GYM VLOG #3
Author: Julia Dulgerova
Anxiety Amongst Our Youth: You’re Not Alone!
Anxiety is something that is extremely common and on the rise within our youth, but thankfully we live in a time when it is talked about a lot more than in the past.
It is not uncommon to worry.
It is not uncommon to be uncomfortable in crowds of people.
It is not uncommon to be worried about new situations and change.
It is not uncommon, and we all have experienced it to some degree, no matter your age or circumstance.
You may get sweaty palms, or you may twitch your leg when you sit. However, your anxiety presents itself, we all cope with it in different ways and our symptoms are different.
I can’t emphasize enough that you are not alone. I’m in high school and simple things like when the teacher changes our seats, or walking through the hallways tend to make me nervous. And I admit that I often feel like this, thinking it must just be me feeling this way, and everyone else is outgoing so they must not feel like this. But what I can tell you for sure is that even the people that seem like they have their lives together and are too extroverted to have anxiety, can still experience anxiety.
Just like all things in this world, we all show our emotions and feelings in different ways. After all, we are all similar in many ways but also very unique.
An overwhelming amount of schoolwork and assignments, emotional trauma, unexpected change, financial and family concerns, and so much more can cause you to feel anxiety and you might think it’s something you will have to live with forever but that is so far from true!
First, it is important to get to the root cause of your anxiety.
Did something happen in your past?
Did you experience a sort of trauma?
It may even be difficult to understand exactly why your anxiety happens but by getting to the root of the issue, you can start the process of getting to know your brain a bit better. And truthfully, you might have no idea why you have anxiety and that’s when you must think about your body’s nutrition, sleeping patterns, and exercise. If these needs are not being met your body can be experiencing a sense of imbalance and anxiety could be your brain responding.
What have you been eating?
Things like processed foods, premade lunches, and fast food are very high in processed grains, MSG, seed oils, and more. These are all additives and ingredients that will throw off your body’s dynamic equilibrium and disrupt your gut biome. They make your body inflamed. By eating less of this junk processed food and more foods high in omega 3s, your inflammatory load will begin to decrease. Inflammation can actually affect the parts of your brain that are associated with reward and threat sensitivity, which means this can lead to symptoms of anxiety as well as low motivation. Even things like exercise are recommended and moving your body can work just as well as medication to decrease anxiety, so get your body moving and your blood pumping!
Now, your gut biome or microbiome is a family of microorganisms that live all through your digestive tract. You need them in order to absorb nutrients, digest food properly, and more. Your gut bacteria play a HUGE role in your mental health as many illnesses are born in your gut. So, it is crucial that you diversify your gut bacteria with fermented foods, meat stocks, and organ meats. There is even a whole nerve that runs from your gut all the way to your brain, like your gut and brain are literally connected! And there are cool exercises like diaphragmatic breathing, singing, and gargling that can improve the connection between your gut and brain. How incredible is that?
To learn about the important differences between meat stock and bone broth, here is a link to a wonderful article: Stock vs. Broth: Are You Confused? – Biodynamic Wellness. Preparing meat stock can be a fun place to start your healing, and it is very doable for most younger people to prepare.
Now I want to open the doors to you all to herbal medicine. A truly mind blowing and magical thing. Plants are so incredibly powerful, and not only can they heal things on the surface of our bodies, but they can also heal things under the surface of our bodies. A plant I will tell you guys about today is passionflower.
(P.S. Plants can have side effects so research and talk with your guardian or medical practitioner before you make any big moves.)
Passion flowers are not only beautiful but extraordinarily powerful. They have been used for centuries to treat conditions from anxiety to insomnia to asthma to narcotic withdrawal, and the list goes on. Plants have an ingredient called “flavonoids” and these are the components that affect our bodies in different ways. Passionflower has many flavonoids like “chrysin: ” and “benzoflavone”. These are the main and primary ones that can help reduce anxiety. Standard anxiety medication has the goal of increasing something called gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA) inside of our brains. To simplify it, GABA is a neurotransmitter that blocks signals to our brain that could make us worried or sad. By blocking them we are instead calm and feel safe. And passion flowers do just this! They increase the amount of GABA in our brains, so anxiety could decrease immensely.
Anxiety is super common for people of all ages, and youth are no exception, but this doesn’t mean that we need to live with this and let it take a toll on our lives. We must take action and learn about our bodies, heal our gut, and remember that we are not alone! The GYM is an incredible team, and we help, support, and stand up for others and ourselves. Anxiety has NOTHING on us!
Here are some links to resources that may help!
Setting Yourself up for Success Actions
Journaling to help find the root of your anxiety or stress in your particular situation.\
Grounding Techniques for Anxiety
Fermentation and Meat Stock Info
Learn about the Body’s Circadian Rhythm
Easy steps to take to begin to learn what causes stress and how to manage it.