Anxiety has become the biggest mental health problem in the U.S., with almost 40 million adults suffering from stress-related disorders. While many people receive treatment for clinical anxiety disorders, others suffer from the uncertainty and stress caused by everyday activities.Regardless of the cause, simple lifestyle changes can reduce anxiety and help you lead a calmer, more productive life.
What Causes Anxiety?
Habits that contribute to anxiety include:
Low blood sugar
Excessive internet use
Lack of physical activity
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, Millennials are more aware of anxiety and other mental health issues than Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers. That’s the good news.The bad news is that Millennials are referred to as the “anxious” generation. Millennials have to deal with the constant bombardment of the internet and social media, getting gigs instead of full-time jobs with benefits, and other issues previous generations didn’t experience.
Baby Boomers have to worry about their health and living comfortably during retirement, while Gen-Xers are caught in the middle between Boomers and Millennials, with worries about work, raising children and saving for retirement.
Social Media, Texting and the Internet
People are now connected 24/7, and while that can be a good thing, it can also lead to sensory overload. There’s no way to ignore the necessity of using electronic devices for work, keeping in touch with family and friends, banking and rideshares. Monitor your cell phone and internet use to avoid burnout (and arguments with strangers on social media).
Discuss rules for after-work emails and texts. If your boss requires you to be “on-call” for work-related correspondence on weekends and weeknights, it will cause extra stress and eat away at your spare time with family and friends.
Dehydration and Stress
Avoid energy drinks, sugary caffeinated drinks like cola, and elaborate treats from Starbucks. Keep coffee consumption to a minimum, and drink regular coffee instead of fancy frappuccinos.
Water, herbal tea and an occasional glass of milk or fruit juice will keep you hydrated. Many fruits and veggies, such as watermelon, grapes and celery, have lots of water content to keep you hydrated.
Abstain from alcohol or keep your consumption to a minimum. Alcohol may relax you at first, but eventually leaves you depressed and more anxious.
Drinking too much alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in your brain, especially mood-boosting serotonin. The temporary spark you get from alcohol is due to the rise in your blood-alcohol content (BAC). After the initial excitement, your BAC falls and you’ll become depressed and fatigued.
A glass of wine with dinner is fine, but don’t overdo it. Too much alcohol can cause depression, anxiety and even liver damage in the long run.
Nutrition and Anxiety
Sugar, greasy foods, salt and processed foods increase anxiety symptoms. Sugar is especially problematic. Your body releases insulin to absorb excess glucose when you eat too many sweets. Despite this, it will take a long time for your blood sugar levels to get back to normal. You may feel nervous, irritable and tired after eating too much sugar.
If you’re prone to anxiety, you should also limit your intake of cured or fermented meats and cheeses. During the curing/fermenting process, the neurotransmitter histamine is created as food proteins break down. Histamine may cause anxiety or sleeplessness in certain individuals.
Plan your meals and snacks around nutritious, whole foods that help balance your emotions. These foods include:
A Swiss study indicated that men who ate dark chocolate had a lower level of stress hormones in their bloodstream than the placebo group. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavanols, which help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
Almonds provide magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids to relax you when you feel tense. Snack on almonds instead of drinking an alcoholic beverage to unwind.
The monounsaturated fats in creamy avocados contain acetylcholine, a brain and memory-boosting chemical. Avocados also contain B-vitamins to calm your nerves, and lots of magnesium and potassium.
Fish have lots of protein, Vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids protect you against, depression, anxiety and memory loss.
Wheatgrass and Cognitive Function
Wheatgrass, along with a healthy diet, improves your cognitive function and focus. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish and organically raised poultry and beef to stay calm. As long as you eat the right mix of nutrients daily, you’ll stay more focused.
You’ll also benefit from taking a wheatgrass supplement. Wheatgrass is often called a superfood because it contains hundreds of nutrients your body needs. Many of these nutrients are known for their anxiety-fighting qualities.
Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, the green pigment that makes plants green - and chlorophyll has an abundance of magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to reduce anxiety, according to research conducted at the University of Leeds. Mild magnesium supplementation may reduce mild anxiety, the study concludes.
Vitamin B12 and other B-Complex vitamins contribute to a better mood and give you more energy. Wheatgrass contains B12 and the other B-complex vitamins – Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin) and Vitamin B9 (folic acid).
Zinc, which is found in beef, lamb and pork as well as wheatgrass, has also been shown to be important in anxiety prevention. A Japanese study found zinc-deprived rats developed symptoms of anxiety.
Reduce Anxiety with Wheatgrass
A wheatgrass supplement pill is much easier to include in your daily regimen than powders or juices. Happy Girl Mood Enhancing Supplement, from Wheatgrass Love, has magnesium, zinc, B-complex vitamins and other nutrients to boost your mood and keep you focused. The amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in wheatgrass work together to improve your overall well-being.
Happy Girl also has a proprietary blend that includes natural antidepressants like cayenne pepper, green tea extract, gingko biloba, goldenseal, and gotu-kola. This blend of mood-balancing herbs enhances the nutrients in wheatgrass to give you the calm demeanor you need to meet life’s challenges.