Good Food Good Health – Anxiety and Stress

Hi Everyone

Anxiety is no stranger to any of us and in fact everyone needs to feel anxious sometimes, through this natural emotion the body enables a reaction which pumps adrenaline – the hormone stimulant into our systems.

Adrenaline is enormously important for spurring us on to do challenging and uncongenial tasks, helping us to cope with difficult situations.

Today, our lives seem to be ruled by constantly running from one emotional problem to the next, and unfortunately this is considered to be ‘normal’ life.

This is another excellent reason why good food resulting in good health has to be part of everybody’s everyday regime, helping our immune system tackle the stress and strains put on our bodies.

Normal anxiety has almost always a cause of which we are aware – such as an exam coming up or an important interview etc, and causes different amount of pressure depending on the individual.

It becomes problematic when apprehension or worry is experienced for no apparent reason or when situations are deemed far worse than warranted.

A great deal of how we deal with it depends on each individual and their outlook on life and character.

Even though anxiety is an emotional state, physical symptoms can be induced by it. Previously, it was believed that these symptoms were ‘all in the mind’, but it has been proven that some people really do feel pain and become ill from the effects.

The most common affect is of course the need to urinate frequently, of which I am sure we have all experienced, this is definitely myself before flying anywhere.

The most reported symptom of enduring anxiety is pain in the back, head, chest and abdomen. Some sufferers become nauseas and actually vomit. Diarrhoea, dizziness and muscular tension are also common problems.

In the worst cases panic attacks can sometimes occur which generally involve sweating profusely, palpitations and abnormally deep breathing.

For some chronic sufferers it is a vicious repeating cycle, as they can become stressed about being anxious, recurrent attacks that can happen over a period of years – this is known as chronic anxiety. In these cases medical attention should be sought.

Insomnia is another well-known side effect, and this again only adds to the stress felt by the sufferer by laying mulling over the problem that is causing concern, making the smallest of problem often seem a giant hurdle in life.

The best self-help to allow your body cope and keep good health under duress is to make sure you are eating good food. A diet rich in vegetables, raw fruit, salads and plenty of proteins will give you a good balance and help to keep your immune system on top.

Carrots, and especially carrot juice is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system. Camomile tea is another favourite.

Many vitamins are said to help, Vitamins B and C are attributed to help in coping with anxiety and stress, functioning of the central nervous system is said to be improved with Vitamin E, and also calcium, magnesium and zinc minerals.

So by eating a varied nutritional diet these vitamins and minerals should be easy accessed for good food good health to be obtained, otherwise dietary supplements can be taken, but always check with your physician.

The other easy self-help method to try and overcome anxiety is breathing exercises. Controlled breathing exercises calm and relax you. Visualisation Therapy, which I use for relaxation, you will see how easy it is to use and how it can have amazing effects on yourself and your outlook on life.

Many people who suffer from anxiety often tend to dwell on fears and problems making them ill, instead of being positive and this really needs to be addressed. Try to adopt a positive attitude and be kind to yourself, although make sure you are not too indulgent.

Chocolate really does have that good feel factor and a little of what you fancy can be helpful, as so can a glass of wine lift your spirits, but using this as a crutch or using too much obviously has its own side effects.

Aromatherapy is another good mood enhancing remedy, as we all know nice smells lift our spirit and essential oils are a good way of achieving this.

A combination of lavender, sandalwood, clary sage and basil help with panic and anxiety, but if you suffer headache with your anxiety or even muscle tension add camomile and marjoram essential oils.

Why not try using these oils in a pot burner while having a relaxing bath to rid yourself of your daily anxieties.

Listening to music is another great method that helps us to relax, why not try listening to some on a personal stereo or MP3 whilst waiting for that appointment or whatever it is that has you feeling anxious.

Music that appeals to us generally lifts our mood, and sometimes by listening to ‘natural sound’ such as water, whales etc can have a beneficial effect.

Uncovering the root of your anxiety is necessary to help alleviate this problem and talking things through with a good friend can really help or in more severe cases a psychiatrist can be of assistance.

I feel that our outward look on life really does help or aggravate our fight with anxiety throughout our lives, and that by eating good food for good health and keeping a positive attitude can only help to fight the symptoms, maintaining a healthy immune system to keep our bodies in tip top condition

Sandra & Ted