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Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Anxiety Attacks?

anxiety disorders artifical sweeteners

Very often while helping clients to reduce anxiety, I am asked, “Do artificial sweeteners cause or make anxiety symptoms worse?”

Yes, research shows that artificial sweeteners do trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Sweeteners are known to make anxiety disorders worse and as part of our anxiety treatment program, a full food and intolerance test is completed to establish how your diet is affecting your mental health.

Anxiety clients often notice some foods and additives make their anxiety symptoms worse, often triggering panic and anxiety attacks.
Here we will explore exactly what are artificial sweeteners? why they cause anxiety issues and where you will find them?

Artificial Sweeteners & Anxiety Disorder Issues?

Artificial sweeteners are known to be neurotoxins that can disrupt normal brain function which includes increasing anxiety symptoms.
According to Dr Joe Esposito, artificial sweeteners are also Vaso-Constrictors, meaning they cause the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the blood supply to certain parts of the body and brain.
Artificial sweeteners are also known to be very acidic and make changes to the chemistry of the brain.
Claims are made that sweeteners are linked to poor gut flora which is also known to change our mood, affecting our mental health.

Many people report they notice mood swings, energy level changes and increased feelings of anxiety after consuming products with artificial sweeteners. The challenge is that they are usually found in foods that are also known not be good for our health.

Names Used For Artificial Sweeteners

  • Amino Sweet
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Advantame
  • Neotame
  • Newtame
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose
  • Splenda
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Cyclamate
  • Erythritol
  • Glycerol
  • Malitol
  • Mannitol
  • Polydextrose
  • Saccharin
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
  • Thaumatin
  • A-sulphame
  • Stevia
  • E420 and E421

Are Artificial Sweeteners Healthier Than Sugar?

The producers of artificial sweeteners do market their products as a healthier alternative to processed sugars. We all know that processed sugars are certainly not good for our health and the cause of many health problems. Artificial sweeteners do give us sweetness with reduced calorific intake but have the following issues.

Artificial Sweeteners Confuse The Bodies Digestive Process.

When our bodies taste anything sweet they naturally respond by producing insulin and digestive enzymes. The body is naturally primed and ready to deal with the incoming sugars, that never arrive. The body is then unsure of what is going on and then stores the next food we consume up to 20 times more than if we had consumed processed sugar.
This process then results in low blood sugars and the body then sends a message to the brain that we are hungry again, increase weight gain.

How Artificial Sweeteners Increase Anxiety & Blood Pressure

Artificial Sweeteners are known to be Vaso-Constrictors and cause our blood vessels to constrict, pushing up blood pressure and anxiety levels at the same time. This is rather dangerous as this can be linked to heart attacks, heart disease and stroke problems.
Reducing the blood supply to any part of the body is very dangerous and may cause the brain and other vital organs to malfunction. It is claimed that reducing the blood supply to the eyes can result in macular degeneration with similar problems happening elsewhere in the body.

Are Artificial Sweeteners Toxic To The Body?

According to research, artificial sweeteners are toxic to the body and brain as they are neurotoxins. As a result, they change brain chemistry causing changes to essential brain function, changes in behaviour, changes in mood and triggering anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

Artificial sweeteners are also very acidic, changing the PH level of the body which is never good. As a result, the body may remove calcium stores from the bones to neutralise the acid.

Sweeteners can be so acidic they can remove the paint from your car.
As a fun experiment simply pour a can of your favourite fizzy drink onto the bonnet of your car and leave for 24 hours. Notice how shiny the bonnet looks after just a day and feel free to send us a photo of your new paintwork.

Artifical Sweeteners, Digestive Issues & Intolerances

As part of our Anxiety Freedom Program, we often conduct a food sensitivity test as there are links to poor gut flora and anxiety disorders. There appears to be a link between consuming artificial sweeteners and digestive issues such as food intolerances, candida problems and poor gut flora. It is claimed that sweeteners may disrupt the good bacteria in the gut which then causes further digestive issues which can then cause further mood and mental health issues.

Are Artificial Sweeteners Addictive?

Yes, it appears so. We have encountered a number of anxiety clients who have struggled with addiction to artificial sweeteners. Thankfully, clinical hypnotherapy is a very powerful way to help with addiction issues and this helps anxiety clients to remove problems foods and additives from their diet.

