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Eating Your Way to a Calmer You

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To have a calmer mind, you have to have a calmer body with more equilibrium. The first step to doing that is talking to your medical doctor to check and see if you have any type of vitamin or mineral deficiencies and what you need to do to balance these out.

The opposite of feeling calm is feeling anxious. A little worry and anxiety can be normal and can help you be emphatic, organized, goal-oriented and reflective, but too much of it can disable and block you from having a fulfilled life. Therefore, prolonged and intense anxieties need to be cured.

There are physiological changes that your body goes through when you are feeling anxious. Every anxious thought becomes a stressor and triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the stress chemical normally created when you are in danger. This signals the body to go to a fight or flight response, shutting down the cortex areas of the brain, which is the root of logical thinking, which can cause the person to over react to situations. In the meanwhile, the brain of an anxious person is sensitive, and such a person is usually more perceptive of her surrounding, which could be both good and bad. If you have a sensitive nature, you are more likely to be sympathetic, considerate, and thoughtful, but also you are more prone to anxiety and feeling hurt. If you learn to work on managing the bad part of this sensitivity and keeping the good, then you are set for a great path.

More often than not your anxiety may be the result of your internal self feeling irritated, insecure, tense and out of order rather than feeling in peace. When you have too much anxiety, it feels more like experiencing a storm of feelings rather than a gentle breeze. The root of this is a combination of chemical interactions that go on in your body plus what goes on in your mind, the way you think and perceive the world, and the way you carry your emotions and interactions.

When it comes to your body, your eating pattern can help with your level of anxiety, and you may find these helpful:

1. Cut down on the caffeine: In my experience, people with anxiety may be more sensitive to caffeine than those who don't have anxiety.

2. Eat unprocessed and natural food: Eat colorful fruits and vegetables and food that is fresh and simple rather than complex foods that have been processed too much.

3. Avoid drinks with too much additives: Give your body simple and easy to digest drinks that go with your body's natural rhythm. Too much additives can take a toll on your body and add to the anxiety.

4. Drink a few cups of different teas daily: Green, white, peppermint, chamomile, and lemon balm are some of teas useful for calming down.

5. Start your day with protein: This is good for balancing your energy and giving you a boost for the start of the day. Start with heavier foods and work your way out to lighter foods as the day moves on.

6. Eat a moderate level of carbohydrates: This helps with balancing serotonin which helps with calming down.

7. Avoid dehydration: Dehydration, even mildly, can affect anxiety and the whole body.

8. Have a structured way of eating: Anxiety is rooted in uncertainty. The more structure you give to your mind and body, the better you can manage your anxiety. Therefore, have three meals per day, stick to it so your body knows when to expect what.

On a final note, to do a full anxiety work, make sure you check your level of self-awareness, your self-healing responsibility, and your level of emotional freedom as these are the more transcendent elements of anxiety that need to be addressed beyond the eating. Your mind has a self-regulating design and your anxiety could be a way for it to grab your attention to focus on certain aspects of yourself. There are many other elements that go hand in hand with addressing the feeling of anxiety beyond just the eating, things like cognitive and behavioral modifications, exercising, a healthy life style, living a drama free and meaningful life, and doing things like meditation and relaxation to calm yourself down.

Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD

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