I like to call GABA “The Anti-Anxiety Molecule”. It stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid – which is quite a mouthful. Here’s any easy way to understand what this neurotransmitter does…
You’re driving to work and you HAVE TO get there on time because you’re giving a huge presentation, or you’re headed to an important appointment or meeting. It’s been a hectic morning, traffic is a nightmare, you’re late, and you’re full of stress and anxiety about getting there on time.
You are OVERANXIOUS and your pulse is STUCK IN OVERDRIVE….THE OPPOSITE OF FEELING CONFIDENT AND RESILIENT.
Then the ABBA song “Dancing Queen” comes on the radio. How can you not love this song?! You’ve danced to it at weddings and parties…it’s a feel good song. You turn it up, belt it out, and find your muscles relaxing. You can feel the change in your chemistry and state of mind as the song goes on.
GABA (which sounds a lot like ABBA) is a sedative-like neurotransmitter that slows the firing of neurons in your brain. Anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax work by increasing GABA. When it’s higher you feel calm and relaxed, and you’re less stressed or anxious – YOU’RE FEELING ON IT.
Here are 6 easy ways to get more GABA:
3. High intensity interval training
4. Drinking green, black or oolong tea
5. Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir or miso
6. Nuts, beans, and soy