So, you’ve got anxiety and you want a solution, right? Perhaps you’ve been beating yourself up, thinking that your anxiety is your fault, or that you’ll always have it. Not true. There are many causes of anxiety (check out my other blogs HERE), and when something is “off” in your body, it leads to even more anxiety. A big one? Adrenals. Those tiny little guys can be a big driver of anxiety.Looking for a healthy eating plan to help balance hormones and reduce anxiety? I’ve got a FREE 5 day meal plan you can snag HERE.
What are the adrenal glands?
Your adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) control the entire body’s metabolism and stress response. They also help produce hormones- estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and androstenedione, and release cortisol. The adrenal glands trigger a “fight or flight” response when there is perceived danger. Perhaps this danger is running from a lion in the jungle, or getting in a car accident. Either way, your body perceives danger and releases adrenaline.
The problem is, in our society, we’re constantly in a fight or flight state. We are dealing with road rage, running to meetings, eating a diet that causes stress on the body, etc. Over time, being in this state leads to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, weight gain and other issues.
When you’re dealing with chronic adrenal elevation, the only thing to help is lifestyle. You’ve got to reduce your stress intake and start doing less. I know, I know…you’re shaking your head now saying “but I’ve got so much to do.” I’ve been there. But guess what? When you hit rock bottom, it isn’t fun. So here are my essentials to help with adrenal issues and anxiety:
While this doesn’t mean that you need to quit your day job and take a 3 month vacation, it does mean that you need to reevaluate everything that you have going on in your life. Perhaps you need to implement a daily 10 minute meditation, or block out time in the evening for yourself, or adopt some deep breathing routines throughout the day. Whatever you choose, implement something every single day. If you’re finding this step to be hard, check out the HeartMath program.
Of course I can’t address adrenals without addressing diet. If you’re dealing with adrenal issues and anxiety, adding ‘fuel to the fire’ won’t help anything. Limit your refined sugar intake, eat lots of nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruit, and high quality animal protein, and make sure you aren’t loading up on refined carbohydrates (bread and pasta). You want to stabilize your blood sugar by eating balanced meals, otherwise your hormones will remain out of balance and that’s a stress on its own.
If your circadian rhythm (the process that controls your sleep/wake cycle) is outta whack, that’s just adding to adrenal problems. This means to a) get early morning sunshine when the UV light is most plentiful (before 10am), b) limiting blue light or wearing amber glasses with technology, c) sleeping in a dark room and getting to bed before 11pm.
If you’re doing the above and still dealing with stress and anxiety, consider herbs like holy basil, taurine, passion flower or CBD oil. While the supplements themselves won’t solve your adrenal issues or anxiety, they are another step in the healing process.
Finding and treating the root cause of anxiety can take time, but hopefully some of the above suggestions help you find relief sooner rather than later. If you’re looking for more help in healing your anxiety, or wondering what your hormone and cortisol levels look like, book a complementary call with me HERE so we can go over your needs.