"What if I can't make my mortgage payment? Or if my health suddenly turns?" We all have nagging worries that keep us up at night. In fact, worrying is hard-wired into our DNA, and can even be beneficial, especially when it motivates us to save for the future. But worrying can become toxic to your health when you always expect the worst, or can't stop asking "What if?" Here, Dr. Oz reveals three methods to manage your anxiety, without the use of prescription medication.
Break the Worry Loop: Quiet the Brain
By realizing that worry is a neurological process, rather than simply a "feeling," we can take steps to relieve it. Deep inside our brains is an almond-shaped structure called the amygdala, which acts as our fear and anxiety center. When we experience a potential worry, the amygdala sends warning messages to the cortex, the rational part of our brain, which can assess whether that worry is of true concern. As the rational cortex is flooded with more and more warning signals from the amygdala, however, it is unable to process them all, leading to worry loops or anxiety.
Fortunately, there are several steps we can take to quiet the brain and worry less:
Treat Worry-Related Stomach Issues: Soothe Your GI Tract
Your stomach acts as a "second brain" when it comes to worrying. In fact, like our brains, our stomachs have their own nervous systems, called the enteric nervous system. When we worry, millions of receptors embedded in the gastrointestinal tract react to fear by speeding up or slowing down our digestion, which can lead to nausea, diarrhea and heartburn.
Next: Two natural treatments to soothe a nervous stomach