|Posted on June 14, 2016 at 7:20 AM|
Do you feel nervous over the slightest thing and struggle to deal with certain situations?
Clammy palms, pounding heart or feeling dizzy?
These can be common signs of anxiety, but often stress and anxiety are not clearly distinguished.
Stress is a response to what appears to be a threat in a situation and the anxiety is a reaction to this.
Experts say anxiety is characterised by impatience, poor concentration, a feeling of helplessness, irritability, being tense and restless.
Other symptoms which are more severe could include chest tightness, indigestion, dry mouth, fatigue, sweating and headache.
Below are a few tips on how to tame anxiety;
Caffeine is a stimulant, which prompts your body to release the stress hormones making you feel more stressed and on edge than you should be.
furthermore, caffeine is addictive, tea and coffee act like a drug.
Leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, said: ‘As the effect of the caffeine wears off, you will want another one and then you are back on that roller coaster again of highs and lows, exactly like the highs and lows of blood sugar.
‘If you add sugar to the tea or coffee the roller coaster highs will be higher and the lows lower making you feel even more stressed.
‘Because caffeine acts like a drug, you wouldn’t be advised to stop suddenly and go ‘cold turkey’ because you could experience quite dramatic withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, tiredness, muscle cramps and depression.’
Work out what’s important
If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health, Dr Glenville stresses. ‘Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much,’ she said. ‘Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. ‘It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life.’
Increase your ‘feel good’ hormone
We need to make sure that our levels of serotonin (the ‘feel good’ hormone) remain high. And, a simple change of diet can work wonders says Dr Glenville. She explains: ‘The body makes serotonin from tryptophan, which occurs naturally in foods such as dairy products, fish, bananas, dried dates, soya, almonds and peanuts.
‘Combining the foods mentioned above with unrefined carbohydrates, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread or oats, helps the body to release insulin to help tryptophan uptake to the brain.
Steady your sugar levels
An essential part of combating stress is to balance your blood sugar levels. Sugar crashes, which can happen throughout the day due to long periods without food and not eating the right foods, stimulates the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol to be released. Dr Glenville explained: ‘This is because these stress hormones, apart from helping you to run away from a tiger, can also mobilise your glucose - which has been stored as glycogen in the liver - back into the blood stream. ‘This is why you can feel more jittery, irritable etc when blood sugar plummets.’ She advises ensuring you have a small meal every two to three hours that contains protein.
Up your fish intake
Almost 60 per cent of our brains are made up of fat, nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains. About half of that fat is DHA omega 3 fatty acides, which are found in abundance in fish. Hence why fish is often referred to as a great source of ‘brain food’. ‘Omega 3 are known as “essential” fats because our bodies do not make these so we must rely on eternal sources for these nutrients, such as eating oily fish, or taking a supplement,’ Ms Barns said.
Get a good nights’ sleep
Many of us experience feelings of pressure, tension, and nervousness., especially after a busy and stressful day and these feelings can feel more prominent at bedtime. Sleep is a significant part of living a healthy lifestyle, and many of us simply do not get enough. Martina Della Vedova, nutritionist at Nature’s Plus UK says: ‘If we don’t get enough sleep we can find it harder to adapt to challenging situations, and when we can’t cope as efficiently with stress it can be harder to have a good night’s rest.