A Dozen PCOS Anxiety Busters - PCOS Diva
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A Dozen PCOS Anxiety Busters

anxietyby Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva

Anxiety is a very common symptom of PCOS. Regardless of a PCOS diagnosis, many people struggle with anxiety.

“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn how to live with it. Just as we have learned to live with storms.” -Paulo Coehlo

I believe the most powerful tool we have to weather our emotional “storms” is at the end of our forks – the food we eat. For me going gluten-free has tremendously helped my  anxiety levels. Eating a nutrient rich PCOS diet has helped me calm the storms of life. Interestingly, according to a study in the Journal Pharmacological Research, berry phytonutrients turn off enzymes that fuel depression and anxiety. (1) Food really is medicine! For more about using food to fuel your mood, check out “8 Steps to Managing Your Mood with Food“.

PCOS Diva’s 12 Tips to Manage Anxiety

Focus Phrase

Bring to mind a “Focus Phrase”.  My favorite is, “I chose to be grateful and enjoy this moment.”  By saying this to myself, I chose to aim my attention at enjoyment and to the immediate sensory events happening in and around me, rather than worrying about the past or future.

Omega 3’s   

Keep anxiety at bay by taking Omega 3’s every day. Poor diet results in a decrease in Omega 3 fatty acids. They play an essential role in building and maintaining the brain. Over 60% of your brain is built from these fatty acids and your brain cells are continually being renewed. Without adequate Omega 3’s your brain cannot build properly. Ohio State University recently found that healthy adults who took 2.5 grams of Omega 3’s per day for 12 weeks experienced 20 percent less anxiety than those who took a placebo. (2)

Consider supplementing your PCOS diet with a carefully sourced fish oil supplement. Ideally, choose one that includes both DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids. Above all, be sure that your fish oil comes from a respected nutraceutical company that is GMP certified.  PCOS Diva Ultra DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement is a terrific choice.

Create a Calming Ritual

This is a simple but powerful way to reduce your experience of anxiety. Over time, your body and mind learn that physical signals mean “destress” and you will train yourself to be soothed. For me it means lowering the lights, lighting a candle, and putting on some soothing music – I love George Winston‘s Piano music.

Eliminate Sugar and Caffeine

Sugars are known to increase heart rate which can cause anxious feelings. Caffeine is also known to make people feel jittery and be more likely to feel stressed. Try to stay away from foods high in sugar and caffeine, including sodas, coffee and candy.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise will improve overall health and give you a sense of well being by the release of endorphins, can lower stress and anxiety levels.Calming activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are great. Just one hour session of yoga offers the GABA boosting effects of conventional medications with no side effects. According to a recent study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, yoga is more effective than walking for reducing anxiety. (3)

Practice Meditation

This is a powerful mindfulness and anti-anxiety tool. For detailed info and how to’s read my post here.

Use Lavender Oil

I am a big believer in a relaxing bath. When my nerves are frazzled and am feeling very anxious I let it all float away in a bath of Dead Sea Salts, or Epsom salt which both contain relaxing magnesium and some lavender essential oil which has a sedative quality. For my  bath recipe and more info on Essential oils read my post.

Drink (decaffeinated) Green Tea  

L-theanine in green tea is a calming agent – increases alpha brain waves, which are linked to increased relaxation. For more information on the health benefits of tea for PCOS read my post.

Take B Vitamins

B vitamins are essential for stress management, energy production and neurotransmitter balance. B6 aids in the production of serotonin which helps prevent mood swings and anxiety. For detailed info on B12 read my post. Note: The birth control pill and metformin commonly cause vitamin B deficiency.

Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture works to counteract the fight or flight stress response by releasing calming feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins and reduce stress hormones like cortisol. It also improves blood circulation with oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol which soothes worry.

Try Acupressure

Accupressure is another form of energy work. By pressing, tapping, or massaging key energy points on your body’s meridian system you can learn to relieve anxiety and worrying thoughts very effectively. One excellent DIY way to do this is with Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping” which I explain in detail in this post.Essential Oils Mini-course

Amy Medling Fall 2017Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness. 

 

 

Resources:

(1) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661809000449

(2) http://www.cdapress.com/news/healthy_community/article_adb846ca-2821-5def-bde4-570d11b5373f.html

(3) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112124.htm

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  1. Thanks Amy! Like all my other PCOS symptoms, I was somewhat relieved to find out that my anxiety was not soley as a result of my mental state – there are physical factors affecting it too. My biggest tool to manage my anxiety is avoiding caffeine and sugar. The difference is amazing, so thank you for these other great tips for assisting with anxiety management.
    I am having some success with a breathing technique I learned at a yoga class recently that can be a quick and easy meditation session called Alternative nostril breathing. Here is a link to instructions: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com/2009/06/16/12-great-reasons-to-start-alternate-nostril-breathing-today/

  2. Green tea can also increase anxiety cos the caffeine content .l-theanine can be taken as a supplement or ashwsganga.

  3. The worst thing about anxiety is that it mostly has multiple causes and those causes are rarely identified because doctors just prefer to treat the symptoms. I hadn’t even suspected until I accidentally found out by a routine blood test that I have severe vitamin D deficiency. Once I started on vitamin D supplementation, my anxiety has significantly decreased. Needless to say, I was surprised and amazed. I used to think that my anxiety was caused by my PCOS (me knowing that people notice the hair on my chin, I’ve gotten some remarks on this and that…) but in fact, that kind of insecurity was just an impact of anxiety on my life.

  4. I am pco parient and 29 years old..its my 2nd marriage. And the reason of my first marriage divorce is PCOS. In pakistani culture its very important to have baby for all family specially mother in laws want grandson as soonas popossible. When they come to know that I am PCOS. They force my husband to divorce me after 1 and half year of my marriage.
    thats why I hate PCOS. And now I m married with a person who already have 3 daughters just to avoid the pressure to have baby. Its killing problem. Anxiety is something else first to tell me how to survive in society
    regards.
    aysha kh

    1. Ashi, Infertility is a struggle, I understand. The anxiety and stress you describe is very common. You are not alone! If you are interested in some stress relief techniques, you will find tons of great articles and tips on my site. When you are ready to start treating your PCOS, I can help there too. Check out my Jumpstart program.

  5. Silent prayer, journaling, and counseling have been the three largest anxiety and depression busters for me. I have had PCOS since my teenage years, developed cystic acne around 17 years old, and have had both major depression and anxiety since I was 21, and now I’m 30. I was on SSRI medication from age 21-29. Over the last 3 years, I’ve gone to counseling. It was there that I learned how to recognize my own thought patterns. In that time I learned how to allow myself to feel my emotions but not to DWELL in the negative emotions and thoughts that preceded the emotions. I am now off of medication and do still struggle with anxiety occasionally, but it’s usually situational (i.e. my brother’s divorce and how it affects my family, anxiety around my own dating life, etc). I no longer wake up with my heart pounding, feeling as though I can’t breathe because of anxiety. God bless you all. I pray you find your way to a healthy way of managing your anxiety. Just remember, it won’t last forever. Keep searching. There’s always hope!