The neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lead to certain traits such as impulsivity and compulsivity, and increased irritability. Research has indicated that these disorders in early childhood can persist to impulsivity and addictive behavior in adulthood (1,2). Addictions in adulthood can stem from a simple pleasure that turns into a compulsion with several neural and brain adaptations that occur as a result of changes on the neural-transmission in the brain, and physiology associated with the chemical / behavior leading to deficiencies in motivation and learning (3).
One proposed hypothesis in the etiology of these disorders, based on observations in neuro-imaging studies, are the glutamatergic interactions in the frontal area of the brain. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system.
Before reaching for herbs or other products to help ease anxiety, it may be worthwhile to investigate some behavioral approaches to reduce anxiety and stress. Here are 5 easy steps to reduce anxiety.
Step 1: Buy a watch. Time is the only constant variable.
Step 2: Memorize 3-4 important phone numbers in your cell phone. Memorizing is a great way to enhance cognition.
Step 3: In the morning, take 5-10 min to visualize and plan out your day. Research any anticipated events that may require you to look something up on the internet. Create a positive image of your day. Visualization has been known to improve outcomes of negative events.
Step 4: Leave your cell phone at home. Cell phone use is becoming an increasing problem with anxiety disorders.
Step 5: When in need, reach out and ask someone for help or call one of the numbers you memorized. Connecting to a person and practicing healthy social behavior improves mood.