I've suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder for as long as I remember, which stems from my perfectionist roots. On the surface, it looks like we have it all together, but deep down lies a fear of not being good enough—in our bodies, relationships, careers and every other facet of life. This constant self-judgement, shame and pursuit to be "perfect" often leads to heightened stress, control, exhaustion, psychological pain and destructive behaviors (eating disorders in my case).
Between personal development, western medicine, nutritional healing and holistic supplementation, I am now at peace with my anxiety (PRAISE THE LORD). And you can be, too.
Before I dive in and tell you two secrets that have helped alleviate a lot of my symptoms, I want to be very clear about something:
If you suffer from ANXIETY or DEPRESSION (they often go hand-in-hand), I want you to know that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. Anxiety and depression are signals from your body, mind and/or spirit that tell you something in your life is out of alignment and recalibration is in order. When you start to explore the triggers, voids or mismatches in your environment or lifestyle, while also taking small daily measures to manage the symptoms in the process, you'll start to alleviate the detrimental impact these experiences can have on your life.
Now, let's talk about the two new miracle-workers I've added to my daily routine! Although there are MANY reasons to take these two supplements, I personally chose them for their well-known ability to help with:
OK, so what are they?
What is it and what are the benefits?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Unlike MJ though, most CBD doesn't contain THC that gives you the mind-altering "high," making it an appealing option for all of us who want another relief option to common ailments.
Right now, it's gaining major momentum in the health and wellness world specifically for chronic pain and anxiety. So stinkin' exciting right? (#nerdalert over here)
So, what are the other benefits?
Interactions with CBD Oil:
The vast majority of science shows that CBD is safe for use and consumption. The expert I spoke to described it interacting with the body much like a harmless multivitamin. With that said, it can pose a few risks if not properly understood—one being the inhibition of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system.
Found in the liver, it's main function is to metabolize potentially toxic compounds, including over 60% percent of any drugs consumed. Any drug metabolized by CYP450 enzymes could potentially interact with CBD, including the below. Be sure to double check with your doctor before taking.
I went to The Hemp Farmacy in Downtown Raleigh. It was an interesting experience—we signed-in, provided a Government ID and were led back to one of their cubbies in which we were given the down-low on all things CBD. He reviewed the different varieties—oils, edibles, vapors and inhalants (pet food and treatments included!), the benefits, potential side effects, dosage and more.
I ended up going with Carolina's Hope Hemp Extract in Peppermint, 0% THC. Hemp Extract is made from the entire plant including leaf, seed and stem. Most oils on the market selling as CBD oil are 97% or more Hemp Seed Oil, mct oil or vegetable glycerine and 3% Hemp Extract.
If you don't have a pharmacy nearby, try Amazon. But, do your homework first—there are a lot of knock-off brands that you don't want to mess with.
My personal experience:
Beware that it's VERY oily! And, it took a solid 4 days for me to feel anything. I'm on day 11 and am already feeling emotionally "lighter," with little anxiety symptoms. The biggest difference is not waking up with a clenched chest first thing in the morning (hallelujah).
As far as dosage, start at the minimal dose of 1 dropper or 1 ML per day. You can move up to two droppers a day once your body adjusts, and decide the best time of day to take it—most recommend on an empty stomach in the morning, but I've heard that later in the day is best for those taking it for sleep support.
WARNING! CBD exacerbates the effects of caffeine, so as you're testing the right dosage for you, be mindful of how much caffeine you're consuming. I was WIDE-EYED for the first 3 nights! No bueno.
What is it and what are the benefits?
Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions. It is most well-known for its restorative and rejuvenating benefits. In Sanskrit, ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb has the potential to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion.
It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress—by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, known to manage sleep, mood, PMS and more.
Here's a full list of symptoms ashwagandha can help:
What product should you choose and where should you buy it?
Thanks to a girlfriend's recommendation, I'm taking StressCare by Himalaya and bought it on Amazon (see link).The combined ingredients in this adaptogenic formula nurture the adrenal glands, which control the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) released into the body, supporting energy, vitality and stress response. It will also help that stubborn fat melt away around your lower abdomen and hips.
Well there ya have it.