Everyone experiences anxiety every once in a while. Some people are plagued with anxiety and suffer daily from the symptoms that come along with it.
Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of worry that effects the body both mentally and physically. Symptoms of anxiety include: cloudy thoughts, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, muscle tension, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, an inability to concentrate, regularly not wanting to get out of bed, nagging negative thoughts that the worst is going to happen.
For many people, these symptoms can be debilitating and hard to live with. Sometimes, when a person gets to this point, they seek medical attention and are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs that block the symptoms so the anxiety can be easier to live with. However, the anxiety medication may cause awful side effects sometimes worse than the anxiety itself. Medications become addictive while causing damage to the vital organs in your body like the liver and kidneys.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the “fight or flight” mechanism in your body. Our ancestors used the anxiety to keep them alive when they were hunting or being attacked. Adrenaline was pumped into their bloodstream, so they could make the decision to turn around and fight or flee from danger.
Anxiety is necessary for us today as well. It acts as a warning signal. However today, we may not be able to fight or run away from our stressors or anxieties like our ancestors did. If we are worrying about paying a bill or losing a job, we might feel anxiety, but it is not a good idea to fight your boss or run away from the bill. When the symptoms of anxiety are unbearable, it can cause a lot of physical damage on your body and can even result in illness. Rather than taking the pharmaceutical approach to treating anxiety, there are natural ways to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Natural ways to deal with anxiety
1. Healthy Diet
There is a lot of research that shows anxiety can originate in the gut. That is why, when people experience anxiety, they also typically have issues with bowel movements. A change in diet can help a person experiencing anxiety to overcome the symptoms. Reduce caffeine, sugars and dairy and eat more fruits, veggies, grains, seeds and nuts.
GABA: GABA is an amino acid known for its calming effecton our central nervous systems. It is a neurotransmitter that helps nerve impulses communicate. If your body does not have enough GABA, you can experience anxiety. Many with low levels of GABA choose to self-medicate with substances such as alcohol. You may try 500-1000 mg of GABA supplement a day and include foods in your diet that increase its production, like green tea, citrus fruits, bananas, nuts and greens.
Omega 3s: Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the symptoms caused from anxiety, aiding the body keep cellular receptors in optimal condition. According to Everyday Health:
“Japanese researchers found that a diet high in fish protects people from depression and suicide, while in Finland a team of researchers surveyed 1,767 residents and concluded that eating fish more than twice a week has a protective effect against suicide and depression.”
Magnesium: Magnesium naturally calms the nervous system. It can be found in coconut water, seaweed, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, chocolate and more.
5HTP: 5HTP is recommended for anxiety with depression. It is an amino acid that is essential for the production of serotonin, which helps to elevate mood.
3. Relaxation therapies
Relaxation therapies such as yoga, meditation, grounding and breathing techniques, massage, acupuncture and soaking in bath all naturally elevate mood and help release the hormones that make you feel good.
4. Movement and Exercise
Get your heart pumping and it will help circulate the blocked energy that is causing anxiety while releasing those feel-good hormones. Move the body 30 minutes a day and you will notice how much better you feel. (Learn more here.)
The Earth holds all the medicines that we need to heal ourselves, and the following herbs can help you tame your anxiety.
- Chamomile has relaxing and sedative effects that help with sleep.
- Kava Kava helps to reduce anxiety by activating GABA receptors in the brain.
- Valerian root is used for insomnia by taking a supplement or drinking the tea an hour before bed.
- Passionflower has been used as a remedy for anxiety and insomnia.
Essential oils by Young Living can be added to baths, massage oils or diffusers. The best essential oils for anxiety are lavender, ylang-ylang, geranium, rose, bergamot and jasmine. Click here to purchase oils at a discount.