Anxiety Diet

> Anxiety Diet

This anxiety diet -idea came about as I started struggling with heightened anxiety and what seemed like a total inability to cope with any kind of stress. I generally have had a very good self-confidence through my life but at some point, perhaps towards the end of my studies, I noticed that I would start blushing very easily and felt a little overly self-conscious when talking to people I didn't know very well. Generally I have always been very sociable and interested in other people, although I've also had my shy side as well. I guess almost everyone does to some degree, it just manifests in different types of situations.

I lived with this anxiety on and off for some time and didn't think too much of it, because at the beginning the reaction was quite rare and mild. I just thought that generally I had had a too stressful life, to a large part due to my own choices, and that I needed to take it easy and rest for a while. So I started simplifying my life, reducing caffeine and alcohol, and started looking for the secrets to perfect health.

I now think, however, that excitement, stress and challenge are healthy parts of life. Not frustrating type of stress but healthy challenges that you put yourself in and which make you feel rewarded when you succeed.

But it is true that the excitement we get from living our lives needs to be balanced by recovery and relaxation, emotional support and feeling secure. In other words, the sympathetic and parasymphathetic nervous system activities need to be in balance.

anxiety diet, chickpea curry on salad, low carb meal
Chickpea curry on salad is a good anxiety-busting meal, because it avoids the starchy white rice and is high protein and low-carb. You can even use this trick in restaurants by asking to switch the rice to a large salad. I find that the meal is still equally enjoyable, and you don't get tired like you would from eating white rice.

According to the hair mineral analysis I did some time back, which tells about the functioning of your cells, I had too much sympathetic nervous system activity. There are herbs that help with this but also, meditation and laid-back non-intellectual activity were 'prescribed'.

And it does make you feel better. However I was never very diligent in continuing these practices or making them a regular part of my life. This "anxiety diet" experiment will include plenty of these in my daily life. But there are other - dietary - aspects to this, which are of more immediate effect and I would say, at least in the short term, more effective.

Jump to Chapter:
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

Anxiety Gets Worse

When I really started to think I had an anxiety problem was when I started interviewing for a new job, and almost every time, if the interview was held in a little bit warmer room (it was a hot summer) I would start slowly blushing from the beginning of the interview. I tried to tackle this by wearing loose, cool clothing, arriving in good time to allow myself to cool down from carrying my heavy portfolio and to compose myself before meeting the interviewers, and sniffing angelica oil before going in... and drinking camomile or schizandra berry tea. Schizandra berry especially seemed to have a nice, calming effect.

I managed to not blush in some of the interviews using this method, especially if they had a fan on in the room. But going to such lengths just not to blush was very new to me, since I had been to countless interviews before with no problems. But starting my new job, I now started blushing badly when talking to some of my new workmates. Especially when there was a social cake event, I would eat a piece of cake and suddenly become very self-conscious and blush if anyone asked me anything. All this was very unusual for me because I had been very comfortable socialising until then and being the centre of attention didn't bother me. And now suddenly I seemed to have developed a bad case of social anxiety, which made me feel like avoiding many social events altogether.

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Jump to Chapter:
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety

So I researched and researched, and tried to pay attention to my body's reactions to different foods and situations. With the help of the Chinese Medical Doctor (Dr. Tan) the picture started becoming clearer quite quickly.

I first realized that the anxiety was to a large part caused by the adrenal glandular supplements I had been taking - or at least a huge reduction in anxiety coincided with quitting these capsules and taking Chinese herbs and acupuncture. I took GABA just before meetings, which seemed to calm me down and allow me to not blush but act normal. The herbs seemed to help as well, and I was boiling a full potfull of herbs three times per day, as instructed.

I felt better but still had some symptoms left. I would blush, but not as badly, and not as easily. I realised that drinking green tea made me more prone to the anxiety problems, and would lessen my self-confidence. I linked this problem to dehydration, which was a general problem of my body fluids being out of balance, as explained by Dr. Tan.

She also explained that blushing or hot flashes was due to liver weakness and too much emotional energy - emotions affecting the liver and vice versa. But more about this in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Diary.

Later note: I have also written about hot flashes and women's hormone balance here: Natural remedies for menstrual cramps. These hormonal imbalance problems are very closely linked to the issues discussed in this (Anxiety Diet) article.

