Therapy Solutions Presents “The Anxiety Book: How to Minimize Anxiety Naturally”

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Therapy Solutions presents three free chapters from “The Anxiety Book: How to Minimize Anxiety Naturally”

Chapter 5: Psychology  

Therapy could be a solution since your own thoughts could be causing or exacerbating your anxiety. Joy wellness can be found. Sometimes, we have anxious thoughts because of neurochemical issues and sometimes we have neurochemical issues because of anxious thoughts. It’s difficult to say which comes first and how much they feed into one another. Other than therapy, here are some solutions on how to deal with and improve upon anxious thought patterns.

Deep Breathing

This can bring increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, joy wellness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.


If you find you can force yourself to exercise, it can have tremendous benefits. Exercise is well-known for its physical benefits, and it has long been recommended for mental well-being, joy, and wellness. However, scientists are getting closer to figuring out just how exercise works its brain magic. They are learning that exercise has a significant impact on brain structure, particularly in areas impacted by depression and schizophrenia. Other, more subtle effects include increased attention, a sense of achievement, and occasionally social stimulation, all of which are therapeutic in and of themselves. While more physical exercise is always preferable, even small amounts of physical activity, such as a daily stroll, can have a huge impact on mental health.

“Physical activity is a really powerful intervention,” says Anders Hovland, a clinical psychologist at the University of Bergen in Norway. However, modifying the structure of the brain isn’t the only way that physical activity may help people with mental illnesses. According to Smith, the practice of exercising can be beneficial in and of itself by modifying people’s mental habits. Simply doing something — anything — can be beneficial in and of itself for persons with mental health concerns since it focuses their attention and stops them from obsessing on their situation. Indeed, one review of the data revealed that placebo exercise — that is, moderate stretching that is too light to have any physiological effect — had almost half the positive impact on mental health as vigorous exercise.

Regular exercises not only occupy the mind, but they also provide exercisers with a definite sense of progress as their strength and conditioning increase. According to Gordon, this sense of success — which may be especially noticeable in weight training, where people make rapid, easily observable increases — might help alleviate some of the stress of anxiety and melancholy. If that’s the case, learning to play a musical instrument, learning a language, and a variety of other hobbies might help people cope with mental health issues in a similar way. But exercise has additional benefits, making it one of the finest ways to manage mental health.

“Anything can provide advantages,” Firth adds, “but exercise may provide larger benefits, wellness, and joy.” For one reason, moderate exercise trains people to tolerate short-term discomfort in exchange for long-term benefits. People with anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or panic attacks, have a diminished ability to bear mental discomfort, thus events that most people would manage with result in uncontrollable distress.

There’s now evidence that regular exercise increases tolerance for internal discomfort, which might explain why it’s so effective at controlling these disorders. However, there are certain drawbacks to using exercise as a mental health treatment. Even mild movement, such as moving around every now and then during the day rather than sitting for long periods of time, may be beneficial. Aaron Kandola, a psychiatric epidemiologist at University College London, and his colleagues discovered that teenagers who engaged in more light exercise during the day had a reduced incidence of depressive symptoms than those who spent more time sitting in a study of almost 4,000 adolescents in the UK.

Force Yourself to Do Something You Normally Enjoy

You don’t even have to enjoy it. Just do it anyway. It may bring some benefits. It may not. It will very unlikely make things worse. But the chances are, you’ll enjoy it at least a little bit, and it might give you the energy and motivation to do something else afterwards, creating a snowball effect. 

Talk to a Friend or Professional

Talking about your problems with a friend is proven to be beneficial, but even if you don’t want to talk about what’s going on with you, just chatting can be a great help. If you don’t have a friend you can talk to when you need it most, just text “Home” to 714714, and you’ll be connected, through texting, to a 24/7 crisis counseling line, which you can utilize as often as you need. I’m a crisis counselor for this program and can vouch for its excellence as a program. 

Behavioral Activation

Depression and anxiety sap a person’s energy to do just about anything—even activities they enjoy. As a result, people with depression tend to become less active, which causes the depression to worsen. However, even a little bit of activity can help stop this cycle.

Social Support

Social isolation is a common symptom of depression. Related issues—such as fatigue, lowered self-esteem, and anxiety—exacerbate this problem. Resisting social isolation, and instead leaning on social support, can improve resilience to stress and depression. As you can see, a lot of the time, you do the opposite of what you want.

Lean on your existing relationships. 

Make it a priority to socialize with friends or family every day. If this is proving difficult, or if no one is nearby, plan times to interact remotely. Try cooking together on a video call, playing a game together, or sharing a coffee over the phone. Maybe you’re doing the opposite of what you want.  

