Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia and on average, one in three Australian women (and one in five men) will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. Anxiety is more than just feeling worried or stressed in response to a situation. Anxiety is when these feelings persist and happen when there is no particular reason or cause. These feelings are hard to control and can make it really difficult to cope with day to day life.
Some of the symptoms of anxiety include:
- Repetitive negative thoughts
- Unease / sense of impending danger
- Difficulty concentrating
Anxiety can also result in a variety of physical symptoms including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sore stomach
- Muscle tension
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid/shallow breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Panic attack
There are many different types of anxiety and it is important to seek help as symptoms can worsen over time. Anxiety can be triggered by many things and most commonly I see clients who experience anxiety from prolonged stress and overwhelm in their daily life. Most of us are so used to spending our lives being super busy and getting very little down time. This constant running around, getting things done, having an endless to-do list and rarely relaxing means that our bodies are running on adrenaline, cortisol and stress hormones which are major triggers for anxiety. Can you think of the last time that you were so relaxed and had nothing to do and were actually bored?
Certain nutrient deficiencies or excesses can also contribute to feelings of anxiety or excess stress. Ensuring adequate intake of omega-3’s, magnesium, B vitamins and zinc is essential for supporting the nervous system. I will usually test my clients for their zinc to copper ratio, possibility of pyrrole disorder (a simple urine test), folate metabolism, thyroid problems or adrenal fatigue to ensure the best possible treatment and results. It is important to ensure that you are eating foods which help to calm the nervous system and avoid foods which can spike cortisol levels including sugar and caffeine.
Luckily, naturopathy can really help to manage the symptoms and underlying causes of anxiety. Optimising nutrition, exercise, sleep and lifestyle while supporting the system with any necessary nutrients and herbal medicines – most clients are surprised at how much better they can feel. I will often recommend that my clients also check in with a clinical psychologist to ensure a really holistic treatment and best possible results.
“I had always been an anxious person but after Xmas, I started feeling anxious on a daily basis and starting to suffer panic attacks for no particular reason. I was constantly exhausted but by night time I found it really difficult to sleep and would lay awake feeling my heart beating and feeling short of breath. I had to take two weeks off work because my symptoms were so bad. The doctor assured me that I was fine and prescribed me an anti-anxiety medication. I decided not to take it and started seeing Belinda. She was really caring and understanding and helped me to understand why I was feeling this way. She gave me some diet suggestions and a mindfulness app to do daily, she did some tests and also prescribed me some supplements which started helping almost immediately. I started sleeping better within two nights and over the last two months I have continued to feel progressively better. She also referred me to a really good psychologist who is also helping. I highly recommend Belinda and her thorough and realistic approach to managing anxiety.” – Rebecca M. Bellevue Hill
Belinda created The Seed Concept as she is passionate about helping women optimise their nutrition and health in a realistic and achievable manner.