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Compass H e alt h ANXIETY ANECDOTES According to the Anxiety & Depression Association Of America, 7 out of 10 American adults suffer from anxiety on a daily basis — here’s how to nip those statistics right where it counts — in the not-so-rosy bud. TEXT BY FRANCESCA CRUZ INTO THE GREAT BIG WILD The great outdoors can heal you. Go for a walk in the woods, by the beach, sit at a park bench or do some light gardening. Walking, hiking, biking, playing a sport you enjoy — all offer the additional benefit of exercise. Exercise and other physical activities produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Exercise also improves your ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. 24 D IS FOR DIVINE Let the sun kiss your skin. The more you stay in with the curtains drawn, the worse you’ll feel. Sit in the sun for at least 20 minutes. Let your body take in vitamin D. Every tissue in the body has vitamin D receptors, including the brain, heart, muscles and immune system. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that’s a hormone. It activates genes that regulate the immune system and release the “feel-good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. NOURISH THE BODY Get enough sleep and nourish your body by eating well: choose fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains for long-term energy. Instead of the short bursts that come from too much sugar or caffeine, reach for healthy options. Spiking your insulin levels will actually make you feel worse. Sugar intake causes fatigue, blurry vision and a general ill feeling. Part of nipping pesky anxiety from your life is finding balance of the mind and body. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MORE… Self-reflection is a way of loving thy self. Take a moment to be objective and trace the anxiety back to its roots. Is there a specific time of day that you feel most anxious? What is truly causing the anxiety? Learn to play detective. Don’t ever approach it from a place of judgment; it’s more about kind and calm observation. If you can trace it back to the root, you can better heal the cause of the anxiety.