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Ways to manage stress, anxiety and depression naturally

Updated: May 29, 2020

Chris Engen, N.C.

Fear and uncertainty are breeding stress, anxiety and depression for many.

Unprecedented” is the best word to describe the situation we are collectively experiencing. It’s uncharted territory and I would like to believe we are all navigating our way the best we can. I am fortunate, as my life has not changed drastically. I am grateful to share information on nutrition and amino acid therapy, in the hopes of helping those who are struggling.

Amino Acid Therapy is relatively unheard of, yet SO effective for mood improvement, craving relief and relapse prevention.

What is Amino Acid Therapy?

Amino Acid Therapy is the use of amino acid supplements to target neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain that cause mood symptoms, which in turn cause cravings and / or the need to self-medicate with substances or behaviors.

What depletes Neurotransmitter Systems?

STRESS, alcohol, drugs, genetic factors, environmental toxins and more all can deplete neurotransmitter systems.

Can I really bring my brain into balance with food and supplements?

YES, you can! When this approach doesn't work, it's usually because there's something else going on, an underlying condition like impaired gut health that is preventing nutrient absorption, or a genetic condition like MTHFR genetic mutations, or something like adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues, or other conditions. If amino acids don't work to correct symptoms, something else may be at play and I can help uncover the issue by working with your doctor, lab testing or referring out to a partner.

Amino Acid Therapy is a Trialing Process

I can identify the depleted neurotransmitter systems based on a symptom chart and recommend targeted amino acids to resolve the symptoms. For example, if worrisome anxiety is keeping you up at night, you may be low in Serotonin. L-Tryptophan* is an amino acid that may help relieve repetitive and worrisome thoughts. Melatonin* is derived from Tryptophan, which turns into Serotonin, and may help with sleep onset insomnia.*

What can I do RIGHT NOW to help with cravings?

  1. Keep blood sugar balanced by eating protein every 4 hours and using the amino acid L-Glutamine between meals. If you are intermittent fasting, please watch to make sure that low blood sugar isn’t contributing to your anxiety by firing more adrenaline.

2. Add a multi-vitamin to your regimen if you are not already taking one. This can help

to consistently provide the co-factors which both your brain and your adrenal

glands need to effectively cope with stress. Higher than normal levels of vitamins A,

C, D and the mineral Zinc are immune-protective, as well as colloidal silver and


3. Omega-3 fatty acids help support Dopamine as well as Serotonin, and can therefore

help to reduce anxiety, worry, depression and thrill-seeking. Eat lots of salmon,

ground flaxseed and walnuts!

What can I do RIGHT NOW to help with my mood?

  1. If you’re feeling anxious or fearful: Blood sugar regulation is key to leveling out anxiety. Eat protein every 3-4 hours

2. If you’re feeling sad or want to escape: Exercise at least ½ hour each day. If you’re

inside, there are TONS of resources out there right now, let me know if you need

me to point you in the right direction. Exercise will help endorphin production

which is ESSENTIAL for positive, warm, loving feelings and alleviating emotional


3. If you’re down and depressed: Use LIGHT, for vitamin D, full spectrum sun lamps if

there is no sun. Get outside for at least 15 minutes if you live somewhere sunny! Be

of service, it always helps to give back and keep things in perspective.

4. If you need a SPARK … try L-Tyrosine*. This is an amino acid that increases

dopamine production in the brain and will give many people a little boost just 2-10

minutes after taking. DO NOT USE if you have migraines, high blood pressure,

manic depression, Graves disease, PKU or melanoma.

5. For a calming effect, try GABA*: GABA can help soothe your nerves. GABA is

considered the brakes of the brain. It lowers the activity of neural cells in the brain

and central nervous system and moves the brain and body into lower gear. GABA

can help with sleep, relaxation, stress and sore muscle relief. DO NOT USE if you

have low blood pressure.

6. Look for the positive … it’s there somewhere! The gift of a blank calendar comes

around very rarely in a lifetime. How are you going to use this extra time? Connect

with community! Call your college best friend. Organize your photos! Read a book!

Try a new recipe! Finally figure out how to use that dehydrator you bought 2 years

ago …. (Note to self😊)

We don't know what happens next. But we are here, now, and can take advantage of the tiny gifts that are presenting themselves. Please let me know how I can help!

Chris Engen is a Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (BCHN ™) and holds a Nutrition Consultant Certificate (NC) from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. She is also a Certified Recovery Nutrition Coach (CRNC) for  Nutritional Therapy / Amino Acid Therapy 

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