What is anxiety and what is the best way to cope with anxiety?

Anxiety is mostly due to the unhealthy reaction of the body to thoughts in our mind and stress in our daily life. As opposed to a real outside threat (i.e., a lion that wants to eat you), a thought cannot physically hurt you. We can use medication to numb our brain and stop our thinking, but we also need normal brain function to perform creative activities and enjoy our life. Here we are introducing the natural way to cope with anxiety. To achieve the best result, we also need to avoid all the triggers for the anxiety.

What can trigger the anxiety:

1. Multi-tasking can stimulate our sympathetic nervous system, so we can overreact to anything happening around us and have an unhealthy reaction to our thoughts and daily stress.

2. Drinking too much coffee can also cause the imbalance of our nervous system. After you drink a cup of strong coffee, you will have hard time to take a deep breath in and you may even have fight or flight reaction to small stress. The caffeine can also lead to compulsive thinking, causing more anxiety or even panic attack. Boston Chinese Acupuncturists treated a few Boston detectives who drink more than 16 oz coffee a day and developed panic attack while they were on duty in Greater Boston Areas.

3. Low blood sugar can also stimulate the adrenaline release, making you respond abnormally to your stress and thoughts, your heart and breathing rate increase, and your stomach and intestinal muscles are tighten up.

4. Insufficient amount of relaxing hormones such as progesterone, GABA, serotonin or too much stimulating hormones such as testosterone, dopamine, and estrogen. That is why teenagers or alcoholics tend to develop anxiety. Smokers are very anxious if they stop smoking for a few hours because their body cannot produce enough relaxing hormones, they need nicotine to relax them.

5. Sufficient sleep, if you do not have at least 5 hours of deep sleep, your digestion will be out of balance, you cannot absorb the minerals and vitamins efficiently. You will have less capacity to cope with the anxiety.

6. Inflammation in your digestive system can cause unhealthy nervous system, especially when people take anti-acid medication for a long time. Some people, who tend to have anxiety, can suddenly develop panic attack when they start taking pilosec for a few weeks or months because their GI system cannot absorb Vitamine B complex without sufficient acid.

7. Avoid MSG, purified fructose, and sugar substitute because those chemicals can stimulate your brain in a very unhealthy way so that your brain will respond to the thoughts as if there is a real threat.

8. Avoid alcohol or drugs which make your brain chemical changes: drugs and alcohol can make your brain release dopamine or adrenaline, you may feel relaxed for a short period of the time, but the next day, you will feel depressed. People, who are dependent on alcohol and drugs tend to have anxiety.

9. Avoid playing computer games too much. The games are designed to stimulate the huge release of dopamine so people will get addicted to the game. The abnormal amount of dopamine and adrenaline can modify your brain’s function, so you can not enjoy the daily life. That is why kids who play a lot of game tend to have anxiety or depression.