- Mental Health
Anxiety Sucks! (but you don't have to live with it)
Everyone has Anxeity
EVERYONE has anxiety, but not everyone suffers from anxiety... this is an important distinction because anxiety is actually very, very, healthy, it is what keeps us alive. Anxiety is the precursor to the fight or flight response and without it we would all be highly prone to being eaten by wild animals. Now, I'm not a doctor and this is not medical advice this is simply my personal experience with anxiety, and how I learned to control mine. Hopefully what I have learned will help you control your anxiety too.
Anxiety my constant companion
All my life, I've suffered from mild claustrophobia and other forms of anxiety, that would occasionally cause me to have panic attacks. I can remember having them when I was as young as six years old. For the most part I just learned to avoid certain situations, and I just learned to live with it. Anxiety became part of my normal life, I didn't think I had a choice. I would always sit on the aisle at the theater, sit near the exit on the bus, and avoid large crowds, etc. I really couldn't understand how some people seemed so calm in these situations, while I was freaking out inside.
Anxiety begins to take over...
As I grew older and gained more and more responsibilities and more and more stress, my anxiety got progressively worse and worse, to the point that I was afraid (and many times, unable to) leave the house. Suddenly everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was triggering a panic attack. It got so bad that eventually, I couldn't even lay in bed at night without having a panic attack. If you've never experienced a full blown panic attack, all I can say is you are very lucky, and if you have, imagine having one that is brought on simply by laying down to go to sleep, I mean that's where most people would go to feel safe! It got so bad, that I was having panic attacks every single day and every single night, and of course the less sleep I got the more severe the attacks became. I quickly became convinced I was either going insane, or dying. I ended up spending hundreds of dollars on expensive medical tests, including an EKG! The good news was, I wasn't dying, therefore the bad news MUST be, I was going insane. I was actually quite convinced of this, it was absolutely terrifying to be afraid of my own thoughts, I could set off a panic attack simply by thinking the wrong word. I also became convinced that this would last forever, would only get worse, and I'd never be able to function in society again.
What About You?
Have You Ever Had A Panic Attack?
So What Did I Do?
How did I recover? What's the whole point of this? Well, I discovered that a panic attack is just your body's natural fight or flight response kicking in. It dumps adrenaline into your system, so that you can respond to a life or death situation... the problem is sometimes this response is triggered during normal daily activities. Well, one way to deal with it, if you are able to, is to get up and move; walk, run or jump in place to burn off that adrenaline. Unfortunately, there are many times when this is not possible or even appropriate, in the middle of class or a crowded theater for example, so I had to learn to prevent the attacks as well. My doctor and I chose to go the more natural route and she recommended that I start taking a variety of herbal supplements, but there was one supplement that really made a difference and almost immediately and completely stopped my panic attacks...
Magnesium was the supplement that had the most dramatic impact on my anxiety. It turns out that we live in a Magnesium deficient society, modern farming practices have depleted most of the naturally occurring Magnesium in the soil and therefore there is very little Magnesium in the foods we eat AND to make matters worse, many foods are Calcium enriched. How can that be a bad thing? I thought Calcium was good for you? Well it is, but because Calcium needs Magnesium to work, so it depletes your body's already minimal supply of Magnesium. Basically Calcium and Magnesium work together in our bodies at a cellular level as an "On" and "Off" switch. Calcium, is the "On" switch, and Magnesium is the "Off" switch. So because we don't typically have enough Magnesium (its estimated that 80% of men and 70% of women are Magnesium deficient in America), our cells get left in the "On" position. This results in a nervous, restless feeling that can trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
A Return To Normal
So I started taking a daily Magnesium supplement, and Boom! My anxiety was gone! The results were almost instantaneous, I started feeling better right away, and I was finally able to sleep again. I took Natural Calm every night before bed, but I also found it really helpful to sometimes take an extra dose right before heading into a situation that I knew might be stressful for me. Finally, after taking Natural Calm daily for about 6 months, I began to feel truly normal and I got to the point where I no longer felt like my next anxiety attack was lurking right around the corner. Now when I place myself in a situation that would normally have triggered a panic attack, it doesn't. I am still aware of the situation, but I can just casually observe it in a detached kind of way, instead of bolting for the nearest exit, and that is an AMAZING feeling!
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
High Blood Pressure
Type II Diabetes
Start Taking Magnesium Today
Even if you have never suffered from anxiety, chances are you've experienced one or more of the symptoms from the chart above, and its safe to assume that you are not getting enough Magnesium in your daily diet, so I highly recommend you start taking a Magnesium supplement today, it has dramatically improved my quality of life and I'm sure it will benefit you too.