Natural Anxiety Solutions – Self Help and Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Panic Disorder
If you are looking for anxiety solutions, you will be much better off in the long run if you use a natural treatment for anxiety rather than turning to medication for a “quick fix”. Yes, today’s prescription drugs can quickly ease the symptoms for someone suffering from anxiety or panic attacks, but there are risks. Side effects can make using anxiety medications very unpleasant, and coming off these medications can be a very long, agonizing process if you experience withdrawal symptoms. Look for treatments and therapies that address the causes of your anxiety, not just the symptoms. This article lists 10 of the best natural anxiety solutions that will help you eliminate anxiety and panic disorder for good.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #1 – Healthy Lifestyle
One of the most basic anxiety self help measures you can take is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This provides the foundation for wellbeing in all aspects of your life, not just for treating anxiety.
A healthy, anti-anxiety diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as good quality protein. Protein in our diet provides amino acids, which help optimize levels of important neurotransmitters in the brain. You should also include healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil. A very important natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder is to eliminate caffeine from your diet, because caffeine (from coffee or chocolate) over stimulates the adrenal glands, which causes stress. Also try to cut down on sugar and processed foods.
Getting plenty of exercise is another important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise has a calming effect on the mind as it helps to release the “feel good” hormones in the brain. It also promotes overall health and wellbeing and reduces stress. If you are new to exercise you can start simply by taking a short walk everyday, or take up yoga or tai chi, which is gentle on the body and very relaxing. You could also visit a gym or take up a sport like tennis, which not only provides a good workout, but is also a fun and social game. Make a commitment to regular exercise as part of your natural treatment for anxiety and you will soon find your anxiety and stress levels diminishing.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #2 – Self-Monitoring
Self-monitoring is an effective natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder because it helps you to find the root causes of your anxiety and your panic triggers. This method involves tuning in to your thought and behavior patterns to discover what situations or thoughts are causing stress and anxiety.
A good idea when using this method is to keep a diary and note down the times when you feel most anxious. Note any circumstances surrounding these anxious moments; what did you eat beforehand, where were you, what were you doing. Also note down the physical symptoms you experienced.
Once you identify what is triggering your anxiety and panic attacks you can begin to either avoid these situations or learn how to deal with them. Self-monitoring for anxiety helps you develop an insight into your problem that is an essential first step in your recovery from anxiety and panic attacks.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #3 – Relaxation Techniques
One of the simplest, yet most effective natural anxiety solutions is to learn relaxation techniques. These techniques help to reduce the stress that contributes to anxiety and panic attacks.
Practising deep breathing exercises is one common natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder. Many people don’t realise the powerful influence deep breathing can have on our health and wellbeing. Those who are prone to anxiety and stress tend to breathe too shallow and only into the upper chest region. Shallow breathing results in not getting enough oxygen into our bloodstream and not eliminating enough carbon dioxide. This results in decreased vitality, a build up of toxins in the body and reduced functioning of our immune system. Learning to breathe more deeply and slowly is, therefore, vitally important to our health.
There are numerous breathing exercises available, but you might like to try Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) exercise:
You can do this in any position, but it’s best to sit with your back straight while learning the technique. Hold the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth for the entire exercise.
• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
• Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
• Hold your breath for a count of seven.
• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
• This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
This breathing exercise naturally calms the nervous system, and becomes more effective the more often you practise it. Do it at least twice a day or whenever you feel anxious or stressed.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #4 – Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Effective natural remedies for anxiety include herbal, homeopathic and Ayurvedic remedies. Some of the best herbal supplements for anxiety include valerian, passionflower, lemon balm and skullcap, which have a calming effect on the brain. Click here for more detailed information on the best herbal supplements for anxiety.
Commonly used homeopathic remedies for anxiety include Kali phosphoricum, Arsenicum album and Ferrum phosphoricum. These remedies can help bring your body and mind back into balance.
One of the most promising Ayurvedic remedies for anxiety is tulsi (or holy basil). Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that increases the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional and environmental stress. Tulsi is known to lower levels of cortisol, one of the body’s stress hormones, so it has a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system. A clinical trial in India showed that tulsi relieved the symptoms of general anxiety disorder, stress and depression. One of the easiest and most pleasant ways to take tulsi is by using tulsi tea.
