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Guest Blog: A Life Lived With Anxiety…

I'm excited to have Dr. Teralyn Sell as a guest blogger! Dr. Teralyn holds multiple degrees and certifications in the areas of Psychology, Counseling and Neuro-nutrition. She recently interviewed me about emotional eating (post and video here), then I got to interview her on this very important topic of anxiety and brain health. Go here to watch that interview.

It’s like having a piece of cake that you just can’t eat...

Your worry and fatigue get the best of you just about every day. The stress and anxiety is through the roof and your sleep is suffering. You’ve possibly been prescribed a number of different anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications and nothing changes. Imagine what it would be like to not have to drive into work psyching yourself out for the day. What if you could just do your job without the constant nagging of not being ‘good enough’ or feeling like a fraud?

The Difference Is In Understanding What Is Happening, Why It’s Happening & How To Put The Sprinkles On Top To Fix It!

Let’s start with the brain, because without our brain we would literally cease to exist!

OMG, the brain! I love the brain; I tell people all of the time the brain is amazing, incredible and sooo stupid at the same time. It can trick us making us think we are scared or anxious when we are really just excited! Our brain has trouble differentiating emotions such as emotional pain or physical pain. It thinks it’s the same! Or fear versus excitement, it can’t tell them apart. What does tell those things apart is our thoughts around them. Our brain will engage the nervous system and then our thoughts will come into play. For instance, let’s pay attention to our body for a moment. Pretend you are getting ready to give a big speech. You might have butterflies in your stomach, start to sweat a little bit and maybe fidget around. Your thoughts around that will dictate whether you decide to view this as fear or excitement, “I can’t do this, it’s too much for me!” versus “I’m so excited that all of these people are here to see me!”. Do you get the difference? Our lizard brain doesn’t get the difference until we tell it what’s happening.

Our fight/flight is in place to protect us from harm. If we didn’t have it our species would have probably died off a very long time ago. When we are in fight or flight we don’t have the ability to make decisions, think through things or access our coping strategies. When a threat happens our adrenalin kicks in shutting down our prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) and allows us to instinctually go! It’s also when we say and do things we wish we wouldn’t have said or done. But our brain doesn’t care at this point because we are running away from the threat, which turned out to be a stick, not a snake. See? Our brain can be really stupid sometimes. So…we get to figure out how to slow it down so we can make better decisions even when a perceived threat arrives.

Ready for the good stuff? ‘Cause here’s the nitty gritty...

The secret sauce is our NEUROTRANSMITTERS – and here’s where the science comes in!

Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that regulate a literal ton of physical and emotional processes such as mental performance, emotional state, physical energy and pain response. They play an important role with optimal mental and physical health. Many of the symptoms associated with hormone imbalance can also be attributed to neurotransmitter disruption, including:

· Depression

· Anxiety

· Appetite control

· Insulin resistance

· Poor mental focus

· Low pain tolerance

· Low physical energy

· Decreases stamina

· Addiction

· Sleep disorders

· Low libido

· Decreased motivation

· And WAY more!

Neurotransmittes are naturally occurring throughout your entire body. They are crucial to feeling better. Neurotransmitters are made from food. Primarily from animal proteins but they require several other nutrients to play nice in order for the brain to wake up and say ahhh!

Neurotransmitters are negatively impacted from stress, drugs, alcohol, poor diet, prescription medications. Yes, the very thing that we turn to tends to disrupt our brain function.

There are many neurotransmitters throughout our body, but for anxiety we are going to focus on Serotonin, GABA, Glutamate, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, epinephrine (adrenaline).

Serotonin imbalance is one of the most common contributors to mood related problems, and pharmacologic agents that alter serotonin levels are among the most commonly used class of drugs prescribed for anxiety and depression. When serotonin is out of balance, depression, anxiety, worry, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS and sleep cycle disturbance can result. Serotonin regulates many processes connected to other health issues such as carbohydrate cravings, pain tolerance, and appropriate digestion.

GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter. It is important for balancing excitatory action of other neurotransmitters. High levels of GABA may be a result of excitatory overload. These high levels result in a ‘calming’ action that may contribute to sluggish energy, feelings of sedation, and foggy thinking. Low GABA levels are associated with dysregulation of the adrenal stress response. Without the inhibiting function of GABA, impulsive behaviors are often poorly controlled, contributing to a range of anxious and/or reactive symptoms that extend from poor impulse control to seizure disorders.

Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter. It is involved in most aspects of brain function including cognition, memory and learning. Due to its excitatory role, high levels of glutamate are often associated with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.

CATECHOLAMINE (DOPAMINE/NOREPINEPHRINE/EPINEPHRINE) is largely responsible for regulating the pleasure/ reward pathway, memory and motor control. Its function creates both inhibitory and excitatory action depending on the dopaminergic receptor it binds to. Memory issues are common with both elevations and depressions in dopamine levels. Caffeine and other stimulants, such as medications for ADD/ADHD, often improve focus by increasing dopamine release, although continual stimulation of this release can deplete dopamine over time. Common symptoms associated with low dopamine levels include depression, loss of motor control, cravings, compulsions, loss of satisfaction and addictive behaviors. High levels often results in anxious feelings and panic attacks.

Anxiety has robbed you for long enough!


You’re a type A driven woman riddled with anxiety on the inside. Nobody would know that you have anxiety, because you don’t show it on the outside, ever! You’re busier than you ever thought. You have just enough energy to get you through the day, but you crash and burn every night. You’ve been struggling for a while now. You can’t figure out where the anxiety comes from, but inside you are struggling, hard.

There is natural solutions to help you rebalance your neurotransmitters and to help set you free from anxiety. Download my ANXIETY CHEATSHEET to start learning more!


-Licensed Therapist, Brain Health Coach, Author & National Podcast Host-

For over 20 years, Dr. Teralyn Sell has been helping individuals and families overcome life’s obstacles – big and small – through her innovative and ever-evolving approach to overall brain health and emotional well-being. Through counseling, coaching and targeted neuro-nutrient therapy, she helps women tackle the all-too-common symptoms of trying to be everything to everybody (anxiety, depression, constant stress, feelings of inadequacy… ) and transform those overwhelming feelings into self-assurance and satisfaction, resulting in a drastically improved quality of life.

Dr. Teralyn holds multiple degrees and certifications in the areas of Psychology, Counseling and Neuro-nutrition. These qualifications are greatly enhanced by her own, personal life path, having experienced and overcome many of today’s common issues, herself. In other words, she can help you through the sh!t that scares you, because she’s been where you are. Dr. Teralyn is NOT a believer in just throwing a prescription at the problem – which seems to be the blanket “solution” to stress, anxiety and depression in our current society. She instead encourages a holistic approach to overall wellness, which results in lasting change, a healthier state of being, and a happier you.

In addition to being a Licensed Therapist, Coach and Counselor, Dr. Teralyn is also an author of the book “Kick Off Your Damn Heels!” How to Quit Anxiety and Live a Badass Life. She is the co-host of the edgy and inspiring national podcast series, Kick Off Your Damn Heels, which guides you into the confidence you need to take charge of your life, exhibit mental toughness and flow. She and her guests provide you with practical, holistic solutions to fight anxiety, depression and how to improve your mental health.


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