Jump to top of article
Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

The Problem of Sugar

Dr Tan kept telling me to eat a low-sugar diet and to cut out dairy (the latter because I had a cough and a stuffy nose) and I did to some degree but also kept drinking alcohol here and there, and eating some sugar treats, as well as carbohydrates. She didn't see anything wrong with starchy foods or white rice, so I kept eating those as well.

And then, for some reason, I decided to try a paleolithic type diet, eating meat, no sugar, no carbs apart from vegetable carbs, and very little sour fruit. Protein with every meal (including animal protein), high fat and very low-carbohydrate. The diet also required staying away from processed foods. By this time I had also been alcohol free for maybe a month, because I thought that alcohol weakened my mind and I felt so much better without it.

And during the two weeks of what I called the 'caveman diet experiment', I felt completely free of anxiety! It completely disappeared. You can read more on these reflections in the diary above.
anxiety diet, salmon fishcakes, mango salsa
Anxiety diet meal: Salmon fishcakes on mango salsa. In my case even the mango was too sugary, however.

But I got other problems, such as bad skin and constipation, from the animal products and high fat. So I went back to eating more plant based and not eating quite as high amount of fat as I had been. But from this experiment I made a connection between the anxiety and sugar, firstly, and anxiety and carbs, secondly.

The clear benefits of a high-fat animal-protein diet were that I didn't feel like snacking in between meals because the food was filling and slow to digest and my blood sugar was more balanced due to the protein. Many amino acids (in proteins) are feel-good chemicals too, and adequate fat intake may be important for female hormone balance and brain function (avoidance of depression).

I tested various food items back and forth and came to the following conclusions:

1) If I drank a cider a two one night, the following day my face was red all day and also I blushed more easily (sugar and alcohol effect).

2) If I ate no dinner but two pastries in the evening, I would feel more tired and phlegmy the next day, as well as less self-confident and weaker.

3) If I did't eat for a long time, e.g. skipped breakfast, I would start feeling weak, with achy arms, fatigued, fevery feeling (though no fever) - I came to recognise these as low blood sugar symptoms (although it didn't show up on a blood sugar meter).

4) If I ate a piece of cake or a couple of sugary biscuits at work, even if I felt perfectly well until then, within 0.5 - 1 hours my eyes would go red and watery, I would get a headache and feel very tired. Red face or blushing (hot flashes) would become a problem as well.

5) Generally carbs, sugar and alcohol make me put on weight very quickly, lower my capability to handle stress, and cause water retention, dehydration, bloated belly, red complexion and puffy face, among other problems.

All of these reactions are linked to cortisol (stress-hormone production), adrenalin glands and fight-or-flight response, blood sugar imbalances, body fluid imbalance, and kidney and liver weakness.

So having found many things that help me feel stronger and more self-confident, I will start recording an anxiety diet diary, which will take into account the above realizations, as well as other things I found out about anxiety and the related imbalances.

The point of this article is that your diet may have a huge impact on how confident you feel, but it probably varies from person to person. I also heard of someone who got anxiety from eating red meat - I can imagine this being possible since non-organic meat has many hormones within it, including adrenaline. Depending on your hormone balance this may or may not be a problem.

I will write more about the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and the connection between anxiety and adrenal gland weakness, as well as the many causes of dehydration and how that is linked to hormones. But I am out of time now, so read my diary below to see if I managed to feel bullet-proof with a specific diet, exercise and subconscious mind work programme.

In addition, I have provided below some further thoughts on self-confidence, partly diet, partly non-diet -related.

Jump to top of article
Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

Supplements Can Cause Anxiety

I've also spoken to someone who said that many supplements cause her to blush, even if they are meant to be of high quality and even though she didn't have a blushing problem without them. So if you have anxiety problems, try first to cut out supplements.

Foods to Improve Moods

Other things that should help to lift your moods in general are: B-vitamin complex, probiotics, chlorophyll-rich foods, such as spirulina, green juices, leafy green salads, green smoothies.

Read more here: How to Cure Moodiness - all these mood improving topics are also linked to anxiety and self-confidence.

Also, aphrodisiacs strengthen the sex hormones in your body, which to a large degree are the youth and vitality hormones.

You can also consider dopamine and endorphin boosting foods and herbs.

