Simple Solutions to Reduce Anxiety

by Eric Disco
Jun 21

luciole.deviantart.com2There’s a lot of talk about different ways to minimize anxiety.

But if you’re really serious about getting past anxiety, you may want to consider two very simple solutions.

This week, Time Magazine has an interesting article about the effect of exercise on depression and anxiety (Is Exercise the Best Drug for Depression?).

Various studies have been testing the results of exercise versus pharmaceutical anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs and the results are startlingly similar.

The article explains why.

The result is that exercise primes the brain to show less stress in response to new stimuli. In the case of lab rats and mice, that stimuli include being plunged into very cold water or being suspended by the tail. And while those are not exactly problems that most people face, the thinking is that the human neurochemical response may well react similarly, with exercise leaving our brain less susceptible to stress in the face of harmless but unexpected events, like a missed appointment or getting a parking ticket. A little bit of mental strain and excess stimulation from exercise, in other words, may help us to keep day-to-day problems in perspective.

I have found from first-hand experience that running a few times a week adds to a much more stable mood.

In fact it does a lot of good things for me. After taking a break from exercising and coming back, I can’t believe it took me so long to get back into it.

My anxiety levels definitely drop and I become more social and energetic in general.

Caffeine

Far be it from me to pry the cup of coffee out of your hands and tell you not to drink it.  I know how much people love coffee.

I myself would probably not have stopped drinking it if I hadn’t had stomach issues.

For the past few weeks I’ve been completely off caffeine and I can tell you the effect is amazing in terms of anxiety.

Caffeine stays in your bloodstream for up to 18 hours. Not only does it disrupt sleep, but it increases heart rate, adds to nervousness, and almost mimics the effects of anxiety in a lot of ways.

Nutritional biochemist Stephen Cherniske, author of “Caffeine Blues,” talks about the effects of caffeine on anxiety sufferers.

For five years I worked in a team practice with physicians and psychotherapists. Often, the psychological evaluation would include one or more anxiety syndromes, and the recommendation was for counseling. I would point out that the person was consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and request a trial month off caffeine prior to therapy sessions. In about 50% of cases, the anxiety syndrome would resolve with caffeine withdrawal alone.

If you’re serious about getting past approach anxiety, try reducing or eliminating caffeine as well as getting regular exercise. You may be surprised at the benefits.

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