Monthly Archives: March 2022

anxiety treatment center Newport beach

Anxiety Treatment Center Newport Beach

Life is easy for some and hard for others. Most of the time, life tries to put you through some unhealthy course designed to prevent you from living the life of your dreams, which in turn brings about anxiety.

As common as the word is, it is important to understand what it means. Anxiety is simply the overwhelming worry of future realities. When such worries join hands with fear, they create anxious thoughts and feelings which is not good for you or your loved one. When this becomes your consistent mood, it has a way of affecting your health to the extent that the only solution will be to seek therapy in an effective anxiety treatment program.

However, you must be circumspect enough to choose a results-oriented anxiety treatment center if you live in Newport Beach.

What does it feel like to have anxiety?

When you consistently tend to be anxious, everything makes you uncomfortable. This is not limited to being tense, uneasy, and having fearful thoughts of something bad looming. Your anxious state often manifests in deep worry and insomnia. This is followed by physical ailments like nausea, diarrhea, and muscle tension.

You indirectly invite serious health issues like rapid heart rate, palpitations, chest pain, and other cardiovascular concerns when you ignore anxiety. There is also the possibility of your anxiety increasing your blood pressure.

Symptoms of anxiety and distinction with stress

Some of the symptoms of anxiety are; excessive worry, restlessness, confusion, irritability, panic attack, insomnia, etc. Although these symptoms may be similar to that of stress, anxiety is different from stress. The major difference is that if you are diagnosed with anxiety, your excessive worries do not disappear even when the triggers are non-existent.


Many treatment centers today offer anxiety disorder treatment using different programs and approaches. However, only a few utilize evidence-based practices or have experienced medical professionals to cater for their patients. Listed below are factors when considered will help you choose the right anxiety treatment center in Newport Beach;

Ensure the center provides individualized treatment plans.

Anxiety disorder treatment is most effective when personalized. Since each person’s anxiety disorder is personal, each client should have individualized treatment that suits their symptoms. Your duty is to find a medical center in Newport Beach that offers specific anxiety and depression treatment.

The center must provide CBT & ERP Therapy.

The major question to answer before choosing an anxiety treatment center is, do they provide CBT & ERP therapy? If a center says they specialize in treating anxiety disorders, they must provide accurate exposure and response prevention therapy tailored to individual clients’ needs.

Do the staff approach anxiety treatment with integrated care?

The mental health center of your choice must adhere to international best practices and have in place a multi-disciplinary team that has the client’s best interest at heart. You deserve to be exposed to medical representative(s) of high repute, armed with vital information in the area of your mental conditions or need.

Do they offer detox treatment programs too?

Anxiety disorders can be complicated, which informs why the center of your choice should offer detoxification treatment programs as well, in case your specific anxiety disorder requires that.

These helpful tips are what you need to make the right decision. Call us to learn more about our mental health treatment services.

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Mental Health and Nutrition in Newport Beach

Mental Health and Nutrition

Have you ever heard of our gut being our ‘second brain?” We have what’s called the Gut-brain connection. It’s so powerful that just thinking about eating can change our stomach acid and release juices in preparation for food. The cons of this powerful connection is how poor mental health affects the gut. The sayings “my stomach is in knots” or “I have butterflies in my stomach” are ways we describe the physical effects of anxiety. Having anxiety actually increases our stomach acid and wreaks havoc on digestion. Mental health and nutrition go hand-in-hand.

Mental Health and Nutrition

Mental Health and Nutrition Connection

The brain and gastrointestinal tract are connected with the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is an essential part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our “rest and digest” state. Having food in our stomach will activate this state. However, when a person is in a stressed state, caused by either physical or emotional stress, their parasympathetic function shuts off and turns on the sympathetic function, known as “fight or flight”. When we eat food while our body is in the sympathetic function, digestion is virtually turned off. This leads to slow gastric emptying and storing energy rather than using it. A person with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health condition, may have the sympathetic function turned on, more often than not. The best thing to do before eating if you are in an anxious state, is a few mindful exercises, like the ones I have listed below. 


Serotonin is a hormone and chemical messenger that helps us feel calm, reduces anxiety, helps us sleep and also with GI mobility. 90% of serotonin is actually produced in the gut and we produce the precursors for serotonin and dopamine through amino acids (food!).


Tyrosine is the precursor for dopamine. High tyrosine foods include beef, pork, fish, chicken, tofu, milk, cheese, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.


Tryptophan is the precursor for serotonin. High tryptophan foods include chicken, turkey, red meat, pork, tofu, fish, beans, milk, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, and eggs. Making sure you are getting a wide variety of foods in your diet will help with your serotonin and dopamine production.

Nutrition and Mental Health Together

Nutrition plays such a huge role in mental health because they feed off each other (pun intended!) If our anxiety and depression is low, our stomach acid is being regulated and we are able to enter the parasympathetic function when eating. Thus, having the ability to digest properly and utilize all of the consumed energy for our metabolic function.

If our anxiety and depression is high, not only will we not be digesting properly, but we will also be craving foods higher in carbohydrates for a quick serotonin release. This could lead into disordered eating behaviors such as eating when we are not hungry and not in tune with our hunger/fullness cues. 

Balanced nutrition is the goal for everyone. A simple way I like to help people get on track with balanced eating, is educating on macronutrients vs micronutrients. There are 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

There are a ton of micronutrients so we will just call these our fruits and vegetables. At each meal, there should be a representative from each category of macronutrient and at least one fruit or vegetable. For example: in a burger, the bun is the carbohydrate, the patty is the protein, the spread or sauce is the fat, and the lettuce/onion/tomato is the micro nutrient. So yes, a burger is a balanced meal!

Mindfulness exercises before eating:

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with feet firmly planted on the ground
  2. Complete a few rounds of breathing techniques such as boxed breathing. Here’s a how.
  3. Check in with your hunger/fullness and anxiety
  4. Repeat some affirmations



Hanna McAlister, RDN

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