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What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders affect more than 25 million Americans per year, and women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men. Anxiety is a psychological condition that is characterized by severe and persistent feelings of worry, tension, fear, and nervousness, even when there is nothing apparent to provoke these feelings. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, which include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia disorder. Causes of anxiety can range from stress to genetics. Keep reading to learn more about the numerous causes and natural treatments for anxiety.

 Foods high in sodium and saturated fats are unhealthy and can trigger anxiety

Anxiety Causes

Several factors can contribute to anxiety:

1

Hormone fluctuations

 A woman's estrogen levels fluctuate and eventually decrease during menopause. Estrogen significantly affects the brain's regulation of moods and emotions. Consequently, when a woman's estrogen levels drop, she is more likely to develop mood swings that can trigger anxiety.

2

Stress

High stress - whether it stems from worrying about money, work, or life at home - is one of the leading causes of anxiety. A major stress factor in life may trigger the condition, and certain environmental factors - such as trauma or a tragic event - may contribute to an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing it.

3

Poor diet

Foods high in sodium and saturated fats are unhealthy and can trigger headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol and also worsen preexisting anxiety.

4

Inactive lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle can induce a myriad of health problems, including anxiety, weight gain, and depression. It is crucial to stay active and exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, five times a week.

5

Genetics

Genetic predisposition can play a role in anxiety. If you have a family history of anxiety disorders, or are naturally anxious, you are more susceptible to developing an anxiety disorder. Studies have shown that anxiety disorders run in families, which means that they can at least partly be inherited from one or both parents.

Managing Anxiety

Follow these tips to overcome anxiety in a natural way.

Exercise

The key to easing anxiety and releasing "feel-good" neurotransmitters, like serotonin and endorphins, is exercising regularly. Walking, cycling, and swimming are all good forms of low-impact workouts that can help reduce anxiety.

Eat healthy

Making dietary changes, while not always easy, can be beneficial for managing anxiety. Incorporate plenty of lean protein, fiber, fatty-acids, and fruits and vegetables into your daily diet for optimum performance and energy. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and tuna, and the vitamin B9 found in spinach and avocados are helpful in easing menopausal symptoms like anxiety.

Relax

Taking time every day for yourself is vital to treating anxiety and improving your overall well-being. Taking a bath after a long day, getting a massage, or meditating are all effective ways to relax the body and mind.

Exercising, eating healthy, and taking time for yourself are all beneficial treatment options for easing anxiety. However, anxiety cannot always be treated by lifestyle changes alone. If your anxiety is chronic and is lowering the quality of your life, it is important to see a doctor who can offer you further advice and options.

Anxiety in 46 Year-old Women

Many women will experience anxiety during menopause. Read the following article for more information and anxiety treatment advice.

Anxiety Attacks during Menopause

Anxiety attacks disproportionately affect menopausal women and anxiety disorders are correlated with an increase in hot flashes. Click here to read more.

How Can you Identify the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Anxiety is an unpleasant mental health condition to deal with. However, identifying the symptoms of anxiety can help you manage the issue.

Sources:
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  • Office on Women's Health. (2012). Anxiety disorders fact sheet. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anxiety-disorders.html