Anxiety has touched everyone at some point in their life. Some experience anxiety more regularly and can recognize the feeling produced by their anxiety. However, when you are feeling such high anxiety, there are those times that it can be out of control. You can try to prepare yourself by fueling up with large amounts of caffeine or soothing yourself with your favorite indulges. What you may not know is these actions could be making your anxiety worse. We want to go over how to manage anxiety through your diet in hopes you will find certain foods and new dietary routines to get through your day with far less anxiety.
Let’s start with the biggest misconception. Many use caffeine to keep them awake and focused, and while caffeine does increase your heart rate, it affects each person differently. Those that suffer from anxiety often can find that caffeine can be a detriment to their mental health. The caffeine can escalate their feelings of anxiety and make it harder for them to focus because their brain is continually bouncing between each topic in their life that is triggering their anxiety. Our greatest advice to people suffering from anxiety is to drink water. Water is a natural fuel that will keep your body from dragging with exhaustion while being able to quiet your anxiety enough to complete tasks as they come in.
One of the biggest kryptonite for people when it comes to indulging and cravings is sugar. Cupcakes, brownies, candy, chocolate, and soda can sound so good in theory when you are overwhelmed and are experiencing anxiety. But in reality, sugar is fuel to anxiety, and the high from sugar is incredibly similar to that of a panic attack. Your body yearns for equilibrium throughout the day to feel your best mentally, physically, and emotionally. When you consume high amounts of sugar, you send your body through dramatic highs and lows with your blood sugar, and it keeps you from your body’s desired equilibrium. By no means should you cut out your favorite indulgences for good but pick and choose the best time for them.
More Complex Carbohydrates
To manage anxiety through your diet, you must also know foods that help decrease feelings of anxiety. Carbohydrates are said to increase the amount of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the calming chemical within your body. By eating more complex carbohydrates, you can manage your anxiety while getting the nutrients you need without excessive amounts of bread or gluten, which upsets many people. Examples of complex carbohydrates are oatmeal, quinoa, and whole grains. Be sure to stay away from sugary carbohydrates such as cakes and sugary drinks.
While continuing to monitor your sugar and caffeine intake and introducing new complex carbohydrates into your diet, continue to enjoy fruits and vegetables for natural sugar and increased energy. Like your body’s need to be at equilibrium, your diet has to be balanced as well to keep your body feeling energized, your hormones regulating your emotions stabilized, and your brain’s desire for specific foods appeased with better substitutes.
Each person’s body is different, and while you may not have allergies to certain foods, overconsumption of anything can have an adverse effect on your health. It is always good when changing your diet to monitor and journal how you are currently feeling throughout the day, eating, and roughly how much water you are drinking—no need to track nutrition and calories in this journal. But as you change your diet, you may notice whether it’s large amounts of carbohydrates or sugar that could be causing higher amounts of anxiety. You may be an overall healthy eater but may not be consuming enough water. A journal allows you to see this measurably to know what to eat more of to feel better and what food you may need to move to special treats rather than routine consumption.
Be sure you are coming back to this blog and reevaluating as you get older. Our bodies are constantly changing, and being convinced we are striving for equilibrium in our body is the goal. Continue to manage anxiety through your diet and talk with your doctor routinely to see if something needs to be done so you can continue feeling like your best self.