I’m sharing some key points from the book The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety
Balance Your Brain Chemistry
- Eating better will always improve your health, including the health of the brain. It is inexpensive and risk-free.
- Your own health can only be as good as the health of your food sources, and that includes the entire food chain.
- The best source of healthy nutrients is a varied diet of whole foods that are mostly vegetables, grains, and fruits, with limited amounts of animal protein.
- It is through diet and nutrition that we have the best chance to affect gene expression. It is possible to turn off illness genes by changing the way we eat.
- In order to work properly, the brain must have the right balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The only way it can produce them is for you to bring the necessary nutrients into your body.
- Nutritional supplements are not intended to replace whole foods. They are supplements to a healthy overall diet.
- When used properly, nutritional supplements and herbal therapies may help restore brain balance, soften the damaging effects of the stress response, and prevent the recurrence of illness.
Manage Your Energy
- Mental energy, like physical energy, can become depleted by the chronic stress response. To restore it, we must first address some consequences of long-term stress that can impair energy production.
- There are a few key nutrients that often become deficient with age, illness, or chronic stress. Replenishing them may quickly restore energy and the ability of make more of it.
- The economics of energy are like good investing: spend it wisely and you will get even more of it. Your best investment is regular exercise, which not only protects the cells but also makes them better energy producers.
Align with Nature
- Nature is built upon rhythms and cycles: day followed by night, activity followed by rest, tension followed by relaxation.
- It is completely natural, and within your reach, to recover from stress every day.
- Sometimes doing nothing is the most restorative you can take.
- Quality sleep is a powerfully protective cornerstone of resilience.
Quiet the Mind
- While there are external sources of pain and stress in our lives, it is our own mind that creates worry, anxiety, and much of our unnecessary suffering.
- We give power to that which we give attention, and anxious thoughts have too much influence. Without questioning them, we believe our thoughts to be true.
- Mindfulness practice provides an antidote to the unsettled mind. It helps us to refine skills we already possess but which may be hidden: a steady mind, focused attention, the ability to explore and reflect on our experiences without judging them — or ourselves — too harshly.
Turn Toward the Feeling
- Emotions are thoughts residing in the body. They cause distress only when they become stagnant or overwhelmingly strong.
- Emotions are meant to flow through the body like a stream or rise and fall like a wave. Paying attention to their physical sensations allows them to flow more freely.
- If we are caught unaware by a strong negative feeling, it can quickly engage our personal “story” and increase the momentum of the emotion.
- Greater awareness allows for new response to unpleasant emotions that can break the habitual patterns of emotional reactivity.
Cultivate a Good Heart
- Emotional suffering is kept alive by the false belief that we are somehow flawed or inadequate.
- Genuine self-acceptance creates an inner sense of safety and sufficiency, the conditions for lasting resilience.
- Holding compassion for others is transformative, as it replaces an unhealthy focus on the self.
- Expressing kindness is healing both to the one who gives and the one who receives.
Create Deep Connections
- Resilience requires a genuine sense of belonging and engagement.
- When we are present, we can access deep calm at any moment, even difficult ones.
- If we listen to our inner voice, it will guide us toward the connection we seek.
A great book that I’ve been taking my time digesting. I’ve started regular exercise and paying more attention to my diet. I’ve started taking some of the supplements suggested. I’ve already started seeing results as I have become happier and getting fewer and fewer anxiety attacks.