Self Development

Natural Cures for Anxiety

Natural Cures for Anxiety
Written by Mae Davies
The 2 Week Diet
A huge part of opting for natural cures for anxiety is the early detection of an anxiety or panic attack as this enables patients to prevent these attacks from worsening and from taking place. This is why the first area that patients should focus on is the symptoms of an attack. Here are some of the symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Palpitations

During a panic or anxiety attack, there is hyperactivity in the circulatory system, which is the body’s way of keeping up with the increased activity in the central nervous system. When this happens, there is an increase in the blood flow, which means that patients will experience palpitations, increased pulse rate, and louder heartbeats.

Increased respiration

Aside from palpitations, hyperventilation or increased respiration is the other symptom that is usually present in the early stages of an attack. This is why people who want to try natural cures for anxiety are often reminded to look for these two symptoms first. Hyperventilation is very easy to detect or diagnose. Patients will only need to sit or lie down and observe if their breathing has become louder, more erratic, and faster.

Dry mouth

Because of the fact that a panic or anxiety attack requires an increased blood supply in the brain, the body lessens the amount of blood that is being delivered in the other organs of the body, which includes the mouth. Hence, patients can start feeling thirsty and deprived of nutrition or fluids.

Stomach problems

One common symptom of a panic or anxiety attack is stomach problems such as diarrhea, gas, and cramps. This is because stomach problems are one of the most common causes of anxiety or panic attacks. Panic attacks are also said to cause stomach problems since it can cause a weaker immune system and a decrease in the production of certain hormones, which can regulate emotions and prevent panic attacks. This is why patients who are opting for more natural cures for anxiety are taught how to manage and prevent stomach problems through diet and lifestyle changes.

Sense of impending doom

This symptom is also used to determine the presence of other psychological concerns, such as depression and delusions as well as those who abuse certain substances like alcohol. Sense of impending doom refers to the feeling that something bad will happen in the near future. After the hyperventilation and the palpitations, this symptom can be expected of patients who are suffering from an attack. Considering that this symptom can cause the attack to escalate into a more life-threatening emergency, patients who opt for natural cures are taught many relaxation techniques that can help resolve this symptom, which can also be a cause.

By taking note of these symptoms, patients can determine the probability of experiencing a panic attack due to a trigger that can be anything from an event to an unforeseeable argument with a loved one. This is why knowing the symptoms of an attack is important for those who want to give natural cures for anxiety a try.

Benefits of Natural Cures for Anxiety

When it comes to choosing between anti-anxiety medications and natural cures for anxiety, patients should not only consider the efficiency of these treatments when it comes to suppressing the symptoms of this condition. They should also consider the benefits or advantages and disadvantages of both forms of therapy in order to make the right choice. Here are some of the benefits of natural cures for anxiety.

No side-effects

As with other types of medications, antipsychotics such as anti-anxiety medications have notable side-effects that can inhibit patients from carrying on with their daily lives normally. This is because many of these side-effects can cause fatigue and a hyperactive imagination, leading to delusions and drowsiness. These side-effects can also put the lives of patients in direct danger since their chances of losing their balance and running towards blunt or sharp objects are very high. Since opting for natural cures of anxiety often involves avoiding any type of medications, patients will not need to worry about these side-effects.

Appropriate for everybody

Unknown to many, there are a lot of people who cannot take anti-anxiety medications because of their current medical problems or health condition. These problems and conditions include pregnancy, substance dependence, and depression. Considering that many of these conditions can last for years without being diagnosed, taking anti-anxiety medications poses a risk even for unsuspecting patients. The opposite can be said about natural cures for anxiety since this type of treatment can be utilized by patients regardless of their current health concerns or problems. Age and gender is also not an issue, which means that children who are too young to take medications do not have to live with their anxiety until they are old enough to take antipsychotics.

Overdosing will not become a risk

According to several sources, taking inappropriate amounts of anti-anxiety medications is a growing risk in many countries. In the US, there has been an increase in the number of people who overdosed from benzodiazepines, which is a type of anti-anxiety medication. Several reports also say that British coroners attribute hundreds and thousands of unnatural deaths each year to antipsychotics such as anti-anxiety medications. By opting for natural cures for anxiety, overdosing will not become possible since patients will not be prescribed any medications that can become lethal when taken excessively.

