fresh air will do for you. Stop making excuses.
I really hope this has helped you as much as it has helped me. I am taking much needed naps during the day and getting to bed at a regular hour. Meals are a priority now. I get out and have a breath of fresh air with the family. All of these things have boosted my energy and self-esteem. If I do get a bit anxious, I am able to keep it in check. If there are any questions or concerns you have, or if you just need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to me. The number one reason for me blogging is that I am able to share and help and give back to you guys.
Are there any natural remedies that work for you?