Whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed or you found yourself riddled with anxiety all day, finding foods that help your anxiety can be a crucial component to dealing with it. When I was starting to really struggle with anxiety, I had no idea how to make it better. Over time, I've learned coping mechanisms that calm my anxiety when it spurs up and also allow me to be proactive keeping it at bay. While habits such as meditation and therapy have been key to making anxiety livable, the food I eat can also work to drastically lower my anxiety.
For me, while not technically a food, drinking a hot cup of tea makes a world of difference when my anxiety is peaking. The soothing warmth of it calms me down and feels like a blanket enveloping me in a sense of calm. If you consistently struggle with anxiety, figuring out which food — or drink — helps your symptoms can be life changing. Ensuring you always have it on hand whether it's in your desk at work or in your cabinet at home can help to lower fear of your anxiety creeping up on you.
Looking for some ideas on what foods may help you cope? Here's what people with anxiety eat to help their symptoms.
1. Katie, 36
"I've found that high-fat foods help me during times of anxiety. Avocados, sunny side up eggs, or homemade brownies are what I usually reach for. It doesn't take a lot — a small serving is usually enough to have a calming effect. Interestingly, fried foods (like French fries or potato chips) don't seem to work for me."
2. Jandra, 28
"I have definitely struggled a lot with anxiety. One thing that helped me was switching to decaf. Chamomile tea is a lifesaver when I am feeling anxious, and I drink several cups a day when I'm struggling with it."
3. Jessamy, 32
"Dark chocolate has been a powerhouse for me on the wellness front helping with anxiety, iron boost, and its many other health benefits. Not to mention it also is something I have in the evening as a treat so I look forward to it, savor every bite, and it makes me so happy."
4. Meenakshi, 36
"The Pantothenic acid present in [mushrooms] provides support to the body's reactions during anxiety by secreting the desired hormones. Thus, at least once a week, I make sure to add mushrooms to my afternoon meal."
5. Nicole, 25
"I grab a scoop of all natural creamy peanut butter, half a banana and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on top. Throw it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and it’s pure indulgence! This sweet treat helps to keep me calm."
6. Nina, 22
"When I'm feeling anxious, I usually gravitate towards foods that make me feel cozy to help me calm down. Chicken noodle soup always makes me feel comfortable and relaxed."
7. Angela, 23
"Raw and organic clean eating in general makes me feel better when I'm dealing with anxiety. It makes me feel less weighed down by my symptoms."
8. Sam, 22
"Having something like candy or gum helps with with my anxiety because they give me something to focus my energy on."
9. Kelly, 24
"Milkshakes when my anxiety forces me to have no appetite because they fill me up without having to actually eat something. Protein shakes with peanut butter are really filling and moderately healthy so those work too."
Discovering what coping mechanisms help your anxiety is so important and allows you to take the power away from your anxiety. Experiment with different foods, habits, and techniques to determine what will allow you to live your happiest and healthiest life possible. In the meantime, a nice cup of tea never hurts.