"Brain Hack" Beats Anxiety as Well as Drugs!

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

Our medical system suffers from a severe case of willful ignorance. It regularly turns a blind eye to the obvious.

Medical professionals like me take an oath to first do no harm.

But then, nine times out of ten, patients walk out of their doctor’s office with a prescription for a drug that comes with many HARMFUL side effects.

And when it comes to mental health issues such as anxiety, a prescription for a risky med is practically guaranteed.

Wouldn’t it be better (and less harmful) to start with something that has ZERO troubling side effects?

A new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry makes “do no harm” an easy promise for doctors to fulfill when they treat anxiety.

The research revealed that mindfulness (a practice of focusing on the present moment) was JUST as effective as taking antidepressants.

And it doesn’t come with a single side effect… well, except for the good kind.

I often recommend a version called “walking mindfulness.” Despite the name, you can do it anytime and anywhere.

Walking mindfulness doesn’t require any special preparations. You simply focus fully on all the details of what you’re doing. Ignore any thoughts that distract you from that task.

Try it next time you wash dishes. Concentrate fully on the activity and put everything else out of your mind. Feel the warmth of the water. Smell the sweetness of the soap. And listen to the clanking sounds of the dishes.

Not a fan of washing the dishes? You can practice this type of mindfulness while doing pretty much anything at all: brushing your teeth, walking in the woods, or talking with a friend all fit the bill.

The study participants took a course in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). MBSR is a collection of techniques that include how we communicate, pay attention to emotions, and shift our perceptions of stressful events in our lives.

If you search online for MBSR, you can find many classes—some of them free.

But don’t stop with mindfulness. You can take some additional steps to calm your anxiety WITHOUT resorting to risky drugs.

  • Exposure therapy: Often, the things we’re most afraid of turn out not to be nearly as bad as we feared. Exposure therapy puts you into situations that typically trigger your anxiety. But it is done in small, manageable doses that are increased over time. This works well for anxiety that’s triggered by things like a fear of snakes, flying, or talking in front of groups.
  • Sleep: Anxiety levels tend to be higher when we aren’t well rested. But, of course, getting enough quality sleep is sometimes easier said than done. Natural supplements like L-theanine, melatonin, and chamomile can improve sleep, leading to less anxiety.
  • Calming herbs: Many of the same herbs used for improving sleep work well for general calming. Anxiety sufferers can try taking a half-dose of a sleep supplement in the morning. Chamomile, valerian, kava, and passionflower are all great for general relaxation.
  • Exercise: Exercise naturally reduces anxiety. Like mindfulness, it forces you to focus on one task. Plus, it ramps up the production of feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. But remember, it’s easier to stick to a regular exercise routine when you enjoy doing it. So figure out what activity is the best fit for you.

Many folks can overcome their anxiety without medication. Give these techniques a try, and you may find out you’re one of them.

P.S. Unsure WHAT is triggering your anxiety? This strange belly-linked culprit could be to blame. CLICK HERE to find out what it is… and the simple fix.

Source:

“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA Psychiatry. 2023;80(1):13–21. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3679

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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