Page 1Group 8Group 7Group 7
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #EmbraceYourAge
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

4 Ways to Deal With Anxiety That Aren’t Medication

“Prozac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax” declared an April headline in The New York Times. We at The Fine Line are truly concerned about the mental state of the nation — especially because women over 50 seem to experience a great deal of anxiety. So we asked holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman, who has herself learned to manage anxiety, for advice.


Underlying trauma, emotional turmoil, dramatically shifting hormones, and the trials that come with being female in the world are the reasons almost every client I see struggles with anxiety. In fact, it’s almost more troublesome to me when I find someone who doesn’t experience anxiety.

Learning to properly manage anxiety is vital to our success. Sure, modern science has given us myriad medications to dull those anxious feelings, but to truly break free, we have to carve out downtime for ourselves, learn to adequately support our nervous system through nutrition, and shut out the constant stimulation that comes from every direction. We also have to heal our past traumas: Almost every woman I know has had to do some heavy lifting emotionally — myself included.

Asking the world around us to change isn’t going to get us anywhere, but the way we operate in the world can change. Here’s how to get started.

Explore Emotions and Past Traumas

This can often feels like a daunting task. Most of us would rather keep our crap in a box and not think about it. Dealing with emotional baggage and trauma isn’t fun, but it’s necessary in order to combat anxiety. The human brain is extraordinarily good at stifling past events and emotions that may have been too much to handle at the time. You look back on it, thinking it was no big deal, and you’re fine. The problem is, you’re not.

Trauma manifests physiologically if you don’t consciously address it. This often looks like anxiety and disease. I have a friend who was involved in an incredibly traumatic altercation while traveling in the Middle East. She thought she had survived unscathed — no big deal — but she began experiencing debilitating panic attacks in the months that followed. Only then did she truly begin to realize the trauma she had gone through. Her conscious mind wasn’t aware she’d experienced something traumatic, but her body was cluing her in.

Listen to your body. Anxiety is often an alert that something isn’t quite right. Working with a therapist or energy healer can be incredibly helpful. I personally have found leaps of progress with an energy healer trained to help balance the body’s energetic/emotional flow, which allows for deep healing. Two energy healers I work with are Althea Montgomery  and Alessandro Giannetti. They each have audios on their websites that can help, too.

Get Adequate Nutritional Support 

Nutrition is a huge part of dealing with anxiety. Somehow people underestimate the effects of diet on mental health. Even if you’re eating a diet heavy in organic greens, you’re likely still missing micronutrients due to depleted soil. I recommend magnesium as a first step to conquering anxious feelings. Women are often deficient, and it’s an important mineral that allows the nervous system to communicate. I like Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate or citrate.

Plant-based diets can be low in B vitamins, which are crucial to the nervous system; deficiency can lead to anxiety. It’s wise to include a high-quality B complex to make sure your bases are covered. I like Pure Encapsulations B Complex Plus and Global Healing B12.

Neurotransmitters that control things like mood reside in our gut not just our brain. Making sure we have a balanced gut flora by taking probiotics is another important way to support the body and prevent anxiety. There are tons of products on the market, and I’m constantly switching up my probioitcs. I like Renew Life 50 Billion Probiotic and MaryRuth’s Organic Liquid Probiotics, and Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula Probiotic. You can get probiotics naturally by eating fermented foods. If you can tolerate them, probiotic-rich foods like coconut kefir, coconut yogurt kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, and sauerkraut can be very beneficial.

Lastly, if you want something extra, adaptogens work wonders to help the body adapt to stress and fill in the gaps physiologically. A few that are particularly good for anxiety are ashwagandha, tulsi, and chaga. Gaia Herbs and Organic India make great adaptogen products.

Slow Down

This is one that I struggle with — but many of us do. We live in a society that values “Go! Go! Go!” Most of us have been raised in a way that views idleness as laziness, adding a tinge of guilt to the equation. Women — moms especially — seem to have a blind need to take care of everyone else before themselves. But this is not a great way to live.

