Anxiety is still one of the more under the radar health conditions plaguing the United States in 2020. According to the national institute of mental health, depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States and as of 2017, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States reported having one major depressive episode. Now there’s multiple ways to identify depressive episodes but at the root cause, we have anxiety which leads down the rabbit hole of depression.
I’m always one to suggest a natural approach to any goal or condition first and foremost. There are many alternative therapies to anxiety medication that can not only help you feel better but also improve your fitness and wellness.
Believe it or not, sleep is the number one natural alternative therapy to anxiety medication that I can suggest. They seem to go hand in hand, if you are worried about something then you aren’t going to sleep efficiently. If you can’t sleep efficiently you’re going to be up late. Lack of sleep leads to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Sleep deprivation also leads to near diabetic blood sugar levels after just a few nights. This will increase weight gain. Increased weight gain is going to do what? Make you feel worse about yourself.
Tips for establishing and achieving a restful nights sleep.
-Develop a night time routine such as eliminating all technology and social media at least an hour before bed.
-Cover every light source in your bedroom
-Sleep in a room between 65-69 degrees as this adequately lowers core temperature.
-Do not consume any liquids 2 hours prior to going to bed as to avoid waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Granted this entire website is dedicated to helping you make more informed nutrition choices but generally speaking better nutrition is the top alternative therapy to anxiety medication.
A few nutrition suggestions that you can implement immediately are
-Remove sugar from your diet. Aim to only consume natural sugars from fruits and quality carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice. While this is ideal, you don’t have to nail your nutrition 90% of the time. I want you to make an effort to buy more whole foods.
-Limit caffeine intake. Start with limiting the intake to the early part of your day, Caffeine increases your heart rate which can increase your anxiety level. If you find that limiting your caffeine intake still doesn’t do the trick and you still have anxiety then switch to green tea.
Green tea is high in the amino acid theanine which increases relaxation.
-Protein with every meal. Protein not only increases lean muscle growth but it also satiates you. It keeps you fuller for longer.
Nutritional supplements can help your body deal with stress and the cascade of hormones that come with it. As mentioned above, l theanine is a fantastic nutrient to start with.
I also recommend rhodiola. An adaptation, a class of herbs which help the body to handle stress, Rhodiola is often used with athletes to deal with over training symptoms,
Ashwagandha. Another adaptation that can help lower the stress hormone cortisol. Any time our heart rate increases, we see a rise in cortisol. As cortisol increases our anxiety increases. Ashwagandha may be helpful in this case.
I formulated Adrenal Support to include this nutrients and help your body manage stress.
There are many alternative therapies to anxiety medication. Once you start on the natural path be sure to focus on it day by day, small improvements each day. Start with your food and go from there.