Which Foods Contain Artificial Sweeteners?

Usually cheap, processed food and drink contain artificial sweeteners and these foods can also be a trigger for anxiety and mental health issues. Many of these cheaper junk foods are associated with health and mental health problems. You will often find artificial sweeteners in the following foods.

  • Chewing Gum
  • Sweets
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Soft Drinks
  • Cordials
  • Processed Foods
  • Energy Bars
  • Protein Shakes
  • Diet Drinks
  • Diet Foods
  • Puddings
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Sauces
  • Chocolate
  • Baked Goods
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Yoghurt
  • Crisps – Potato Chips
  • Ice Cream
  • Alcopops
  • Flavoured Water
  • Sugar-Free, Low Sugar, Reduced Sugar Labeled Foods

Anxiety Disorders & Artificial Sweeteners

On a regular basis, we do see anxiety disorder clients struggling with certain foods and additives. Artificial Sweeteners are one of the biggest triggers of making anxiety symptoms worse and increasing panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

One way to check this for yourself is to totally remove all sweeteners from your diet for just 4 weeks. Keep a diary of how you feel as you remove the sweeteners and also notice how your mood changes and improves over the weeks.
After four weeks, start consuming the sweeteners again and notice how you feel in your body and mood.

Many clients tell us they struggle as they remove the artificial sweeteners as they feel rather tense and nervous for the first few days as withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully as time passes they start to feel better and their energy levels improve, moods stabilise while the mind becomes clearer. Typically anxiety and stress levels start to reduce nicely after a week and constantly improve as the client improves their diet.

Quite a number of clients report that their anxiety attacks and panic attacks reduce dramatically on removing artificial sweeteners from their diet.

Other Health Issues Linked To Artificial Sweeteners

There are many claims that artificial sweeteners cause a lot of health issues including

  • Obesity
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Digestive Issues
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood pressure
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Heart Disease
  • Poor Gut Flora
  • Breathing Problems
  • Nerve Damage
  • Liver Toxicity
  • Kidney Toxicity
  • Eczema
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Poor Energy Levels
  • Mood Swings
  • Stress Problems
  • Anger
  • Emotional Issues
  • Insomnia
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Behavioural Problems
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Over Eating
  • Dehydration

Are Artificial Sweeteners Healthy For Children?

No. Sweeteners are not healthy for anybody as they have so many health issues. Children are often very sensitive to food additives, food colourings and dyes. These often affect behaviour and are claimed to alter healthy brain development. Research is currently being conducted into how food additives affect disorders such as ADHD, Autism and behavioural problems in children.

Which Is The Healthiest Sweetener?

There are many claims that some artificial sweeteners are more “natural” or “healthier” than others. Do watch out for the marketing hype.

Stevia, as it comes naturally, is thought to be a much healthier sweetener, however, many stevia products on the market have been modified or chemically altered to make them unique.
As a result, these products are continuously tested on animals to look at the many health concerns, even after being on the market for many years.
As a rule, I would advise leaving all artificial sweeteners alone and use healthier alternatives or even processed sugar.

Healthy Alternatives To Artificial Sweeteners

Processed sugar is not good for us but it is a healthier choice than an artificial sweetener. The better alternatives to sweeteners and processed sugars are natural fruit sugar, molasses and coconut sugar. For baking, ripe bananas are perfect for cakes instead of processed sugar. You can use a whole range of fruits for baking and cooking.

Changing Our Diet To Change Our Mood

It is well known that our foods really do affect our moods. Sadly life has become busier for many of us and convenience foods are a great time saver.
However, when anxiety disorders start to affect our lives in a negative way, people are keen to look at the options to resolve mental health problems fast.

As part of the Anxiety Freedom Program, we do look at all of the factors that may be causing an anxiety disorder. Food and diet is just a small part of the picture but without addressing it, anxiety will not be resolved.

Learning to choose a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables is just as important as understanding your anxiety triggers, learning the tools and skills to stop and eliminate the anxiety for good.

Removing processed foods, chemically-laden snacks and drinks is a big step forward to resolving anxiety disorders for many people.

Do You Need Help With Anxiety?

