Tracking the source of anxiety can be an incredibly frustrating process. Sometimes, those intrusive thoughts and feelings creep in even when we have nothing to worry about.
Our brains are highly delicate, and anything from childhood trauma to hormonal imbalances can induce the anxiety that we live with on a daily basis. While hormones have a very important role in our bodies, their powerful influence can also backfire and contribute to mental illness. Let’s take a look at how hormones may be behind your anxiety as well as some actionable steps to fight back.
What Does Hormone-related Anxiety Look Like?
While it’s difficult to know whether a hormone fluctuation came before or after anxiety, there are some symptoms to watch out for that will help you know whether what you’re experiencing is anxiety:
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty concentrating
- Panic attacks
- Excessive worrying
If these experiences are no stranger to you, then it may be worth visiting your doctor to see if a hormonal imbalance may be the culprit.
How Do I Achieve Hormone Balance?
Hormones are really complicated, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless against them. While hormonal anxiety may find its way into your life regardless of your habits, there are some basic strategies that can help you in the fight for hormonal balance.
- Regular exercise. Exercising on a daily basis is a great way to lower stress-inducing cortisol and increase the endorphins that relieve stress and pain. The best part—you don’t have to worry about squeezing in an hour-long workout every day. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety.
- Stress management. Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are great for managing stress and anxiety levels on a daily basis.
- Dietary improvement. The saying “you are what you eat” holds true when it comes to mental health. By making sure that your diet consists of complex carbohydrates, omega 3s and plenty of vitamins and minerals, you’ll be helping your body fight off intrusive anxiety.
- Sufficient sleep. Since poor sleep has been linked to hormonal imbalances that affect mental health, you’ll want to make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Mental health struggles can take many forms and are often the result of many factors combined. By doing what you can to restore hormonal balance, you’ll be showing your intrusive thoughts who’s boss and taking control of your mental health.