Simple Solutions For Overcoming Anxiety

Simple Solutions For Overcoming Anxiety by John Gray

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to a potential threat, which puts your body into a heightened state of arousal to keep you out of harm’s way. Doctors typically diagnose patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder if they suffer from symptoms of anxiety (constant worry, insomnia, difficulty concentration and more) for more than six months. But ALL of us have experienced anxiety at some point in our lives.

Anxiety causes your heart to beat faster and makes you more alert and prepared for action. Anxiety can be helpful in some situations. The problem arises when anxiety becomes a more permanent state, without any real threats. When anxiety becomes chronic, it can increase your risk for a number of mental and physical health problems and speed up aging.

A study in the Netherlands revealed that people with untreated anxiety disorders, like panic disorder, social disorder and agoraphobia, had shorter telomeres (the DNA at the end of chromosomes). Telomeres naturally get shorter with age, however people with chronic anxiety were found to have three to five years more cellular aging than those without anxiety disorders. 

40 million Americans suffer from chronic anxiety. If you’re an anxious person, you’ve probably been told not to worry so much -- to “stop overthinking things” and “just relax.” By now, you’ve perhaps given up on trying to feel better and resigned yourself to the idea that there’s just something wrong with you. If you find you spend a good deal of time feeling anxious, then it’s important to take steps to reduce that anxiety before it has a chance to damage your health.

John Gray Suffered from Anxiety

Many people are surprised to hear that I used to suffer from anxiety when I spoke in front of crowds. My biggest moment of anxiety came when I was 19 and I was giving a lecture on "reaching your full potential."

As I began to talk, I became overwhelmed with nervous energy, shortness of breath and my knees started to shake. After about a minute, I passed out. Everyone thought I had died. Here I was trying to teach a room full of people how they could reach their full potential in life and I was unable to reach my own.

So how did I get past my anxiety and of speaking in front of crowds? I took a holistic approach, a did a little work on my mind, a little work on my behavior and a little work on my body through nutrition and exercise. I also added in some prayer and spirituality which allowed the positive energy to flow through me and ultimately help me "reach my full potential".

Two Things That Will Help Now

1.  Make a plan

A large part of anxiety is feeling uncertain about an outcome or the future. Some people have a strong fear of failure, so they stay in contemplation mode. Others tend to consider many ideas without ever trying any of them, so they are constantly researching projects.

Identify the worst thing, the best thing and the most realistic thing that could happen - in that order. This can help you acknowledge the opportunities and the risks, so you feel safer when making a move. Another trick is to make an action plan if the worst-case scenario came true. If you have a plan, then you are more likely to believe you can handle adversity when it strikes, which can be calming.

2. Make a list

Replaying all of your past mistakes in your mind is called ruminating. This can create a bad cycle of anxiety and depression.

A good way to escape the cycle is to come up with concrete steps for moving forward.  Making a list shifts your mind into a more productive mode. Write down three possible actions you can take now to better define your options and help you determine the right outcome. 

Anxiety Drugs

About 1 out of 3 people with anxiety disorders receive treatment, and the majority of that “treatment” is prescription drugs. Anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan, Xanax, and Valium are benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines relax you by boosting the neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain.

Benzodiazepines are a poor solution and come with many serious risks, including memory loss and addiction. People who take these drugs are nearly four times more likely to die prematurely than people who don't, and also have a 35 percent greater risk of cancer.

Anti-anxiety medications can be very difficult to quit. The initial withdrawl period can last for a month and includes sudden panic attacks, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, seizures and extreme muscular pain.

Fortunately there are more natural alternatives to prescription drugs that will reduce anxiety.   

My Natural Solutions For Reducing Anxiety

Part of my approach for overcoming anxiety was to develop guided visualizations and meditations that would put my mind at rest and prepare myself for what I was about to do, whether that be a big talk, TV interview or simply walking around a new, crowded city. I have been doing these visualizations for 40 years and I attribute much of my success to them. 

Besides the guided visualizations, I also made sure I got more sleep each night and exercised 3-5 days each week. Exercising creates new GABA-producing neurons that help to induce a state of calm. Exercise also boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which help buffer the effects of stress.

John Gray also changed my diet. I reduced the amount of sugar I ate. There are coutnless studies linking a high sugar diet to poor mental health. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to panic attacks, depression, anger, and anxiety. 

My Wellness Solution is the foundation for a healthy brain and body.

Lithium Orotate

Lithium orotate has a calming, balancing and protective effect on the brain and the entire nervous system. Your brain requires lithium to make brain chemicals, particularly the calming serotonin. Anyone who is suffering from anxiety may benefit from a natural lithium supplement such as lithium orotate. The lithium used by medical doctors for bipolar disorder is quite toxic and should be avoided if at all possible. This natural product is far less potent, less toxic but better absorbed.

5-HTP

5-HTP is the precursor for serotonin and it is very popular with people who suffer from anxiety. 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid derived from tryptophan and it helps your body create serotonin. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In a study from Ohio State University, students were given an omega-3 fatty acid supplement exhibited a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to students given a placebo pill. The author of the research study, Martha Belury advises, "people should just consider increasing their omega-3 through their diet."

B Vitamins

The brain needs a wide range of B vitamins to function at its highest ability. When we're lacking B vitamins, we can experience confusion, irritability and anxiety, among other effects.

You should make sure you're getting enough B vitmains in your diet with foods like beef, pork, citrus fruits, or, one of my favorites, eggs. Eggs also have the added benefit of being one of nature's richest sources of choline, a crucial B vitamin for brain health. If you suffer form anxiety, then a good, time-released B vitamin supplement is crucial to making sure you are getting the full amount of B vitamins in your diet each day.

Probiotics

We know that our brains and our bellies communicate and there is growing research that suggests the bacteria in our guts is very involved in the conversation. The good bacteria, probiotics, live in the intestines and promote healthy gastro functioning. A 2011 study found that feeding a certain probiotic bacterium to mice reduced the "behaviors associated with stress, anxiety and depression."

It is important to nourish your gut flora and the best way to do this is eating fermented foods, like yogurt. Bravo Yogurt contains over 10 different probiotics to restore healthy gut function and digestion, which can help reduce anxiety. 

Gabatrol

Gabatrol enhances GABA levels in the brain to help you feel more relaxed and free from anxiety. Gabatrol is non-addictive herb blend that and has no side-effects.