Newcastle Hypnotherapy offer specialist help to reduce and eliminate anxiety problems.
As part of the program, we teach you powerful tools to stop anxiety, stress, worry, negative thoughts and intrusive thinking. We also look at all of the factors relevant to your anxiety disorder with the aim of eliminating it for good.

To find out more about our programs and how they can help you, book a Free Strategy Call and also see our many success stories.

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Dr Joe Esposito – What are excitotoxins?Opens in a new tab.
Dr Michael Greger – Neurobiology of Artificial SweetenersOpens in a new tab.
K Ansel (2014). The Inside Scoop on Artificial Sweeteners. Eat RightOpens in a new tab.
Peter Osborne. (2016). No Grain, No Pain: a 30-day diet for eliminating the root cause of chronic pain. New York, NY: Touchstone.
M Spencer.  (2016).  Artificial Sweeteners:  A Systematic Review and Primer for Gastroenterologists. in a new tab.
J Suez, T Koram, Zilberman-Schapira, G Segal, E Elinav, (2015).  Non-caloric artificial sweeteners and the microbiome: findings and challenges. Gut Microbes, in a new tab.

Learning Self-Hypnosis To Reduce Anxiety Disorders

Self-hypnosis is a great set of powerful tools to feel good, help relaxation and reduce anxiety symptoms fast.
Learning self-hypnosis to reduce anxiety disorders is a great way to put you in control of your anxiety and stress symptoms.
With a little practice, you can learn to quickly relax, anytime anywhere, making your day enjoyable and calm.

How I used Self-Hypnosis To Reduce Anxiety?

Learning self-hypnosis was a major help for me, in overcoming my own anxiety problems.
As a child my anxiety was awful. I was always nervous, anxious and lacked self-confidence.
My anxiety was so bad that I developed an awful stammer and was unable to say words that began with S or K. My stomach always hurt and it made life painful.

Learning self-hypnosis was very beneficial for me.
I learned quickly to enter my trance state where I could feel relaxed, calm and confident. This self-hypnosis trance state helped me to reduce my anxiety symptoms down quickly and helped me to great sleep nicely.

Whenever I felt nervous, anxious or lacked self-confidence I could enter my trance state and change these feelings, just like flicking a switch.

How self-hypnosis helps our clients with anxiety disorders & symptoms?

Learning self-hypnosis skills will help you to control your emotions, feelings and thoughts.
Our anxiety clients state it helps you to step back from your normal reactions in life. Normally, where you would react to problems and people with symptoms of anxiety and stress, you breathe, bring on your good states and choose how you want to feel.

When I explain this to new anxiety clients they are often sceptical they will be able to do this. Usually, in just a few weeks or less, they are enjoying the process of learning self-hypnosis and amazed at how quickly it reduces their anxiety and stress symptoms.

Learning Self-hypnosis To Reduce Anxiety Disorders

The Healing Pool is one of our favourite self-hypnosis inductions.
Our clients love it. Our students love it as it is so powerful and gives fast results.
I suggest that you use this track daily and be aware it can take a few days to settle in for you. Use a set of headphones for best results.
With regular practice, self-hypnosis becomes easier and gives greater benefits over time.

This self-hypnosis induction is a powerful hypnosis track.
PLEASE REMEMBER; only use this track when you can focus on it.
Never use it when driving or using machinery.

Free Resources For Anxiety & Stress Disorders

If you would like lots of free resources that can help with anxiety and stress disorders, join the newsletter below. We will send you links to more self-hypnosis tracks, relaxation tracks, videos and useful techniques for anxiety & stress issues.
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Popular Questions – Learning Self-Hypnosis To Reduce Anxiety Disorders

Can hypnosis cure anxiety disorders?

Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis are great methods for reducing anxiety symptoms and give you back control over your emotions, feelings and moods. As part of The Anxiety Freedom Program, we use a number of techniques and methods to help you find your anxiety freedom.

Can hypnotherapy help with different types of anxiety disorders?

There are many names for anxiety disorders such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Socialised Anxiety Disorder, GAD, SAD, PTSD, OCD etc.
We prefer to look at the person and their symptoms and then work on these disorders accordingly.
We do find every person is unique and tailor the anxiety treatment as needed.

Is CBT Effective For Anxiety Disorders?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is another treatment for anxiety disorders. Most of our anxiety clients have tried other treatments previously, including cognitive behavioural therapy. Some state CBT has helped a little or not helped at all.
We prefer to address anxiety problems faster and avoid years of therapy.

