What to Buy in Whole Foods to Reduce Your Anxiety

While there is a ton of new studies that are starting to show that what you eat can have an effect on your anxiety, the real connection is between the food you eat and your brain. This means that when you eat certain foods, it has a calming effect on you that helps you to reduce your anxiety (the good foods). But at the same time, there are also foods that have a negative effect on your anxiety and actually make it worse (the bad foods).

While anybody can go online and find some foods that are supposedly going to help them reduce their anxiety, what foods can you go down to your local Whole Foods store and purchase today?

Here is a list of foods that you can buy from your local Whole Foods store to reduce your anxiety, and what to avoid buying, as it will only aggravate your anxiety.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the foods that you must have in your diet if you want to be healthy and happy. In fact, some will even say that Omega-3’s are brain food that will make your brain happy.

While most doctors prefer to prescribe you some type of medication to help treat your anxiety, the real answer is right in front of you; the food you eat. And when it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, nothing can be better for your brain. So how does this relate to your anxiety?

When you lack certain nutrients (such as Omega-3 fatty acids), it will have a negative effect on your brain. In fact, it will disrupt your brain function and can even alter the chemistry and neurotransmitters in there as well. This is bad as it’s those neurotransmitters that control your mood, how you feel, and even your appetite.

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But when you add Omega-3’s to your diet, you will be giving your brain the nutrition it needs while also reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

Some of the foods that you can add to your daily diet that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and readily available at your local Whole Foods store include:

Probiotics

Not commonly known by most, probiotics are another food that will help to calm you. While probiotics are for your gut, your gut is extremely important in the production of several neurotransmitters that include dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and serotonin.

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In fact, recent research has shown that using probiotics can actually work to help you treat, and even prevent your symptoms of anxiousness.

The best ways to get more probiotics in your diet are to either take a probiotic supplement or eat/drink foods that are fermented. The process of fermentation encourages the good bacteria in your gut to grow and can help calm and prevent the symptoms of anxiety.

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Foods that will help increase the number of probiotics in your gut that are readily available at Whole Foods include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Pickles

More Antioxidants

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There is a reason that foods rich in antioxidants are considered to be superfoods; they help to prevent your feelings of anxiousness. Antioxidants have been proven to protect your brain against stress, which eventually leads to inflammation. This can and will eventually affect your neurotransmitter production. What this means is that when you are in a state of lower antioxidants, you will feel more anxious more easily.

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In fact, studies have shown that when you follow a diet that is rich in antioxidant foods, it will help to treat your mood issues and make you feel better more often.

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Some of the antioxidant-rich foods that you should include in the daily diet that you can easily get from Whole Foods include:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Fruits Rich In Vitamin C
  • Broccoli
  • Red Peppers
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Strawberries

These are the foods that are readily available at Whole Foods stores, and that is essential if you want to support your optimal brain function.

Refined Sugars And Processed Foods Are Bad

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When it comes to processed foods and sweets, it is no big secret that they are bad for you. But did you also know that they are bad for your mental health too? You see, it’s the sugars and refined carbohydrates that are going to cause your blood sugar to spike extremely high, followed by a huge sudden drop.

While this may not sound like it’s that bad, this drop in blood sugar levels has been linked to a higher risk for depression and mood swings.

As if that weren’t bad enough, fried foods and processed meats have also been linked to a drop in your mood, as well as inflammation and heart disease. All these symptoms are linked to mental health problems, as well as anxiety.

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While these types of foods are readily available at Whole Foods stores, your best plan of action is to steer clear of any fried foods, processed meats or refined sugars.

Instead, try to shop for the more complex carbohydrates such as the ones that are found in whole grains. These are directly linked to a lower rate of mental health conditions, as well as a lower rate of anxiety.

Alcohol Is A Major Downer

While alcohol is a natural depressant, it is even worse if you suffer from anxiety. While alcohol makes you feel ‘better’ initially, it goes hand in hand with anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that if you suffer from social anxiety, you are 4.5 times more likely to be more dependent on alcohol.

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Drinking alcohol may seem to calm you down, but what it does to your body is cause massive spikes and then dips in your blood sugar levels. On top of that, it also dehydrates you, impairs your brain’s ability to function, and causes even more anxious feelings than if you didn’t drink anything at all. It is a vicious cycle when it comes to alcohol.

When it comes to what you should buy from Whole Foods to reduce your anxiety, there are many good things that you can use to help your situation. But at the same time, there are also some foods that you should stay away from as they are only going to aggravate your anxiety symptoms.

