Have you ever wondered how we modern day Americans compare to those of different generations? Are we actually happier? If you were to ask your grandfather, most likely he walked to school in the snow, uphill. He had to struggle and toil to make it through. It sounded tough right? We have it so easy now. Then why aren’t we reaping the health benefits of a higher emotional happiness?
Actually, there is an amazing story that MPR put out on emotional openness in the 21st century. We are actually more closed than our previous generations and have actually been using emotional words less frequently. Well, all emotional words EXCEPT those relating to fear. That is the only class of emotional words that have been steadily increasing. This is especially shocking when compared to the words relating to happiness, which have been steadily declining. So, it would seem that this is a nation of fear and we are not happy about it.
What they did was look through all the books that have been digitized and analyzed what words have been used most frequently throughout the decades. You would think books that specialize in technology would be devoid of emotional commentary, but this is not true. The emotional state of America has a way of finding its way into literature despite its informational content. We can learn from this. The radio podcast is only 7 minutes long and well worth the listen.
If you would like to see this in graphical form, check out this wonderfully concise and interesting blog at tippingpointsproject.org. This post touches on song lyrics and how they affected this culture.
So, for some of you anxiety prone people, here are some tips on calming down.
1. Look up words that relate happiness and use them. Words such as relish, joy, joyful, sublime, glee, merry, etc. There is a saying that you fake it till you make it and words can have a real impact on your overall being. Infuse good words into yourself!
2. Sleep is such a huge part of feeling restful and calm. When you are lacking in sleep you turn to caffeine drinks to get you through, which then amps you up and makes you jittery. Energy drinks can cause panic attacks. I had a personal friend check himself into the hospital believing that he was having a heart attack after drinking too much Mountain Dew! He was having cardiac symptoms due to an excessive amount of caffeine.
3. Use Alpha-stim. This device is good for anyone who is experiencing anxiety or pain! It generates alpha waves which help the brain to return to a more relaxed state. It is highly effective. I also recommend it to anyone who has chronic pain.
1. Magnesium is a wonderful mineral that is essential in muscle physiology. It allows the muscles to release after contraction
so in other words it relaxes tense muscles. This goes for the muscles of the uterus and around arteries as well. High blood pressure can actually been reduced by 10 – 20 points by just taking magnesium. Dosage starts around 500 mg of a mixed chelate magnesium or magnesium citrate.
2. L-theanine is naturally found in teas but can be taken as a capsule. This product increases the brain’s alpha-wave activity. This can be done when you don’t have access to an alpha-stim. Higher alpha waves are associated with greater mental sharpness and a feeling of calm. L-theanine does not cause drowsiness and allows you to deal with stress without the negative stress response. Start at 200 mg 1 – 3 times a day, and if you are experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety, take one every 15 minutes for an hour.
3. Scullcap is an herb that works when others fail. I love this plant. It is best taken before sleep for a good night’s rest. The tea form is the best for this and they sell a very well priced organic scullcap tea at Mid-Florida Medical Group. Just a cup of tea before sleep and you’re good to go!
4. Kava kava is another herb that does well for anxiety prone people. It calms and energizes. I used to drink a tea before studying and could go for hours. Australian researchers tested Kava standardized extracts on people with general anxiety disorder which decreased significantly compared to the placebo group. The tincture form of Kava produces a numb-like feeling on your lips. Some complain about the taste but I find it to be a fascinating flavor. Dosage is 250 mg of kavalactones five times a day.
5. Passionflower is an herb that you want to take before sleep. It eases your anxiety and produces sleep. Use this flower for those who suffer from worry, repetitive thoughts, and sudden waking at night.
6. Chamomile is a common household herb that just about everyone knows by now. Chamomile can be used for anxiety, tension, and gastrointestinal distress. Some people use an extract 500 – 1,000 mg daily, but natural medicine always recommends trying to take the whole plant. Taking a chamomile capsule or tea can be quite beneficial. If you are allergic to ragweed you may have a cross reaction so use caution.
7. Omega-3 fatty acids are basic building blocks for the myelin sheath (insulation) around nerves but also are essential for healthy cell signaling. This promotes a more stable mood. Omega-3s help in insomnia, depression, anxiety, learning, and many others. Dosage is 1,000 – 2,500 mg DHA and EPA.