7 Questions To Ask Yourself Next Time You Feel Anxious

 

By Megan Bruneau (Mind Body Green)


Anxiety is often caused by unhealthy thought patterns, worries and stress. However, sometimes that uncomfortable, distressful and at times panic-inducing experience has little to do with what we're thinking and more to do with our biochemistry or what we just ate. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how much we "talk it out" because our anxiety has little to do with our thoughts and more to do with these other culprits.

If you're feeling anxious and no idea what's brought on this feeling, ask yourself these questions:

1. Did You Just Have Caffeine, Sugar Or MSG?


All of the above can increase heart rate and cause hyperarousal and feelings of anxiety in some individuals. Pay attention to labels and notice if your body reacts to certain foods or drinks containing such ingredients. I, for example, am not generally affected by caffeine (although my colleague's anxiety skyrockets if she drinks it), but if I order Chinese and forget to make sure there's no MSG, I'm up all night with heart palpitations and catastrophic thoughts.

2. Could Hormones Have Something To Do With It?


After deciding to cease oral contraceptives after a decade, I experienced a serious hormonal imbalance that mimicked menopause. Hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations and cognitive and physical anxiety were present a good part of my days. After seeing my naturopath and working toward balancing my hormones, I noticed a significant improvement and felt calm (although anxiety still worsens for me at certain times in my cycle). If you're feeling anxious or depressed and can't pinpoint why, it might have to do with fluctuating or unbalanced hormones.

3. Are You Fatigued Or Getting Sick?


Low energy, foggy brain and a general sense of malaise contributes to anxiety in a couple of ways: Firstly, it creates a stress reaction as your body tries to fight illness and secondly, your cognitive functioning is affected, often resulting in feeling anxious, unfocused and indecisive. Remember to lower your expectations for yourself in this case, especially for tasks involving cognitive performance.

4. Did You Have A Few Too Many Glasses Of Wine Last Night?


I met a friend in Nicaragua who described his experience of "The Scaries" after we imbibed too much the night before. Before that, I thought I was the only one who experienced feelings of depression and anxiety as byproducts of a hangover (why do we drink again?). Alcohol messes with our nervous system and neurotransmitter levels, which can cause anxiety (or "The Scaries").

5. What's The State Of Your Gut Bacteria?


Growing evidence is revealing a connection between gut bacteria and anxiety. This is thought to be due to the vagus nerve, which connects the gut to the brain. Take your probiotics and be mindful of food intolerances! Many people have no idea of the brain-gut connection or that their diet could be contributing to their experience of anxiety.

6. Could Your Blood Sugar Be Low?


We're programmed to go into a state of anxiety in response to low blood sugar. Our body says "hunger" and sends our brain the message to find food. Some of us are more sensitive to this experience than others, so it might not be a bad idea to pay attention to your experience of anxiety's relationship to hunger.

7. Could You Be Deficient In Certain Nutrients?


B complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, potassium, magnesium, GABA and zinc all play vital roles in neurotransmitter and nervous system function. Deficiencies in such nutrients are related to increased anxiety. Consider visiting a naturopath, holistic nutritionist or dietitian and supplementing your diet with some of these nutrients if you believe you aren't getting enough.

So, the next time you're experiencing anxiety and can't seem to talk yourself out of it, see if any of these factors might be coming into play.

Do You Suffer From Anxiety? Maybe It’s Time You Give It The Axe…


Megan Bruneau is a Registered Clinical Counsellor at a post-secondary institution in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Family Studies. Previously involved in personal training and yoga industries, Megan practices psychotherapy using cognitive-behavioral therapy grounded in Buddhist philosophy. Megan's articles focus on universal human struggles and the benefits of self-compassion--topics she draws from themes in her privileged work as a psychotherapist and personal experience. In her spare time, Megan enjoys traveling, tennis, soccer, cycling, snowboarding and yoga.

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com...

Related Articles

Do you want to live a happier life? These 10 simple tips can have a major effect on your outlook on life and how you feel. It's amazing how easy it is to make positive changes and there's no reason you can't start being happier today. ... continue reading

Are you a fierce lion or a timid rabbit when it comes to mental strength? Maybe you are neither? Nonetheless, you will enjoy this article and discover 15 things mentally strong people do. ... continue reading

All of us, at some point will feel stress in varying degrees, but few of us will stop to think about how we can bring the feeling under control. Learn what stress really is and discover 7 highly effective ways to bring some inner and outer calm back into your life. ... continue reading


Related Products

No items found.

No items found.





FREE WEEKLY
NEWSLETTER!

Yes, keep me up to date with:


- Healthy Lifestyle Tips
- Quick & Easy Recipes
- Wellbeing Articles & More

FOR FREE INSTANT ACCESS
We respect your email privacy

FEATURED PRODUCTS

fmtv
Food Matters DVD
Food Matters Recipe Book
Detox Guide
Juicer Buying Guide
Hungry For Change Mastery
Hungry For Change Book
Food Matters Mastery
FMD