[1:23] Life updates
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder
[5:01] Anxiety has 4 categories:
OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): characterized by doing a task or chore repeatedly to manage anxiety. Someone who is clean and tidy isn’t necessarily “OCD”!
Panic disorder: this is more common. Parasympathetic and sympathetic response. Parasympathetic allows for relaxation(rest and digest). Sympathetic is how we deal with stress. A sympathetic response results in an increased heart rate, blood pressure increase, and burst of adrenaline. An anxiety induced panic attack is scary because there is no bear chasing you, but your body is reacting in the same way.
General anxiety: nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Your response is counterproductive for the situation.
MILD= helpful, like in a test situation to help you focus and study to do well
SEVERE=problematic. Interferes with ability to function and concentrate
Social anxiety: you get anxious around large crowds of people
[13:00] Steps that help when anxiety is problematic
- Stop. Physically remove yourself from the situation. Shower, wrap up in a blanket, stand up, sit down. Whatever you need to do to pause and reset.
- Breathe. Be intentional. It helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Breathing techniques can help relieve anxiety. Make sure you are abdominal breathing (deep), it helps get you in a relaxed state.
- Study. Determine WHY you are feeling anxious. Deal with the underlying cause of your feelings. This could be a counseling session, journaling, or talking with someone you trust to process the stressors in your life.
I’m not trying to oversimplify anxiety. It takes time and work to treat it. It’s okay to feel anxious. There is nothing wrong with those emotions but if they are bothering you, here are some tools to help you manage those feelings.
[20:57] Nutrition and anxiety
The gut and brain are connected. Anxiety feeds on refined sugars and empty carbs. These create cravings and addictions, which cause false “happy” feelings by spiking blood sugar and energy levels. This puts your system in overdrive and then you crash. This creates stress on the body and organs. Foods to avoid are: Caffeine, Sugar, Gluten, Alcohol, Dairy
- Instead, focus on a whole food nutrient dense diet: fruits and vegetables, high quality protein (supplies body with essential amino acids that are necessary for neurological health). This type of protein helps you feel full and have the materials to build and repair muscle tissue. This maintains a steady production of neurotransmitters, which in return combats anxiety. Some good sources of protein are eggs, grass fed beef, pasture raised pork, free range chicken, wild caught salmon, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Gluten can lead to a “leaky gut”. Zonulin is released and a space opens between the gut cells. Stay away from hydrogenated and highly processed oils and stick with whole sources of fat. Good quality fat is necessary. Our brain is made up of fat, so fat in our diet = a happier brain. Use fats like avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
- Giving up coffee can be hard, especially if you feel anxious but, in the end, it will allow you to get better sleep and not experience “crashes” during the day. You could try slowly weaning off of it and replacing it with something else like Four Sigmatic Matcha (lower caffeine and decaf options). Caffeine is a stressor on the body! Or pair coffee with a healthy fat to make it a more gentle and time released energy source.
Some questions to ask yourself:
Can you pronounce the ingredients in your energy drink? Why do you need the energy boost? What is the underlying issue or concern?
Pick one change to make at a time, work on it, then add the next thing. Make it a lifestyle.
Tip: swap coconut oil for canola oil in your cupboard. Make small improvement and don’t beat yourself up.
Exercise also helps to reduce anxiety. Try starting with a brisk morning walk.
In summary, to help with anxiety
- Eat real food
- Avoid gluten & use healthy fats
- Replace caffeine with sustainable energy sources
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