If you’re suffering from anxiety but want to avoid mainstream pharmaceutical treatments that could have long-lasting negative effects on your health, this article will take you through many different natural remedies for anxiety. Using one or any combination of these low impact but effective solutions for the debilitating symptoms and causes of anxiety will help you live a happy, productive life and reach your personal and professional goals.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, trepidation, stress, or heightened readiness for things to go wrong. It’s normal to have these feelings sometimes, in response to a stressful situation like sitting an exam or an important business meeting. It becomes a problem that needs treatment when you’re having these feelings very frequently, and they’re having a negative impact on your ability to live your life. Home remedies are a good approach for helping you break out of this stressful cycle.
How Common Is Anxiety?
One of many mood disorders that effect the global population, anxiety is very common and can have a really negative effect on your life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, this type of disorders are one of the most common mental illness in the Unites States alone, affecting over 40 million adults in America above the age of 18 and older, an equivalent to 18 percent of the population.
Despite how common it is, anxiety isn’t always considered to be serious or worthy of attention, and often goes untreated, either by home remedies or by prescription medications. Research done by acredited organization adaa.org found that this disorder can be treatable with a high chance of success, yet only about 33 percent of patients receive treatment for this disorder.
Types of Anxiety
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD symptoms include feeling constantly worried or fearful, when there isn’t much to cause these feelings.
- Social anxiety
Also called social anxiety disorder or social phobia, this is feeling worried or fearful about being around people, especially those you don’t know well or at all.
- Separation anxiety
Fear of being left alone or being left by someone specific like a family member or partner.
- Performance anxiety
Fear on not living up to the expectations of yourself or others, especially in pressurized situations.
These are a fear of something specific, and are severe enough to stop you from living your life functionally.
- Panic disorder
This is characterised by often sudden and overwhelming feelings of panic, helplessness, and extreme fear, as well as the other symptoms of panic attack.
The Symptoms Of Anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety cover a wide range, and you don’t need to be experiencing all of these to have a diagnosis of anxiety.
- Frequent, persistent, or irrational feelings of fear or dread
- Feelings of panic
- Increased heart rate and fast breathing
- Sweaty palms or overall perspiration
- Dry mouth
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Feeling sick
- Being twitchy or unable to sit still and calmly
- Muscle tension or spasms
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling dizzy
- Panic attacks, which can combine all of the above symptoms in a frightening and intense level of fear and panic that may lead to eventual unconsciousness.
Should You Take Anti-Anxiety Medication?
Before you accept a prescription for an anxiety medication, you should explore the consequences and side-effects, as some of these can be severe, and some of the chemicals included are very addictive. One well recognised study found that 25% of people who are prescribed powerful, and possibly addictive, anti-anxiety medication, didn’t have a proper diagnosis.
If you’re wondering how to stop panic attacks, how to help anxiety, and want to find a long-lasting solution to your symptoms, considering some effective home remedies is a good way to get relief without upsetting the natural equilibrium of your body.
How To Treat Anxiety With Home Remedies
If you don’t know how to cope with anxiety without pharmaceutical medications, here are a wide range of natural remedies to try to give you some help with overcoming the problem. You can also effectively treat anxiety in children with these gentle natural remedies for anxiety. Like prescription medications, not all home remedies for anxiety work for everybody, and they all take time to have an effect, so be patient and stick to doing or taking them regularly, and you’ll see a difference in time.
Also called mindfulness meditation, this can help will all types of anxiety, even the most severe anxiety attack symptoms. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the current moment without judgement. It means accepting your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and approaching each moment with a sense of calm and balance.
You can achieve this equilibrium, even as you are starting to experience panic attack symptoms, by focusing on your breathing and ‘grounding’ yourself in your physical experience of a particular moment in time.
This one of many studies found that practiced regularly, mindfulness had good results in decreasing the symptoms of diagnosed anxiety disorders, even over a long period of time. There are many resources online for getting stated with mindfulness practice, including this one, and this one.
