For those of us who live with anxiety, we know how debilitating it can be. Whether it is going into work for a meeting, socializing with a new group of people, or obsessive compulsiveness, anxiety can define your life experience, and keeps you from enjoying things that others look forward to. Anxiety isn’t a universal experience. Each person experiences symptoms differently.
Most mental health specialists recommend a series of mental and physical exercises to help reduce the feeling of anxiety. They may also prescribe medications, or recommend breathing or meditation techniques. In addition to traditional treatment options, there are other things you can do to feel better that you may not have considered.
Have you examined the relationship between anxiety and nutrition? Consuming certain foods and drinks, together with mental and physical exercises, could help control and reduce many types of anxiety.
Here, we will give you an overview of the symptoms and causes of anxiety, and then introduce you to some of the foods that may help to reduce it.
What are the Different Types Anxiety Disorders and their Symptoms?
Anxiety can be caused by a mental condition, stress of all kinds, a traumatic experience in the past, a physical condition, a side effect of a medicine, or a combination of these.
While there are different ways to categorize anxiety disorders, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services divides them into five major types, and defines them as follows:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). For example, a person might have to lock a door three times before leaving the house, or repeat a phrase five times before moving on. Performing these “rituals” provides temporary relief to anxiety, and not performing them increases anxiety in a person with OCD.
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include: chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or abdominal distress.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or had the potential to occur. Traumatic events that may cause PTSD include: violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents or military combat.
Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.
5 Foods That Reduce Anxiety
When the feeling of anxiety takes over, it is not uncommon to reach for that pint of ice cream or basket of French fries to give you a feeling of immediate satisfaction. Unfortunately, while these foods might give you a temporary mood boost, they may actually increase anxiety in the long run. This is particularly true for foods that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates due to their effect on your body’s hormones.