I like the oxygen mask analogy: Put yours on before assisting others. You are no good to anyone if you’re run down and at your wit’s end. Work on taking a couple of minutes throughout the day for yourself. Do a few yoga poses or a five-minute meditation, take a walk around the block, or just sip a cup of tea. I love the Calm app for quick guided meditations; a cup of India Organic tulsi tea helps me mentally reset.

Keep It Simple

The last thing you want is an anti-anxiety regimen that causes stress —  so don’t get too complicated. Working through anxiety can look like a ton of baby steps over a long period of time. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have it all figured out in a week or a month. This stuff takes years, and that’s OK.

Take a deep breath. Commit to two minutes of meditation each day and one supplement for a week and build from there. Pay attention to what happens — and try to have a bit of fun!

Photo: Natalie Board

You Might Also Like

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain
Yoga

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain

If you have lower-back pain, you are not alone. According to the...

read
Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?
Wellness

Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?

New research studying carb intake in relation to mortality confirms that contrary...

read
5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party
Wellness

5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party

’Tis the season for a cookie party. Legendary cookie baker Dorie Greenspan...

read
Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?
Wellness

Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?

Back pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, headaches. We tend to attribute inconvenient...

read
Put an End to Your Perfectionism
Wellness

Put an End to Your Perfectionism

Earlier this year I had an epiphany: The never-ending feeling that I needed...

read
Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness
Wellness

Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness

Don’t stress over holiday gifts for your gals who walk the wellness...

read
10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us
Living

10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us

They’re not celebrities. They don’t have a ton of money. But they...

read
5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems
Beauty

5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems

It seems that with age comes a more complicated skin care routine....

read
I Feel OK About My Neck
#RealTalk

I Feel OK About My Neck

The late Nora Ephron’s essay “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is...

read
Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?
Living

Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?

Welcome to Office Hours, where a Fairygodboss expert answers a question from one of...

read
7 Lessons for My Younger Self
#RealTalk

7 Lessons for My Younger Self

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” said...

read
Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod
Living

Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod

Gillean McLeod, 62, admits being “late to the game” has been somewhat...

read
The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide
Living

The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide

From hard-to-shop-for men to the gal who likes it all, the people...

read
Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over
Fitness

Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over

If even thinking about shopping gives you a hot flash, you’re not...

read
Perfect Presents Under $150
Living

Perfect Presents Under $150

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t break the bank. We found 13 presents under...

read
Great Gifts for Good Guys
Living

Great Gifts for Good Guys

Why are guys so hard to buy for? We don’t have the...

read
The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies
Living

The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies

We got hungry just thinking about wrapping up these tasty holiday gifts...

read
Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude
Living

Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude

Whether you’re just popping over for dinner or staying a few days,...

read
Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods
Wellness

Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods

If you’re among the millions of Americans suffering from obesity, diabetes, high...

read
Need to Know: Heavy Metals
Wellness

Need to Know: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are odorless, invisible, and virtually undetectable — but they’re of increasing...

read
Every Wrinkle Tells a Story
#RealTalk

Every Wrinkle Tells a Story

As I approach 50 and beyond, I look at myself differently. Whereas...

read
Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks
Style

Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks

You laugh. You sneeze. You cough. You do 13,791 burpees at the...

read
Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?
Beauty

Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?

Hair removal has long been an integral part of beauty routines. As...

read
How to Get Started With Exercise at 75
Fitness

How to Get Started With Exercise at 75

When you hit your mid-70s, you may feel like your daily routine...

read
5 Hormone-Balancing Foods
Wellness

5 Hormone-Balancing Foods

Are your hormones out of whack? Often the best place to start...

read
The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair
Beauty

The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair

There’s no question that our hair changes as we get older. It...

read
37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Wellness

37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play an enormous role in how we look, think, and feel....

read
6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale
Beauty

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale began her eponymous brand in New York in 1994. As a casting...

read
7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio
Fitness

7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your pulse and conditions...

read
Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums
Beauty

Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums

If your teeth are more dingy yellow than pearly white or you’ve...

read
Load More
share
To Top