You can take this natural and non-intrusive herbal remedy in several forms, including drinking it as a tea or taking it as an extract. Scientific studies have shown it to be an effective but gentle way of treating anxiety with none of the side effects of pharmaceutical approaches, making it one of the most common natural remedies for anxiety.
Try drinking a cup of organic, high quality organic tea one to three times a day to begin with, to register its effect on your mood. It can often work well in combination with more psychological approaches, like mindfulness or visualization.
Visualization harnesses the power of the mind to allow you to control the distressing symptoms of anxiety and direct your attention elsewhere. Often one element of meditative practice or mindfulness, it deserves separate mention because it’s so effective and can feel very manageable in times of distress.
Start by practicing when you’re not strongly experiencing the disorder symptoms, as you need to create a habit without feelings of fear inhibiting you. Making sure you’re physically comfortable, think of a place that makes you feel secure, happy, and relaxed. Closing your eyes, imagine this place in detail, from the sights and smells through to the textures and sensations you would feel, breathing deeply throughout.
Another visualization technique is to sit or lie quietly and breathe regularly and deeply. Then, keeping your mind as relaxed as possible, allow each of your fears and worries to drift into your mind. When they do, imagine them floating away from you like a balloon rising into a clear sky. Both of these natural remedies for anxiety can be practiced in calm situations, but after a while, you’ll be able to use them when your anxiety symptoms are starting to emerge, and will be able to calm yourself down.
One of many herbs for anxiety, valerian is quite a strong sedative and is particularly useful if your anxiety manifests itself when you’re lying in bed at night, with a head full of worries and unable to sleep.
You can consume it as a tea, but its smell can be strong so it’s usually combined with other elements like chamomile and flavourings in this form. The most effective way of taking valerian is as an herbal supplement. Take it before bed if you have trouble sleeping, or before a triggering event if you suffer from separation, social, or specific phobias.
Because of its potency, you should never take valerian if you’re already being prescribed any other medication, when you need to be alert, or if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery.
Exercise can be used to treat many mood disorders, including both depression and anxiety. Many studies have found that the effect of regular exercise on this disorder is overwhelmingly positive, making this one of the most successful anxiety cures out there.
Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, which can be a situation fraught with triggering situations for many anxiety sufferers. Consider a brisk walk in the country or through the streets, or a home workout with the help of a YouTube video. The rush of positive hormones you get from exercising should help establish a positive reinforcement cycle that means that the more you do it, the more you want to do it. Just being in nature has shown to have positive effects too, so get away from the manic hustle and bustle of city life regularly if you can.
A balanced diet with regular meals throughout the day, including a breakfast with protein, can help you avoid the symptoms. Many of the substances we ingest, like the sugars and chemicals in processed foods, can send our metabolisms and hormones reeling on a roller-coaster ride that affects our mood.
Choose a wide range of vegetables and fruits, with plenty of fibre and protein, as well as slow burning carbohydrates and plenty of good fats. Supplementing with omega three has had good effects on brain function and can help ease the symptoms of anxiety in the long term, and avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol will also help.
Other herbal remedies
Aside from the more common and well-documented ones mentioned above, there are many herbal remedies around, all of which have been proven to work to a lesser or greater degree. These include hops, kava, passionflower, and lemon balm. Lavender oil and extract also have a calming effect, either inhaled on a tissue, placed in a diffuser, or taken as a pill.
If you’re not sure how to relieve the feeling of worry, you can obtain a combination of all these natural remedies for anxiety in calming teas or essential oil mixtures that give you a calming treatment that’s both safe and natural – but make sure not to take them alongside prescription medications.
A Holistic Approach
If you’re suffering from any form of anxiety, remember that there is hope. People overcome debilitating and severe anxiety symptoms to live happy and fulfilled lives every single day. Try some different ideas from this list to give yourself the best chance of overcoming your own problems. Stay strong and persevere – eventually you’ll see results and will be able to start living the life you deserve.