Excessive drooling can be very embarrassing and, surprisingly enough, can actually be a byproduct of anxiety. An excess of saliva production is one of the many unfortunate symptoms of a misguided “fight or flight” response that reeks havoc with the mind and body, but it doesn’t have to get you down. Read on to learn more about how you can nip your underlying anxiety in the bud.
A common anxiety-related symptom that more people are aware of is dry mouth, and it can lead to dental problems in its sufferers. Anxiety can have a multitude of effect on saliva production, as it can increase saliva in some individuals as much as it can decrease it in others. The former problem is better for your overall oral health, but that doesn’t make it any less of a nuisance. Try to pay attention to when your symptoms become worse. Does it occur around the same times when you experiencing anxious feelings? If this is the case, the two issues may be connected. Many anxiety sufferers report that they have more problems with their saliva in the evening and overnight, waking to a very unpleasant situation in the morning. To counteract this, try drinking some chamomile tea prior to retiring, as it will help you relax throughout the night. Other herbs that can be helpful in curbing your anxiety are passionflower, kava kava, and St. John’s Wort. However, make sure to research these herbs and make sure that they are safe to combine with any medications you are currently taking.
You can also try some deep breathing and meditation techniques prior to going to sleep. Begin by taking a deep breath in to the count of five, holding for five seconds, and then releasing. Continue doing this until you begin to feel relaxed, and try to make a practice of it every night. Make sure to turn off the television, computer any other electronic device at least a half hour before sleeping to truly help you wind down, and cut back on the caffeine, as it leads to restlessness and greater anxiety.
The next step you can take to alleviate your anxiety is to improve your nutrition and get more exercise in your daily life. Try to reduce refined grains and sugars from your diet, and only eat foods high in fat and calories sparingly. Replace these foods with whole grains and get plenty of fruits and vegetables. As for exercise, cardiovascular activity is the best method of treatment for anxiety, and this can include anything that gets your heart rate up. Try to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day, and do something that you enjoy. If you haven’t worked out in a while, simply walk for fifteen minutes every day, and increase the length and intensity of your walks gradually. You can eventually move on to higher-intensity workouts, such as running, biking or swimming, if your health permits. Cardiovascular activity has even been shown in some studies to be as effective for treating anxiety and depression as antidepressant medication, so it’s well worth the time and energy you put into it. Yoga, although not cardiovascular in nature, can also be helpful for anxiety sufferers. Yoga will put you in a variety of poses and help you breathe more efficiently. Not only that, but it has been shown to increase levels of a chemical called GABA in the brain, the same chemical that is increased by anti-anxiety medications.
Finally, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the therapy of choice for addressing the cognitive distortions that lead to anxiety. With the help of a trained therapist, you can restructure your thoughts so you are viewing your problems in a more realistic manner and are less likely to allow them to escalate into panic attacks
“Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. <http://www.mayoclinic.com> 14 Jan 2013.