Im going to help you eliminate anxiety. If you have had or are suffering from anxiety, my friend you are not alone. Perhaps it’s a family member, close friend or colleague that has reached out to you for help. Share this with them because it could change their life.
I’ve written a few articles over the years related to anxiety and how to reduce anxiety. Whether it is chronic anxiety or an acute bout of anxiety there are some things you can do which promote a positive brain chemistry in the moment an anxiety attack is occurring as well as a systematic approach that will minimize the opportunity for your chemicals to go outta whack.
Listen, I’ve not only dealt with my own fair share of anxiety attacks in my 20’s, but I’ve seen it temporarily cripple some of the highest functioning tactical operators I’ve ever known. It can be the curse of the high achiever.
These guys are tough, but temporary or prolonged mental illness does not discriminate.
Often times it is a response to some prolonged external stressors such as the breakdown of a relationship, financial challenges, work pressure or in the case of some of my guys… a delayed response to shootings or other critical incidents.
It will have an impact on all aspects of your life such as work performance, sexual performance and your overall sense of happiness to name a few. If you don’t take steps to ensure both your physical and mental health are intact you may find yourself down for the count until you can get yourself squared away.
One of the first times I had a panic attack due to anxiety was while I was underwater. I was doing a commercial diving job back in the day and felt a little tightness in my chest as I prepared to enter the water. As the dive progressed I couldn’t quiet the internal dialogue despite my efforts and eventually I had to surface because I thought it was my last day on earth.
If you’ve had an attack you know what I am talking about.
Physical feelings such as this are usually coupled with a running negative internal dialogue that starts slowly. Your brain begins to generate questions such as
“Am I ok? something doesn’t feel right.”
Followed by a rapid progression of thoughts of either an imminent medical emergency such as a heart attack or that you might be losing your mind. All of which compounds the physical response in your body which can lay you out both physically and emotionally.
If you are reading this and you are in the grips of a bout with anxiety, I want you to find immediate comfort in the fact that you will get through it. I have a 100% success rate with both my guys and myself in terms of navigating anxiety.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for a hand. Let them know you are having a tough time either in the moment or if you have been battling for a while. Your teammates should be there for you. If you don’t think you can reach out to a friend or a teammate, then reach out to a professional.
I’ve spent numerous hours working myself and some of my teammates through acute anxiety attacks and prolonged challenges. Once we get through the initial bout we take a more detailed look at ways to prevent flare ups.
I take a detailed look at how they are eating, sleeping, training and grounding themselves. When I look at their diet, often times there is an element that has been ignored because of the demands of life. Kids, work… all of it can cause you to ignore a simple little element that can put you into a tailspin.
Foods To Eliminate Anxiety
Let’s look at some important elements you should keep in check and the foods associated.
Studies have shown a relationship between the B vitamins, including thiamin or vitamin B1, and mood. A deficiency in B vitamins such as folic acid and B12 can trigger depression in some people.
You can take a vitamin B supplement or eat foods that are rich in B vitamins to ward off anxiety. These include beef (my fave) , pork, chicken, leafy greens (spinach is good!), legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts, and eggs. My tendency is to keep guys running a fairly large dose of vitamin b’s through meat and leafy greens. I rarely recommend fruits and rice, but it’s ok if that is a part of your diet.
Evidence continues to mount that consuming omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found in fatty fish such as salmon (can you say sushi!), tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, can be uplifting and enhance your mood.
Some studies have shown that patients who took omega-3 fatty acids along with their prescription antidepressants improved more than those who took antidepressants alone. A possible side benefit: Omega-3s may reduce risk of heart disease.
Some researchers believe that tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel-good chemicals. “Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps you feel calm,” said San Francisco nutritionist Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association (now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
You will find tryptophan in a variety of foods: turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. However, there is some question about whether tryptophan found in food crosses the blood-brain barrier, so the effect is not going to be a dramatic one which is why it is important to stack your efforts.
Just like in tactics… things are meant to be done as a team.
Carbohydrates also increase production of serotonin in the brain. When choosing mood-lifting carbs, go for whole grains, such as whole wheat bread or brown rice, rather than processed choices, such as sugar, candy, or even white bread and white rice, Villacorta said. Whole grains take longer for the body to break down, and release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Processed carbs may give you an initial surge of energy, but that can be followed by an insulin rush, which rapidly drops blood sugar levels, ultimately leaving you feeling lethargic.
Higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine have been shown to improve alertness, mental energy, and reaction time, which is a good thing in the world of special operations.
Good sources of protein include Greek yogurt, fish, meats, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, and lentils.
Keeping your mood on an even track throughout the day is best achieved by combining complex carbohydrates and protein, and to spread your meals throughout the day using a meal program that is well constructed and laid out for achieving both your physical goals and maintaining your mental health.
One Trick To Eliminate Anxiety
If you want to immediately shut down the onset of an anxiety attack or perhaps you just want quiet your brain so you can finally fall asleep, the simple trick I am going to give you right now will save your life!
You can use this anywhere, anytime and it will provide you with an immediate sense of relief.
This particular strategy is one of many different sequences I use to eliminate anxiety if I start to feel those old familiar sensations. This tactic, along with good nutrition and training has completely eliminated anxiety from my life.
This is a 5 minute breathing technique. My suggestion is that you find somewhere comfortable and quiet. If you can’t eliminate surrounding noise, use headphones. At the very least you should be seated and eyes closed.
Take your tongue and press the tip to the back of your teeth where the roof of your mouth and teeth meet. Hold it gently in place. This is creating an energy circuit in your body.
Next you are going to inhale through your nose for a 4 count. Now hold that breath with full lungs, eyes closed shoulders back sitting tall for a total of 7 seconds. Begin to exhale through your mouth and empty your lungs for a total of 8 seconds. At 8 seconds your lungs should be very empty.
Once you have completely exhaled, begin the cycle again. Do this for approximately 15 cycles or around 5 minutes and this will completely change the trajectory of your mind not only in the moment, but likely for the rest of your life.
I have numerous different methods of eliminating anxiety from your life through positive health and wellness in the Alpha Nation, but this particular trick is a gem.
Listen, It is critically important that you understand there is nothing “wrong” with you in the larger sense of word.
What you are experiencing with anxiety is a fairly normal and vastly common response to external stimulators whether they are from work or family or whatever. What I am telling you is that you are completely normal, you are not going crazy and you are not going to die.
In order to gain control over your life there are some things you need to do. Focus on what you control, eat well, train your body and breathe.