Just be sure that you maintain a healthy diet and buy the good foods that are going to help lessen your anxiety symptoms when you are shopping at Whole Foods, and you will be fine.

This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.

Short Guide About Burnout: What Is It And How To Avoid It

It doesn’t matter who you are: burnout happens to the best of us. We all do it: you’re getting up every day, grinding away, hitting the hay, and then waking up and doing it over and over again. That can last for a while, but it gets old, and one of these days, you’ll wake up and be more than just sleepy: you’ll be exhausted, fatigued, and burned out. (Maybe today is that day!) No matter how many cups of coffee you chug or laps you take around the office, you’re feeling it: you’re wiped.

That’s okay! We live in a busy, nonstop world, and the rise of technology and digital enhancement hasn’t really helped, either. Just because cities never sleep doesn’t mean you can do the same thing and be unscathed. We’re here to tell you six symptoms of burnout, and ways that you can recover and get into a healthier headspace. Don’t be discouraged! It’s a long process, but taking care of yourself is always worth it.

What is burnout?

Burnout can be brought about by chronic stress or anxiety–that is, stress that occurs over and over in your life. You might be experiencing burnout if you are exhausted, cynical, and generally feel less capable to do the tasks and things you’ve always done. It can happen at any time, but burnout can be compounded when other parts of your life are bringing on stress or taking too much of your attention. Plus, if you have a tendency towards perfectionism, you may bring burnout on more quickly because you are so much more critical of your own work than maybe you need to be.

Sign One: Exhaustion

This is a pretty clear sign: are you exhausted? It may not just be physical exhaustion, although that’s a huge indicator (Note: try some self-care to get a good night’s sleep in). Are you relationally or mentally exhausted? Maybe even emotionally exhausted? If you find you have little or nothing to give to friends, family members, or coworkers–heck, if you find that you don’t have anything to give yourself, this may be a clear sign of burnout impacting your mental health.

Sign Two: Cynicism

Some people are just generally more cynical than others, but if you’ve noticed an uptick in your pessimism and a generally negative attitude, this can be a sign of burnout. If you feel numb or a lack of passion about things you used to love, or have begun to nit-pick your coworkers and superiors, this can be another sign of burnout.

Sign Three: Reduced Ability to Perform

You may wake up one day, thinking: “Didn’t I used to love this job? What happened?” If this is you, reduced ability to enjoy and do your job properly is another sign of burnout. If you are lacking creativity, are having a really difficult time concentrating, or are feeling generally unmotivated to complete tasks, your body may be trying to tell you something. This workplace stress may not necessarily be your fault! Or, maybe you’ve been working so hard that you’ve lost your motivation for working hard in the first place. As we’ve said, performance suffering in the workplace happens to the best of us. Take a step back and look at your work environment on a larger scale. What can you do to reduce burnout at work? They might be small changes, or you may realize you need a more drastic shift in your routine.

Sign Four: Decline in Self Care

Self care isn’t some wishy-washy scam from the health and wellness industry to make money. In reality, taking care of yourself is vital to your success and happiness in every other part of your life–in your relationships, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. And when we say self-care, we don’t just mean how long it’s been since you got a pedicure (although, that totally counts). Have you been getting a full night’s sleep recently? Are you eating all three meals? Are you drinking more alcohol or coffee to supplement your lack of sleep or your stress levels? These can all be clear indicators that something isn’t right.

Sign Five: Lacking Work-Life Balance

Are you thinking about work all the time, even if you aren’t at work? Are you having a hard time leaving your email at the office? If you’re checking messages at 3am, you may need to integrate some new boundaries into your life to help leave work at work. (And if you’re the type of person who brings work on vacation, you may need to reconsider your definition of vacation.)

Sign Six: Increased Health Problems

Whether having a hard time sleeping or experiencing digestive issues, we are holistic creatures. So when one system is stressed, other systems in our bodies will also experience significant stress. If you’re noticing an increase in health problems over a long period of time, you may need to consider how stressors at your workplace or at home may be causing difficulties with your health and well-being.

How to Overcome:

Okay, so now that you’ve identified burnout, what do you do? How do you recover? Well, just remember that these things take time! Give yourself the grace to “be in process.”

1. Set Aside Time to Relax

Actively try to leave work at work and give yourself permission to take time off. Whether that means an hour each night, or reserving one day of the weekend to totally veg out, work hard to respect those boundaries. Read a book, binge a TV show, or take your dog for a walk. Set aside times to do what makes you happy, and honor that time.

