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Natural Approaches to Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a complex combination of feeling apprehension, dread, fear, nervousness and worry, in anticipation of problems or misfortune. If you’ve ever had to speak or perform in front of a large group of people, you’ve probably felt a little anxiety. Most people do. In fact, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious when facing difficult, dangerous or even challenging situations.
However, for about 18% of the adult population (about 40 million people), anxiety is something far more serious and persistent. These people have anxiety disorders, which are often severe enough to interfere with family relations, socializing and work. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder (panic attacks), phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Severe anxiety can manifest as shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations, muscle tension, trembling, insomnia, irritability, chest pain, cold sweats, feeling faint and general feelings of stress. These symptoms are bad enough, but to make matters worse, anxiety contributes to the development of other health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and pain-related disorders such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. There is also a high correlation between anxiety and addiction to alcohol, smoking and drug use.
While there are drugs that can reduce anxiety, these medications, like all drugs, can have serious side effects. They also fail to correct some of the underlying causes of the anxiety. Fortunately, there are herbs, nutritional supplements and other natural methods that can reduce anxiety and assist people with anxiety disorders in having a normal life.
In this month’s Sunshine Sharing Hour, we’ll discuss what anxiety is, the major types of anxiety disorders and some of the natural remedies that can help.
Anxiety is defined as a state of emotional distress characterized by the presence of physical symptoms such as perspiring profusely, racing heart, palpitations, trembling, dizziness, chest pain, and dry mouth in response to a perceived threat, either immediate or anticipated. The symptoms of a panic attack include rapid, shallow breathing, extreme muscle tension to the point of cramping, and an inability to take any action at all. Support for the adrenal glands, thyroid, and neurological system is often helpful for those who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
Blood type A individuals have a more difficult time metabolizing the stress hormones secreted by the adrenal glands, making them more vulnerable to anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety can be addressed with the help of adaptogens since they inhibit the body's production of stress hormones. Stay away from stimulants like caffeine. In addition, cutting out refined sugar from your diet and supplementing with B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B6, should assist.
Using sympatholytic medicines to reduce sympathetic nervous system activity and parasympathomimetic agents to boost parasympathetic nervous system activity can help alleviate acute anxiety and panic episodes. To do this, focus on taking calm, deep breaths while taking one capsule of kava kava every ten minutes or ten drops of lobelia every two to three minutes. Take some Distress Remedy if you need to.
Apprehension, dread, fear, nervousness, and worry in expectation of issues or tragedy are all symptoms of anxiety. The feeling of “butterflies” or “knots” in your stomach when facing unfamiliar or “scary” scenarios is typical and signals worry. However, many people have more serious and persistent anxiety.
Anxiety can cripple family, social, and job life. Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, muscle tension, trembling, sleeplessness, irritability, chest pain, cold sweats, fainting, and stress are symptoms. These symptoms are terrible enough, but worry can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and pain-related conditions including arthritis and fibromyalgia. Alcohol, smoking, and drug addiction are also linked to anxiety.
Clinicians recognise 12 anxiety disorder categories, but the main ones include panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and generalised anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are epidemic in the US. The Surgeon General reports that 16% of 18–24-year-olds have a year-long anxiety problem. A lot of anxiety!
Most people with these diseases work full-time, many as executives and managers, and are stressed at work. Most take tranquilizers, antidepressants, or sleeping drugs to disguise their symptoms. Others “self-medicate” with alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. There are better anxiety treatments.
Understanding anxiety is the first step to naturally reducing it. Not all anxiety is harmful. It’s a normal response to danger. Perception of danger releases hormones and neurotransmitters that prepare the body and mind for action. These physiological changes may help us push beyond our boundaries and perform better.
When a person is worried about giving a speech or performing in front of a group, the perceived “danger” of humiliating oneself releases hormones that actually help the individual perform better. Instead of eliminating worry, we should keep it at moderate levels so we can function well and not be paralyzed by it.
Fortunately, several inexpensive, natural remedies help control stress hormones and reduce anxiety. These natural remedies don’t only cure symptoms. They can help someone permanently overcome crippling anxiety.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Take adaptogenic herbs like Eleuthero Root, Adaptamax, Suma Combination, and Nervous Fatigue Formula to lower stress hormones. AnxiousLess induces adaptability. Increase rest and relaxation time. One should not avoid stress to decrease its consequences. Pleasurable experiences release hormones and neurotransmitters that reduce stress and have more positive effects than unpleasant ones. Instead of decreasing stress, we should intentionally enjoy life.
Our society's epidemic of anxiety-related ailments may be due to our busyness. We rarely relax since we're always on the run. Planning fun activities is crucial to our mental and physical wellness. Consider taking a warm bath, hot tub soak, massage, listening to calming music, or a park walk.
Get enough sleep as part of this process. Many therapies exist for insomnia. What works for you depends on your sleep issues. Read about insomnia.
Muscle tension is common in anxious people. Stretching and relaxing muscles reduces stress and anxiety. Stretching, yoga, tai chi, and massage are good options.
Supplements can relax muscles. Lobelia and kava kava induce muscle relaxation and alleviate anxiety. Kava kava is excellent for long-term use. It can calm you, boost your mood, and focus your mind.
Calming the Mind
Get good at calming your thoughts. The mental "monkey chatter" of every single one of us is constantly running at full volume. Some people have trouble controlling their worrying, fear, anxiety, and fixation because of these kinds of persistent ideas. Praying and meditating as a means of training one's mind to be at peace is a valuable skill. To "step back" from these destructive thoughts and replace them with more constructive alternatives, counseling may be necessary.
One technique to quiet the mind is to focus more intently on sensory experiences. As you take long, deliberate breaths, open your senses to everything around you. Feel the texture of the objects around you. Stress and worry are both reduced when one comes to their "senses" in this way. It's also totally free!
These methods, together with standard preventative care, can aid in the healing of anxiety disorders. Seek out competent assistance if the issue persists or worsens.
Excessive fear can be a symptom of adrenal or kidney weakness. Excessive fear is one of the indications for the Chinese formula KB-C, which strengthens the kidney chi or energy. Supporting the adrenals with licorice root, Korean ginseng or Wild American ginseng may also be helpful. Essential oils may also be helpful in combatting excessive fears. Consider any of the following remedies.
Closely related to adrenal exhaustion, enervation occurs after long periods of stress where the nervous system becomes depleted. The person feels shaky, tired and “on edge.” They have a hard time holding their hands steady. The following remedies act as nerve tonics to replenish the nervous system. Epsom salt baths with the addition of some of the essential oils in this list can be very helpful.
Sleep (restless and disturbed)
When a person tosses and turns throughout the night, wakes up frequently or had disturbing dreams, this can be a sign of adrenal fatigue or nervous depletion. Also eliminate foods that cause respiratory congestion. It may also be necessary to avoid caffeine. v