Sour candy for anxiety? Have you tried it? (Image via Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch)

Ever tried sour candy for anxiety? Here is why it may work

It's not unusual for a therapist to recommend sour candy for anxiety. Some may also advise holding a piece of ice or tasting a lemon when they are experiencing a panic attack.

Anxiety is a complex condition and lies on a continuum. It's difficult to say if sour candy for anxiety is a solution or if it works for everyone. However, many find it an easy tool when they are drowning in their worries.


Finding ways to manage anxiety online can be quite an adventure, but what works for one person might not for another. People who have been to therapy may learn basic relaxation techniques, but for some reason, they are either unable or not willing to use them.

There really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to anxiety, so it helps to be adaptable and willing to try new things, even if they're a little bit unusual.


Does sour candy really help with anxiety? Would you give sour candy for anxiety a try?

Sour candy for anxiety is not recommended for someone with physical health concerns. (Image via Vecteezy/Mariia Markevych)

There aren't scientific studies to show the effectiveness of sour candy for managing anxiety.

A family history of mental health conditions, life experiences and other factors can all contribute to anxiety. The underlying thought behind sour candy for anxiety is that it shocks the nervous system for a couple of seconds.

Anxiety tends to take away our sense of control, and we often find ourselves in a puddle of intrusive and overwhelming thoughts. Eating sour candy commands the brain to get distracted and pay attention to the sourness.

That's especially helpful when you are about to experience a panic attack. Your body is completely directed to the sourness instead of the dread of a panic attack.


Does sourness increase serotonin?

Is there a link between eating sour things and serotonin? (Image via Pexels/Karolina Grabowska)

The link between eating sour candy and an increase in serotonin is less common. Serotonin is associated with mood regulation and also has certain links to anxiety. The food-mood connection stands true even for sour candy. Although the intensity of the link may be lower, sour candy may help you feel better.

It's also possible that the consumption of sour foods can trigger the release of other neurotransmitters. If you are looking to manage your anxiety, think of eating sour candy as a distraction technique rather than something that directly influences your hormones.

When feeling anxious, your fight or flight response is activated, and sour food can instantly ground you, making you feel better. This is generally not recommended in large amounts, though.

While there isn't solid research evidence for eating sour candy for anxiety, it opens up new pathways for individuals.

These atypical methods are especially useful for those who are not ready to seek therapy or find it difficult to deal with panic or anxiety in the short term. If your anxiety goes on for a long time, you may need something more than sour candy, though


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.

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