Written by Michelle Bradley
There is no worse feeling than the pit-of-your-stomach dread, raw nerves and jumpiness that comes with an anxiety disorder and that doesn't even take into account the long list of physical symptoms that plague your every waking moment.
I spent a long time trying to find ways to manage my generalised anxiety disorder after the birth of my daughter. I tried so many things, all of which had some effect, but none so dramatic as introducing Epsom salts baths into my weekly routine.
It has long been known that stress, anxiety and insomnia release chemicals such as cortisol, epinephrine and adrenaline into the body, all of which depletes magnesium levels. And guess what happens when your magnesium levels are low? You guessed it, you get anxious.
Magnesium is hard to come by in our modern diet and it also needs vitamin D to help it be absorbed into the body. Taking a supplement can help increase your magnesium levels though these can have some unwanted though minor side effects on the digestive system. Studies have shown that the best way to absorb magnesium into the body is through the skin.
Adding one to two cups of Epsom salts (or magnesium sulphate to give it its scientific name) to a warm bath and soaking for 12 minutes can have a very tangible effect on anxiety and stress levels. It also relaxes muscles and improves sleep quality. And let's be honest, having a nice hot soak is just great general self care!
Having suffered with anxiety almost daily for two years before trying Epsom salts baths, I was sceptical that something so simple could make any difference whatsoever. Nonetheless I gave it a go and was amazed by the difference. So much so in fact that I questioned if I had an anxiety disorder at all and not a magnesium deficiency. I was so mad at myself for not trying it sooner. I also find that on 'bath night' I sleep so much better.
I now have a bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender every two to three days. I bulk buy the salts to make it cheap and to make sure I never run out! It is a great natural way to help combat anxiety and lower overall stress levels. Give it a go yourself and see if it makes a difference for you.