Is learning self-hypnosis for anxiety disorders better than guided meditations?

Meditation can certainly help with anxiety as it is a good way to relax.
Self-hypnosis is a faster route to deeper relaxation and usually achieves much better results for clients. One of the reasons for this is that we do personalise the self-hypnosis tracks to each person when they work privately with us.
They ket to faster anxiety freedom is using techniques that are tailored to you.

Can self-hypnosis help with insomnia sleep problems?

Yes, self-hypnosis can be an easier solution to sleep and insomnia problems in many cases. It is important that we look at the cause of any sleep problems as there can be many reasons why insomnia occurs. Research states that hypnosis can really help sleep issues.
When you join the newsletter above you can access self-hypnosis tracks that can help insomnia sleep problems.

What is the first step to treating anxiety disorders?

The first step with any issue is to arrange a free strategy session by phone. This allows you to explain your anxiety issue and we can then look to see if our anxiety treatment program is suitable for you. This also allows you to ask your questions and understand the type of results you may experience.
You can arrange your free strategy session at the top of the page.

What sort of results can I expect with my anxiety issue?

Results do vary from person to person. Most clients experience their anxiety & stress disorder symptoms reducing quickly as they gain control over their emotions, feelings and thoughts.
We aim to help you experience anxiety freedom in 4 to 6 weeks. Some clients find their freedom sooner and others may take longer.

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The Healing Pool, Self Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is a great set of tools to feel good, help relaxation and reduce anxiety and stress.

With a little practice, you can learn to quickly relax, anytime anywhere, making your day more calm and enjoyable.

Here is one of our favourite self-hypnosis inductions, The Healing Pool
I hope you enjoy practising and using this track.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO ONLY USE THIS TRACK WHEN YOU CAN FOCUS ON IT. Never use it when driving or using machinery.

You can find more resources and techniques when you subscribe to our Youtube Channel here.

Food & Supplements Anxiety & Stress

There are certain foods and supplements that can make a big difference for stress, anxiety, depression, emotional health and lifting your mood.
This guide walks you through the food & supplements for anxiety & stress.

food and supplements to help anxiety & stress

We know that certain foods can certainly make anxiety and stress so much worse, as discussed in our previous article and video,

Foods To Quickly Change Moods.

There are a number of foods that are useful for changing mood, especially when we are tired but unable to sleep or just irritable.

Bananas are wonderful as they are packed with potassium, vitamins and minerals and thought to be calming, reducing blood pressure, help to balance out sugar levels and balance energy levels naturally.

Green Tea & Match Green Tea contain caffeine but magically reduce anxiety and stress levels. Recent studies show both have anti-anxiety property effects and help to promote calmness. More details are explained in the video.

Baked & Mashed Potatoes, according to Dr Joe Esposito, help us to feel relaxed, calm as they provide us with serotonin.

Water. Very often people with anxiety are dehydrated. A lack of water can cause the brain to struggle as well as the rest of our bodies.
We do need to use pure water and avoid water with added sweeteners and flavours as they can cause problems.
A good tip is to mindfully drink a glass of clean water whenever we feel anxious or stressed, taking the time to notice the taste, the temperature, the smell, the sensations as this helps us to relax.

Good Foods To Help Anxiety & Stress

The aim is to eat a healthy, varied diet as this greatly improves anxiety and stress issues if done on a daily basis.

The Daily Dozen. A great guide and tracker is the free app from Dr M Greger. Look on your app store for Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen and install the app. It looks like this.

After many years of research and looking at studies, Dr Greger has come up with a list of the foods we need to consume daily for good health.
Clients that use this find their anxiety and stress reduces quickly as part of a treatment program.

As an example of how to use the Daily Dozen App, the top section mentions bean and you can click to track the portions eaten. When you click on the bean image it then gives you suggestions of the types of beans you can consume, such as chickpeas eaten as a hummus dip etc.

Use the app to track your progress and as a shopping list. There are also links to videos and more articles to help you.

Food To Eat Daily For Good Health.

The app tells us to daily consume a selection of Beans, Berries, Fruit, Cruciferous Vegetables, Greens, Other Vegetables, Flaxseeds, Nuts, Spices & Whole Grains. The video explains more in detail.

