How to reduce the unnecessary and preventable feeling of anxiety
"Anxieta" - trouble in mind about some uncertain event
"Anxo" - to squeeze, to strangle or to press tight
Anxiety loudly alerts us that something is out of balance!
In our bodies - biochemistry, in our mind - ways of thinking and in our life - relationships, job-related worries, or a general sense of existential (lack of) meaning!
Silent epidemic of anxiety is on the rise! 19% of people experience some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it is estimated that one in three people will experience anxiety at some point in their life.
Nervousness, tension, unease or constant worry, restlessness, irritability, trouble concentrating, mood swings, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and sleep issues. But the real epidemic of anxiety is reflected in 70% of us who feel overwhelmed by the negative effect of life-related stress. A lot of the time, anxiety is not caused by psychological problems!
Our modern lifestyle adds unnecessary and preventable sources of stress that might lead to anxiety.This form of anxiety, aka “false” anxiety, is entirely avoidable!
The source of false anxiety is our body, not our mind!
When we upset our body's natural balance through an unhealthy diet, disrupted sleep, or a busy lifestyle, our body tries to restore that balance by activating our immune system. This mobilization triggers the stress response - activating particular circuits, hormones, and chemical messengers in the brain – neurotransmitters – leaving us anxious. Since our brain is a meaning-making machine, it must find an explanation to justify a stress response in our body. Therefore, many unpleasant feelings and scary thoughts that we refer to as anxiety are just the brain's interpretation of a stress response.
By changing our lifestyle, we can reduce false anxiety - including stress response and gut-related systemic inflammation and be able to focus on deeper anxiety, if there is any left.
Nutrition and supplementation a). Reduce drug-like food b). Reduce alcohol c). Micronutrient deficiency
Behaviour a). Sleep b). Physical activity c). Meditation d). Breathing e). Cold exposure
Nutrition and supplementation
Lack of healthy balance between helpful and harmful bacteria in our gut is one of the strongest reasons for the epidemic of false anxiety. The gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which produce hormones and communicate with the central nervous system through the gut-brain axis, which plays a critical role in digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system function, and mood regulation. Food is not just a source of energy - it is a chemical message triggering the process inside of our body.
For nerds: Microbiome & Anxiety
Navigating the world of healthy nutrition can be overwhelming. However, experts agreed on some rules to follow that that will keep false anxiety at bay.
Reduce drug-like food: Sugar & Processed Food
Most people suffering from false anxiety are “addicted” to drug-like food: sugar or processed food.
It is highly excitatory to our brain, and it creates a sugar rollercoaster. Eating a lot of sugar can provoke anxiety due to fluctuations in blood glucose levels. By choosing a diet that keeps the sugar level relatively stable, we can avoid the drop in glucose and the domino effect of hormones that make us irritable, stressed, and anxious.
For nerds: Sugar rollercoaster
It is designed to exploit the reward circuitry in our brain, literally making us want it more.
Additionally, they are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
Alcohol Reflect, Reconsider, and Reduce
Many of us have been led to believe that alcohol can help us deal with anxiety, cope with difficult situations or provide an escape from reality.
We may believe that we need alcohol to help us relax, but in reality, it only exacerbates our anxiety, leaving us trapped and unable to break free from the cycle. The truth is alcohol impacts GABA – the neurotransmitter that promotes a sense of calmness, worsening the situation in the long run. Although alcohol has inhibitory properties – it acts on GABA receptors making us feel easygoing and relaxed; our body was not designed to make us feel relaxed but survive. When we “calm ourselves” with alcohol, we must be aware that our body starts bringing homeostasis back by reabsorbing GABA and transferring it into a chemical messenger – glutamate that has the opposite function. It makes us feel more anxious.
Overfed yet malnourished
Despite having access to healthy and nutritious food, our modern lifestyle often leads to being overfed but malnourished.
Consuming foods high in specific micronutrients like tryptophan, vitamins D, B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, phenylalanine, tyrosine, fatty acids,and many othersare critical to promoting good mental health and reducing anxiety. Additionally, herbs and substances obtained from plants can calm the body and the mind. Yet, their complex action mechanism might not be suitable or safe for everybody and requires nutritional advisory. Moreover, by making several minor adjustments to your diet, you can significantly support a healthy gut. Like eating more fermented, fiber-rich food, a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods, and anti-inflammatory spices (e.g., turmeric). And avoiding highly processed food (count chemicals rather than calories), man-made fats, artificial sweeteners, added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and anything with colouring or preservatives. The impact of food on our physical and mental health cannot be overstated. However, it's not just about what we eat, but also how we eat.
By working with a qualified nutritionist, you can receive personalized guidance to make sure that your diet doesn't negatively affect your mood, causing feelings of anxiety or depression