In today’s climate, more and more people are battling anxiety. Economic turmoil and social distancing are leaving people feeling isolated and nervous which can easily exacerbate existing conditions. Below, we’re going to explore the various types of anxiety, and some of the healthy ways to alleviate the symptoms, including diet and lifestyle choices.
The mildest type of anxiety, Minor Anxiety can appear as a bout of over-worrying that is not appropriate to the situation. A form of situational anxiety, minor anxiety can be treated with basic breathing exercises as well as making adjustments to diet and exercise routines.
Even 15 minutes of mild exercise such as walking can combat the symptoms of minor anxiety and switching to a diet devoid of dairy, sugar, and saturated fats and help regulate the body’s response to stress, thereby reducing symptoms.
Many researchers refer to the gut as the second brain, and when the body experiences a lack of sufficient nutrients, the brain experiences a direct loss to the production of positive neurotransmitters — which can then lead to a spike in anxiety-related symptoms.
Free floating anxiety manifests as a deep sense of worry that can attach itself to any area of life, whether financial, professional, or personal. Also a form of situational anxiety, free-floating anxiety can transform into GAD (or Generalized Anxiety Disorder) if it is not treated.
Professional therapy and medication can help in managing symptoms, as can an adjustment to sleep and diet patterns. Ensuring 8 hours of rest per night and switching to a diet that involves less binge eating and fewer comfort foods (that add guilt to your mental anxiety platter) can alleviate symptoms.
The Mediterranean diet can help combat anxiety, and the positive mental health effects are fast-acting. With the Mediterranean diet, you will
- Stick to whole grains and legumes for your starches
- Fill up on lots of veggies and fruits
- Focus on eating healthy fatty fish rather than red meat
- Add in nuts and healthy oils (like grape or olive oil)
- Enjoy sweets and the occasional glass of wine in moderation
Make this simple switch and you will begin to experience positive changes in a few days — but only if you stick with it!
A number of studies suggest that cannabis can reduce symptoms related to both minor and free-floating anxiety. The relaxing, therapeutic effects of CBD, which is the non-psychoactive cannabis compound that won’t get you high, include relaxation and a sense of well-being – which some have actually described as the absence of anxiety. If you want to enjoy fine CBD-infused teas and other products, look for Olli edibles coming soon — and remember that these can be a relaxing way to combat symptoms of anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is the most severe type of anxiety and people suffering from GAD worry excessively in several different areas of life. They may catastrophize and anticipate the worst in every situation.
People with GAD find it very difficult to control their worry and often find minor irritations or disappointments major triggers to deeper anxiety episodes.
Treating GAD often requires the help of psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. With or without therapy, GAD can be treated with a shift in diet. Planning meals around whole foods, and lowering or eliminating processed foods including snack foods and sweets can help with the coping process.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the various types of anxiety and how you can go about treating this condition. Now, more than ever, it pays to take care of your mental health.