Everyday there is something not quite right.
You feel tense and you aren’t sure why.
You can’t talk to people without worrying what they are thinking about you.
You can’t go into work without worrying about whether or not you are doing a good job.
Money is constantly on your mind, even though you probably have enough.
You can’t seem to enjoy things like other people.
Making that big change is too much to handle.
This is just the way things are…
The Silent Killer: Anxiety
Nothing is overwhelming unless there is anxiety.
Think about that.
If you had zero anxiety would it even be possible to be overwhelmed by the thought of talking to a stranger? Raising your hand in an important meeting? Going after your life goals?
Anxiety is tricky… You can have a low level of subtle anxiety in the background of your life all the time and never realize it.
I had background anxiety for YEARS without knowing it.
Then one day I suddenly had relief. Holy crap. I’ve had that level of anxiety for how long?
How To Recognize If You Have Anxiety
Do you randomly get a racing heart? Constantly have sweating hands? Feel like something bad is going to happen?
Persistent mind chatter? Thoughts that you are losing control?
Do you avoid social situations because you are afraid you might get nervous or get sick? Do you obsess about your health?
Constantly worry about everything from your relationships to your finances?
You might not even realize just how bad your anxiety is until you actually have a relief from it.
What To Do About Anxiety
Most people use exposure therapy to solve anxiety. I think using both exposure therapy and combining that with fixing up your body and brain is best.
I tried forever to erase social anxiety. I was always nervous around people. Junior High, High School, and College weren’t the most enjoyable periods of my life.
I tried everything from approaching random strangers to participating in Toastmasters – a program designed to help people overcome the fear of public speaking.
Until I looked at the other side of the coin.
The Biological Side of Anxiety
A lack of serotonin is one of the main contributors for anxiety. Most people ONLY think about depression when it comes to serotonin. But having plenty of serotonin prevents us from being depressed and anxious.
What exactly is shyness? It is a low-level of anxiety combined with low self-esteem, both of which are related to being low in serotonin.
Other symptoms of low serotonin can include a sense of dread, constant worry, feeling like “bad things are going to happen”, hating yourself, and seeing the dark side of life.
Physical symptoms can include:
- Gut Problems: 90% of your serotonin is actually in your gut. If you don’t have enough serotonin, it can interfere with your digestion. If you raise your serotonin, digestive tension (such as constipation) often is fixed.
- Sleep Problems: I’m not the only one that has worried obsessively over sleep, and my sleep post is one of the most popular posts on this website. Raising your serotonin can not only fix your anxiety, but help you get to sleep.
- Pain and Migraines: Low serotonin will make it harder for your muscles to relax. If you have low serotonin, you will also produce less endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
How to Raise Serotonin?
The best way to keep your serotonin levels high and healthy is a system of eating a good diet, correcting nutritional deficiencies, exercising in the sun, getting plenty of rest, and reducing stress.
But, you can jump start that process with a few amino acids. Amino acids are in proteins and are the building blocks for numerous neurotransmitters.
5-HTP: Most people find that they can take 5-HTP and have fast results. It has been used in Japan and Europe before 1980 and it didn’t become available to the United States years later. It has outperformed antidepressant drugs. It is the precursor to serotonin. Take it on an empty stomach.
L-Tryptophan: Some people don’t find that 5-HTP works very well for them (myself included) and found that Tryptophan works better. Again, it needs to be taken on an empty stomach.
St. John’s Wort: If the above supplements don’t work, St. John’s Wort has been found to outperform Prozac as an antidepressant in Germany. However, we aren’t quite sure exactly how St. John’s Wort works like we do with 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan.
What If Raising Your Serotonin Doesn’t Help?
Another amino acid involved in keeping anxiety down is GABA. It inhibits the “fight-or-flight” response in your body. It can also be taken as a supplement, on an empty stomach, to calm down anxiety and allow you to function properly.
Being deficient in serotonin or GABA are the most common causes of anxiety. If those don’t seem to be the problem, having a thyroid or adrenal malfunctions can also invoke panic attacks, anxiety, and constant worry.
However, taking GABA can be hit or miss for people. Some people report amazing effects. Others report nothing. Click here to see my honest opinion about it.
If your diet consists of lots of vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, you aren’t eating anything you’re allergic to, you’ve corrected nutritional deficiencies, and you’ve tried supplements like 5-HTP or GABA, if you still have anxiety you should seriously consider checking your Thyroid and Adrenal gland.
Depression and Anxiety Often Are Partners In Crime
After I really buckled down and solved my depression by utilizing vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrition my anxiety started to disappear.
I had done everything from talking to strangers, joining Toastmasters and facing my public speaking fears, etc. and I STILL felt anxious.
But how I fixed anxiety was a little different. I was never trying to fix anxiety, because it was hard to tell I really had anxiety. The only thing I was worried about was being depressed all the time.
Surprisingly, everything I did to fix my depression also alleviated my anxiety.
You MUST solve this problem if you want to live a fulfilling life. I was EXTREMELY nervous to talk in front of 4 people back when I was doing Toastmasters.
After I fixed my depression and anxiety, I became one of the top salesman at a large car dealership, where I was essentially doing public speaking everyday under pressure.
There are two sides to anxiety and depression. On the one side, you have things like positive thinking and exposure therapy. On the other side, you have real, physical symptoms happening that aren’t a result of your mind and thoughts.