Eating a good selection may be new to you so do take it in small steps and try cooking foods in different ways.
Food & supplements anxiety & stress help is available to make your journey easier. Simply Contact Us.

Supplements For Anxiety & Stress Issues

Supplements can be a major help for those with anxiety and stress problems.
The right supplements can make a world of difference and the wrong supplements can be useless.
One of the challenges we face when we have anxiety and stress problems is that sometimes the digestive system is working poorly and nutrients from food and supplements may not be absorbed well.
Not all supplements are equal with many being a waste of money and time.
Here are the ones I recommend.

Vitamin B12 Sublingual 1000ug

Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system and there is quite some debate if we can get it from our diet or not.
B12 deficiency can show as many of the signs of anxiety and if this last for some period it is though to cause permanet damge to the newvous syste.

I suggest everyone takes a B12 supplement to ensure adequate amounts of B12 are absorbed into your system.
I do suggest a sublingual B12 at 1000ug a day as this is absorbed under the tongue and works very well for clients.
I personally use Natures Aid Vitamin B12 Sublingual 1000ug as it is nicely priced, great quality and our clients do well with it.

Vitamin D3 With Calcium & Magnesium

Vitamin D is also essential for a healthy nervous system and recent studies show the lack of it can cause anxiety, stress and depression symptoms.
Magnesium is also essential for good health and recent studies also show that good supplementation can improve problems.

I recommend Natures Aid Vitamin D3 With Calcium & Magnesium as a daily supplement as again it works well for clients, it is great quality and very good value.

Daily Probiotics

Probiotics are another name for the good bacteria that live in your digestive system. Probiotics can help to restore good gut flora but finding the right one for you may be a task.
Avoid those dairy-based drinks that you find in the supermarkets as there are concerns that they are dead before they arrive in your gut.
Instead, find a capsule-based probiotic that is dairy, sugar and sweetener free.
Personally I use Food For Thought’s own brand Acidophillus on a daily basis.
There are many brands about and some of them are very good.
As part of our service, the sensitivity testing will tell you if you do need a daily probiotic and if so which ones will be good for you.

Cheap Supplements V Great Value Supplements.

Supplements should not be bought on price but on quality and value. Sadly this is not always clear due to health food marketing.
Personally I like Nature’s Aid supplements as the price is not expensive, they are great quality and work out better value than most brands.
Supermarket cheap brands are usually not worth the bother and even some health food chains own brands are of so little value.
I have also come across some expensive brands that have been really poor value. Do be careful with what you buy.

Supplements V Food

I always prefer to get my nutrients from food. Using the Daily Dozen App mentioned above will help you to get most of your nutrients from food.
Vitamins B12 & D3 are essential but both can be difficult to obtain from foods, even fortified ones.

Rather than risk being deficient it is worth trying these for 90 days or so to see the difference for yourself.
Do avoid supplements with D2 as this is only part of the Vitamin D makeup and D3 is far superior in my opinion.
Yes, we should be getting D3 from the sun however this is not possible for everyone and the level of D3 we need can vary from person to person.

If in doubt do find a specialist in nutrition to help you.

Food & Supplements Anxiety & Stress

In summary, it is important for everyone to get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy in every way.
For those suffering from anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health issues it is vital to make sure you are getting your nutrients in a form that is absorbable for you.
The difference this can make is quite remarkable.

Needing A Little Help With Your Anxiety & Stress?

We do offer a free strategy session to you to allow you to talk about your issues and look for the best way forward.
You can book your free session here today.

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Anxiety & Stress, Foods To Avoid

anxiety & stress - foods to avoid

We know that certain foods can affect how our brain and body function. Certain foods can really make some functions much worse and make our anxiety and stress levels much worse.

This guide will help you to avoid the foods that may be causing you problems.

DON’T PANIC. Please note this guide is about the foods that may need to be avoided to resolve anxiety and stress issues.

The next guide will show you the foods to add to your diet to help and to replace the foods you remove.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are claimed to have many health issues.
Firstly some of them are vaso-constrictors, meaning they reduce the amount of blood flowing through the blood vessels and into vital parts of the body. I have heard claims from several sources that artificial sweeteners increase blood pressure and anxiety levels at the same time.
Artificial sweeteners also appear to have a negative effect on our gut flora and we know that when this is poor, mental health problems are more likely.