2. Take Care of Yourself

This is the easiest to say, but somehow the hardest to do. Whether this means getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking more water than coffee, or treating yourself to a pedicure, self-care really can make a huge difference. Maybe you integrate some new supplements into your diet, like CBD Gummies, to help give you a little boost of energy or cut down on some of your day to day anxiety.

3. Ask for Help

Burnout isn’t a sign of weakness, but ignoring signs of burnout is. Ask your boss for help if you’re feeling burdened at work, or have a conversation with a partner or spouse about balancing stress at home.

4. Prioritize

When you’re experiencing burnout, you may become less organized and more distracted by any little thing.  Taking time to write everything down, categorize tasks, and prioritize those tasks in order can help bring some serious clarity to your mind, not to mention give you tangible goals to work for.

If you’re experiencing burnout, don’t lose hope! You can recover. Take it slow, take it easy, and integrate others into your life who can uplift and encourage you. You can do it!

This article is originally published at SundayScaries.

 

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

Anxiety is a normal coping mechanism; however, in excess, it can be detrimental. More than just a situational response, anxiety disorders are characterized by a persistent and oftentimes irrational dread of everyday situations which can interfere with daily activities.

Forty million U.S. adults are affected by an anxiety-related disorder; however, the prevalence of these disorders should not diminish their impact.

Excessive anxiety is a central symptom of several neuropsychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety is a complex disorder that can develop through various factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Anxiety and Emotional Response

Anxiety is our body’s response to an emotional situation. Biologically, anxiety activates our “fight or flight” response to warn us of potential threats.

During such time, norepinephrine and cortisol flood our system to boost to perception, reflexes, and speed. These chemicals increase the heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and air flow. With chronic anxiety, the response is never deactivated, and the physical and emotional effects of anxiety remain.

 

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Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in regulating emotional response.

Specifically, the ECS supports nerve activity that determines our response to emotional or aversive events.

An Introduction to the ECS

As discussed in a previous blog, the endocannabinoid system is a biological system responsible for maintaining homeostasis. The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, degradative enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide (“the bliss molecule”) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) are synthesized, or created, by our body on demand in response to an imbalance. They interact with the cannabinoid receptors to direct the body back to proper functioning.

CB1 Receptors and Anxiety

CB1 receptors, which are primarily located on nerve endings, are one of the two major cannabinoid receptors.

Studies have found the activation of the CB1 receptor produces anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.

When discussing conditioned fear, the effect of CB1 receptor activation is complex; however, CB1 receptor activation can reduce fear and prevent the activation of existing memories from the past. Additionally, CB1 receptor activation protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress, which can lead to anxiety. For this reason, CB1 receptor activation has been studied for anxiolytic drug development.

Endocannabinoids activate the CB1 receptor; therefore, a higher level of endocannabinoids can be beneficial for those with anxiety-related disorders. Additionally, chemicals that inhibit the FAAH enzyme from breaking down anandamide increase endocannabinoid availability and are also being studied for their anxiolytic effects.

Living with Anxiety

There are many ways to manage anxiety; however, less than 40% of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment. Still today, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness that discourages those struggling from seeking help. We can help end the stigma of mental illness by having open conversations about mental health, encouraging mental health education, and showing compassion to those with a mental illness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder, we encourage you to learn more about the disorder and the options for treatment.

 

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

 

6 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Any dog owner will have experienced the feelings of guilt when leaving their four-legged friend alone even for just a short amount of time. While it is completely natural for dogs to miss us and want us to come home as soon as possible, some dogs suffer severe cases of separation anxiety on a different level. Not only does this make going out on our own somewhat of a chore, but it also can cause your dog problems, not to mention your couch, shoes, table… the list goes on! Fortunately, there is now a completely natural way to ease separation anxiety and reduce the symptoms of anxiety in dogs using CBD treats.

If you are a new dog owner, keep an eye out for these seven signs of canine separation anxiety in the dog’s behavior, so you can manage their nervous demeanor before it becomes too severe.

Your Dog Suddenly Learns to Sing

Well, not quite. One of the primary signs of severe separation anxiety and distress in dogs is excessive howling or barking, as well as destructive chewing. While all dogs feel sad when they see their parents walk out the door, howling and/or scratching at the door trying to desperately follow you is a red flag that you need to take notice of.

