I originally wrote this post in 2015. Someone emailed me this year to ask if I still did all the things I wrote about. Did I still take magnesium? Did it still help?
The answer is yes. I still include magnesium in my supplements and I stated using Natural Calm as a drink since I wrote this post. I still enjoy epsom salt baths, though unfortunately not as often as I would like.
But you know what? I managed anxiety through pregnancy and having a newborn without going crazy or having to go back on anxiety medication. So I’d say in the end that this still has been one of the best things i ever did for anxiety (the other is EXERCISE).
So I stand behind this post still and am happy to discuss this or any other anxiety remedies. Feel free to reach out by email! Anxiety can destroy your life if it’s unmanaged so don’t think the way you feel has to be that way forever!
Other posts about dealing with anxiety:
- 5 Ways To Manage Your Money Anxiety
- Supplements to Help with Anxiety
- Giving Up Coffee & Sugar For Anxiety Improvement
- Dealing With Postpartum Anxiety, Part 1
- Dealing With Postpartum Anxiety, Part 2
The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Anxiety
I walked into Walgreens, pulled out my cell phone, and googled “over the counter medicine for anxiety“.
I was desperate.
I felt sick mentally and physically. My anxiety was overwhelming and I couldn’t breathe. I felt it in my stomach and it had reached the point where it was making me physically sick. The anxiety had been growing for weeks as I feared a lay-off again and wondered if I’d ever figure out what to do with my life.
Anxiety was ruining my life.
I was so, so desperate for relief. I couldn’t call my doctor for a prescription because her office was closed (and I’d have to go in since I haven’t taken anxiety medication in years). I couldn’t call anyone for an emergency Xanax because I didn’t know who to ask. I googled over the counter medicine for anxiety while standing in the store desperate for any kind of relief.
As you may or may not know, there is no over the counter anxiety medicine.
Devastated by my lack of options, I kept reading and clicking links until I found a suggestion for drinking more water and taking magnesium.
I’d never heard of taking magnesium for anxiety despite trying other supplements before, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I bought the magnesium supplements that were on sale and popped a few immediately.
By the next day, I wanted to cry.
I wanted to cry because something good was happening. I felt better than I had in weeks.
The magnesium supplements weren’t the best quality and they weren’t the most absorbable…. but they were working. I could feel the anxiety fading and a relaxed feeling replacing it. It felt like it was a miracle and I had just discovered something really important for myself.
Magnesium Deficiency Risk Factors
Bolstered by the idea that I might actually be magnesium deficient due to how well the supplements worked, I started reading more articles about the concept of magnesium deficiency.
I discovered risk factors for low magnesium:
- regularly drinking carbonated beverages
- regularly eating pastries, cakes, desserts, candies, sweet foods
- experiencing lots of stress in life
- drinking coffee, tea, or caffeinated drinks daily
- taking various medications like birth control pills
- drinking multiple alcoholic beverages per week
- taking calcium supplements without the proper ratio to magnesium
- experiencing anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia
- experiencing things like muscle spasms and cramps
There were more signs that you might have low magnesium levels but these were enough for me. I don’t like to Google diagnose myself but I seemed like a clear candidate for this.
It’s not something any doctor has ever mentioned but basically poor diet, alcohol and chronic stress can lead to magnesium deficiency which can cause a host of symptoms.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
According to the book The Magensium Miracle, the multitude of things magnesium deficiency can cause problems with:
- Panic attacks
- Blood clots
- Bowel diseases
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Musculskeletal conditions (chronic pain, cramps, etc.)
- Nerve problems
- Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, preeclampsia)
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Tooth decay
Yikes, right? Well, considering I had several of these symptoms I definitely figured continuing the magnesium supplementation couldn’t hurt.
I started taking magnesium supplements and experienced physical differences in how I felt almost immediately. It honestly felt like a miracle. I’ve never had my anxiety subside so quickly, even when I was taking anti-anxiety medications.
I started with a cheap magnesium oxide supplement that I bought that day in Walgreens.
I’ve since read about other forms of magnesium you can take for supplementation and others that may be better since oxide isn’t absorbed as well. Some of those options include:
It felt so good I started finding ways to get magnesium into my system in other ways. I bought a big bag of epsom salt for baths since it is basically magnesium you bring in through the skin during an epsom salt bath.
BTW, I’ve now learn an espom bath salt bath is the ultimate in relaxation. I’ve always previously used bubble bath but this is the next level of relaxation. It completely relaxes me in a way I haven’t had before. It’s possibly even better than a massage!
I’m also eating more magnesium rich foods like:
- black beans
Obviously fixing a possible magnesium deficiency doesn’t mean I’ll be anxiety free forever and always. But it has cut down on the constant anxiety I felt previously. In fact, I feel like about 90-95% of my anxiety is just gone. Gone.
I’ve felt those familiar situations come up where I wait for the anxiety to come and flood over me… but it doesn’t.
I’m more relaxed than I’ve been in a while yet nothing else about my life has changed. I still have work and business stress. I still have the same personal life. I still have the same fears and concerns. I just don’t have the constant, chronic, nagging anxiety that literally made me feel sick to my stomach.
I’m not ready to say its a miracle cure, but it’s definitely felt like a miracle for me. Obviously I’m not a doctor or medical professional and I’m still weighing the idea of going in to be checked for chemical balances because clearly some things have been off. But for the moment, I’m basking in the little wins that feel like big miracles because this has worked for me.
If you’re not aware of magnesium but suffer from bad anxiety or other symptoms then it might be something worth looking into and talking to your doctor about!