Anxiety can be crippling and cause great discomfort. Thankfully there are countless natural products and lifestyle strategies that support calm and relaxation. This article will cover my favorite go-to items and lifestyle hacks for soothing anxiousness as well as my favorite products. This is not medical advice but rather a list of my favorites. Please talk with your provider before starting any new lifestyle or supplements.
Sleep – just consider a tired toddler, and it is so clear how much we need sleep to maintain balance. Having a regular sleep schedule may be just as important as the number of hours of sleep. Give this gift to yourself and support your immunity as well. Spend time outdoors – nature and green spaces increase parasympathetic activity (rest and digest). Nature has a way of slowing us down and getting us outside of ourselves and gives us a greater connection and sense of oneness with creation and humanity. Can you make this a regular habit during times of stress? Balance blood sugar – nothing causes anxiety like skipping meals and high sugar processed foods! If you’re consuming these foods, gradually back off them and include healthy fats and proteins with abundant greens to keep you feeling relaxed and calm. Green leaves– (lettuce, arugula, and etc.) are alkaline and reduce inflammation take down the burden of inflammation and acidity in our bodies. Less physical stress leads to less mental stress. Aim to have a large serving with at least two meals per day. Breath – take deep breaths or belly breathing to help focus, calm, and collect when thoughts, feelings or emotions lead, to overwhelm. Set aside time at the top of each hour or in between tasks to simply pause and breathe. Simple yet effective Hormone balance – if your a menstruating female and your hormones are out of balance due to estrogen dominance, PCOS, peri-menopause/menopause or luteal phase defects you’re less likely to have the calming protection of health progesterone levels. Talk with your doctor about supporting progesterone and get your levels checked. Sweat – amazing exercise will be a game-changer and support focus and increase feelings of strength and confidence. Startup gradually and do something you enjoy preferably outside! Get that tension out and move!
Theanine– an extract from green tea, the amino acid increase a sensation of calm and relaxation. Best taken away from meals. Effective and gentle calm support GABA – a neurochemical made by our own nervous system to support calm. This is a little strong and more direct-acting than theanine. I like the liposomal extracts. Kinder Calm – by Priority One – a chewable formula designed to support the body’s natural response to environmental stresses, great for sleep support.
Magnesium – threonate format crosses the blood-brain barrier and supports calm and sleep. Other forms are not strong. This could cause drowsiness. Citrate and Glycinate are other forms that I recommend for daily supplementation. Skullcap – This beautiful herb helps with focus and reducing the thoughts that just won’t stop. Also helpful for sleep. Chamomile and lavender tea- are wonderful for children and gentle enough to use regularly. You can even make these into popsicles or ice-cubes for the little ones. Ashwagandha – an herb that supports the endocrine system, especially adrenals and thyroid. Used for children and elderly this nourishing herb is a wonderful go-to keep you strong through periods of high stress.
Dr. BreAnna Guan is a Massachusetts based doctor & graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, who specializes & focuses on women’s and children’s health and health aging/prevention.Find out more here
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