Natural Solutions for Anxiety
Has today’s fast paced left you nervous or unable to relax?
You are not alone. Anxiety disorders affect about 12% of Canadians and another 9% will suffer from an anxiety disorder sometime during their lives.
Many individuals suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a severe and persistent form of anxiety that interferes with normal daily activities.
People with GAD are tending to always feel anxious, nervous, and worried. Unfortunately, GAD is one of the most common and least understood conditions of our twenty first century.
Medical treatment of anxiety mainly involves drugs.
However, many prescription drugs have side effects, intolerances, and withdrawal can be a major issue.
Fortunately, anxiety can be managed effectively using a holistic and natural approach.
Typical Symptoms of GAD
Anxiety over everyday problems and a constant belief that something bad is going to happen not only affects our emotional wellbeing but also produces physical symptoms.
These symptoms can include muscle tension, digestive disturbances, excessive sweating, insomnia, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, restlessness, irritability, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, chest tightness, trembling, panic attacks, light headedness, and headaches.
People with GAD are often not correctly diagnosed, they may suffer unnecessarily because they do not understand the cause of their symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms for at least six months seek appropriate medical attention to rule out other causes.
Risk Factors for GAD
Irregular levels of brain neurotransmitters GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) and serotonin. These neurotransmitters interact during heightened anxiety.
Stressful situations or life events, including death in the family, relationship problems, illness, job loss or financial concerns and school or work-related problems.
Triggers such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, food allergies or sensitivities and certain pharmaceutical drugs.
Nutritional deficiencies such as B vitamins deficiencies, calcium, or magnesium deficiencies.
Unresolved childhood issues that involve some form of physical or emotional abuse.
Anxiety and prolonged stress deplete the body of essential nutrients.
Many anxiety symptoms can be a result of nutritional deficiencies that can affect the mind and behavior.
Avoid caffeine, refined sugars and white flour products, processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, and fast foods. Avoid foods that contain food additives and preservatives. Most of these synthetic chemicals are proven excitotoxins, meaning they can cause damage to the delicate balance of the brain - nervous system.
Eat foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium since these nutrients are easily depleted by stress. Some of the best sources include soybeans, dark leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, oats, walnuts, tofu, broccoli, apples, figs, bananas, brown rice, and sunflower seeds.
Regular exercise, relaxation techniques such as warm bath before bedtime, massage therapy or other body work.
Can support lessening of anxiety symptoms; apply clary sage, lavender, ylang ylang, neroli or vetiver in warm bath or in an aromatic diffuser.
Do deep breathing exercises as they oxygenate and relax the body. Use in conjunction with yoga or regular stretching for stress relief.
Try progressive muscle relaxation, there are many free examples online or through audio tapes at all libraries
Talk with a trusted friend instead of suppressing your problems, worries, or fears.
Write in a journal to start understanding the thinking patterns and negative self-talk that can raise anxiety.
Get plenty of rest, and practice time management by planning a daily activity list to eliminate needless activities.
Eliminate stressful activities by identifying what causes you the most stress and then removing the activity from your schedule.
Look for laughter and humor wherever and whenever you can. Laughter is the great healer, it decreases stress, reduces frustration, and helps you feel great.
Seek professional counseling or join a self-help group. Consult a licensed naturopath or holistic orientated physician for correct diagnosis and support with your symptoms.
Fortunately, anxiety can be managed effectively using a holistic natural approach.
The following are a list of helpful vitamins and supplements. Be sure to discuss any of these vitamins or supplements with a licensed health care provider, before starting to take them.
· High potency multiple vitamin and mineral to ensure the body receives adequate nutritional support
· Vitamin C- to ensure proper functioning adrenal glands (vital for dealing with stress) and balanced brain chemistry
· Vitamin B complex helps maintain healthy nervous system function. B vitamins reduce anxiety and have a calming effect on the nerve •
· 4.GABA a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the brain and is helpful for anxiety.
· L-Tyrosine an amino acid that alleviates the symptoms of stress and promotes restful sleep.
· Calcium a natural tranquilizer
· Magnesium helps relieve anxiety, muscle tension and spasms.
· Chromium a deficiency produces nervousness, shakiness, and other symptoms of anxiety.
· Selenium can elevate mood and decrease anxiety.
· 5 htp (5-hydroxytryptophan) a natural sleep aid. It increases production of calming neurotransmitter serotonin.
Be sure to discuss the following herbal remedies with a health care professional before you start using them.
· Passionflower relaxing and soothing to the nervous system
· Siberian Ginseng supports adrenal function
· Gotu Kola relaxes the nerves and supplies necessary energy to help combat fatigue
· Suma enhances energy and vitality
· Chamomile a soothing tonic sedative that helps induce sleep
· Valerian a potent tranquilizer that produces calming effects and is good for insomnia
· St. John's Wort has a sedative effect on the body and is useful in the treatment of anxiety and nervous tension.
Please do not suffer in silence with anxiety symptoms. Seek trustworthy medical health, first for a correct diagnosis, then to have all treatment options outlined; to allow you to make a healthy and informed decision about which path of treatment best suits your situation.
Best wishes for successful healing of your anxiety symptoms.