Anxiety-Busters That Don't Require an Rx
Just because these stress-reduction techniques are all-natural doesn't mean they aren't addictive.
The Body's Natural Cannabis
Most of us think that the famed runner's high comes from endorphins that flood the brain after intense activity, but research has shown that those endorphins are actually too large to pass the blood-brain barrier
. Neuroscientists are now claiming that the credit is due to endocannabinoids
, smaller molecules made up of lipids that have a similar affect on the body as does the active ingredient in marijuana. Receptors in the brain and the body allow these endocannabinoids to bind to the nervous system, and this sets off reactions that decrease pain and anxiety and generally help us feel more groovy.
Recommended dosage: 50 minutes of heart-pounding, sweaty exercise has been found to increase blood levels of endocannabinoids
(other studies have found that a regular exercise habit—such as daily training for races—can have a protective effect for the high-strung and anxiety-prone