You Come Home to An Accident

If your dog is already potty trained and provided you are meeting their bathroom needs and taking them out frequently, they shouldn’t feel the need to pee inside and it shouldn’t cause distress. Understandably, if you are gone for hours and hours, then an accident here and there is bound to happen. However, if you are normally only gone for an hour or two and you always come home to a pee or poop on your white sheepskin carpet, then something is definitely up. This is a common symptom of separation anxiety in dogs and we suggest consulting a dog behaviorist or professional dog trainer for further advice, treatment, and possible medication.

Destruction and Devastation

The strongest warning sign of separation anxiety and distress and, without a doubt, one of the worst is destructive behavior while you are out, even for short periods. If you regularly come home to find your furniture chewed up and your shoes destroyed, it won’t be hard to pinpoint the culprit. Many dog owners choose to crate train their dogs and they still often come home to find that Fido has broken free and destroyed his crate and everything around it.

Frantic Panting

Dog lovers will all agree that fireworks and thunderstorms are two things that the world could do without when it comes to the effects they can have on dogs. Think back to the last time you snuggled up by the fire with a glass of red wine in hand, all ready to settle in for the night to the sound of thunder… and then your dog just completely freaked out, panting excessively, hiding, crying—all of the things a pet parent never wants to see! The same is true with many dogs when they experience separation anxiety; they start panting like crazy usually just as they see you putting your shoes on to leave.

Pacing

Another sign of anxiety in dogs can be repetitive pacing in the same pattern. Your dog might sometimes do this when you are home. However, if you notice that your pooch is frequently pacing more often than normal, you need to address it.

Clingy Behavior

There is a saying about dogs that goes something like this: “you will never pee alone again!” This is definitely true for the majority of us dog lovers and is usually completely normal behavior. What isn’t normal per se is, if your dog suddenly starts being ultra clingy and possessive. While almost every dog wants to be by our side, most do have a small degree of independence at times. This can be something as simple as laying by the side of the bed instead of on it (and on top of you!) or in their own bed while you are sitting on the couch. A major telltale sign of separation anxiety is if they have to be on top of you all the time or they start barking or crying.

OK, by now you have probably realized that your dog has separation anxiety in one form or another. Here are a few pointers of what you can do to try and soothe them so you can leave the house with a clear conscience and not worry about leaving them alone in the future.

    • Speak to a dog trainer about crate training and overcoming problem behaviors
    • Start by leaving them alone for just 15 minutes before returning and increase the time gradually so they know you are coming home
    • Consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues
    • Ensure they get plenty of exercise every day
    • Make sure they have their own “safe” place to comfort them
    • Try leaving an item of your clothing in their bed while you are out

The above list is quite basic and, of course, there is no guarantee that any of those things will work and if your dog’s separation anxiety is getting worse, then keep reading.

Using CBD to Treat Anxiety in Dogs

Fortunately, if your pup is experiencing separation anxiety for long periods and you have tried everything under the sun, but nothing works, there is a solution—and a downright effective one at that! Along with mental stimulation, CBD treats are a tasty way to stop your dog’s separation anxiety once and for all. It has been proven that giving your dog a treat as a part of positive reinforcement can hugely strengthen your already rock-solid bond while also giving him an all natural, therapeutic way to ease his nerves and his feeling of being anxious meltaway. CBD oil has been proven to work to heal a wide range of emotional and physical ailments, but most people agree the taste is not great. These natural and completely organic CBD dog treats are worth checking out, as thousands of dog owners around the globe and clicking onto the fact that CBD dog treats actually work when nothing else seems to.

 

This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.

 

Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.

Does CBD Help with Anxiety? Five Fascinating Benefits of CBD for Anxiety

Unless you have the patience of a saint, it is likely that at one point or another you have felt like tearing your hair out due to a bout of stress. The pace of modern life can be far too hectic for us to deal with at times, but we seem to just bury our heads in the sand and carry on through the mental storm to get things done. Just like post-traumatic stress or a panic disorder, anxiety is a hideously unpredictable condition to have to deal with and a panic attack can arise out of the blue at any time—yet so many people in the world choose to ignore their body’s messages begging them to slow down and relax. If you find yourself nodding with familiarity, then it could be time to start looking into better coping mechanisms to help you control your episodes of stress and anxiety.

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How Is Anxiety Treated?

