3 Lifestyle Choices That Can Help Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety not only can cause unpleasant sensations such as heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath and fearfulness, it can also increase your risk for chronic illness. While medications such as anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants can help relieve your symptoms, they may not be appropriate for everyone, and may not be safe for long-term use. Here are three lifestyle choices that may help relieve your anxiety:

Consume More Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral in which every cell in your body depends on for proper functioning. Not only does magnesium help promote the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue, it also has profound effects on your brain. Fox 2 Now explains, that magnesium can relieve stress and anxiety by lowering levels of certain hormones such as cortisol that often lead to sleep problems and anxiety.

The report also states that magnesium helps enhance sleep, improves energy and calms the nervous system. Beans, spinach and nuts are rich sources of magnesium, however, if you prefer, you can take a supplement. While effective in relieving anxiety, magnesium supplements may result in abdominal cramps and diarrhea. If you take cardiac medications or have impaired kidney function, talk to your physician prior to supplementing with magnesium.

Avoid Coffee

Coffee and other caffeinated foods and beverages can worsen existing anxiety or promote new anxiety. Caffeine consumption can lead to palpitations, increased sweating, shaking and trouble breathing, and it also promotes excessive urination.

When you lose too much urine in short periods of time, electrolyte imbalances such as low potassium and decreased sodium levels can occur. Abnormalities in electrolyte function can cause anxiety and panic attacks, and may even lead to a cardiac arrhythmia. Anxiety can also cause intrusive, disorganized or catastrophic thinking, an in certain cases, too much caffeine can exacerbate these thoughts.

Eat Citrus

Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit can help stave off panic and anxiety attacks and may even play a role in the prevention or resolution of depression. Citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C, which may help raise certain brain chemicals such endorphins, or "feel good" chemicals. Low levels of endorphins may be instrumental in the development of anxiety and mood disorders. If you don't like eating citrus fruit, take a vitamin C supplement to help improve your symptoms.

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, see a doctor (such as one from Psychological Associates of PA). While the above remedies can help reduce the frequency and severity of your anxious episodes, you may need professional intervention to determine and treat the underlying cause.