Photography by: Ivar Teunissen
Change your life(style)
You can also manage your anxiety by making a few simple tweaks to your everyday activities, including these expert recommendations:
Get moving A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 found that, on average, patients who exercised regularly reported a 20 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who did not exercise. “Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that physical activities such as walking or weight lifting may turn out to be the best medicine that physicians can prescribe to help their patients feel less anxious,” says lead author Matthew Herring, a doctoral student in kinesiology at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Supplement your symptoms Research has linked a variety of nutrients to lower levels of anxiety. In one study, omega-3 supplementation led to a 20 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. In another study, supplementing with calcium, magnesium and zinc significantly reduced anxiety and perceived stress. And still another study found that taking 200 milligrams of magnesium plus 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 for one month relieved premenstrual-related anxiety.
Sleep well Getting enough Z’s allows your nervous system to recover and helps your body to produce the “sleep hormone” melatonin, which helps to mitigate anxiety.
Don’t drink or smoke Caffeine, excess alcohol and cigarettes can all overstimulate you and affect your sleep, and are all associated with higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Mind your meds Various drugs can cause or worsen anxiety, including certain cold remedies, diet aids, inhaler medications used for asthma and thyroid drugs. Discuss with your doctor everything you’re taking. To overcome chronic anxiety, you’ll need consistency and patience. “It’s an ongoing battle, but regularly practicing yoga, eating a healthful and balanced diet, taking vitamin B complex, finding ‘me’ time and drinking calming teas have really helped me,” says Garcia. Indeed, hers is a story of hope for sufferers of GAD everywhere.