Anxiety Does Not Have to Control You
Updated: Oct 2
As much as I love to be a woman, sometimes I ask myself why we must deal with all the craziness. A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend who works with many women in their sixties and beyond. She mentioned that most of her female clients are on anxiety medication. That made me sad and curious, and I needed to investigate. Because of hormonal changes throughout our lifespan, we are more susceptible to anxiety than men. Women are more than twice as likely to develop anxiety than men. Unfortunately, with the decrease of estrogen during perimenopause, anxiety is another by-product of this stage. What worries me is that medications are prescribed too quickly instead of looking at other modalities. While there is a place for it, in some instances, it becomes a bandaid instead of learning natural methods without making us reliant on another drug.
I know this can be a controversial topic, so to be clear, I’m talking about regular anxiety here and NOT anxiety disorder, which can include Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobias. Regular anxiety brings up a feeling of fear of a perceived threat, dread, and uneasiness.
Anxiety is one of the symptoms bugging me the most as I transition into menopause. As a mom with two young women living far away, I'm always worried. Add to it running a business, aging parents in another contient, and the everyday stressors of life, and I get easily overwhelmed. I have never needed and appreciated quiet time, relaxing yoga, or just being in the Now as much as I do in this season of life. I’m my most challenging client, and I must remind myself to slow down, trust, have hope, let go of control, and do the things that bring me joy daily.
So please, before accepting to take medication, take some time to discover what increases your anxiety. Anxiety is a normal reaction to fear, especially of the future. You are NOT broken, and you are NOT going crazy. Learning to be mindful and observant of your thoughts is a helpful way to ward off anxiety attacks. When you start getting a thought that might take you into the danger zone, can you try to focus on the present moment? Tell yourself I’m safe. Maybe put your hand on the part that feels heavy and anxious. It could be your heart, throat, or stomach. And then reframe the thought to be positive and constructive. How you respond to that thought is your weapon of defense. Focus on what you can control and some things you can put in place to make you feel more at ease. I know it’s easier said than done, and it takes practice. Maybe getting help with Cognitive-behavior psychotherapy or help from a coach who can also help to implement some dietary and lifestyle changes is the way to go.
Below are some natural remedies. Remember that natural always takes a bit longer but does not carry the side effects of medications.
Have a clean and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and lean meats
Avoid sugary and processed foods
Wild-caught fatty fish
Experiment with eliminating gluten
Reduce or avoid alcohol and caffeine
GABA Gamma-aminobutyric Acid
St. John’s Wort
Vitamin B complex
Magnesium (best form taurate and glycinate). Also great for sleep
NOTE: Always check with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements, as they might interfere with other medications.
And most importantly, find support. Surround yourself with people who believe and encourage you and understand what you are going through. Having connections is healing, especially for women.
If I can help you in your health journey, please reach out. You don’t have to suffer, and you are not alone.
P.S. Here is one book that I read in one sitting. It’s called “Unmedicated” by Madisyn Taylor. She took her health into her own hands and became unmedicated by focusing on the Four Pillars of Health. Clear Your Mind, Nurture Your Spirit, Strengthen Your Body, and Find Your Tribe.