Clients with anxiety and stress report their problems to reduce when they remove artificial sweeteners from their diet.
Rather than believe me on this, simply remove all sweeteners from your diet for 4 weeks. Make a note of how much better you feel and then try them again and see how awful you feel.

Fizzy Drinks & Energy Drinks

Many of these drinks are high in caffeine, sugars, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and other things not good for our brain and body.
These drinks change our system’s acidity levels and are classed as neurotoxic by some experts.
Children especially react badly to these drinks with just a small amount and of course, they affect adults also.

Processed & Refind Sugars

Processed sugars are better than sweeteners but they also have a negative effect on the brain and body. Again they are acidic, make the bodywork hard to break them down and cause weight gain.
Reducing processed and refined sugars appears to help many anxiety and stress clients nicely especially when they replace the sweetness with natural sugars found in fruits.

Refined and processed sugars are found in many processed and junk foods. Do check the labels and avoid junk foods where you can.


Caffeine is known to push up our blood pressure, to overstimulate the brain and disrupt the digestive system.
Caffeine can affect different people in different ways.
For many people with anxiety and stress issues, it is worth removing or reducing caffeine for a few weeks to see how this affects your mood and energy. Do be aware that some people may feel worse before they feel better as the body takes a few days to remove the caffeine from your system.

Gluten & Wheat

Gluten is a natural protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
We should be able to handle gluten in reasonable amounts although it really can affect some people badly and can be a trigger for those with anxiety and stress problems.

We constantly keep hearing stories from clients with anxiety, stress, ADHD, ADD, mind fog, MS, ME, CFS, Fibromyalgia and other issues that removing gluten and wheat from the diet has an amazing effect on symptoms.

Gluten in commercial bread is becoming more of a problem. The traditional process of taking time over making the bread did allow the gluten to breakdown before the bread was baked.
Today bread is made much quicker and gluten levels are much higher.

To make matters worse, commercial grains have been modified and they contain more gluten than traditional wheat grains.

Wheat, especially commercial wheat has an amazing effect that it really increases blood sugar levels very quickly.
Wholegrain is always better than white, refined flours and should always be a natural choice.

Many people suffering from gluten sensitivities may find spelt and spelt sourdough bread are much easier on the gut.
Again removing commercial bread from the diet can have a dramatic result on anxiety and stress levels.

Processed Foods

One common trait of people who suffer from anxiety and stress issues, they often consume processed foods.
The major problem with processed foods is that they contain too much fat, sugar, sweeteners, salt, additives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours and colours. These can all have adverse effects on health, mental health and behaviour.

Although life is busy it really is important to take the time to eat freshly made, home-cooked meals on a regular basis.
The internet is our friend and has a library of how to cook simple, easy meals.


Alcohol is used by many sufferers of anxiety and stress problems as it can bring short term relief or just take the edge off the symptoms.
Sadly a small glass or two develops into three or four glasses and often increases over time.

One of the big issues with alcohol is that it depletes the body of essential nutrients and in turn, this increases anxiety levels and alters mood in a negative way.
Alcohol also puts the body under stress, reduces quality sleep and then further increases anxiety and stress levels.

Short term alcohol may feel helpful but in the long term is increases or causes further problems. Avoiding alcohol is a great move when dealing with anxiety and stress problems until they have been resolved.

Dairy Products

Rather like alcohol, dairy products can be quite calming in the short term.
Some studies are showing growing evidence that dairy products can cause or increase anxiety issues. Part of the issue is Casomorphin that is naturally found in cows milk. Yes, it is a type of morphine and higher in cows milk than human breast milk. Short term this may help us to feel relaxed but once the effects wear off, our anxiety and stress levels are increased.

Dairy products are also known to disrupt sleep patterns and why we experience strange dreams after consuming milk or cheese.

Thankfully there are now plenty of great-tasting alternatives to animal milk and cheese available in most supermarkets and health food stores.
Oat milk especially is a nice way to relax and can aid restful sleep.

Bad Fats & Fried Foods

We know that good fats and oils are important for good mental health and brain development.
Bad fats appear to increase anxiety and stress levels as they slow down the body, reduce energy levels, adding extra strain to the digestive system, increase inflammation and reduce levels of nutrition.

