Anxiety Got You Down? These Supplements May Help!

by Stacy Lafley

December 15, 2016

It's time to get real.  You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you still suffer from bouts of anxiety, you aren’t going to feel like your best self.  My goal is to help you feel the best you can feel, and managing mental health is part of that. 

I am always looking for new ways to deal with my own varying levels of anxiety, and I know I’m not alone. Fear is not fun. Balanced, happy moods are fun. Personally, I’m quite prone to anxiety, especially in times of change or a break in my routine.  Anyone else? What does anxiety look like for you? Does it affect your body?  Does it affect your actions?  

Even if you don’t have a diagnosed anxiety disorder (you can talk to a psychologist, just to make sure), that sense of fear can still affect your life and prevent you from achievements you might otherwise be able to attain.  Anxiety is a huge source of stress for the body, and the body can’t function optimally when under stress. Focus and concentration are compromised, immunity takes a hit, and relationships can be affected.    

Here’s some good news.  There are SO many ways to deal with that fluttery, nervous, and sometimes incapacitating feeling. Breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, reiki, aromatherapy, journaling, changes in diet, and supplements are all options to help us navigate darker times.  When used in combination, these self-help remedies

can make anxiety more manageable.

If you choose to take a supplement each day, let it remind you of your commitment to your own mental health, and take at least 2 other tangible actions in that direction. Supplements used alone will barely be as effective as supplements combined with other methods of stress reduction.  Do what works for you.  Drop an activity if

you have too much on your plate, make sure you are embracing a healthy diet free of excess sugar and caffeine, try meditation.   Use a habit tracker if need be, and you will be surprised at the change you can effect over time!

Before you start taking supplements, do your research. Some may not be appropriate for everyone, or may have interactions with other medicines. Talk to your doctor first. That being said, here are some of my favorite supplements for anxiety right now:

1)    Fish Oil  contains omega 3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA, which can improve brain and nerve function by reducing inflammation.  Fish oil is more commonly noted for helping with depression, rather than anxiety, but I highly recommend it either way.  This is was first supplement I ever took to help me manage my mood, and I do believe it helped me when I needed it most.  If you are someone who walks in to a room and forgets why they are there, or loses their keys frequently, this is for you.  Protect those neural connections. There are even studies that suggest that fish oil can help prevent

cognitive decline as you age.  Omega 3s do not occur naturally in the body, and many Americans are omega-3 deficient.  Omega 3s also help to lower cholesterol.

2)    Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) is one of the most powerful herbs used in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of healing.  Ashwaganda is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body react to stress in a healthier way.  Ashwaganda

restores balanced adrenal and thyroid function and lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. Among other benefits, this can improve sleep and reduce “brain fog”, leaving you feeling less scattered and more grounded. It also supports immunity and overall vitality. Ashwaganda has a huge variety of benefits, but not much is known about using it over long periods of time.   When taking herbal supplements, find a trustworthy brand.  Gaia Herbs is a brand that I trust.

3)    Magnesium is a calming mineral that most Americans are deficient in.  Modern soil is depleted, and it is removed from our water. Magnesium helps with biochemical reactions throughout the body, and helps cells to make energy.  Magnesium is also

quickly used up by the body when it is stressed.  Magnesium helps reduce muscle cramping and allows for a better night’s sleep when taken at night.  Some studies have shown that magnesium supplementation has been helpful for those with anxiety, so I

figured it would be worth a try!  I take it nightly. Opt for a “chelated” form of magnesium, which is better absorbed by the body.  Another brand many people like is "Magnesium Calm".

**Disclaimer: Anxiety is a sensitive subject.  PLEASE take medicine if it has been prescribed to you.  PLEASE see a doctor if that is what your heart is telling you. Medicine has significantly helped a lot of people be able to live their lives, and that’s what we are all trying to do here!**