It provides a long-term solution

One of the main reasons why anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to patients is because it has a sedative effect. To a person who is suffering from a panic attack or severe anxiety, this sedative effect can come in handy when it comes to controlling involuntary responses, such as muscle spasms or tremors and hyperventilation. However, these medications are only designed to suppress the symptoms of these problems. Taking these medications in the long run does not guarantee that the patient will not suffer from them again. On the other hand, natural cures for anxiety aim to solve the root cause of these problems and to determine the triggers of these involuntary responses. This enables these cures to prevent future attacks and relieve anxiety once and for all.

By taking a look at these advantages, it is easy to see that natural cures for anxiety can be more advisable than other modes of treatment. This is why it is best to consider this option when going to the doctor.

Cognitive Behavioral Techniques as Natural Cures for Anxiety

Cognitive behavioral techniques are one of the leading modes of therapy for patients who are suffering from several mood and psychological disorders. They provide a safer and more permanent treatment for people who are suffering from these problems. Despite being more popular for treating depression, these techniques are also regarded as effective natural cures for anxiety. This makes them ideal for patients with anxiety who cannot take antipsychotics due to their medical conditions or simply because of their preference for more natural cures for anxiety. Here are some of the basic premises of cognitive behavioral techniques for anxiety.

It is a step-by-step process

Patients who are introduced to this type of therapy go through a series of steps that help them achieve one objective at a time and, ultimately, cure anxiety altogether. To start things off, patients are introduced to a series of steps that aim to determine the causes or triggers of these anxiety or panic attacks. Determining these triggers ensures the efficiency of other natural cures for anxiety, such as taking supplements and doing the right exercise routines. The patients then go through a series of steps, which will teach them how to handle these triggers and avoid the attacks entirely.

It aims to change the way patients think and behave

For most patients, panic or anxiety attacks often happen when they are alone or when they are unsupervised by their physician. This is because they lack the ability to handle the triggers on their own or without the guidance of a professional. Cognitive behavioral techniques address this problem by teaching patients how they should see these triggers and their real worth. Are they really worth stressing about? Can they really bring forth effects or events that are worth panicking about? These are just some of the questions that will be answered when opting for this specific type of cure.

It aims to be patient-specific

Instead of just vaguely determining the instances when anxiety or panic attacks can happen, such as confrontations, experts on cognitive behavioral techniques focus on the exact triggers that can differ from each patient. Who do patients argue whenever they experience their attacks? What were they doing and in what physical condition were they in when these attacks occurred? Do they lack sleep or food in these attacks? Determining these specific triggers ensures that patients and professionals come up with a customized way of handling these triggers, which is the basic premise of most natural cures for anxiety.

It runs on limited time

Oftentimes, the reason why certain natural cures for anxiety do not work on certain patients is that they often slack off on taking their supplements or following the right diet and lifestyle because they are not in any type of time pressure. Patients who opt for cognitive behavioral techniques, on the other hand, explain to patients the importance of finishing the therapy within 14-16 weeks or more than 3 and a half weeks. This gives patients a clear goal that they can aspire to whenever they feel like slacking off.

Natural Cures for Anxiety: A Cure for All

One of the most common misconceptions about anti-anxiety medications is that they can be taken by anybody regardless of their medical condition or physical state. What they do not realize is that these medications are very powerful and are known to exacerbate problems that can be life-threatening. This is why there are times wherein choosing natural cures for anxiety is actually required. Here are some of the instances wherein anti-anxiety medications should never be used and should be replaced by a highly effective set of natural cures for anxiety.

Pregnancy

Anti-anxiety medications treat panic attacks by lowering metabolism and other bodily processes, thereby reducing excessive muscle movements and increased blood pressure during a panic attack. For pregnant women, this effect can decrease the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the unborn child receives while inside the uterus. This can cause several birth defects, which include cardiovascular diseases. The sedative effects of anti-anxiety medications can also bring the life of the mother and the unborn baby in danger since decreased breathing can be a problem. This is why anti-anxiety medications are strictly prohibited to pregnant women, and instead, they are often advised to seek safe and natural cures for anxiety.

