“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”
Have you heard this lately?
With these unprecedented Covid times, one thing that has been a silver lining is that the topic of mental health is being talked about freely and often. This topic used to be off-limits. Now, it’s almost a casual part of any conversation. “How are you REALLY doing?” is something we are asking our loved ones.
“By late June, 40 percent of American adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women have been disproportionately impacted, taking on a greater share of parenting, teaching, and household duties, and leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men”, as quoted from Elle Magazine.
Everyone around us is experiencing anxiety due to the unstable world we are currently living in. Even my most Zen friends are suffering the effects of it… from digestive issues, horrible sleeping, hair loss, and more. It’s incredible how the body lets you know you are struggling with anxiety, even if the world sees you as a “Keep Calm and Carry On” type of person.
So if we can’t solve the problems the world faces, how do we deal with them?
I think we’ve all been guilty of grabbing that glass of wine in the evening - “Hey I deserve it! It makes me relax! It helps me forget the troubles of the day!”. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, alcohol is a sedative...but also a depressant.
“Alcohol has similar effects as benzodiazepines — they both modulate the GABA-A receptor,” says Manoj Doss, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. He explains that GABA is the brain’s main “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, meaning it tends to turn down brain activity. Alcohol can facilitate the action of GABA, and this may partly explain why a drink at the end of a frantic day can calm anxious thoughts.
Alcohol can initially calm us down but unfortunately as the blood alcohol levels start to decline, that’s when our body’s stress response system is triggered, potentially making us more anxious.
This leads us to what Healthline.com calls a “Hangxiety” - hangover anxiety. Oh, dear. Aren’t hangovers enough? Not only is your body physically detoxing but your endorphins are coming down too… and the realization that your problems are still there can, you guessed it, bring on MORE anxiety. But with “Hangxiety” that anxiety is coupled with the yucky physical hangover feeling. We’ve all been there!
So how do we hop off this anxiety-alcohol-more anxiety cycle?
Well, as my friend says, “It all comes back to CBD for me!”.
Overall, the research on CBD and anxiety is very promising. A Permanente Journal study in 2019 showed that of the people treated with CBD, almost 80% of people’s anxiety improved, and almost 70% reported improved sleep in the first month.
Anxiety is most often a contributing factor for an even more paralyzing disorder - panic attacks. For anyone that has struggled with panic attacks, perhaps the scariest component of them is that they usually begin without warning, and can happen at any time. And they can trigger pretty severe physical symptoms - like feelings of a heart attack, or even dying. They can significantly affect your life.
For those that struggle with panic attacks, frequent use of CBD can help ward off the onset of one. In 2017, Current Neuropharmacology published a study on the use of CBD as a treatment for panic disorder. A single dose of CBD, administered orally, reduced the activity in the areas of the brain that typically “light up” during a panic attack. It may also increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, that helps to regulate mood.
Unlike THC, another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause any feelings of intoxication or the “high” you may associate with cannabis. This makes CBD a powerful anti-anxiety tool that can be used in everyday life.
So what are the best ways to take CBD regularly?
There are lots of options: oils, capsules, drops, vapors, candies, teas.
I think for anyone, the most effective way is what you can incorporate easily into your life on a regular basis. It’s been no secret that I have been inspired to make high-quality CBD products based on my personal realization that CBD has greatly decreased my anxiety and increased my quality of life. This is what drove me to come up with my two favorites. I add Aqueous Water Shots to my water daily. - so easy since each “shot” is in its own packaging and can easily be thrown in my purse to take any time. And of course, The Aqueous Fruit Chew Gummies, easy to travel with too. Because of the ease-of-use, I find myself able to consistently take CBD and feel calm and centered.
My absolute greatest relaxation is getting into a bath with my Aqueous Bath Booster. No matter what life is handing me, the act of taking a bath in water infused with lavender and rose botanicals and CBD to boot - that is a recipe for relaxation!
I am so excited about the future of CBD - it’s a relatively new idea that will no doubt be supported by more research in the immediate future. In these anxiety-ridden times, my hope for you is that you can find greater peace and calm in your life - give CBD a try! I don’t think you will regret it.
Of course, this is always the new year buzz, especially coming out of a year like 2020; chances are more bad habits have been made. Many of us got into new cycles that we’d like to break, change, or amend. Wine-to-wind-down more often than usual? Check. Netlfix on the couch more often than not? Yep, that too.
Ok, stop right now and check-in with yourself.
How are you feeling? I mean REALLY feeling?
Chances are you have been living with a low hum (sometimes high hum) of STRESS.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us. We are all affected on so many levels. Have you been pushing away your stress and soldiering on in this NEW NORMAL?
There are many ways that long-term stress can have an effect on you if you don’t take it head on and help your body, mind, and spirit deal with it. It may induce or exacerbate depression and anxiety-related disorders, as well as digestive and sleep problems.