Increasing your intake of good fats is known to help with anxiety and stress. These can be found from healthy nuts, flaxseed/linseed, chia seed and nicely from good consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Reducing your unhealthy fats and fried foods can only be helpful for your mental health. Remove fried foods, fatty meats, dairy products, processed oils, cooked nuts, junk foods, processed foods, and other high-fat foods as much as you can.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are marketed as a healthy option but as the fiber has been removed, they are very high in sugar. Often extra sugar is added back to the juice when the rehydrated the juice before bottling.
The high levels of sugar cause issues for those with anxiety and stress issues and a better option is to use freshly made smoothies. Smoothies do contain the full fruit including the useful fiber and water and a much healthier option.


Almost everyone is aware that too much salt pushes up our blood pressure, causes inflammation in the gut which can increase anxiety and stress levels quickly.
The first thing to do is to remove the usual white table salt from our diet as this is known to be very toxic to the body.
Pink or grey salts have not been processed to the same levels as white salt and are a better alternative as they do include some nutrients.
The body does need salt but adequate amounts can naturally be obtained from fruit and vegetables.

Processed Meats

Processed meats are high in saturated fats, salt and other additives that put a major strain on our digestive system. If you are wanting to resolve your anxiety and stress levels removing these from your diet is a major step forward, helping your health in other areas too.

Move to lean, unprocessed meats and also look at the growing range of healthy, plant-based foods appearing in your supermarket.

Food Intolerances & Sensitivity

As part of our work to help clients reduce and remove anxiety and stress issues, we often suggest a full food sensitivity test.
Many of the foods listed above can cause digestive issues. However, sometimes innocent-looking foods can also cause digestive problems and we know these can cause or increase anxiety and stress problems.

Once a food sensitivity test has been completed we can look at the results, see which foods need to be removed for good and which may need to be avoided for a shorter period of time.

Restoring gut flora is sometimes an important step in resolving anxiety problems as recent studies are showing major links between poor gut health and mental health issues.

Candida Issues

As we have mentioned gut health and the link to mental health, it is also worth looking at candida problems.
Candida is a natural fungus that lives in the gut and is a useful part of our digestive system.
Candida is meant to live in partnership with our good bacteria. If the good bacteria are low or depleted, the candida takes over and causes a number of serious health problems.

Symptoms of candida issues include digestive disorders, bloating, wind, constipation, irregular bowel movements, regular colds, emotional issues, irritability, athletes’ foot, thrush, toenail fungal infections, itching, dandruff and more.
Again, once clients resolve candida issues we often see a noticeable improvement in anxiety and stress issues.

Anxiety & Stress – Foods To Avoid

For some people, this list may be most of the foods that you eat.
Often we find clients need a little coaching support, advice and help to change their diet. Once they learn there are thousands of new delicious foods to experience life becomes much easier.

The following article gives you some advice on Foods That Help Anxiety & Stress.

Remember to make changes step by step and that we are here if you need some help.

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Better Sleep For Anxiety & Stress

better sleep for anxiety & stress

Sleep problems can affect everyone from time to time, not just those experiencing anxiety and stress issues.
Here are some powerful tips and techniques that help people achieve better sleep for anxiety & stress.

Go to sleep at the same time each evening.

Our bodies and mind love routine.
Once we go to bed at the same time each evening our sleep patterns change allowing us to sleep easier as our system expects us to go to sleep.

Get up at the same time each day.

Again our bodies and minds love a good routine. Getting up at the same time each day may be difficult at first however, after just a week or two we will wake up naturally, full of energy and ready to take on the day.

Keep your bedroom for sleep only.

Other than sex, our bedrooms should be the perfect place to sleep.
Remove the TV, switch off those mobile phones and make your bedroom the most relaxing room in your home.

Keep your bedroom cool.

Research shows that we sleep better in a cooler room, especially when we snuggle into a warm, cosy duvet.
Bedrooms that are too warm are known to disrupt sleep. Snuggling into blankets or a duvet helps us to sleep better.

Develop a bedtime routine.

A regular bedtime routine tells the mind we are ready to sleep.
1 hour is a great time frame, where we switch off the tv, tablets, phones and anything else that can overstimulate our mind.
Instead, we need to start with a good book, listen to relaxing music, enjoy a relaxing cup of herbal tea.
Warm (not hot) baths or showers are also a good part of a healthy bedtime routine. Relaxing essential oils can also be a great part of your bedtime routine.

