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Tag Archive anxiety

Does Mindfulness Really Work to Reduce Anxiety and Stress?

Well…yes, they do really work. The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use mindfulness and meditation.

Before we dive in, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page when we say “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

“Meditation” is the ancient practice of connecting the body and mind to become more self-aware and present. It’s often used to calm the mind, ease stress, and relax the body.

Practising “mindfulness” is one of the most popular ways to meditate. It’s defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness meditation is well studied in terms of its health benefits. I’m going to talk about a few of them below, and refer to it as “mindfulness” for the rest of the post.

The link between mindfulness and health = stress reduction

Have you heard the staggering statistics on how many doctors’ visits are due to stress? Seventy-five to ninety percent!

So, if you ask me, it makes a ton of sense that anything that can reduce stress can reduce health issues too.

Mindfulness reduces inflammation, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reduces anxiety and improves sleep. All of these can have massive effects on your physical and mental health.

Next I’ll briefly go over the research in two main areas: mood, and gut health. But know that the research on the health benefits of mindfulness is branching into many other exciting new areas too.

Mindfulness for Mood

The most immediate health benefit of mindfulness is improved mood.

In one study, people who took an 8-week mindfulness program had greater improvement in symptoms according to the “Hamilton Anxiety Scale.” They were compared with people who took a stress management program that did not include mindfulness. It seems that the mindfulness training was key to lowering symptoms.

Other studies show that mindfulness has similar effects as antidepressant medications for some people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

While mindfulness isn’t a full-fledged cure, it can certainly help to improve moods.

Mindfulness for Gut Health

Recent studies show a link between stress, stress hormones, and changes in gut microbes (your friendly bacteria and other critters that help your digestion). In theory, mindfulness-based stress reduction could be a way to help prevent negative changes in the gut’s microbes such as Candida overgrowth.

Also, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seems to be linked with both stress and problems with gut microbes. In one study, people with IBS who received mindfulness training showed greater reductions in IBS symptoms than the group who received standard medical care.

The research here is just starting to show us the important link between stress, gut health, and how mindfulness can help.

To learn more about how nutrition as well as mindfulness can improve gut health, contact Kate for a free 15 minute discovery call.

Conclusion

Science is confirming some amazing health benefits of the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation. For your mood, gut health, and more.

Do you regularly include it in your life? If so, have you seen benefits? If not, would you consider trying it?

Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe: Relaxing Herbal Teas

There are many relaxing herbal teas that would be great after meditation.

Try any of these by steeping in boiling water:

  • Green tea (has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated green tea)
  • White tea (also has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated white tea)
  • Rooibos tea
  • Peppermint tea (or steep fresh peppermint leaves)
  • Ginger tea (or steep slices of real ginger)

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a touch of honey if desired.

BONUS Guided Meditation “Recipes” (videos, apps & podcasts)

How to Meditate video

How to Meditate in One Minute or Less Every Day video

Calm App

https://www.calm.com/

Headspace App (free 10-day trial)

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

Hay House Meditations Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hay-house-meditations/id955266444?mt=2

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

https://authoritynutrition.com/mindful-eating-guide/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4454654/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26186434

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Millions of people are affected by anxiety in their daily lives. Many people reach for artificial drugs such as alcohol and sleeping pills. However you can try one of the many natural remedies available for anxiety.

Anxiety can be caused by:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies – especially vitamin B6 and zinc.
  • Protein deficiency – we need 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight to support the health of the nervous system.
  • PMS Type A – women can experience anxiety and emotional upset during the week before their period starts.
  • Unresolved emotional traumas – when triggered the memories may replay in your mind and you can relive the trauma and stress of the event.
  • Anticipation of a future event – you may be anxious thinking about an interview or a family get together during the Christmas period.

 

Here are 10 natural remedies for anxiety:

  1. Magnesium – we need lots of magnesium during periods of stress. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles. Good sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds.
  2. B vitamins – support the nervous system. B vitamins are found in protein rich foods such as lean meats, fish, brown rice, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  3. Chamomile tea – this tea contains natural phytonutrients that calm your body and mind.
  4. Green tea – despite containing a small amount of caffeine, green tea contains theanine which act on the brain to relax the nervous system
  5. Meditation – when you do slow, deep breathing from your belly, it can slow down your heart rate and make you feel instantly more calm. Meditation helps you to be in the present moment and not worry about the future or stress about the past.
  6. Exercise – when you exercise it produces endorphins making you feel happier and releasing stress.
  7. Acupressure – by pressing specific points on your hands and head you can instantly release muscular tension you may be carrying and relax your body.
  8. Journalling – writing down your thoughts in a journal can help you to process what is making you feel anxious. It is a therapeutic emotional release.
  9. Massage – having a massage can be very relaxing. You could try giving yourself a foot massage and watch your anxiety melt away.
  10. Talking to a trusted friend or family member – when you share your problems with someone it helps to put them in perspective. It can relieve the stress as a problem shared is a problem halved.

 

 

Finally if you suffer from allergies and would like to book an appointment for personalised nutrition advice, contact Kate on 07652 868342. Alternatively you can send me a message using the contact form below: