Anxiety and stress are some of the most common diseases around the world. A study conducted by the University of Queensland in 2012, among people in 91 countries, stated that 1 in 13 people suffer from anxiety globally. Depression and anxiety cases have been increasing at a singularly alarming rate, giving these diseases an almost epidemic proportions. The worst part about it is that unlike what you are told, there are natural ways to overcome these disorders without pharmaceutical intervention. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you overcome your anxiety disorders.
Simple things like regular exercise, be it cycling, playing a sport, swimming or even taking a walk can have enormous benefits to your psyche. Exercise releases endorphins in your system which elevate your mood. The same thing happens when you meet interesting people, or are indulging in activities you enjoy. Doctors and lifestyle-gurus around the world are placing more and more emphasis on understanding your breath. Breathing the right way, and using certain breathing techniques, can help you allay your anxiety and also give you a certain measure of relief from anxiety and other stress disorders.
One of the biggest lifestyle changes involved when it comes to relieving anxiety is changing your diet. Calibrating your diet accordingly can help your body make up for the necessary micro-nutrients and chemicals essential to the brain’s regular functioning. Here are some foods you can include in your diet to help ease your anxiety:
Be it bread or pasta, eating whole grain products can help you in more ways than one. If you have no problems with gluten, according to studies, whole grains can help with anxiety issues. One of the most important reasons for that is whole grains contain magnesium, the deficiency of which can cause anxiety. They also contain tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin in the body which acts as a calming neurotransmitter. These type of grains give the body energy and reduce hunger cravings, something essential to reduce anxiety. Modern diet has no room for whole grains, make room in your diet for it. It provides a host of health benefits over and above its anxiety allaying capabilities.
Often thought of only as dressing, almonds are a key source of zinc, an element necessary to maintain balanced mood. It also contains a lot of iron and healthy fats. Lack of iron causes brain fatigue and can result in anxiety as well as low energy levels, the high iron and healthy fat levels in almonds helps you work past these problems. Moreover, almonds also contain vitamins B2 and E, both of which help the body bolster the immune system in times of stress. Try almond butter if you do not want to eat them whole.
Citrus fruits and fruits high in Vitamin C are another brilliant means to beat stress. Vitamin C not only lowers your blood pressure but also the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your blood. Eating whole oranges or squeezing some pulpy juice in a glass, without sugar, can make for the perfect breakfast accompaniment. Make sure you get various sources of vitamin C in your diet for the best results.
This is truly a vegetable for all seasons. Spinach may not sound like the best comfort food, but it is definitely something your body can use when under stress. The magnesium in it helps regulate cortisol levels and promotes the feeling of well-being. Keep it simple, swap the lettuce in your sandwich for some spinach, or simply make some soup once a week. A cup of lettuce suffices 40% of your daily requirement and is a wonder-food when it comes to alleviating anxiety.
Pure dark chocolate, without any added sugars or milk products is a brilliant mood elevator and is the best food for those dealing with anxiety or stress. Chocolate reduces the cortisol, or stress hormone, levels in the body and helps balance your mood out. Having a bite of delicious dark chocolate once in a while on a bad day can be a god-send to help lift your spirits.
Rich in vitamins and phytonutrients, blueberries are often considered to be a superfood because of its myriad benefits. It also contains a range of antioxidants which can help relieve stress and anxiety in people. The nutrients present in blueberries, and even peaches according to certain researchers, have a calming effect on your mind.