Say “yes” to socializing. 

Depression makes it tempting to stay home, isolated from friends and family. Make a habit of saying “yes” to social opportunities, even when you’re tempted to stay in. You do the opposite of what you want.  

Join a support group. 

Support groups let you connect with others who are dealing with issues like yours. You’ll benefit from sharing and receiving advice and support, helping you find joy wellness.

Three Good Things

Negative thinking is a defining feature of depression. Positive experiences are minimized, while negative experiences are magnified. Gratitude helps combat this tendency by shifting focus toward positive experiences, rather than negative ones. Write about three positive experiences from your day. These experiences can be small (“The weather was perfect when I walked to work”) or big (“I got a promotion at work”).


Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment. It means taking a step back and noticing the world, and one’s thoughts and feelings, without judgment. The goal of mindfulness is to simply observe. Mindfulness helps reduce the worry and rumination that often accompanies depression. One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. During mindfulness meditation, you will simply sit and focus your attention on the sensation of breathing. By focusing on your breathing, you will put yourself in the here-and-now.

Time and Place

Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can practice mindfulness for 15 to 30 minutes every day. Frequent and consistent practice leads to the best results, but some practice is better than none.


Sit in a chair or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes or let your gaze soften. Let your head, shoulders, arms, and legs relax. Adjust your posture whenever you feel uncomfortable.

Awareness of Breath

Focus on your breathing. Notice the sensation of the air as it travels in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your belly.

Wandering Mind

During meditation, it’s normal for the mind to wander. When this happens, gently turn your attention back to your breathing. You may need to do this frequently throughout your practice. Focus on your breathing. Tell yourself that again and again. Focus on your breathing.        

Chapter 6: GABA

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or communicate chemical signals with other nerve cells. Changing levels of GABA are connected to a wide range of medical conditions. The GABA receptor is the target of numerous medications.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): What is it?

In your brain, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) functions as a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger. By obstructing particular signals in your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord), it slows down your brain. GABA is well known for its calming effects. It is believed to have a significant impact on regulating nerve cell hyperactivity linked to anxiety, stress, and fear. GABA is also known as a neurotransmitter made up of non-protein amino acids.  

What is the mechanism of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)?

Your central nervous system’s most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter is GABA. Inhibitory neurotransmitters reduce the stimulation of nerve cells in your brain by preventing or blocking chemical messages. Most neurotransmitters function in a similar manner. They are chemical messengers that transfer information between nerve cells in your brain. A synapse, which is a tiny area filled with fluid between each nerve cell, is present. Neurotransmitters must pass through this synapse to reach the next nerve cell, where they must bind to specific receptors, much like a key that can only fit and function in its complementary lock. GABA-A and GABA-B are the two different types of GABA receptors found on nerve cells. The responsiveness of the nerve cell is decreased when GABA binds to these receptors, despite the fact that they function in various ways. As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or transmit chemical signals to other nerve cells.

What are GABA’s health advantages?

GABA is thought to have the following effects by slowing down specific brain processes:

  • Reduce stress
  • Calm your nerves.
  • Improve your sleep.

What connection does glutamate have to GABA?

Your brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, prevents the transmission of chemical signals from one nerve cell to another. The primary excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain, glutamate, on the other hand, enables the transmission of chemical messages from one nerve cell to another. The inhibitory effects of GABA and the excitatory effects of glutamate must coexist in a delicate balance for the brain to function properly. Along with serotonin, GABA collaborates with another neurotransmitter. In actuality, a healthy body and brain depend on a variety of neurotransmitters that interact and compete with one another in specific ways. Actually, the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase reacts with glutamate to produce GABA.

Which medical conditions are related to variations in GABA levels?

It is believed that certain neurologic and mental health issues are connected to periods when GABA messaging activity (or “signaling”) is out of balance and not functioning properly. Reduced GABA activity could lead to:

  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Seizures

What drugs specifically target GABA?

The GABA receptors are the target of numerous medications. These consist of:  

  • Benzodiazepines. The GABA-A receptor is the target of this class of medications, which also includes diazepam (Valium®) and alprazolam (Xanax®). Surgery, the treatment of epilepsy, REM sleep disorders, alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, essential tremor, and muscle spasticity all benefit from the use of benzodiazepines.
  • Barbiturates. These sedative medications.
  • Sabil® brand of vigabatrin. This medication is used to treat infant seizures and spasms.
  • (Romazicon®) Flumazenil. The overdose of benzodiazepines is treated with this medicine. Additionally, it helps those with hepatic encephalopathy’s mental state.
  • Valproate Acid. Both a mood stabilizer and an anti-seizure drug, this one.
  • Zolpidem (Edluar®, Ambien®). This is a hypnotic-sedative. Insomnia is treated with it.
  • (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) Gabapentin. This medication is used to treat nerve pain, seizures, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Propofol, also known as Diprivan®. General anesthesia uses this medication as a sedative.
  • Gablofen®, Lioresal®, and Baclofen. This medication relaxes muscles and is often prescribed for anxiety.

