Everyone suffers from mild forms of anxiety at some point in their lives. In fact, a little anxiety is healthy, but how to get rid of it? Well, here are some tips that may help make those butterflies go away.
As long as your anxiety isn’t crippling you in everyday life, keeping you back from doing things you know you should be doing, and making you physically sick, you’re probably like the average Joe who can make some behavioral and dietary changes to remedy your problem quite a bit.
Reducing Anxiety Without Medication
Medicine has its place and will actually help in many cases where anxiety has gotten a little out of control, but medicine isn’t the only solution. There are foods, herbs and spices that are known for their calming effect, as well as some personal defense mechanisms you can create on your own to deal with anxiety until it is better under control.
Behavioral Defense Mechanisms
Jerilyn Ross, who is a licensed clinical social worker in Washington, DC, recommends creating what she calls “outs” for potentially anxiety-causing situations. In essence, what this means is that you briefly plan ahead a way of removing yourself mentally or physically from a situation if it becomes overwhelming for you.
A mental example might be preparing yourself for a stressful job interview by closing your eyes, breathing deeply and imagining yourself winning and doing well or imagining yourself totally removed from the situation and rather in a tranquil setting.
A physical example might be mentally noting where the bathrooms are as you enter a meeting and excusing yourself for a short breather if you need to collect yourself for a moment. She firmly believes that providing “escapes” like these are not a way of running from your fears or making crutches for yourself, but rather a way to help you face intimidating and scary situations at your own pace.
Eventually, you will develop the ability to get through these situations calmly, and the whole purpose of these exercises is to keep you moving forward instead of shrinking back when fears set in – even if a temporary interruption is needed.
Carbohydrates – You’ll want to include more carbs in your diet to lessen your anxiety, preferably the healthier kind that also break down slower in the digestive process, and includes foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice, fish, nuts and potatoes.
B Vitamins and Vitamin C – When you are deficient in B vitamins and vitamin C, you may start to feel fatigued, depressed and anxious. Start eating foods rich in these vitamins to restore you to your usual calm state. B- and C-vitamin foods include oranges, grapefruit, spinach, bananas and squash.
Trytophan – Certain foods contain the amino acid tryptophan, which boosts mood and energy, but also creates a calming effect. Try foods like poultry, bananas, milk, peanut butter and nuts for starters.
Other anti-anxiety foods include dark chocolate, blueberries, peaches, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, and as many fruits and veggies as you can manage.