If you have experienced or lived with anxiety, you are not alone. It is a normal reaction to stress. It can become severe and if it is prolonged, it may take a toll on physical and mental health. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 20% of the US population experiences anxiety, with 4% having severe symptoms. You may be able to manage anxiety naturally, however, you should start with talking to your health care provider.
Signs and symptoms of general anxiety
- Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling the worry
- Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
Healthy lifestyle choices may allow you to manage anxiety naturally. Taking any steps to reduce stress is a natural first step. Nutritional changes may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Consider trying these things:
- Remove food dye from your diet. You would be surprised where this is lurking. It has been demonstrated to be a neurotoxin (3).
- Remove caffeine from your diet. Do this slowly over the course of two weeks. It is a central nervous system stimulant that may be causing symptoms of anxiety (2).
- Cut back on media consumption of all types including web surfing, social media, television, and use of cell phones. Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative impact media consumption can have on mental health (1).
1. Bergin, J. E., & Kendler, K. S. (2012, August). Common Psychiatric Disorders and Caffeine Use, Tolerance, and Withdrawal: An Examination of Shared Genetic and Environmental Effects. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3443633/
2. Pantic, I. (2014, October 01). Online Social Networking and Mental Health. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/
3. Potera, C. (2010, October). DIET AND NUTRITION: The Artificial Food Dye Blues. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/