Depression

According to many researchers, people who take anti-anxiety medications are at risk for developing depression and other mental problems regardless of their current mental health or state. This means that those who are already diagnosed with depression are at an even higher risk of suffering from the consequences or effects of this mental and emotional problem, which may include having suicidal tendencies. To avoid increasing the risk of more erratic or destructive behavior, depressive patients are often advised to opt for natural cures for anxiety.

Hypersensitivity

Aside from the mental and emotional side-effects, anti-anxiety medications are also known to cause skin irritations and other external problems which are triggered by sensitivity to the medication. This is why patients who are allergic to a lot of chemicals or allergens are advised to seek natural cures of anxiety instead. This ensures that they do not suffer from a more severe form of skin problems due to their hypersensitivity.

Alcohol dependence

Being a well-known depressant, alcohol has the ability to suppress normal bodily functions, which include breathing, blood flow, and muscle movement. When this depressive ability is combined with the depressive effect of anti-anxiety medications, it can produce a highly potent sedative that can even cause a cessation of breathing. When this happens, the patient can suffer from imminent death. This is why many experts suggest that alcoholic beverages should be totally eliminated from the diet of patients who are taking anti-anxiety and other antipsychotic medications and opt for natural cures for anxiety instead.

Sleeping problems

Considering that there are a lot of people who have undiagnosed hypersensitivity, depression, and alcohol dependence problems, opting for natural cures for anxiety is the best mode of therapy. This ensures that patients do not suffer from adverse reactions and side-effects, which can be worsened by their undiagnosed condition.

Natural Cures for Anxiety: Herbs

Despite being the most popular mode of treatment for anxiety, patients do not have to take anti-anxiety medications if they do not want to since there are other natural cures for anxiety, which makes use of herbs that can be as efficient as these antipsychotics. Here are some of the herbs that are normally given to patients who want to give natural cures for anxiety a try.cures for anxiety

Herbal Oils for Massages

Sesame – For many chefs, sesame oil is one of the best cooking oils that you can use in the kitchen since it can penetrate into meat and vegetables, making them tastier. This is why it is believed that using sesame as a massage oil is one of the most effective natural cures for anxiety since it can penetrate the layers of the skin, which increases its efficiency. It also helps the body excrete toxins, which can worsen or even cause anxiety attacks.

Sunflower – Many religions believe that sunflowers have positive effects on a person’s psyche because of its spiritual properties. Scientists and researchers also believe that this is very helpful for people who are suffering from anxiety since it can help with depression and other psychological conditions. It can also relieve muscle spasms, which are caused by anxiety attacks, while improving the mood of the patient by increasing serotonin levels.

Coconut – Of the options using massage oils, coconut oil is the least inexpensive one and is more accessible to many since it can be bought at local groceries and markets. According to many patients, using coconut as a massage oil has helped improve their overall mood and outlook.

Herbs as Tea

Green Tea – This is one of the most beneficial types of teas out on the market today because of its high antioxidant content. Aside from eliminating or lessening the physical signs of aging, this type of tea can also help organs perform at their optimum level by getting rid of toxins in the body. It is because of this improved organ function that green tea is regarded as a very important drink when it comes to natural cures for anxiety.

Chamomile Tea – Being one of the most relaxing herbs on the market alongside Valerian Root and St. John’s Wort, chamomile is highly recommended for patients who always suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. It has the ability to prevent future attacks and calm down patients who are already suffering from one because of its sedative effects, which counteract the hyperactivity effects of anxiety.

These herbs can also be used as spices in several recipes, which is an excellent option, or by patients who want to make the shift from antipsychotics to natural cures for anxiety and are not much of a tea-drinker or are not into massages. This will make it easier for patients to make the necessary diet and lifestyle changes without sacrificing much of their routine or preferences, which can ironically be a trigger for a panic or anxiety attack.

Natural Cures for Anxiety: How Effective Are They?

For many, natural cures for anxiety are not viable modes of treatment for people who are suffering from this condition because of the relatively lower number of clinical tests that prove their efficiency in comparison to the number of clinical tests that prove the efficiency of anti-anxiety medications. However, what they do not seem to realize is that this lower figure does not mean that natural cures for anxiety are less effective than anti-anxiety medications. Here are some of the scientific principles or reasons for why these natural modes of treatment can be just as effective as anti-anxiety medications.

