Most emphatically YES, drinking Water can help anxiety. Anxiety levels are dramatically affected by water. Water is imperative to maintaining our physical health and mental health. Without adequate water our energy levels and mood are affected and before we know it, we can spin into a downward spiral into anxiety and a full-blown panic attack. When we maintain our hydration levels, we are less likely to be triggered into an anxious response enabling us to fulfil our daily tasks with joy and without the fear of our own anxiety creeping upon us.
Anxiety is a heightened sense of emotional fear and worry that makes us feel uneasy and sick. It is often accompanied by physical sensations such as muscular aches and pains, restlessness, irritability, tiredness and poor concentration. Water is a necessity for our physical and emotional wellbeing. If we do not drink enough water we cannot function. Dehydration is a real problem and unfortunately the majority of the population is guilty of not drinking enough water on a daily basis. When we drink more water, we maintain hydration levels and function better as a result.
Our physical bodies need water to function on many levels. Without good hydration we do not function well. Physically we need water to function on an electromagnetic level. Without water our four main electrically driven bodily processes do not operate. Water is the driving force behind the systems listed below and is needed for them to function optimally;
Lack of water and reduced body fluid therefore means our physical systems and health are compromised. Dehydration means we do not function physically or emotionally at our best. To be emotionally well we must be physically well. This is why water has a great impact on any feelings of anxiety.
Our blood and haemoglobin levels are directly affected by our hydration levels. Without enough hydration our haemoglobin cannot work properly. Haemoglobin transports oxygen to every cell in our physical body and collects the carbon dioxide to be released from our physical body.
Each haemoglobin molecule has 4 prongs -two to distribute oxygen and two to collect carbon dioxide. For these prongs to be fully dilated and therefore function at full capacity the haemoglobin molecule needs to be fully hydrated. Dehydration means the haemoglobin molecules prongs are limp and rotate and therefore their efficiency is compromised. Constant dehydration leads to deterioration of blood quality over time and reduces our physical and therefore emotional health.
Oxygen rich red haemoglobin is only maintained with hydration. Fully functioning red blood cells are responsible for the transferral of oxygen to and from our lungs to the rest of the body. Without efficient oxygenation our physical body is also compromised. Oxygenated blood supports our organs at a greater capacity to fulfil their physical functions and then oxygen is released to our muscles. With a lack of hydration our physical organs do not work optimally and therefore our physical and therefore emotional health is affected. Consequently, symptoms of anxiety are greatly affected and the likelihood of feeling emotionally unbalanced and anxiety is increased. When we are fully hydrated our body can better support us in avoiding and/or alleviating panic attacks and symptoms of anxiety.
Maintaining levels of hydration has a beneficial effect on our physical body and therefore, drinking water supports our immune system. If we want to stay physically well our immune system needs to be supported to fight off disease. Our lymph system needs to be fully hydrated to be effective in removing toxins and taking nutrients to where they are required in the body. Drinking adequate water is necessary for a healthy immune system.
Water and hydration, as shown above, is directly linked to our physical health and therefore can have a big impact on our mood and consequently our levels of anxiety. Often dehydration causes us to be intolerant and grumpy and when in fact we are angry and short tempered we should be reaching for a glass of water for ourselves and for our children as our first port of call. But this is often overlooked.
Water should be consumed at regular intervals and throughout the day. Water should be drunk first thing in a morning on waking. According to the energy meridian system, the large intestine is active between 5am-7am and this is the optimum time to drink water to flush out and hydrate our digestive system. A glass of water before bedtime is also hugely beneficial but please allow sufficient time for water to pass through your systems so your sleep is not disturbed by having to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Yes, drinking plain water is essential. When we are thirsty it is our body signalling to us that we need water yet most people reach for teas, coffees, pops, squashes and any other fluid other than water which can have an even more negative effect due to high sugar and caffeine content. Unfortunately, these other fluids are not received by the body as efficiently as plain water.
Plain water is absorbed straight through the stomach lining and is more rapidly absorbed. Anything other than plain water has to travel through the intestinal tract and takes longer to be absorbed. Anything other than plain water is regarded by the body as soup and is treated as such. Even water with a dash of lemon or lime is absorbed as soup, although this alongside diluted apple juice is a better alternative to water than most.
60% of the water in our physical body is ingested through drinking fluid, 30% comes from the food we eat and 10% is made by our cells.
60% of water is released via our kidney’s, 30% by exhaling when we breath and 10% via sweat and faecal matter.
Natural spring water fresh from a well is the best source of water but this is a luxury unavailable to most.
Tap water that has been through a filter system is second best or bottled water from glass bottles.
Many mineral bottled waters contain elements of calcium and magnesium which are nutritionally beneficial.
Water should be drunk at room temperature or warm, as again, this is more easily absorbed. Cold and hot water sits at the top of the stomach until it is at body temperature – the right temperature to be absorbed.
Between 2 pints (1 litre) and 4 pints (2 litres) of water should be drunk every day. Age, gender and daily physical exertion due to work and exercise should all be taken into consideration.
Remember water should be drunk at regular intervals throughout the day.
Most people are dehydrated due to a number of different factors. The main cause of dehydration is confusing thirst for hunger. We too readily reach for something to eat when in fact we are dehydrated and require water.
Therefore drinking plenty of water every day can truly help to keep your anxiety levels at bay.
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