Anxiety disorders are complicated. They produce unwelcome feelings of fear and edginess in the people who suffer from them. These feelings creep in and can be overwhelming, or down-right debilitating if they go untreated.
40 million people suffer from a condition considered an anxiety disorder. Almost half of those people also experience depression with anxiety. It’s a silent illness that likely affects the life of you or someone you love.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feelings of panic
- Creeping, pervasive worry
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, raised blood pressure and trouble breathing
Anxiety can come on slowly or all at once, it isn’t one-size-fits-all so neither should be the treatment.
What is Natural Healing?
The New York Times reports that experiences with antidepressants aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. Sufferers of anxiety and depression say the long-term effects are waning and the medicine is getting harder and harder to quit.
Natural healing, or natural remedies, are simply those that don’t include chemicals. There are a number of natural ways that people suffering from anxiety can help to quell these nervous feelings, hopefully before they arouse feelings of overwhelm and depression.
- Herbal and mineral therapies
- Lifestyle therapies
- Non-medicinal therapies
For more on each one keep reading.
Traditional Anxiety Medication
In medical practice, if a patient is exhibiting symptoms of anxiety they will likely be prescribed an anti-anxiety pill. These usually come in the form of one of the following:
- Antidepressants: like Prozac, Zoloft or Celexa
- Benzodiazepines: like Xanax or Ativan
- Beta-blockers: help regulate the rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure symptoms of panic
- Buspirone: is sold under the brand name BuSpar
- Hydroxyzine: aka Atarax or Vistaril
These treatments are right for some people, but others would prefer a more natural approach.
At Sollievo we encourage natural living. Below, we are going to share some of our favorite anxiety remedies. But if you are ever feeling panicked to the point of physical symptoms or feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, it’s important to talk to a doctor to get immediate relief.
As always, ask your doctor about natural therapies that could work for you.
Herbal and Mineral Anxiety Therapies
Herbal and mineral therapies offer anxiety relief in a traditional way that’s easy to transition into for people in the mindset of taking something for relief.
There are a number of herbs, mineral supplements and even foods that people can consume to feel more balanced in the day-to-day and less anxious.
Herbs for Anxiety Relief
Using herbs to cure ailments is an ancient practice. Herbs that may be good for squelching the creeping fear of anxiety include:
- Kava Kava
- St. John’s Wort
- Valerian Root
These herbs can be purchased dried, or many come prepackaged in capsules from general nutrition vendors and health food stores. If taking a pill isn’t for you, you can steep herbs in hot water to make tea, mix them into tinctures concentrated with alcohol and taken under the tongue, or chill steeped herbs to make a refreshing tonic.
Minerals and Shopping List for Anxiety Relief
Below are the two main heroes when it comes to minerals that defend against anxiety symptoms:
- Omega-3s: Omega-3 Fatty acids are found in some fish, and are known to combat anxiety
- Magnesium: As it turns out, a lot of people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet and, as a result, experience some of the symptoms of anxiety
Here are some food items with Omega-3s and or Magnesium to add to your shopping list:
- Meats: wild-caught fish, grassfed beef and organic chicken
- Nutritional yeast
- Probiotics: yogurt and kefir
- Cruciferous greens: Spinach, kale, horseradish and more
- Healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, coconut oil
- Legumes, seeds and beans
- Whole, unrefined grains
- Herbal teas
Changing your diet for the better could be a good way to combat day-to-day anxieties. But for people who take regular medication, other treatment methods may also be required as part of a healthy, anxiety-free lifestyle.
In addition to the changes in diet suggested above, mild sufferers of anxiety may be able to get by on a few lifestyle tweaks. They are as follows:
Including just 20 minutes of exercise each day can help improve your mood. It make you feel more confident and makes your body feel great — all of these things can work to improve feelings of anxiety.
Moreover, exercise releases endorphins which can serve as natural positive mood enhances. There are many benefits to adding exercise to your lifestyle, and lessening anxiety is one of them.
A symptom of anxiety for some people might be insomnia, and this terrible cycle, that includes a pervasive lack of sleep, just makes anxiety symptoms worse.
As adults, we should aim for 7–9 hours of restful sleep each night. Anxiety sufferers should start paying attention to their sleep habits, like when to wind down for bed to get the most sleep. If falling asleep is an issue, natural remedies like hot tea, meditation or deep breathing can be a life saver.
Find a Support Group
As mentioned above, tens of millions of people suffer from anxiety — finding support from other anxiety sufferers like yourself could be just what you need to push through it.
Anxiety is an illness. And for chronic sufferers it can be frustrating to see natural websites telling people to ‘get more sleep’ or ‘eat better’ like these are new ideas or some magic cure. They’re not.
In all likelihood, making lifestyle changes will help reduce instances of anxiety, in the same way that herbal remedies and minerals help reduce symptoms. But other, on-demand natural therapies may be better suited for people who suffer from anxiety attacks.
Non-Medicinal, On-Demand Treatment Options
There are several therapies that can be worked through with a professional and applied on-demand at home, without ever taking a pill. Here are some of your options for non-medicinal therapy:
Talk Therapy or Holistic Therapy
Finding a good holistic therapist who offers talk therapy along with natural remedies is a great choice for anxiety sufferers who are starting to pursue a more natural lifestyle. There are a number of trained psychologists who can offer holistic medicine and talk therapy, but patients must do some research and explore their options.
Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Yoga and Relaxation
When it comes to being anxiety-free, nothing sounds more appropriate than going completely zen. Massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga and other Eastern medicine techniques that promote natural relaxation could be just what the natural health practitioner ordered.
Cognitive Behavioral or Gestalt Therapies
Sticking to traditional medicinal practice, both cognitive behavioral and gestalt therapies are rooted in modern medicine. These therapies are administered in a medical setting by a licensed professional, without using meds.
Bonus points, because you’re likely to find one who takes your insurance. If you are interested in these types of therapies get in touch with your insurance company to find a practitioner that works for you.
Tapping or EFT
Tapping, also known as an emotional freedom therapy (EFT) is a practice that focuses on repeated, light tapping of accupressure points. It has three basic steps:
- Speaking out loud to validate emotions
- Accepting those emotions; and
- Repeated light tapping at the acupressure points
For more information on EFT, click here.
Naturally Reduce Anxiety, Today
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffers from anxiety, we want you to know that there are options. You can feel empowered to take your health into your own hands, under the advisement of a trained professional. Too often people feel compelled to use medication when there are other options.
However, if medication works for you, isn’t bothering you and is being taken under the close watch of a medical professional there’s no shame in doing what makes you feel good. If you want to get off a medication, always consult your doctor on the best way to ramp down your dosage and make important decisions about natural treatment options.
For more information on natural remedies, visit Sollievo today.