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Whether you battle with it daily or it hits you only when your stress levels spill over the brim, anxiety is one of the worst feelings in the world. A constant, reoccurring feeling of fear, often undefined and its source unknown, can be frustrating to both the sufferer and surrounding family and friends. While there is no cure for anxiety, there are many things you can do to take the edge off, naturally.

Get in a workout. Starting an exercise plan will change your life. Exercise causes the release of phenylethylamine, a compound which has a natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect. In studies, the beneficial effect of exercise on mood (particularly the increase in levels of phenylethylamine) was found to last for at least 12 hours, so attempt some form of physical activity every second day, if not every day. Do not overdo cardiovascular exercise — it can further increase your stress hormone levels and be sure to incorporate weight training and yoga to your program for maximum results.

Get off the blood sugar rollercoaster. Avoid consuming products that contain added sugars and ensure you eat every three to four hours to stabilize blood sugar levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which happens if you are skipping meals or eating high carb/sugar foods, can worsen or mimic the symptoms of anxiety. But it’s not all about food choices. If you are drinking stimulating beverages all day long it may be sending you over the edge of anxiety. Caffeine is stimulating to the brain and will increase feelings of anxiety. Green tea is the only caffeine-containing product that you should consume because it also contains L-theanine, which is calming.

Add in calming supplements. You can decrease your stress hormones (cortisol) with phosphatidylserine and herbs like ashwagandha or relora. Phosphatidylserine (PS) belongs to a special category of fat-soluble substances called phospholipids, which are essential components of cell membranes. According to various researches PS may help preserve, or even prevent destruction to, brain cells related to the exposure of elevated levels of cortisol. PS may also help reduce the negative effects of cortisol on muscle tissues during exercise (physical stress) and periods of psychological stress. Ashwagandha and Relora are two herbal products, which are also useful to help reduce the release of cortisol as well as rebuild the adrenal glands from the negative effects of high anxiety. Select one of the above and use it for three months before judging its effectiveness.

Boost your feel-good hormones. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia, memory loss, fibromyalgia and eating disorders like binging. Taking one of these supplements may help reduce your symptoms of anxiety and improve sleep, especially if it is disrupted by your anxiety. Also 5-HTP can be taken at 50 to 400 mg per day and is best taken with food.

Increase your calming brain chemicals. GABA is a calming brain chemical, which is great for inducing the relaxation response. Supplements of GABA can be taken directly at 500 to 1000 mg one to two times daily. Other compounds that increase GABA are Ashwagandha, valerian and the amino acid L-theanine (a component of green tea mentioned above).

Get your mercury levels tested. Especially if you have a number of dental fillings (amalgams), check you mercury levels. If you discover that you have toxic levels of mercury, be sure to visit a dentist who will remove your fillings with the precautionary measures necessary for safe removal of amalgams. It is essential to see a naturopathic doctor or an integrated medical practitioner in your area for a mercury detoxification plan prior to the removal of your fillings as well as afterward. This may take months to repair, but you will notice the positive effects.

Natasha Turner, ND

Dr. Natasha Turner is North America’s leading naturopathic doctor and founder of the Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique in Toronto, Canada. Bright, energetic and practicing what she preaches, her goal is to inspire others to make positive lifestyle choices in order to enjoy healthier lives. Her passion for promoting wellness, fitness and integrated medicine makes her a sought-after speaker for corporations, the public and the education of other medical professionals. She was recognized by the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors as being a leader in her field. Dr. Turner is also the first Canadian naturopathic doctor to be featured on The Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Turner’s first book, The Hormone Diet, became a #1 bestseller within one week of its release in the spring of 2009. The book is based on her successful clinical approach for creating hormonal balance to gain strength, lose fat and live younger longer. Her second book, The Supercharged Hormone Diet, an accelerated 30 day plan to restore your metabolism and look younger longer, became a #1 national bestseller on its first day of release in March 2011. Her third book, The Carb Sensitivity Program: Discover Which Carbs Will Curb Your Cravings, Control Your Appetite and Banish Belly Fat made the bestseller list the first week of its release in March 2012. Her work has been endorsed by New York Times bestselling authors, Suzanne Somers, Dr. William Davis and Dr. Christiane Northrup.