What is anxiety? Many confuse it with stress, but it’s actually more than that. Whereas stress is the body’s physical response in the moment to a situation, anxiety differs in that the physical response continues far after the situation is over. It is almost as if there is no switch to turn “off.” These physical responses can include increased blood pressure, excessive trembling or sweating, chest pains, insomnia, headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscle tension, constipation and/or diarrhea, indigestion, and even rashes or what feels like allergic reactions. The physical manifestations clearly can be many and may cause harm to one’s body over the long term.
The levels of anxiety can be varied as well. I am not a psychiatrist so I won’t get too far into this, but it can range from general anxiety all the way to obsessive compulsive-disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
The first step to take if you feel you have anxiety is to talk with a mental health professional. That way you can find out where you are on the spectrum and hopefully even find out where the anxiety is stemming from.
Second, which is where I come in, is supporting your body through this process with proper diet. Studies have shown that specific foods can play a huge part in reducing overall anxiety and improving the body’s ability to cope and recover.
While a healthy, balanced diet is what we typically recommend, let’s break it down into specific foods you can choose to support your brain and mental health.