Anxiety is a really common concern that many of my patients seek help to deal with. There are so many different options to getting things back on track, and often we do need to incorporate more than one big thing.
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re feeling great and to help decrease any anxiety you may be struggling with on a daily basis. These are things you can incorporate on your own and give a try before you seek further help.
Top 5 tips for anxiety
1. Practice finding calmness BEFORE you’re anxious
This is a really important one. Figuring out how to calm yourself down once you’re already so overwhelmed can feel nearly impossible. What we have to do and work on, is having you practice calming yourself down, grounding into your safety zone and finding relaxation long before you’re in freak out mode. I so frequently recommend guided meditations to patients and encourage that they practice when they’re feeling pretty good to get into a groove with it. Check out my latest blog post here about how to dip one little toe into meditations. http://drshannonmorgenstern.com/guided-meditations-save-sanity/
2. Figure out your triggers and deal with them
There may be some really obvious things in your life that need dealing with. We can band-aid and practice meditation all day long, but if you’re in a miserable or unsafe relationship, absolutely despise your job or have other really obvious triggers, we need to get those sorted out. Our bigger goal is to always deal with the root cause of what the issue is, and sometimes these can be really big and scary things that we need to sort out. Ending relationships, finding new employment or whatever you may need to work on may mean HUGE life changes. If you need extra support around this, reach out and find friends, family members or professional help to deal with the transition and the upcoming days. Your health is the most important thing to me in this process, and if your health is being affected by x, y or z, we need to get those things dealt with ASAP.
3. Optimize everything else as best as you can
If you’re eating sugar all day long, not getting to bed until midnight or agreeing to add extra projects to your already mile-long to-do list, it’s time to take a step back and sort this all out. Sometimes we may do things that aren’t in our best interest to keep us going (ie the “this is the only thing keeping me alive right now”), but if we can optimize and negate bad habits, there may be fewer things we need to deal with in the long run. Set regular and reasonable bedtimes, don’t take on more projects or tasks than you KNOW you’re able to manage, and try your best to eat protein and fat rich regular meals to keep your energy levels up and mood stable. So often my anxiety patients will come in and say they’re only having coffee for breakfast or only have time for 5-6 hours of sleep per night. This is only going to make your anxiety worse! So many little things can add up and contribute to anxiety and we want to do our best to make sure as much as we’re able to manage is already taken care of before we tackle the bigger (or unknown) issues.
4. Supplements to consider
I have a few absolute favorite supplements to help support anxiety, but not everything is right for everyone. Make sure you check in with your doctor before adding anything to your routine to ensure there aren’t any drug interactions or allergies or that you’ll be making any current health conditions you have worse.
L-theanine is a component found in green tea and has been shown in studies to enhance relaxation, improve concentration and learning and even support the immune system. There are many combination supplements out there that contain L-theanine in it that are often really helpful to support mood and anxiety.
Magnesium glycinate is another absolute favorite of mine. Magnesium has been shown to be helpful in supporting mood, sleep, anxiety and even depression. The glycinate form of magnesium tends to be better absorbed into the body than magnesium linked to carbonate or oxide molecules and so you get more of the relaxation benefit per dose.
Chamomile tea is such an easy and delicious addition to any routine. I always find warm teas soothing and relaxing, and chamomile itself has been shown to be helpful with anxiety, depression and insomnia, too. It’s a type of herb known as a nervine, which is a medicine known to calm the nerves. In higher doses, we consider it to have sedating properties that are particularly helpful at bedtime.
There are actually a TON of other supplements that I often use to support mood, stress levels and anxiety so make sure you check in if what you’ve been trying so far hasn’t been helpful.
5. Come and see an ND for support
Once the basics are taken care of, if you find yourself still struggling, definitely consider coming to see a Naturopathic Doctor. We deal with anxiety, stress and overwhelm, along with all of the associated symptoms on a daily basis, and have some really good tools to help support you and get things back on track and feeling way better.
Dr. Shannon Morgenstern is a Naturopathic Doctor, educator and guide, who helps patients to find more balance, rejuvenate from the inside out and reach a state of health and happiness. Her mission is helping patients like you to go from living a stressful life of mediocrity to living a life of calm and inspired thriving. She often works with patients who are stressed out beyond belief, struggling to function and who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Dr. Morgenstern is able to provide the support and motivation to have you go from feeling bored and discontented with life, to feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. She practices out of a beautiful clinic in Calgary Canada called Naturmend. Make sure you check out her website www.drshannonmorgenstern.com for up to date info and free tips!