GABA as a Dietary Supplement? GABA is a dietary supplement that is offered. The majority of it, though, might not be able to penetrate your brain. (In technical parlance, this is referred to as “crossing the blood-brain barrier.” The barrier is a special membrane that only lets specific molecules travel to and from your brain through it. Therefore, it is unknown whether taking dietary GABA supplements will have any effects on your brain. There isn’t enough solid scientific evidence to date to back up the use of a GABA supplement to treat ailments. More research with more participants is required.

Do foods contain GABA?

Some fermented foods, like kimchi, miso, and tempeh, contain GABA. It can also be found in oolong, green, and black tea. Brown rice, soy, and adzuki beans, chestnuts, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sprouted grains, and sweet potatoes are additional foods that either contain GABA or help your body produce more of it. It’s unclear whether eating foods containing GABA enables GABA to enter your brain, similar to supplements. More studies involving sizable participant numbers are required. The most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

GABA reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or communicate chemical signals to other nerve cells. GABA is well known for its calming effects. It is believed to be extremely important in managing stress, anxiety, and fear. Several neurological and mental health conditions, as well as other medical conditions, have been linked to decreased GABA levels. Increasing GABA levels may aid in the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, and insomnia. The GABA receptor is a primary target of drug development by pharmaceutical companies due to the high levels of GABA in your brain. More people need to be studied to determine how well GABA supplements and foods work to prevent and treat medical conditions. Speak with your healthcare provider about the best course of action for treating your medical condition before buying GABA supplements or consuming specific foods that contain GABA.

Chapter 7: Oxytocin      

Although the symptoms of generalized social anxiety disorder are sometimes alleviated by antidepressant medicines such as Prozac, and tranquilizers such as Valium, these medications do not work for everyone. The researchers looked at the anxiety-reducing effects of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter sometimes called the “love hormone” for its ability to reduce stress and promote pro-social behaviors such as trust, empathy, and openness to social risk. Oxytocin has now been shown to make the amygdala less reactive to pictures of threatening or fearful faces. Previous research identified the amygdala as a crucial brain area for emotional processing.

In a paper appearing August 6th in Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers expanded on previous findings showing oxytocin’s influence on the amygdala. The research team was led by Stephanie M. Gorka, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois and included Pradeep Nathan, Ph.D., of Cambridge University (formally Monash University), recipient of a 2007 NARSAD Independent Investigator grant. They examined how oxytocin affects connections between the amygdala and other parts of the brain in people with anxiety disorder. As study participants viewed fearful faces, brain scans with functional MRI showed that the amygdala communicated significantly less with other parts of the brain in those with generalized social anxiety, compared to those not diagnosed with anxiety disorder. 

The less connected the amygdala was to other brain regions, the higher the anxious participants’ baseline stress levels were. Importantly, oxytocin reversed those trends by increasing amygdala connectivity in anxiety patients, while decreasing amygdala connectivity in everyone else. These findings suggest that oxytocin can have specific effects in people with anxiety through its influence on the amygdala.

More broadly, the fact that oxytocin had opposite effects in the two participant groups indicates that the neurotransmitter’s success in reducing stress and promoting social behavior depends on individual brain characteristics, which differ between those with anxiety and those without the disorder. Thus, while oxytocin continues to show promise as a potential treatment for anxiety, it may not promote positive social behaviors in everyone. As noted by Professor Nathan and colleagues, these findings are preliminary.

To better assess how presumed changes in the brain influence actual experiences of anxiety, further research is needed to test oxytocin on more people with and without anxiety disorders. This, the scientists say, will be crucial in determining whether and exactly how oxytocin can improve treatment for anxiety disorders. Foods that may increase oxytocin include:

  • Orange Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Chia Seeds
  • Salmon
  • Coffee
  • Broccoli
  • Figs
  • Egg yolks
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Acerola cherries
  • Soy milk
  • Meat liver
  • Almonds
  • Mushrooms
  • Butter

Supplements that may increase oxytocin include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Chamomile
  • Melatonin
  • B vitamins
  • 5-HTP
  • Tryptophan
  • L-Glutamine
  • GABA
  • L-Phenylalinine
  • L-Theanine

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