What is anxiety?
Most people at some point in their lives are affected by mental health conditions. It can sometimes feel like an overwhelming feeling especially when you are constantly feeling anxious. However, as you read on you will understand how anxiety works and realise that you have the power to manage and control it.
Generalised anxiety disorder is when you feel an uncontrollable and overwhelming sense of worry or panic, which can also occur with a rapid heartbeat and breathing issues. These feelings and sensations can be triggered by certain events (speaking to a crowd, being late for work), thoughts and even food (sugar) and drink (caffeine). And once triggered, your body releases chemicals that cause anxiety.
Like all animals, you have evolved ways to protect yourself. For example, 10,000 years ago your ancestors when confronted with a sabre tooth tiger would either decide to fight it or run without thinking too much about it.
That is because part of your brain called the limbic system or emotional brain becomes activated in response to potentially being eaten. Once activated it releases the same chemicals (cortisol) that cause anxiety. At the same time, energy is moved from the inner body (organs, systems not immediately needed) to the arms and legs to help your ancestor fight or run.
However, once your ancestor either ran to safety or killed the sabre tooth tiger, his brain would tell his body there was no danger and he would feel normal again.
Now replace the sabre tooth tiger with a deadline at work or bills to pay. Although the trigger is different the response can be the same. The brain tricks the body into thinking there is danger when there is none. The more this happens the more you feel anxious.
How can anxiety affect you?
Anxiety can be a very debilitating condition and affect your day to day life. If left untreated it can cause serious problems. However, here’s what a well-managed and controlled anxiety can do for you:
Less worrying can reduce the risk of insomnia
Less worrying can reduce the risk of depression
Less worrying redirects vital energy needed to strengthen the immune system
Less worrying redirects vital energy needed for the digestive system which can reduce the risk of pain, diarrhoea, constipation and ulcers
Less worrying reduces the risk of heart disease
How to manage anxiety
This section will outline some ideas and advice that are evidence-based and backed by scientific research. These counselling points are to be used to help you create your own personalised sleep routine/ritual. You do not need to do all of these things, so try and experiment with a few at a time and create a sleep diary to track your progress. If you feel as though a method may not be working then change it and test another. However, give enough time before chopping and changing as it may take some time for your body to adjust to this new habit. But once it does it may harmonise your mind and body in such a way that that you feel calm and relaxed, ready to face the days challenges.
A well-rested body allows for a well-rested mind. Getting enough quality sleep can help you gain more control over your thoughts and emotions.
Based on research: Very likely to help
Regular exercise helps in many ways including, strengthening the heart and promoting the release of feel-good chemicals (serotonin) in the brain.
Based on evidence: very likely to help
Mindfulness meditation can help release stress and anxiety and calm the mind. Studies have shown regular practice helps you gain awareness of thoughts and emotions which can help put things into perspective.
Based on evidence: likely to help
Research shows that eating a well-balanced diet with fruit and veg and less sugar can
help improve mood.
Based on evidence : Very likely to help
Studies show us that deep diaphragmatic breathing (breathing into the abdominal) can help reduce the chemicals (cortisol) that cause anxiety and can also help us be more present.
Based on evidence: Very likely to help
CBD & Anxiety
Studies have shown that CBD may reduce anxiety. Various studies on anxiety have been conducted to date with very promising results. The exact mechanism that CBD works, is being uncovered every day. With current findings suggesting that it has links to serotonin (the feel good chemical in the brain). For more information on what we do know thus far, visit our CBD page.
Instil 1-2 drops of a suitable strength oil (see our dosing guide) under the tongue and hold for 60-90 seconds. Do this 1-2 hours before planning on going to bed. visit the CBD dosing page for more info
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