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How To Deal With Anxiety Without Medication

How To Deal With Anxiety Without Medication

How do you get through the day? Are you popping pills, drinking too much, or are you ready to punch the guy who didn’t say thank you after you held the elevator door open for him?

Life is hard. There are plenty of reasons that make you feel like you want to scream.

You turn on the television to watch Game of Thrones, but instead you find out that there was another blizzard, draught, tornado or fire. Not a great way to end the day.

The never-ending demands and deadlines of the day can weigh you down and drive you crazy. From the moment you put your feet on the floor each morning until the time you put them under the covers at night, your life feels like it’s spinning out of control.

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Everyone feels stressed out, overworked and exhausted but the real question is…did your stress turn into anxiety? Would you take an Ativan before heading out to dinner to tell your fiancé that you are breaking off the engagement? Or would you have the strength to face her drug-free?

Modern medicine provides you with a quick fix for anxious times (a 12-hour flight is certainly one of them). Once in awhile it’s ok, but sooner or later you find yourself wanting more, and before you know it you are sitting in the back row of an NA meeting reciting the Serenity Prayer.

Anxiety is a sneaky little creep.

You could be sitting quietly reading a book when suddenly your heart starts pounding.

There are different types of anxiety.

Sometimes anxiety comes from familiar nervous moments; before taking a test, going on a job interview or driving through unknown neighborhoods without a GPS.

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There is also the butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of nervousness you feel that could have a good outcome like a successful presentation, a positive pregnancy test or an exciting African safari.

However, these potentially joyful events can also bring on incapacitating anxious thoughts.

Anxiety is a mind trip that attacks the body.

You have to heal both; your body and your mind.

The first thing to do is to visit a doctor. Rule out any physical conditions that might be causing your rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and hyperventilating dizziness. While you do, follow the next steps and learn how to deal with anxiety without medication.

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1. Find your breath.

Breathing exercises such as pranayama and qi gong are easy to learn and can instantly calm your anxious thoughts.

2. Learn 3 restorative yoga poses.

Buy a yoga book or go to a yoga class. Restorative yoga slows down a racing heartbeat and an overactive mind.

3. Don’t get too hungry, tired, hot or cold.

These physical discomforts cause a reaction in the brain that causes anxiety.

4. Be prepared, be on time, stop rushing.

Give yourself time to take a more relaxing route home. Rushing triggers anxiety.

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5. Start a conversation with your anxiety.

Hello anxiety! I know you’ve come to haunt me, but I’m in charge today. Identifying anxiety puts you in control of it. You become the captain of the ship, instead of a passenger.

6. Find a good therapist or support group.

Make an appointment with an anxiety specialist, someone you can be honest with as you spill your guts.

7. Meditate five minutes every day.

Sit comfortably. Lock the dogs and cats in the other room. Shut your phone. Count your breaths.

It can’t be that bad if Oprah, the Dalai Lama, LeBron James and Paul McCartney do it.

Note: There are times when medication is necessary. Certain conditions are severe and require pharmacological intervention. Seek appropriate medical attention.

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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