Natural cures for anxiety help patients recognize the problem

When it comes to opting for a more natural mode of therapy for anxiety, the first thing that patients are briefed on is recognizing that having anxiety or panic attacks is an actual healthcare problem that is caused by a deviation in normal brain processes. Patients who opt for natural cures for anxiety are taught that there is a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for sending messages to the brain that there is a cause to be anxious or to panic. During a panic attack or a bout of anxiety, the amygdala sends too many signals to the brain, which causes the hyperactivity of normal bodily functions, such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Natural cures for anxiety help patients find a customized cure

There are a lot of events or triggers that can cause the amygdala to send panic signals to the brain. When opting for natural cures, these events or triggers are identified. This enables patients to help find a mode of treatment that works best for these triggers. If these triggers are rooted in the inability of the person to relax or keep calm, calming techniques will be taught. If these triggers are chemically-induced, natural cures will be focused on avoiding these chemicals, which can be found in food or other medications.

Natural cures for anxiety are safe and regulated

One of the reasons why this mode of treatment is safe is because physicians who are involved in the care of patients who opt for this treatment closely monitor their patients. This enables them to identify any positive or negative effects that can help evaluate the efficiency of the program and determine the numerous ways that it can be improved. Hence, these natural cures can help eliminate the problem permanently.

People should realize that clinical tests usually run for more or less than a decade in order to be able to declare conclusive results. Considering that most, if not all, natural cures for anxiety are relatively new, the lack of scientific literature on its efficiency should not be interpreted as a guarantee that they are less effective than antipsychotics. The scientific principles listed above show that they can be just as efficient, if not more efficient, than the most popular anti-anxiety medications. This is why natural cures for anxiety should still be considered a very practical option when it comes to treating anxiety and other problems.

Natural Cures for Anxiety: Most Recommended Supplements

Because of the fact that anti-anxiety medications often cause side-effects that can be extremely uncomfortable and even life-threatening, patients who are diagnosed with anxiety are often on the lookout for supplements and food that they can take in lieu of these medications. These natural cures for anxiety do not cause any untoward effects as long as they are consumed properly. This is why natural cures for anxiety are more recommended for people who are extra sensitive to medications and certain chemicals. Here are some of the most recommended supplements for anxiety.

Supplements

Gamma-amino butyric Acid – Otherwise known as GABA, gamma-amino butyric acid has the ability to control the nerves, which can send signals to the brain that it needs to go on panic mode and cause panic or anxiety attacks. Despite being produced in the body, it is still necessary for patients to take GABA supplements, especially if they are under stress on a regular basis. This is because prolonged exposure to stress can lessen the production of GABA. This decrease in production can cause several psychological problems, such as manic behavior and recklessness, which can cause panic or anxiety attacks.

Magnesium – According to research, a low level of magnesium in the body can increase the likelihood of the development of many psychological diseases, such as anxiety. This is the reason why there are a lot of experts who believe that taking magnesium supplements is one of the most potent natural cures for anxiety. Considering that magnesium is becoming less abundant in many food groups because of the certain processes that these foods go through, magnesium supplements are more ideal than relying on food alone.

Omega 3 – Several studies suggest that this supplement can reduce the effects or symptoms of anxiety by 20%, which means that it can prevent panic or anxiety attacks. Because of its ability to maintain the vitality of organs, it can help ensure that the body does not take a lot of damage from these attacks. To ensure that patients receive or ingest the other supplements that complement Omega 3, such as Coenzyme Q10, it is better to take supplements that contain all of these compounds.

Melatonin – This supplement can greatly help patients who are suffering from insomnia, which can either be a cause or an effect of anxiety. This is because it has a sedative effect that can make it easier for patients to fall asleep. Other studies also indicate that it can create a balance among the hormones and other body parts, which can cause panic or anxiety attacks, enabling it to prevent and even treat anxiety in the long run.

When taking any type of supplement, patients should always consult their doctor before drinking any type. This ensures that the supplements that they ingest do not trigger or aggravate their other medical problems, may it be psychological or physiological. It also ensures that they ingest the right amount on a regular basis, which will allow them to reap the full benefits of these supplements without any untoward effects.

