What is L-Theanine?
Taylor Swift has been talking in interviews recently about supplementing her diet with L-Theanine to deal with stress and anxiety. L-Theanine is a naturally occurring compound found in green tea. It is an amino acid found in particular plant and fungal species. We are coming to understand that this compound can profoundly impact the brain, specifically increasing relaxation and reducing the experience of stress. It indirectly interacts with GABA receptors in the brain. Unlike other anxiety medication, L-Theanine does not cause drowsiness and is not habit-forming.
Types of L-Theanine
L-Theanine can be found naturally in both green and black tea. Concentrated versions of this supplement are available in tea form, pill, and gummy form.
Risks and Considerations of L-Theanine
One size does not fit all. These supplements may work in treating anxiety in some people, but keep in mind they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. L-Theanine may also not interact well with stimulant medication, and with medication intended to treat high blood pressure. Do your research and be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new medication. This post should not be used as official medical advice, and should only be used to begin a conversation with your specific healthcare providers.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a fancy word for scared. What does the emotion of fear teach us and how can we learn from it? Scared teaches us that there is danger afoot. Our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and BOOM our hearts are racing, respiration increases, and we may feel acutely reactive. You may feel like “I’ve got to do something NOW” to change my distress. We are programmed biologically that in response to immediate danger, we must fight off an attack, run like hell, avoid, freeze, or be invisible to keep ourselves safe. We strive to cope while our body is in a state of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.
Life is nerve-wracking. Spinning wildly just to get our basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, communication, and transportation in this modern life requires 24/7 tuning in. We are more exhausted than ever. Our input is exhausting; 24-hour news cycles, unlimited access to electronic stimulation, and the ever-increasing demands to meet basic needs have created a stressed-out society. The buzzword in the media today is anxiety when in reality anxiety is just the emotion that teaches us danger is present. It’s a byproduct of our evolution; our brain telling us that we should be afraid. What can we do to get rid of it? How can we increase our resiliency and improve our mind/body/spirit’s ability to self soothe?
Learn more about anxiety: