New treatments for parents with anxiety

Part of the Kinderling Conversation for parents. Weekdays 12pm-1pm.

Thu 8 September 2016

9 mins

Psychologist Karen Young from Hey Sigmund is an expert on new ways for parents to deal with anxiety. These are some of the treatments backed by new research she recommends.

1. Exercise

While it might be obvious to some, Karen says any type of exercise or movement is great for the brain and is therefore a really effective anxiety treatment.

“Exercise is gold for anxiety. It restores the balance of important neuro-chemicals in your brain.”

From cardio to aerobic exercise, even something meditative like yoga, regular exercise helps.

2. Eating fermented food

One recent discovery that Karen is excited about is what scientists call the ‘second brain’ in our gut.

“We have all these neurons in our gut. These send information back to the brain that influence mood.”

So bacteria in your gut affect your mood!

To restore gut bacteria to healthy levels, eat fermented foods like miso, yoghurt with live and active cultures, saurkraut or kimchi, tempeh, even a probiotic from the chemist works as well. Make sure you don’t go overboard, slowly increase the amount of probiotics you eat.

3. Massage

Scientists aren’t sure why it works but massage research shows that regular deep tissue Swedish massages reduce anxiety a lot.

 “Intuitively we know that touch makes us feel better and being held makes us feel better. The way to settle a crying baby is to swaddle them tight,” says Karen.

The pressure from massage helps brings down blood pressure, reduces heart rate and brings down cortisone (the stress hormone) levels too.

4. Listen to the most relaxing song ever

After much research, a piece of music has been created using science that is supposedly the most relaxing song in the world.

The eight-minute ‘song’ is really more a bunch of sounds put together, not so much music as we know it, but Karen says it does have real effects.

“It reduces cortisol… it brings anxiety right down, it brings stress right down. It has a physiological effect on people.” 

This means it’s definitely not one to listen to while driving!

Check it out:

For dads in particular, beyondblue has a great new resource. Head to dadvice.org.au for more!

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