Jump to top of article
Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

Strong Mind in a Strong Body

When your body is strong and clean, generally so is your mind. You feel good and confident. Stop toxins and processed foods, drink plenty of clean water, sleep - as tiredness can increase anxiety (at least it doesn't in my case) - and detoxify heavy metals out of the body and address any nutritional deficiencies if you can afford to get analysed for these.

Brain Allergies

The book Brain Allergies explains how behind many serious disorders of the mind is a hidden cause, which can be one or many of the following: a mineral deficiency, heavy metal toxicity or chemical/food intolerance.

Another good book to read on the same topic is: 'Diet, Crime and Delinquency' by Alexander Schauss.

Read also: 'How Inflammation Influences Behavior', and
'Diet and Mental Health Strongly Connected - Research Finds'.

anxiety diet, almond flour pancake, low carb
Almond flour pancake is high-protein and low carb. You can use a little honey on top as a sweetener if you feel you can handle that amount of sugar.

Jump to top of article
Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Self-Confidence

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle

An aspect of my anxiety was also that I wasn't happy with my job. I felt like I was working very hard for something that didn't have a meaning to me. So I was exhausted, frustrated and also had money worries. I felt I had very little free time to live my life. If I was able to live a more exciting life and be true to my beliefs and values - and live day-to-day in an uncompromising way, exactly how I wanted to live - I believe that the anxiety would not have manifested as strongly.

This doesn't mean that the dietary solutions are not valid. The effect goes both ways. The diet weakens my body and because of that, my mind gets weakened as well. If I lived an exciting life on my own terms I probably wouldn't have noticed the anxiety as quickly, but my body would still have been weakened by the sugar etc.

But just the fact that you feel happy, free, and excited also strengthens your body, because of these emotions influence on the life energy, which feeds the body's organs. This is what the Chinese Doctor probably meant by 'too much emotional heat'. Frustration weakens the liver but also, a weak liver causes frustration. So changing your life so that you are happy and live your highest calling, at the same time as strengthening your body and nervous system, is the age-old recipe for vibrant, anxiety- and stress-free living (and longevity too).

Jump to top of article
Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle

Anxiety Diet Conclusions (separate article)

Self-Confidence

As Dr Ivan Joseph explains in the TED video below, to have self-confidence you must believe in yourself before anyone else can believe in you. And how do you make yourself believe in yourself? Practice, practice, practice until you are good at something you want to be good at! If you feel self-conscious and nervous in public speaking, practice that! Prepare your talks in advance and practice them before the real thing.



In some cases a negative world view can prevent one from having enough strength to learn anything new. In many cases addressing nutritional deficiencies in such a case can help.

But also, subconscious mind work can be an important support in all types of anxieties and lack of confidence. This basically means positive affirmations, which the Law of Attraction explains how to do. Possibly subliminal messages can help too, such as those from Brain Sync.

You can start learning about the subconscious mind by reading Harry Carpenter's book. I have been listening to subliminal messages on my phone, as well as positive affirmations, for which I made a recording myself on my phone. These both seem to be working very well. I have written more at the above article regarding Law of Attraction.

EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, can be used to combine positive affirmations with stimulation of certain key nervous system meridian endpoints which have been shown to affect emotions. This could be seen as a type of self-hypnosis as well and can be done at home.

Subconscious mind work is not very far from self-hypnosis, where one makes a hypnotic, trance-inducing spoken word recording and listens to it at home. Tracie O'Keefe, a hypnotherapist, explains how to do this in her book: "Self-Hypnosis for Life: Mind, Body and Spiritual Excellence". I haven't tried it yet but it seems simple and straightforward enough and I can easily believe that self hypnosis would help to increase self confidence (although the book is not that well written, maybe worth looking for a better one on the same topic).
And lastly, everyone needs supportive, positive people around them. If you don't have anyone to support you, try to get away from negative people as much as possible and get to know people who are willing to support you and who inspire you to be happy and positive. Perhaps you would enjoy joining a community/ hobby/ volunteering group or activity group.

See: Anxiety Diet Diary to read about my successes and failures with the Anxiety Diet...

Or go straight to: Anxiety Diet Conclusions

Jump to Chapter:
Anxiety Gets Worse
How I Found the Causes of My Anxiety
The Problem of Sugar
Supplements Can Cause Anxiety
Foods to Improve Moods
Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Brain Allergies
Holistic Healing from Anxiety - Diet vs. Lifestyle
Self-Confidence

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