Everyone has experienced some amount of anxiety in their life. But, it would seem that when anxiety becomes all encompassing it can impact more than you bargained for. With anxiety disorders fast becoming the most widespread mental illness in the US today, we divulge what may be some of the causes of anxiety while providing options for you to overcome it naturally.
When humans experience some sort of stress, the body’s adrenal system kicks in, releasing hormones that provide the body with what it needs to survive what it deems a threat. The release of this stress hormone cortisol, creates a sensation that most describe as a feeling of unease, fear or panic.
It is natural to feel anxious about new experiences like giving a speech or getting a new job. This feeling is normal and temporary, it can even be quite useful. While anxiety is unpleasant, it can motivate you to achieve better or do better.
Anxiety only becomes a serious problem if the sensation becomes persistent and lasts for extended periods. In anxiety disorders, those heart-racing, sweat inducing sensations can be constant and has the potential to develop into a debilitating mental health issue, if left untreated. In extreme cases stress and anxiety can prevent people from carrying out simple daily tasks. So what can we do to stop it before it starts?
There are quite the variety of pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed nowadays to treat anxiety, stress and panic disorders. While it is hard to place them all under one category, they do all come with side effects, some more pronounced than others. Some of these side effects can be incredibly pervasive and many who begin taking prescription anxiolytics or antidepressants prefer to suffer with the symptoms of their mental health problems than to deal with the extreme pharmaceutical side effects. Side effects may include hypertension, nausea, headaches, and dizziness and so much more.
However, these side effects aren’t the main reason for thinking about switching to natural remedies. Instead it’s the risk of physiological and psychological dependence that these drugs tend to produce, that we are only now recognising as far more worrying than before. These dependencies occur due to the understanding that instead of targeting the root of the problem, pharmaceutical drugs instead cover and hide the cause of the issue, creating further dependence on outside intervention. Over time this can mean that trying to overcome anxiety without medical intervention becomes far greater a problem than it ever was before.
Natural remedies, when taken under professional advise, are safe to use and are not known to have debilitating side effects; making them an increasingly popular option to the conventional prescription drugs that often involve dire health risks. So, here is a list of 5 natural remedies for anxiety relief.
Exercise is the optimal way to burn off anxious energy and to lead a healthy life. A 2015 review of 12 randomized clinical trials of two groups. One exercise and another nonexercise group with controlled conditions, the review concluded that despite the limitations of the experiment, physical activity may be a useful treatment for anxiety. The small sample group and concurrent treatments of randomized clinical trials make a definitive conclusion difficult to achieve. However, the evidence do suggest that physical activity may reduce anxiety. A popular notion is that if your body feels good, so will your mind, which is also reflected in the physiological response your body has to physical activity. When your body undergoes a length of physical activity, the body releases chemicals called endorphins, that aid in pain reduction, improves sleep, along with a host of other positive mental responses. Some other studies have focused on conditional anxiety, such as the positive effects exercise was found to have on smoking cessation. So it would seem, improving your physical health is essential to maintaining a balanced and anxiety free life.
Even though meditation hasn’t become exactly mainstream, many people practice it, in the hopes of eliminating stress and stress-related problems. Mindfulness meditation has become more common in recent years, and scientific research supports it. A study from 2014, performed on 93 individuals with generalized anxiety disorder found that mindfulness-based stress reduction was beneficial at lowering overall stress levels. Older studies from 2010 found mindfulness-based therapy promising for a variety of mental conditions including anxiety and mood problems. The practice is ancient and involves sitting comfortably, breathing consciously, and being focused on the present without drifting into past or future concerns. Meditating is an exercise just like jogging or swimming is, and can take some time to get the hang of. In order to find what works best for you, why not try searching for guided meditation videos on YouTube which can be incredibly helpful for those just trying it for the first time. There are videos aplenty, just make sure you find the one that speaks to you most.
While many people turn to prescription drugs to deal with stress and anxiety, it may be worth looking into natural options first. Essential oils are used for their mood changing qualities, being especially utilised for their calming qualities, which are increased further when paired with other natural stress-relief techniques. A study from 2013 investigated the effects of aromatherapy on anxiety, sleep and blood pressure of patients in an intensive care unit. The study concluded that aromatherapy had in fact helped to reduce stress, increase sleep, and stabilize blood pressure in the test subjects. What’s more, a recent study from 2016 found that inhaling rose water aroma noticeably reduced anxiety in hemodialysis patients. Healthy kidneys clean blood and remove excess fluid in the form of urine. When kidneys fail to do so, there are two main treatments either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is when the blood is pumped out of the body into an artificial kidney/filter and then pumped back into the body.
This type of therapy is easy to apply and has quick results. A single whiff of concentrated essential oil may instantly trigger a response from the body, allowing it to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which induce a feel-good mind and body state.
Research that supports the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) is well documented. CBD is a natural molecule that can be extracted from cannabis plants. CBD is known for its applications in both ancient and modern medicine as well as for its non-intoxicating qualities, which unlike THC, will not get you high. The way CBD works in reducing anxiety is not fully understood yet, but it relates to how it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are crucial in maintaining homeostasis throughout the body.
Studies into the potential of CBD in reducing anxiety disorders have produced mounting evidence to its anxiolytics qualities, making it a potential treatment for use in stress and anxiety related disorders. There are many ways one can use CBD oil in the treatment of stress and anxiety disorders, but what is pivotal is ensuring that the CBD product is as pure as possible, with minimal amounts of THC.
More and more people are zealously seeking safer and natural solutions when deal with anxiety issues. Herbal teas along with aromatherapy, though used for thousands of years the world over, are now making a comeback in contemporary society. Research is scarce in this field, however, there is enough evidence at present that shows the beneficial properties of many herbal teas; like chamomile, peppermint, valerian just to name a few.
While herbal teas don’t cure anxiety they sure have calming and sedative properties that can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. When paired with a balanced lifestyle that includes meditation and exercise, herbal teas may have a real impact on calming nerves and inducing better sleep.
Living a stressful life limits our efficiency and reduces our capacity to live comfortably and in good health. Being in a state of stress weakens the immune system and inevitably leads the body to develop illness and disease, which is why it is so important that we do our utmost to appease it as best we can.
Anxiety disorders are serious health issues that shouldn’t be left untreated. So while the role of natural remedies as a treatment for anxiety dates back centuries, we always suggest speaking with a healthcare professional when it comes to treating mental or physical wellbeing.