Foods for better sleep.

Food is a major factor for good sleep. The right foods can really help with a great nights sleep where the wrong foods can cause many issues.

Bananas, mashed and baked potatoes are known to release “feel good” serotonin to help us to drift off to sleep. Try easting them about 3 hours before you good to bed.
Pistachios are very high in melatonin and research shows they work just as good as some medications, without the side effects.

Eating a good amount of varied fruits such as berries, kiwis, cherries and pineapple during the day are known to help us fall asleep faster with the side effect of helping us have more energy through the day.

Beans and other legumes can really help to regulate sleep cycles as they are packed with B vitamins and serotonin. Aim for 3 cups of beans & lentils per day in your diet as they will nicely boost your energy levels, provide you with amazing protein and help with natural weight loss.

Relaxing teas found in your health food store can really help to aid amazing sleep. There are so many to choose from and I recommend the range from Yogi Teas.

Food to avoid for better sleep for anxiety & stress issues.

Some foods can heavily disrupt our sleep patterns and should be avoid if we wish to attain good sleep patterns.

Processed foods.

Processed foods are usually high in bad fats, salt, sugars, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours and preservatives.
These can all over stimulate the brain and body, disrupting sleep patterns and messing with your energy levels.

Dairy products.

Warm milk is thought to help people drift off easily to sleep but is also known to disrupt sleep patterns and result in strange dreams.
The culprit is Casomorphin which is found in cows and other animal milk.
Casomorphin is naturally found in human breast milk and is thought to help babies drift off to sleep after a feed. Sadly in cows milk, it is much stronger and stronger again as dehydrated dairy products such as cheese.
A simple alternative is oat milk which is known to help us relax and fall asleep easier.


A small glass of wine can be helpful for some people to drift off to sleep and any more than that can easily disrupt sleep patterners.
Drinking larger amounts of alcohol is incorrectly thought by many to help them easily drift off to sleep. The reality is that we usually pass out and then experience disrupted sleep patterns. The body then works hard to detox our system, removing the alcohol and resulting in us feeling tired the following day. Alcohol is also a diuretic resulting in more frequent trips to the bathroom.


Caffine found in coffee, cola and energy drinks is well known to make us feel energised and give us a boost.
The reality is that our body moves into detox overdrive to remove the caffine and we feel as though we have more energy. Like alcohol, we then feel tired the next day and then have more to increase energy levels
Caffine has a half life of about 12 hours, meaning half the caffine you consume is still there 12 hours later.

Some studies do show that a cup or two of coffee a day can be beneficial for health and can help liver function. For those suffering with sleep issues it may be best to limit coffee to two cups in the morning or cutting it out altogether.

Techniques For Better Sleep.

Here are some powerful NLP & Hypnosis techniques that help clients to get off to sleep. They are demonstrated in the video above.

The Relaxation Spot.

Just above your nose is a sweet spot that when massaged gently, naturally helps us to relax and then sleep. You may have found you rub this with your children or pets when they are unwell or as a way to calm them down.

Simply use your finger to rub gently above the bridge of your nose. Rub in a circular motion until you find the spot that feels wonderful.
Spend a couple of minutes massaging this spot with your eyes gently closed and beware of the gentle relaxation it brings.

Breathing through your eyes.

As demonstrated in the video above, keeping your eyes open breathe in for the count of 4. Then close your eyes and breathe out for a count of 4.
Simply repeat this several times until you fall asleep.
To make this even more powerfull, breathe out for 2 more counts than you breathe in. This helps the body to relax faster and naturally reduces your anxiety and stress levels.

Better Sleep For Anxiety & Stress

Poor sleep patterns, just like anxiety and stress issues, are simply symptoms that something is wrong.
The information above often helps those with sleep issues. If they persist it is a sign that action may be needed to resolve the anxiety and stress for good.

Your Free Strategy Session.

You free strategy session gives you the chance to tell us about your stress and anxiety issues. We then put a strategy together to resolve your anxiety and stress problems for the future.
To book your free strategy session simply click here.

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Newcastle Hypnotherapy

31 Station Road, Wallsend,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE28 6SZ

Tel 07568 455 809

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