In this fast-paced, multi-tasking world we live in today, many people are finding themselves stressed out, burned out, and over anxious. We need to be pro-active in maintaining healthy bodies so that we can ultimately sustain a healthy mind. Much research has been done regarding the use of fish oil and anxiety relief. Dr. Joseph Hibbeln,MD, who does research on the health benefits of fish at the National Institutes of Health found that people who regularly consume this oil are less likely to be depressed.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in this oil elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals in our brain. Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter in brain activity that improves focus, elevates mood and reduces anger. These same essential fatty acids decrease levels of brain chemicals that cause you to feel stressed out and anxious.
Many pregnant women have found the link between fish oil and anxiety because of reduced mood swings, and a decreased risk of postpartum depression. The key factor of these wonderful health benefits is DHA, the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the oil of fish as stated by Heidi Murkoff in the book “What to Expect When You are Expecting.”
In another book for women, “The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause,” the author advocates women of menopausal age to increase their intake of omega-3 fats to lift their spirits and increase energy. She advises eating two servings per week of fatty fish like tuna or salmon. If you are unable to eat the adequate amount of fish you can choose to take an omega-3 dietary supplement. In a study conducted in Canada, researchers determined that women who took 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 supplements for eight weeks eased depressive symptoms related to menopause as well as reduced the number of hot flashes by more than half. This is a good example of the connection between fish oil and anxiety relief.
Be kind to yourself in using other natural ways to relieve simple anxiety such as eating right, exercising regularly, and practicing relaxation techniques. Get outside and take a walk. Confide in a good friend when you start to feel overwhelmed. Start a bedtime routine such as relaxing in a warm bath to set the mood for sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, which can increase anxiety levels. In rare cases when symptoms of severe anxiety continue after one week of trying these remedies at home, it is recommended to seek professional help.
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