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Five Natural Remedies for Anxiety
What is Anxiety?
Several disorders that cause fear, nervousness, worry, apprehension, and even paranoia can be classified as anxiety disorders. These conditions can severely affect the lives of individuals stricken with anxiety, causing them to think, feel, and behave in ways they don't want to. Additionally they can cause physical symptoms that can be most unpleasant.
Anxiety can also occur in different levels, from mild anxiety which causes one to be a bit unsettled and worrisome, to severe anxiety which can completely debilitate and demoralize an individual. Everyone experiences anxiety to some extent during their life. When taking a test, before a job interview, confronting a challenge; these are considered normal occurrences of anxiety. Anxiety becomes a problem when it stops you from taking that test, job interview, or facing that challenge.
Following are some natural remedies that can be tried alone or in conjunction with one another to relieve, and in some cases eliminate mild cases of anxiety completely. If your anxiety is severe and debilitating, you are strongly advised to speak with your physician about getting professional help to deal with your disorder.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety can be caused by a number of things; genetics, medical conditions, environmental factors, substance or physical abuse, chemical imbalances, or any combination of these. The most common cause is some sort of stress, and anxiety is merely a response to that stress. These natural remedies for anxiety can help to relieve that stress when it occurs, strengthen us to help us better absorb stress, or help us to avoid stressful situations.
About Self Treatment
A doctor's supervision may not be necessary if anxiety attacks are mild and of a short duration. In such cases and when the source of the anxiety can be easily identified, the following natural remedies may be effective.
Whole Body Relaxation
Set aside 15-30 minutes everyday to relax your entire body. It is best done in a quiet place free from distractions, either inside or outside, and can even be done just before falling asleep for the night. If relaxing inside, close the curtains or blinds to darken the room, put on some soft music if you desire, and lay in a prone position in a comfortable place.
Begin your whole body relax by breathing deeply into the abdomen, letting your stomach expand as you breathe in, and using your abdominal muscles to force the breath out. Begin relaxing by focusing on your toes, consciously relaxing them right down to the bone. It sometimes helps to first tense up the area you wish to relax so you can get a feel for the difference. Work your way up your legs, your shins and calves, thighs, hip area, then move up to your face. Relax your face muscles, neck and shoulders, relax your arms, hands, then chest muscles and finally abdominal area. Remember to keep your breath deep and relaxed. Practice this every day to relieve the stress caused by anxiety.
Replace Negative Images With Positive Ones
Often anxiety is caused by us projecting a negative outcome for a given situation. Rather than “focus” on the negative, imagine the best possible outcome for the situation, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Rather than thinking “I can't” or I'll never”, think I can, I might, or I will.
It has been proven that regular exercise relieves stress and builds self-esteem; two effective tools for fighting anxiety. Take up jogging or begin going to the gym regularly. If you are not ready for the gym there are many beginner-level exercise programs available on websites like YouTube. As before beginning any exercise program, consult with your doctor first.
According to some studies, regular exercise can be as effective as medication in reducing anxiety levels for some individuals. The effects can also be long lasting, one session of 30 minutes alleviating anxiety for several hours, while long-term regular schedules can significantly reduce attacks over time.
Meditation can be one of the most effective natural remedies for anxiety. It is especially effective to quieten a racing mind or relax a jittery body. Don't let the mystique about meditation discourage you from trying it. It is commonly thought you need to have some sort of surreal experience, or force yourself not to think in order for meditation to be effective. That is not true, and simply sitting quietly and concentrating on breathing as deeply and as relaxed as possible is an effective meditation in itself.
To practice a simple breathing meditation, find yourself a quiet place and sit upright, you can use a chair if you wish. The most important thing is to be comfortable so that you can more easily relax. Just sit quietly observing what is happening with your body and mind. Don't try to change anything or not to think, just sit quietly and observe. Notice your breath, how it flows freely in and out of the body, and listen to the sounds around you.
Don't try to force your mind not to think, but when you find yourself wandering off in thought, gently bring your focus back to your breathing. When you are ready to finish, sit quietly for 2 more minutes, then open your eyes slowly. Do this twice a day for 10-15 minutes and you will notice a marked improvement in your demeanor.
Deep Relaxation For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Herbal teas can be an effective remedy for anxiety, though they must be mixed in medicinal quantities. For this reason it is recommended you find one that is to your taste and order it in bulk from an online supplier. Organic herbs are best, and the more you order, the cheaper they are.
The normal recommended proportions for an effective herbal tea are one ounce of the herb to one pint of water. The steeping method can be used where water is poured over the dried herb and allowed to steep for 20 minutes. Usually tone cup of the tea is taken 3 times per day, or as needed. Some herbs that are excellent natural remedies for anxiety are: Hops, Valerian, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Lavender
Summary - Diagnosing Anxiety
If you think you may have anxiety but are not sure, usually a diagnosis can be done by your doctor or he or she may refer you to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. There are a variety of tests that will have to be performed, but those tests can reveal a physical condition that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms, so it is well worth it to undergo them. Some common symptoms of anxiety are:
Excessively worrying and be anxiousness about multiple events or activities on more days than not for a period of not less than six months
Inability to control the worrying
Manifest at least three of the six symptoms that follow which are associated with the anxiety on more days than not in a six month period: muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping
Generally, to be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder GAD, symptoms must occur more often than not for six months and must interfere with daily living, for example; causing the sufferer to miss school or work.
The following are physical symptoms commonly associated with GAD:
- Churning Stomach
- Heart Palpitations
- Numbness in Hands or Feet
- Lack of Energy
- Frequent Urination
- Easily Frightened
Those suffering from panic disorders may experience similar physical symptoms to those with GAD. They also may experience chest pains, a sense of choking, shortness of breath, and dizziness.