Contributed by: Abshar Faheem
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal response of your body when you feel some kind of stress, fear, nervousness, and worries. The covid-19 news, work pressure, staying at home, lockdown in India, temper during pandemics, and so on can cause most people to feel anxious, stressed, and nervous. But if your feelings of anxiety and stress are severe, lasting for longer than six months, and intervening with your daily lifestyle, you may get an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder can be intense and debilitating that can impact your mental health and can lead to various ailments such as depression, physical illness, addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs. It can make you stop doing things you enjoy and, in extreme cases, it can prevent you from entering the elevator, passing the street, or even leaving your home. Anxiety disorder is a kind of emotional disorder that can affect anyone regardless of gender and age.
Anxiety disorder is a serious ailment, if it is left untreated it will be getting worse day by day. The feeling of anxiety varies from person to person and can range from butterflies in your stomach to a racing heart. You may feel out of control or a loss of connection between your mind and body. People may feel anxiety in different ways including
- Panic attacks
- Painful thoughts
- Increased heart rate
- Fast or rapid breathing
- Feeling restlessness
- Difficulty in concentrating or focussing
- difficulty in sleeping
- increased irritability
Experts and researchers are still trying to find out the exact cause behind anxiety. They believe a combination of factors may contribute to feelings of anxiety such as family history, environmental stressors (difficulties at work, relationship problems, or family issues), medical factors (effect of medication or symptoms of different diseases), and withdrawal from an illicit substance as well as your brain chemistry.
Medications, psychotherapy, and home remedies are available that can cure the anxiety disorder. Treatment can help you to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and can also help you to lead a manageable day-to-day life. Sometimes, medication is not necessary; only certain lifestyle changes can help you to cope up with anxiety attacks or disorders.
Home remedies to cope up with anxiety
Lifestyle changes can be an effective strategy to release some of the stress and anxiety you get in your everyday life. Most of the home remedies include taking care of your body, joining healthy activities, or excluding the unhealthy ones. Lifestyle changes you can adopt include:
- Taking enough rest and sleep
- Meditation, and yoga
- Regular workout and staying active
- Avoiding processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, and high-fat dairy products
- Avoiding alcohol, cannabis, and other recreational drugs
- Avoiding caffeine, tea, and cola
- Avoiding smoking including passive one
- Taking Long baths
- Deep breathing exercise
- Avoid excess sugar and salt
Taking a good amount of rest and sleep is also beneficial for those who have just recovered from the covid-19 infection. Relying on exercise can keep you active and energetic since it is not advisable to go outside for a walk or jog during covid times, you can practice meditation, yoga, or other strategies at your own home.
Home foods to relieve stress and anxiety
In addition, a diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, legumes, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and fish can also help to keep you on a more even keel. Taking a healthy and nutritious diet is essential for everyone particularly during Covid-19 as it can help you to manage your stress and anxiety to a great extent. Following a diet plan is highly beneficial to overcome anxiety especially to those who are suffering or just have recovered from covid-19. It includes:
- Yogurt: Yogurt such as plain Greek yogurt contains minerals that may help with symptoms of stress and stabilize mood and it also provides probiotics.
- Seeds: Almonds, seeds (chia), and legumes contain magnesium that helps to manage anxiety-related symptoms. Pumpkin seeds and nuts like walnuts, cashews, peanuts contain magnesium plus potassium that gives you a nutrition boost.
- Chamomile tea: Drinking chamomile tea over a long-term period can reduce severe generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Chamomile can help you to enhance your efforts to get sleep on time.
- Seafood: Seafood (salmon, mackerel, sardine, shellfish, etc.) contains omega-3 fatty acids that help in cognitive boost and can enhance your mood. Salmon and sardines contain vitamin D that may help with depression and improve mood.
- High fiber diet: A high fiber-rich diet, comprised of whole grains (oats, barley, bran, etc.) can fuel your body’s probiotics, and eating more of them can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Cherries: Cherries and blueberries include antioxidants like quercetin, which can help increase feelings of calmness. Consuming more fruits and veggies, in general, has also been connected to decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression and increased happiness levels.
- Kiwi: Kiwi contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate that may help to reduce oxidative stress. It can also help to boost serotonin production, the neurotransmitter linked to wellbeing and happiness.
The bottom line
You can also include fermented foods like idli dosa, yogurt, and foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables. Other food items like green tea, dark chocolates, turmeric, eggs, avocado, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and bananas may also help you to reduce your anxiety symptoms. If changing your lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet does not help in managing your anxiety, seek help with your doctor immediately.
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