Here’s the thing: one of the main reasons that people tend to just put up with feeling anxious as opposed to taking steps to overcome their suffocating emotions, is because they are just too busy to devote hours to changing their lifestyle to reduce stress levels. And the only quick fix for anxiety disorder that is traditionally prescribed by a physician is a benzodiazepine like Valium or Xanax. While it is true that these pharmaceuticals do provide almost instant relief from feelings of panic and stress, they are accompanied by harsh withdrawal symptoms and have a high addiction rate.

Fortunately, as medical advances and becomes more open to holistic remedies for health and wellness, natural supplements like cannabidiol oil, more commonly known as CBD oil, and gummies which derive from the cannabis plant are becoming increasingly popular among people of all ages to help manage symptoms of anxiety and stress. In fact, it appears that CBD and anxiety go hand in hand.

Does CBD Help with Anxiety?

Anecdotal testimonies and some scientific research already suggest that the effects of CBD can help overcome feelings of anxiety and restore your emotional balance, as well as help alleviate chronic pain. Though more clinical trials need to be carried out, the signs are looking good. Many people who are already on the CBD oil bandwagon have had excellent results with daily use, especially when it comes to dealing with issues like insomnia which can be linked to an anxiety disorder.

As studies are still lacking on CBD oil for medicinal purposes, however, there is a long way to go in order to pinpoint:

  • How long it takes to combat anxiety and depression
  • If it definitely works
  • Precise dosage
  • Success rates

That said, it has already been proven that CBD oil for anxiety can safely be used as a supplement alongside the majority of traditional medications and any potential side effects are minimal.

There are so many benefits that CBD products bring to the table when it comes to the seemingly never-ending battle with anxiety and here are the most fascinating ones.

CBD Can Eliminate the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

What many people don’t realize is that anxiety isn’t just an emotional condition—it can also have physical side effects. Have you ever noticed that during times of stress you get physically ill? Or you suddenly seem to be getting migraines and joint pain? This is because everything that is happening inside your mind is manifesting itself in your body so you will take notice that something is up. There are existing studies that demonstrate how CBD and other products derived from the cannabis plant like CBD gummies can positively affect the physical symptoms of anxiety and existing users have reported that not only do they feel calmer within themselves—they feel more energized, muscular pain goes away and they no longer feel the need to binge on junk food and caffeine to get them through the day.

CBD Is Believed to Heal Phobias

According to the British Pharmacological Society, CBD is thought to contribute to the reduction of learned fear responses and phobias, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other illnesses connected to mental health. When your endocannabinoid system is triggered by CBD, it will kick in to send signals that work to balance out anxiety and help you react to stressful situations in a calmer, clearer manner. If you have a phobia of snakes, this does not mean that you will be cuddling up with a six-foot Python anytime soon. However, it does mean that your panicked response to the sight of a snake will be greatly reduced and you will be able to process the experience in a more rational manner. Certain strains of CBD also work to boost confidence. Therefore, if public speaking is one of your phobias or you are a bit of a wallflower, a good quality CBD tincture will ease your symptoms and allow you to expose yourself to certain situations without having a panic attack.

Your Mood Will Greatly Improve

One of the primary reasons that we love CBD for anxiety is because it not only alleviates immediate symptoms of panic and anxiety, it also triggers receptors in your brain that will kick out more serotonin and hence improve your overall mood. Current CBD fans swear by their chosen elixir to enhance their mood and give them a more positive outlook, which ultimately results in beneficial outcomes in all areas of life.

Say Goodbye to Panic Attacks

Did you know that, in extreme cases, a panic attack could actually cause you to have a nervous breakdown—especially if you are experiencing them frequently? CBD levels out your automatic nervous system and reduces anxiety and if you take CBD just before or after a disturbing or traumatic event it can actually completely reset your nervous system. The existing tension you are experiencing will be relieved and your body will start to respond accordingly and regulate your emotions, restoring them to a healthy balance.

A New Outlook on Life

While it does sound a little cheesy, it seems that CBD use can result in a better quality of life overall. People who previously struggled with feeling depressed and not wanting to leave the house have found themselves feeling full of energy and much more motivated to get healthy and those who loathe going to the gym have discovered that they feel inspired to try a different kind of exercise.

There is no concrete evidence that your life will be better if you take CBD, but there sure is a lack of people talking about how their lives became worse after taking it. Almost every single report we have read or heard about in present times focuses on the fact that the entourage effect when taking CBD is strong and it positively influences a range of aspects of emotional, mental, and physical health. If we combine this with the fact that it’s an all-natural supplement with virtually non-existent harmful side effects, what’s not to love?

This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.