Some of the best natural remedies for anxiety use a combination of herbs, homeopathic remedies and nutritional supplements. Click here for recommended natural remedies for anxiety.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #5 – Nutritional Supplements for Anxiety
Natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder can also come in the form of nutritional supplements. Some nutrients and vitamins are especially beneficial for those experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. These include omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system; certain amino acids such as L-theanine, GABA and L-tryptophan, which maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitters in the brain; minerals like magnesium and calcium which have a natural calming effect; and vitamins B and C, which help the body deal with stress. Click here for more detailed information on the best nutritional supplements for anxiety.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #6 – Meditation
Meditation is another effective natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder. Meditation is scientifically proven to elicit a “relaxation response” by lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the level of stress hormones in the body, slowing the breathing rate, and increasing the intensity of alpha waves in the brain, which produce a calm and relaxed yet alert state.
Meditation helps anxiety sufferers by teaching them to remain focused on the present, and to let go of any negative thoughts, memories or emotions that surface. Regular meditation also develops a higher level of self-awareness and can produce a clarity of mind that helps you to find solutions to problems.
There are various forms of meditation you can learn; the two most common are concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Concentrative meditation involves focusing on one thing – this could be your own breath, or a mantra (a short phrase repeated over and over) or an image or object. During this kind of practice, if you notice your mind wandering to other thoughts or images, you gently lead your mind back to the intended object of focus. By doing this you will soon learn not to pay attention to any disturbing thoughts that enter your mind.
Mindfulness meditation involves becoming aware of the thoughts, feelings and sensations you experience, but you learn not to react to those thoughts and feelings.
If you find it difficult learning to meditate you might like to try using a guided meditation CD, which will help you to focus your mind and quickly enter a relaxed state.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #7 – Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is another widely used natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder. Hypnotherapy works by retraining our subconscious mind to respond in a more positive way to situations that normally make us anxious.
A hypnotherapist will help you to confront your fears and anxieties while in a deeply relaxed state, which helps to train the mind to feel calm during stressful situations. A hypnotherapist can also implant positive thoughts into your subconscious mind that allow you to feel more confident about yourself. You will also learn relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques that you can use anywhere at any time to reduce tension and help you feel calmer and more in control.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #8 – Massage Therapy and BodyWork
There are a number of massage and bodywork therapies that help to relieve stress and anxiety by reducing tension in the body and promoting a calm mind. Massage therapy is a wonderful natural treatment for anxiety. It helps to remove the build up of toxins in the body and decreases the level of stress hormones such as cortisol, while increasing the level of natural mood elevating hormones called endorphins. Massage also relieves chronic muscle tension caused by anxiety, and its soothing and relaxing effects can promote emotional healing. Massage and bodywork therapies that are helpful for anxiety include acupuncture, acupressure, dance therapy, shiatsu and zero balancing.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #9 – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective natural anxiety solutions. This type of therapy helps to create positive changes in the way you think about and react to situations that normally trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
CBT helps you to understand that it is your own thoughts, rather than the things that happen to you, that are the cause of the anxiety symptoms you experience. A therapist trained in CBT will help you to analyze the anxious thoughts you have, and to question the accuracy and rationality of those thoughts. You will then be shown how to replace your negative and irrational thoughts with ones that are more realistic and accurate.
Natural Anxiety Solutions #10 – Anxiety Self Help Programs
If you are looking for a natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder and don’t want the inconvenience and expense of visiting a therapist or taking anxiety supplements, you will find a large number of anxiety self help programs available online. The best of these are highly respected programs endorsed by health professionals, many of whom use these methods in their own practices. Most of these programs use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and other natural techniques for eliminating anxiety completely. When choosing an anxiety self help program be sure there are plenty of positive customer testimonials, as these are a good indication of the success of the program. The best anxiety programs provide ongoing personal support, which is just as helpful as visiting a therapist, but without the expense.
These 10 natural anxiety solutions provide plenty of ways for you to treat your anxiety without resorting to potentially harmful medication. Start with healthy lifestyle changes as a basis for general health and wellbeing, then try experimenting with various remedies, therapies and self help techniques. I’m sure you will find a natural treatment for anxiety and panic disorder that’s the right solution for you.
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