A natural way to get rid of your anxiety? Black & Green tea to the rescue!
Nowadays almost everybody suffers from anxiety one way or another. Often times this is related to stress at work. Other times it is triggered by other factors. When you do to the doctor for anxiety issues, you will see that the treatment recommended is usually based on oral medication with really strong effects. It blocks the negative reaction of your body to stress but I have noticed that it also reduces my reactions to positive events while taking this medication. I guess it balances everything but the secondary effects seem a bit much to me.
I have suffered from anxiety experiencing different levels of it all my life but last summer it was particularly bad. The reason for that was a extremely stressful job that I accepted. In this role I was hired to work on some tasks and I basically ended up performing three really stressful roles at the same time (I was only being paid for one) in one of the most toxic work environments that I have experienced in my life. Anytime I felt stressed I reminded myself that I could quit anytime and look for something else. But in the meantime, I tried to cope with the unrealistic demands of this role.
What happens is that even though I thought I had it under control (meaning, I knew what was being done, I knew I was being exploited, I knew it was temporary and I tried not to worry too much) we are not impermeable to the verbal aggression and denigrating behaviour that we were all exposed to in that workplace. And even when your mind seems to cope, your body starts to react. And then I started to have panic attacks, shortness of breath, insomnia, chronic fatigue and no energy to do anything after work.
I worked there for only four months. By the time I sent my resignation letter I had all the anxiety symptoms you can imagine. Once I was out of that environment I thought that I would be OK. After all I was not exposed to that negative environment anymore. But the body is really a machine, and as such, after a period of daily stress, it just gets used to react in a particular way to any kind of stressful event, independently of the nature or magnitude of the event itself. So I would go to see a horror movie, and I love horror movies, and I would have to leave the cinema because I would have a panic attack right there; I would encounter a not pleasant situation of any sort, and I would have another panic attack. It felt like I was a car whose anti-theft alarm was extremely sensitive to anything that came close. And that was the situation indeed.
The body gets used to react in a certain way depending on how many times you are exposed to stressful situations. And it replicates the reaction to whatever it considers to come close to a threat. It is in this moment when it can become chronic.
It was in one of these panic attacks that I went to a health store and I was advised to try L-Theanine capsules. I basically wanted something that would relax me, but the woman at the counter insisted that in my state it would be the best and most natural choice and I decided to accept her advice.
The result was great, I felt light in about 20 minutes but not sleepy and I kept on taking it for a few weeks after that incident. This with another relaxation techniques helped me to get back to normal, for good.
What I learnt about L-THEANINE
It is an amino acid that has a relaxing, but not sedating, effect. It is well-known for its ability to sharpen focus and concentration, while reducing stress and improving overall well-being. You can only find this amino acid in black and green teas.
What it can do for you
It will make you feel more positive and calmed
This amino acid raises levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. As a result you will notice an improvement in recall, learning and motivation. You will feel a more positive mood all the sudden.
Studies have shown that it creates an increase in alpha activity which is the same brainwave state that we achieve during meditation practice.
It will reduce your anxiety and reactions to stress
L-theanine can make you more resilient to stress by reducing both psychological and physiological stress responses. After all your body must feel stressed to react, but if your heart rate is lowered and your blood pressure is at a normal level your reaction will be effectively calmer. There are many studies that show that tea drinkers (black and green tea) feel calmer in stressful situations that coffee drinkers hence performing better in the same conditions.
There are even studies that show that L-theanine also reduce anxiety symptoms of schizophrenia when taken along with antipsychotic medication.
It protects your brain and will help you sleep
It has been showed to increase blood flow to the brain improving some cognitive functions like memory and protecting you against stroke and Alzheimer’s.
It does not make you drowsy or make you feel tired the next day (like other sleeping aids) but helps you sleep better as you feel more calm and positive in general.
What is your experience with anxiety and what do you do to feel better? Let’s continue the conversation on the comments below.