Q: I’m stressed and my anxiety is getting worse. Is there anything natural that can help me?
A: You are not alone. Anxiety is a serious issue affecting 40 million Americans. Like any mental or emotional health concern, it is important to address anxiety from a whole-body perspective with the goal of balancing the brain and body.
The effects of constant stress can show up as elevated blood pressure, inflammation, blood sugar spikes, increased body fat and fatigue, as well as depression, poor sleep and, of course, anxiety. The good news is that there is a natural solution.
Because the symptoms experienced are broad, you will likely find that a well-designed formula will be more effective than any single ingredient. The inclusion of an adaptogen like the herb schisandra is an excellent choice for managing stress and protecting your brain and body against its damaging effects. Add to this the Ayurvedic herb bacopa, which has been shown to calm anxiety, as well as increase concentration and alleviate physical symptoms like rapid heart rate.
It is also essential to balance the neurotransmitters in your brain. Vitamins B1 and B6, magnesium, choline, L-theanine and L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) are key nutrients for the production of neurotransmitters including GABA (essential for a calm brain), serotonin (the “happy” neurotransmitter), dopamine (sense of reward) and norepinephrine (brain energy).
Taking all these as single ingredients would be expensive and a lot to manage. But looking for these nutrients together in a formula can be an excellent step toward whole-body balance.