Nitty Gritty of Anxiety
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Before we go any further, let's talk about what it is exactly. Anxiety, worry and stress are a combination of both emotional and physical reactions. Over 30 years of scientific research into severe anxiety disorders and panic attacks has established that all anxiety has a real, physiological cause that is just as important to treat — especially for relief of anxiety related to hormonal imbalance.
This is GREAT news. Anxiety symptoms were once dismissed as character flaws. It means you don't have to live with your "imperfect, worry wart, crazy, emotional" self...There is a lot more to the story in your anxiety-ridden body and A LOT you can do to heal yourself.
Knowledge is power, so let's take some time to dive into the science of it.
We are made with a built-in alarm system that brings the full weight of our mental and physical warrior to face danger — the “fight or flight” response.
The limbic system, the parts of the brain responsible for orchestrating our emotions (including the fight or flight response) relies on communication between neurotransmitters and hormones to fuel your body and mind to deal with a perceived enemy.
It used to be the bear in the woods hundreds of years ago, however our society has changed, and our perceived enemies can be anything around us... stressful email, children yelling and screaming, relationship problems, money issues, pushing the limits of energy, etc (all of these examples happening within 15 minutes of each other). In our day and age, too many of us choose to never relax: our minds are perpetually on high alert - which accompanies the physical response (including continual hormonal response which leads to systemic issues).
It’s no exaggeration to say there is an epidemic of anxiety.
Over 19 million American adults and millions of children have anxiety disorders ranging from mild to severe.
I would not be surprised if this has quadrupled since all this CoronaVirus pandemic has happened.
The feeling of anxiety you have ALWAYS begins with a trigger that initiates your survival response from your limbic system. At the first sign of apparent danger, your brain chemistry, blood hormones and cellular metabolism all crank into action.
You see...When our ancestors had to run from the wild bears, this response was a very good thing. But now the constant stress and "bears" of our society are affecting our bodies in a way we are just learning how to deal with.
When you have chronic anxiety, this response may lessen but it never gets turned off, even when there’s no palpable threat. The domino effect is deadly = Over time anxiety symptoms may be triggered by less and less serious events because your limbic system has been sensitized to react in a highly anxious way. Can you understand what is happening in your body because of this? The problem with anxiety is that it becomes so easily entrenched — it becomes your normal state. The links among your neurotransmitters, hormones and metabolism become tuned to an equilibrium in which anxiety is maintained. That’s why anxiety relief is ALL ABOUT changing your physical and emotional causes of your anxiety and creating a new, healthier equilibrium.
Along with your neurotransmitters, your hormones play a crucial role in mediating anxiety. The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is the hormonal system that influences mood. Imbalances along this system can bring on panic attacks and chronic anxiety. As part of the flood of hormones in the fight-or-flight response, your hypothalamus releases a hormone called corticotropin–releasing factor (CRF), which jolts you into action. CRF flows through your pituitary gland, where it stimulates adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which in turn tells your adrenal glands to release cortisol. Cortisol opens the gates for a rush of glucose, fat, and protein to give your cells the energy and alertness they need.
In a healthy , the hormonal flood recedes once the threat is disabled. But different factors can disrupt this pathway, causing the gates to stay open and running the adrenals to exhaustion. Levels of ACTH and cortisol stay elevated, causing anxiety, weight gain, accelerated aging, and metabolic imbalances.
CRF also seems to be a factor in anxiety. People with high anxiety generally have high levels of CRF — which indicates that the HPA axis is always on. Researchers think that early emotional trauma may trigger elevated levels of CRF, which the body then maintains through adulthood.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The whole point to this blog and website is about what to be done and we will post more about products, strategies, coaching, and advice that we know will help. Just to get you started, with will talk about the top 6 KEYS.
1.See and acknowledge the problem. The first part of solving an issue/problem is recognizing that there is one. Realize that you have an anxiety disorder or you are dealing with anxiety and stress. Signs are stomach and intestinal issues, constipation, diarrhea, constant worry, headaches, elevating stress especially when there is no need, binge eating, sugar cravings, no eating, high emotional responses, crying often over small things, the feeling of, "I just can't take it" literally takes over your world.
2.Physical Exercise.We PROMISE this is huge. When all these hormones as explained above are running through your body, there MUST be energy released. The "fight or flight" response has that name for a very good reason. Working out hard, going up and down stairs, doing pushups or burpees, or even as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood. You need to run and fight and get rid of the energy that is building up in your body. Which leads to the next one...
3.Emotional Release.Energy flows where your attention goes, so therefore, Energy in motion=Emotion, and what you get emotional about is where your energy is going. So what you get fearful, anxious, worry, stressed out about is where your precious life force energy and creative energy is going. The issue for most people is that they do not allow themselves the space to RELEASE the emotions, so they get stuck in their body. Food HAS to go in and leave the body or you will literally explode (gross!) Same applies with energy and emotions, you HAVE to let it in and pass it through. This can be done with exercise, meditation, crying, laughing, journaling, literally hundreds of ways, but the point is to ALLOW yourself to MOVE the energy out.
4.Nutrition. Nutrition. Nutrition. When there are imbalances going on in your system, your body is using as much energy as possible, especially the deep vitamin and mineral stores. We can guarantee everyone with anxiety issues need to increase your magnesium intake... and there are many others! Our food has been shown to not store the same amount of nutrients that it once did 100 years ago, so this is why the next key is so important.
5. Supplement. Unfortunately as we all know, we can't always trust our food to give our bodies everything they need. We advocate supplementing, especially with natural herbs, teas, and supplements that replenish the body. We recommend a couple of our partners here and products we use. There are many applications to supplementing... but tea's are HUGE because they are a water base and your body will use them more efficiently than popping a vitamin pill. Glycerite and alcohol tinctures are so beneficial because of how immediately they enter your blood stream.
6.Sleep and Rest. Does anxiety cause sleeplessness or does sleeplessness cause anxiety? It is easy to feel anxious when trying to sleep out of random weird fears at night, however there are ways to work around it. You can take supplements or teas to help you rest and relax, but you can also do meditations, take a break from electronics, or be out in nature. Resting your spirit, soul, mind, and body are simply taking a break and giving yourself PERMISSION to take that break. Making sure you can sleep is also essential which is why all these keys go together. Physical exercise tires the body and allows you to get energy out which usually lets you sleep better. Taking an herb like Valerian Root (which you can find at any Walgreens or CVC) can help relax the mind or some of the relaxing teas. Do everything you can to help your body and mind RELAX. Also when you have a good work out, it burns out the energy that your body has so that at night your body is ready to rest. Taking a break is huge.
We have suffered and dealt with the bear that anxiety disorders are. We WANT TO HELP YOU! Let us know of questions.