It’s no secret that 2020 has not been everyone’s favorite year. From dealing with the pandemic outbreak causing fear, financial loss, and sickness, we are also dealing with what seems to be a new wave of violence, hate, or sadness related events every other day. Any person taking an educated guess would assume that anxiety in our world is at an all-time high right now.
 

While anxiety is a normal fight or flight response to a lot of dangerous or fearful scenarios, any abnormal amounts of anxiety can lead to other health issues such as sleep deprivation, depression, muscle tension and headaches, loss of appetite and other digestive issues, and more. That is why it is important to take control of your anxiety and find healthy and natural ways to cope with it.

 

Exercise

Studies have shown that exercise can help decrease symptoms of anxiety. Exercise releases natural cannabis-like brain chemicals and other natural brain chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being. Regular exercise has beneficial effects on the levels of several neurotransmitters including serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins- which all affect anxiety.Pick an exercise that you enjoy and is something you can stick with!

 

Clean Eating

Focusing on consuming high-quality nutrients and vitamins and minerals in your diet have a big impact on your mental health as well. 95% of serotonin receptors are found within the lining of the gut, therefore the gut-brain axis is especially important. Eating healthy portioned meals that keep you fuller longer also help with stabilizing your blood sugar. Stock up on some herbal teas to calm and relax you and fill your fridge and belly with healthy options!

 

Journaling/ Meditating

Taking the time to journal or meditate helps your brain to slow down and take the time to

process your thoughts. Knowing where your anxiety is stemming from can help you rationalize some of your fears or confront them in a healthy way. We tend to let our anxiety get the best of us and lose rationalization within our thoughts. Journaling and meditation can lead our thoughts from anxious and stressful to action-oriented and empowered.

 

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps keep your cortisol level balances and when you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is a steroid hormone in the adrenal gland produced in response to stress. Having high cortisol levels can lead to higher stress which leads to weight gain, mood swings, digestive problems, and more. If you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night then take extra steps to accommodate those issues such as no sugar before bed, some nighttime tea to help you relax, reading before bed instead of watching tv, taking CBD which helps regulate your endocannabinoid system which helps regulate your sleep, and sleeping in a dark and cold room.

 

Limit Media Exposure

While it’s good to remain aware of the issues going on around you, if you are constantly putting your mind in a stressful state by hearing about all of the bad news going around its only going to make you that much more stressed. Take in the amount of information you need to be up-to-speed, but then allow your mind and attention to focus on other things so it is not always focused on the negative.

 

While these are just a few great tips to help manage your stress and anxiety, it is still worth doing your own research to find what is right for you. If your anxiety levels continue to spike then consult your doctor on other steps you can take.

 

Resources: 

 

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/9-ways-to-tame-anxiety-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

 

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/effects-on-body#1

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201810/how-exercise-reduces-anxiety

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Paluska+SA%2C+Schwenk+TL.+Physical+activity+and+mental+health

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/coping-with-anxiety/faq-20057987

 

https://nuvanna.com/how-can-sleep-reduce-stress/

 

https://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/high-cortisol-levels