Here are some steps you can take to reduce anxiety naturally:
1. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up. If you wait any longer than this, it can cause your blood sugar levels to decrease too much and put extra strain on your adrenals which can cause anxiety.
2. Have lunch about 4 hours after eating breakfast and include plenty of protein in your meal. We know this is a simple step, but skipping meals will put strain on your adrenals and can increase your symptoms.
3. Only do low-impact exercise like walking, pilates, gentle yoga or stretching. High impact exercise puts strain on the adrenals, especially when the adrenals are already fatigued. If you’re having trouble losing weight, I know this can seem counter-productive, but I’ve seen patients lose weight by resting and following the steps I’m listing here.
4. Sit down to eat each meal and eat slowly. Don’t eat on-the-go, when you’re stressed, driving, etc. because this will inhibit your body from using the nutrients in your food that it needs to help reduce your symptoms.
5. Diffuse essential oils throughout the day to help you feel more relaxed. If you can’t diffuse oils, put a drop or two on the soles of your feet twice a day to help lower stress levels. This study found that inhaling lavender essential oil can decrease cortisol levels. That’s good news for the adrenals!
Make sure you only use a completely pure essential oil so you aren’t adding any synthetic chemicals to your body — that could stress your system further. Some of my personal favorites are Lavender, Balance, Serenity, Ylang Ylang and Lemon.
6. Eat dinner no later than 6 or 7pm and make sure to sit down while you eat. Dinner should be your largest meal of the day. This will help keep cortisol levels down at the end of the day, and help you sleep and also reduce anxiety.
7.. Take an epsom salt bath a few times a week (or each evening, if you can). When you’re stressed, the first mineral your body burns through is magnesium (this is why so many people are magnesium deficient!). Soaking in a bath with 1 cup of epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil will help you relax and replenish your magnesium stores, calm your body and support your adrenals to reduce anxiety.
8. Go to bed by 9pm each night. The best way to heal your adrenals, and in turn help balance your thyroid and reduce anxiety, is with sleep.
9. Take the right kind of B Vitamins – I recommend Cataplex B from Standard Process.
10. Drink plenty of filtered water each day. Drinking 1/2 your weight in ounces is a good goal; a 160-pound person should drink about 80 ounces of water per day. Hydration is really important for the endocrine system. Without the right amount of water, the body can’t transport the necessary nutrients and hormones to the cells properly. So, please make sure you’re getting enough water.
11. Include protein at each meal – get these proteins from foods such as pastured meat, poultry, wild seafood, eggs, etc. Amino acids from pastured animal foods are very important to help reduce anxiety and depression.
12. Eliminate all caffeine and alcohol. I know this is a hard one, but caffeine and alcohol are liquid stress for your adrenals and will only cause continued anxiety and panic attacks. Here’s a post about how I kicked the coffee habit — with step-by-step instructions for you.
13. Eat pastured animal fats – Our bodies produce cannabinoids from animal fats in our diet. When well-regulated, these endocannabinoids are “feel-good chemicals” that ensure production of the proper amount of dopamine and limit the overproduction of cortisol.
14. Take one day of rest each week. While it’s popular to “hustle”, that kind of daily mentality can lead to all sorts of health issues and will strain the adrenals and cause negative symptoms throughout the body. Take a day each week to rest. Turn off your phone, get outside, or just sleep all day if that’s what your body needs. It’s ok. God set the example by taking a day to rest, so I order my week that way too!
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We not saying there isn’t a place for medications, or that everyone can eliminate all anxiety and panic attacks naturally. This blog is written simply to give you some extra tools to use alongside whatever instruction your doctor has given.