Anyone that has suffered from anxiety knows the negative impact it can have on their life. Not only does our mental and emotional life take a hit, but often, so does our physical health.
But when we seek to alleviate the moods and diseases associated with anxiety disorders, it’s important to take a natural approach, as prescription medications all-too-often come with nasty side effects that can leave us feeling even more anxious and sick.
Causes & Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal response to the stressors in our lives. Anxiety is actually part of what’s termed the “fight or flight” response to stress or danger in the environment. So, it’s a regular part of being alive and our psyche’s way of keeping us safe.
Anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder become a problem when they are constant or are inappropriate responses to benign circumstances.
There are numerous causes of anxiety including:
- Traumatic Life Experiences
- Thyroid Problems
- Dysfunctional Serotonin
- Excessive Alcohol
- Caffeine or Sugar Intake
- Hormone Imbalance
Research also suggests that there are several common risk factors for anxiety that include being female, experiencing stressful life events in early childhood, and having a family history of mental health disorders.
While anxiety is characterized by excessive worrying and tension, there are other symptoms that include:
- Muscle Tension
- Chest Tightness
- Heart Palpitations
- High Blood Pressure
- Digestive Problems
- Panic Attacks
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Inability to Socialize
Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety
As I mentioned earlier, the typical treatment of anxiety disorders is a combination of psychotropic drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy. Drugs like Cymbalta, Pristiq, Effexor and Savella are called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and are commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. Unfortunately, these pharmaceutical “solutions” come with nasty side effects that include dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, sexual problems, constipation, weight loss, insomnia, headaches, dry mouth and agitation.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Librium are also commonly prescribed and also come with a similar laundry list of horrible side effects.
The question then is can you remedy anxiety with natural treatments? The answer is a resounding YES!
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective natural treatments for anxiety:
Clean Up Your Diet
I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post that excessive alcohol, sugar and caffeine can bring on anxiety. It stands to reason, then, that cutting these substances out of your diet should be the first step to alleviating your anxiety.
Beyond eliminating these common agitators, it is important to eat sufficient amounts of anti-inflammatory foods, which balance moods and help to make neurotransmitters like GABA necessary to ward off mood disorders. Focus on eating foods like turmeric, olive oil, tomatoes, green leafy veggies, and berries like blueberries and strawberries. Cold water fish such as salmon and tuna contain high concentrations of omega-3’s, some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents, so be sure to eat fish two to three times per week.
[Editor’s note: If you don’t enjoy eating fish but still want to get the amazing benefits of omega 3’s, consider taking a quality omega 3 supplement. We are pleased to offer our readers DuOmega 3 & 7. Not only will you get potent omega 3 to relieve your anxiety, you’ll also get critical omega 7 for heart health! Find out more.]
Magnesium plays many important roles in the body, which is why a magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of issues for people. One of the things magnesium does is relax muscles and calm the nervous system. Magnesium is also necessary to regulate certain hormones that are crucial for promoting relaxation and calming the brain.
Foods rich in magnesium include bananas, dark chocolate, avocadoes, almonds, tofu, spinach and broccoli. You may also want to consider taking a magnesium supplement. Look for magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride, which are forms that the body absorbs better.
A word of caution, taking too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, so be careful with your dose. Better to start with a lesser dose of magnesium and work your way up to a dose that’s effective for you.
Exercise really does seem to be a cure for so many of life’s ills, and anxiety is no different. Regular physical activity not only gives us energy, it improves the quality of our sleep, reduces inflammation, and eases stress and tension. Those that suffer from anxiety would do well to try exercises like yoga and tai chi because they promote relaxation and involve deep breathing techniques that help to reduce stress and muscle tension.
Get Enough Sleep
I know, it seems like a bit of a conundrum. You feel anxious, so you can’t sleep, and because you can’t sleep, you feel more anxious. The good news is, I’ve already mentioned some ways you can help yourself relax at night so you can drift off to a peaceful sleep. Exercise and taking a magnesium supplement before bed, or an Epsom salt bath (that’s magnesium too!) will really help you get the rest you need.
A 2013 randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that mindfulness meditation was highly effective at improving a person’s ability to handle stressful situations. Meditation is beneficial for reducing cortisol levels and improving sleep.
Our readers have found amazing benefits from using a simple and fun technique called the Sonic Wave Relaxation Therapy. Stress and anxiety melts away, blood pressure goes down, weight loss becomes easier, and overall health and well-being soars. Find out how this powerful technique can help you get the upper hand on anxiety once and for all – Click Here.
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