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!

Listen to more Parents & Carers segments

How to feel fabulous in your clothes when your body is constantly changing

Amelia McFarlane from Colour Me In Styling is on a mission to get all mums feeling fabulous in their clothes She gives us her tips on how to dress for…
11 mins

Dads get postnatal depression too: Here's how to help

Clinical Psychologist Anthony Mackie says it’s time we paid attention to new and expecting dads As part of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology he understands the extent of the problem…
8 mins

The right words to solve every parenting dilemma

Could it be possible? Is there a way to address every little tantrum, sibling squabble and child-created catastrophe Authors Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright say it is. And they’ve got…
14 mins

Robin Barker: Are there benefits to smacking?

Many people who are parents now were smacked as kids And while some might not say it, there are many who still think there’s nothing wrong with a smack to…
9 mins

How to get the most out of the NDIS for your child

The NDIS is one of the most significant welfare reforms in Australia’s history But it can also feel overwhelming if you’re trying to navigate how to apply for financial support. …
19 mins

Why share houses might be just the ticket for single parents

Living in a share house might be something you’re glad you left behind before you had a family, but there are many benefits to sharing a house for single parents…
10 mins