Anxiety is a tool of the human body that is meant to be a healthy response
to stresses in life or even to a dangerous situation. When we are afraid,
our metabolism speeds up, our muscles tighten, and our adrenal glands
produce extra quantities of adrenaline (a hormone that makes our hearts
Anxiety becomes a troublesome response only when we can't burn up the
nervous energy it creates. When a meeting, a deadline, or a family problem
sets us on edge, our bodies signal "danger"-but physical action is rarely
appropriate. Instead, we endure the unpleasant sensation of a rapid
heartbeat and tensed muscles; often while having to smile at the opponent
who sits across the desk or dinner table. We are all able to handle
occasional bouts of unreleased anxiety, but if the anxiety doesn't go away,
or if it recurs frequently, it can lead to serious health problems. People
who are exposed to prolonged anxiety-those who are going through a divorce,
for example, or who are subject to intense pressures at work-often suffer
from high blood pressure, insomnia, digestive problems, skin disorders,
mood swings, depression, and many other conditions. The effects of anxiety
can also make any existing health problems worse.
Sometimes people feel the symptoms of anxiety even when they're not facing
a serious challenge or danger. Anxiety disorder is the name given to an
excessive amount of worry that lasts longer than six months. What's
excessive? Any nervous response that's out of proportion to its cause. A
new job or a serious illness should naturally produce more anxiety than,
say, planning a party. And if people cannot pinpoint the source of anxiety,
or if it constantly changes, there's a good chance that they suffer from an
People with anxiety disorders are vulnerable to the same health problems as
anyone else with prolonged anxiety. They may also experience extreme states
of nervousness and worry, called panic attacks. During a panic attack, the
heart pounds and breathing becomes rapid or difficult. Sufferers may break
into a cold sweat, experience tingling in the extremities, or feel dizzy
and weak. Although panic attacks rarely last long-they can take anywhere
from a few seconds to half an hour-they are quite frightening. People may
feel certain that they are having a heart attack or a stroke or may simply
feel overwhelmed by intense terror.
If you suffer from prolonged anxiety, whether as a result of an anxiety
disorder or from a major unresolved source of tension, you can take certain
steps to ease your symptoms. Bodywork and stress-reduction techniques will
give you immediate relief but can also help out work on the root of your
problem. Dietary changes and herbal therapies can have a calming,
stabilizing effect on your mood.
As you employ these complementary healing strategies, it's also important
to rule out any underlying physical causes. Disorders like low blood sugar,
thyroid problems, heart problems (mitral valve prolapse), and clinical
depression can lead to symptoms of anxiety, as can nutritional
deficiencies. Certain substances can also create anxiety or make it worse.
Caffeine is perhaps the most notorious tension-inducing chemical, but sugar
and other food allergens, nicotine, alcohol, environmental toxins and
allergens, and other cause can all be just as potent.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; the level
of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements have shown to help
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and
Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription # 1
Stress & Anxiety Relief
- LifeSource Product
Take 2 Caps of this synergistic stress relieving formula
daily. This combines numerous nutrients to help balance
Super Prescription #2
- LifeSource Product Take 50 to 100 mg two
to three times daily. Note that 5-HTP increase serotonin
levels, which have a calming effect on the mind. Note: Do
not take in conjunction with a pharmaceutical
antidepressant or an antianxiety medication
Super Prescription #2
– Herb Pharm Product
Take as directed on the bottle. Kava can significantly
relieve a panic attack, as well as the symptoms of
generalized anxiety. If you're using a pharmaceutical
tranquilizer, you should talk to your doctor about making
the switch. Do not, under any circumstances, take kava at
the same time you're taking a medication for anxiety,
depression, or Parkinson's disease. Do not use Kava while
consuming alcohol or if you have elevated liver enzymes.
This supplement should be used with a doctor's supervision.
Super Prescription #4
Calcium / Magnesium
– LifeSource Products - See All of our Cal/Mag
See all of our Calcium / Magnesium products by clicking the
above link. Take a combination of 500 mg of calcium and 250
mg of magnesium twice daily. These minerals help calm the
Super Prescription #5 Passionflower (Passiflora
Take 250 mg or 0.5 ml two to three times daily.
Passionflower relaxes the nerves and is gentle enough to
use during the day.
Super Prescription #6
B - Complex – Vitamin B
- LifeSource Product
Take a 50 mg complex one to two times daily. B vitamins
help combat the effects of stress and will balance your
brain chemicals. Vitamin B6 is especially important.
