We all go through periods of stress in our lives were we feel that things are getting on top of us, and more than ever people are suffering with anxiety.
Many young celebrities have been vocal about their anxiety. Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift and the Jenner sisters have all spoken out about suffering from anxiety, and it’s not surprising that they are all young women!
New research by the Young Women’s Trust has shown that this generation of young women are more likely to suffer with anxiety and have lower confidence levels. Young women are feeling overwhelmed primarily by work, housing and financial problems. The study also revealed almost half of young women are worried about their mental health.
We’ve gathered our top 5 tips to help you ease your daily anxieties:
1. Up Your Serotonin Levels
If you suffer with anxiety it is incredibly important to boost your feel good hormone, serotonin, whenever you can.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist, and Author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’ explains how a simple change in your diet can work wonders:
“The body makes serotonin from tryptophan, which occurs naturally in foods such as dairy products, fish, bananas, dried dates, soya, almonds and peanuts. The manufacture of serotonin depends on how much tryptophan is transported into your brain.
“Combining the foods mentioned above with unrefined carbohydrates, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread or oats, helps the body to release insulin to help tryptophan uptake to the brain. A good example would be to kick start your day with eggs and wholemeal toast for breakfast.”
2. Know When To Say No
When you are getting pulled in a million different directions it can quickly become overwhelming. Make sure you prioritise the most central thing in your life, your health.
Marilyn says: “If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much.”
3. Get in your Omega 3
Diet is the easiest way to nourish your brain and body. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfood UK, explains:
“Oily fish contains DHA, which contributes toward brain health; research has also shown that the omega three found in oily fish helps in reducing anxiety. Anxiety is something which is often peaking at the end of a busy day so by eating this omega rich meal you will be helping to support your body through this period.”
4. Feed both your brains
There is a strong connection between the brain and the gut, with scientists now referring to the gut as our second brain. Chronic stress can lead to negative changes within the gut, whilst relaxation promotes gut health.
Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert, explains: “90% of serotonin is located within our gut, with only 10% in the brain. Our gut is jam packed full of bacteria which has a strong positive influence on serotonin production which relays information to the brain. No wonder probiotics can have such an effect on our happy hormones!”
5. Get Outside
Around two thirds of people tend to eat more during stressful periods! When we are under stress, many of us go for sugar or high fat comfort foods to counteract tension.It is important of getting outside not matter what the weather, as Lily explains:
“It’s important to take advantage of any rays of sunshine during the winter months to soak up some vitamin D. Fresh air, exercise and nature can also help to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which ultimately can boost immunity.”