8 Mindful Ways to Reduce Anxiety in the New Year #wellbeingwednesday
The start of the new year has brought many patients in hoping to give 2017 a healthy start. I have noticed that a lot of people live with anxiety on a day to day basis. For today’s Wellbeing Wednesday tip I am sharing with you some simple solutions to help relax a heightened nervous system.
There is nothing more soothing than a bowl of oatmeal. This is one nutrient rich food! It is calming to the nervous system, high in fiber, lowers cholesterol, protects the heart and balances blood sugar levels. It’s like a superfood! I will encourage you to cook your own the old fashioned way, on the stove and avoid those flavoured quick cook packs that are full of sugar. If you want your oatmeal sweet, add a swirl of maple syrup or fresh fruit. Delicious!
Focus on magnesium rich foods. Magnesium is an essential mineral that calms the nervous system and promotes a restful sleep. One sign of a magnesium deficiency is anxiety and poor quality sleep. Try adding magnesium rich food to your diet; dark green veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, bananas, watermelon, figs, potatoes and green beans.
I love herbal teas. There’s something so nourishing to me about a cup of tea. A simple cup of chamomile or lemon balm tea can relax the nervous system as well as the digestive system. If you’re not a fan of hot tea, make a pot and chill it, the health benefits are the same hot or cold.
Eat some chocolate daily! Isn’t this the best news ever? But before you get too excited, it has to be dark chocolate, fair trade or organic, and it can be a max of 2 squares per day. This is a calorie dense food that can pack on the pounds if you eat a package a day, which just might give you something else to stress about.
Supplement with Gaba. This neurotransmitter relaxes an overstimulated brain. It brings a feeling of calm and can do wonders for people’s mood, sleep and focus, as well has helping to manage stressful situations more effectively. Please consult with a health care professional before starting any new supplement regime.
Practice Mindfulness. There is plenty of research on the benefits of mindfulness. Living in the past leads to depression. Living in the future causes anxiety. It is the practice of living in the present that can calm the mind. Deep breathing has been shown to reduce anxiety, blood pressure and slow down the heart rate. A few deep breathes can go a long way!
I hope you find some of these solutions helpful. Please reach out to a health care professional for ongoing support.
RACHEL SCHWARTZMAN is a naturopathic doctor in the St. Clair West neighbourhood. She is the co-owner of West End Naturopathic Doulas, a naturopathic collective that supports pregnant women and partners with the birth of their babies. Westenddoulas.com