Super Prescription #7
- LifeSource Products
Take 500 mg two to three times daily between meals. This
amino acid has a calming effect.
Super Prescription #8 Homeopathy
Take a combination anxiety homeopathic remedy, as directed
on the container. Ask your Doctor as always when taking any
Restlessness and tension
Lump in the throat
High blood pressure
Muscle tension and/or spasms
Alcohol and street drugs
Mitral valve prolapse
Low blood sugar
Some foods can create anxiety, and others soothe it. If you're a victim of
prolonged or frequent tension, a good diet can significantly-and sometimes
completely-alleviate your symptoms.
An anxiety-healing diet starts with a good base of nutrients. Plan
well-rounded meals of basic, clean foods. To keep your blood sugar levels
stable, eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three large ones.
Complex carbohydrates contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has a
calming effect on the brain. Have some whole grains, like brown rice or
oats, at every meal.
Make sure you get enough B-vitamins by increasing your intake of brewer's
yeast, brown rice, and leafy green vegetables.
If you have a bowel disorder, fibrous foods will regulate your digestive
tract. The whole grains and vegetables that were suggested earlier are an
excellent source of fiber. For further suggestions, see the entry that
addresses your particular problem.
Calcium and magnesium calm the body. Good sources include sea vegetables,
green leafy vegetables (except spinach), soybeans, nuts, molasses, salmon,
oysters, sardines (with the bones), broccoli, and unsweetened cultured
Foods to Avoid
Caffeine and alcohol cause anxiety or symptoms of anxiety. Wean yourself
off black tea, coffee, and alcohol, even if they seem to comfort you when
you're stressed. Ultimately, these substances just put a further strain on
Refined sugars are another enemy of anxious people. Whole fruits and
naturally sweet products are fine in moderation, but candy, cake, cookies,
refined flour products, and soft drinks will cause blood sugar to spike and
then plummet. The resulting low levels of blood sugar produce feelings of
irritability, tension, and depression.
A response to food allergies can lead to trembling, dry mouth, heart
palpitations, misbehaving bowel, and other symptoms that mimic anxiety.
If you suffer from anxiety, chances are that you are short on B vitamins.
Since refined flour and processed foods deplete your body of nutrient, cut
them out of you diet.
Stress can be a result of toxins, and stress itself is poisonous to your
entire system. Consider doing a three-day supervised juice fast. Be sure
most of your juices are made from vegetables, as too many fruit juices can
give you unwanted sugar shock. A fast is also an ideal time to rest up and
enjoy various types of therapy, like a massage or a hot bath, that combine
detoxification with relaxation.
If you suffer from anxiety, it's wise to have a repertoire of
stress-reduction techniques you can call upon. Any of the techniques
discussed in the Exercise and Stress Reduction chapter can help, but the
following are some specific suggestions.
General Stress-Reduction Therapies
Use prayer to alleviate and prevent anxiety. The Bible contains many
scriptures that address anxiety. It is also prudent to seek help from a
counselor who specializes in anxiety disorder.
Positive mental imagery and meditation are useful. Whenever you feel your
mind racing ahead to upcoming deadlines or unpleasant situations, try to
bring it back to an awareness of the present. Focus for a moment on
something beautiful: the sound of a bird, the color of the sky, the steam
drifting up from your cup.
Many people with anxiety have cold hands and feet because the panic
response pulls blood away from your extremities. Thermal biofeedback can
help you use this symptom to your advantage. During a thermal biofeedback
session, you'll be asked to try to warm your hands. As you learn this
technique, you'll actually learn to control the nervous-system arousal
mechanism that is set off by anxiety. Soon you'll be able to ward off a
panic attack just by mentally warming your hands.
If you suffer from severe anxiety, consider EEG biofeedback. This form of
biofeedback can be expensive, but it does have an excellent track record of
helping people calm their brainwaves.
Don't let stress management itself become a source of stress. You're not a
failure if you have a panic attack or an episode of anxiety; no one can
manage anxiety perfectly. Just keep practicing tension-relieving techniques
daily, and try to accept whatever comes your way the best you can.
Exercise is still one of the best anxiety-relievers. A daily walk is
enough for many people, although most methods of exercise will reduce
the effects of stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture is helpful in controlling anxiety for some people.
Bruce Brightman – founder
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