Eileen Purdy MSW
Jan 4, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

Remember playing in the sand at the beach when you were a kid? You’d dig a hole in the dry sand with your hands only to have the sand slide back in and fill in the hole as you go. It often felt like one step forward, two steps back.

When our bodies are low in GABA or serotonin it can have that ‘one step forward, two steps back’ effect on our anxiety, our ability to calm ourselves or our mood in general. We try to feel better and shake things off but we just don’t seem to get any traction.

Fortunately, there are some natural things we can do to help get these two important levels back in balance. These suggestions don’t require major overhauls of your life, just little tweaks here and there. Little tweaks, when practiced consistently, can make huge changes so please don’t brush them off and continue with your status quo. Your life is too important for that.

Also, if you’re like me, knowing specifically why you’re ‘doing this’ or ‘not doing that’ is extremely motivating! For example, in the past when I would hear something about the importance of reducing stress I would think to myself, “Yeah, yeah, I know…” But once the dots were connected with stress’ contribution to low GABA and serotonin, figuring out how to reduce stress seemed particularly valuable!

If you want a quick reminder of the different symptoms for low GABA and low serotonin, I listed them here .

GABA (Gamma-AminoButyric Acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming and relaxing effect in the brain.

Serotonin is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps us with impulse control, pain relief, appetite, sleep and is probably best known for its role in helping to create a positive mood.

A lot of this is stuff you’ve heard of before right? Me too! But for some reason after I learned about how these things effected GABA and serotonin I took them much more seriously. I looked up each of the ones I didn’t know anything about, added some supplements to my daily routine, prioritized sleep, actively made changes to reduce stress, changed up my diet a bit and… wouldn’t you know it. I feel better.

Sure life is complicated and little things often seem too little to bother with, but to that I’d say…just try.

And while I don’t have the expertise to personally recommend how to implement all the dietary and nutritional changes you need to make, feel free to drop me a line if you need help with the other stuff!

Leave comments below if you’ve had particular success with some of these things. I’d love to hear what worked for you.


If you enjoyed this, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re the DIY, super busy, dip-your-toe-in-before-diving type and would like to overcome your anxiety in the comfort, convenience and privacy of your own home, check out my book.

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