Natural Cures for Anxiety: The Digestive Solution

Because of the fact that the digestive system and the nervous system have very different functions and are anatomically far from each other, there are a lot of people who fail to see the connection between anxiety and digestive problems. This is why many patients focus on cognitive behavior and emotions when opting for natural cures for anxiety. What they do not realize is that solving digestive problems is actually regarded as one of the natural cures for anxiety.

What does literature say?

According to many studies, most people who suffer from anxiety issues also suffer from many digestive problems, such as gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even heartburn. This is why there are a lot of researchers who believe that relieving digestive problems is one of the most effective natural cures for anxiety. However, further studies should be conducted in order to undoubtedly prove this theory.

What does science say?

During anxiety or panic attacks, the amygdala hyperactively sends messages to the brain that it needs to worry about something. This message overload causes the brain and other organs to need more oxygen and nutrients in order to keep up with the hyperactivity. To ensure that these organs receive ample amounts of blood, the body automatically decreases the blood flow in the other systems of the body, including the digestive system. This causes the disarray in the normal digestion process, which in turn causes many digestive problems, which can include diarrhea, constipation and bloating, or gas problems.

Another reason why digestion plays an important part in the efficiency of natural cures for anxiety is the fact that anxiety can cause either a rise or drop in the serotonin level. Considering that serotonin is also responsible for regulating the digestive processes aside from regulating emotions, this sudden change can cause digestive disturbances. Anxiety also weakens the immune system and increases the production of digestive acids in the stomach, which is why bloating and hyperacidity can also be a concern.

This process can go either way as well since digestive problems can also cause anxiety as certain digestive problems, specifically irritable bowel syndrome and cramping. These problems are even regarded as one of the telltale symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks. They can also cause other problems that are related to anxiety, such as chest pains. This is why it only makes sense that certain natural cures for anxiety will include natural ways to relieve stomach problems.

What are the natural cures for anxiety that focus on digestion?

One of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve stomach problems related to anxiety is to make diet and lifestyle modifications. Patients should eat foods that are relatively easier to digest. This means saying no to complex carbohydrates. They should also avoid foods that are notorious for causing constipation, diarrhea, and other stomach problems. For the lifestyle changes, patients should consider jogging or running, as these exercise routines have been proven to normalize the serotonin levels in the body and improve digestion naturally. Sleeping properly and adequately can strengthen the immune system, which generally prevents anxiety and other stomach problems related to abnormal bacterial growth.

Natural Cures for Anxiety through Meditation

Meditation is one of the most popular natural cures for anxiety since it can be done anywhere and without needing to buy expensive equipment or ingest herbs that patients have never ingested before. Hence, they are more comfortable and practical for many. This is why knowing the processes that are involved in curing anxiety through meditation is important. Here are some of the exercises or steps that are involved in opting for natural cures for anxiety through meditation.

Deep-breathing exercises

Despite being rudimentary, deep-breathing exercises are important when it comes to opting for natural cures for anxiety since it can slow down the body’s processes to a normal rate and ultimately help the patient relax. The efficiency of these exercises is best showcased in the fact that they also play a fundamental part in many exercise and meditation routines. These exercises are also known to have the ability to strengthen the lungs as well as the muscles that are used to inhale and exhale, making them the most ideal exercise routines for people with weaker lungs, such as those who have bronchial asthma. This is done by taking a long, deep breath. Patients are normally instructed to inhale through their nose and exhale through a pursed lip, ensuring that the time it takes for them to exhale is longer than the time it takes for them to inhale. This allows proper lung expansion, which is very relaxing and healthy.

Aromatherapy

Another effective relaxation technique, which is tackled in meditation, is aromatherapy. When it comes to using aromatherapy, patients are often asked to stay in an environment that is infused with a relaxing scent. Certain studies suggest that aromatherapy is one of the most effective mediation techniques since the oils and scents that are used in this treatment have the ability to increase chemicals in the brain, which is responsible for harboring happy or positive thoughts. Considering that certain brands of candles, potpourri, and incense sticks are very inexpensive, aromatherapy is an excellent option for patients who have a limited financial capacity.

Reflection

One of the biggest contributors of sudden anxiety or panic attacks is the inability of patients to identify the triggers of this condition. Through reflection, which is a crucial part of meditation, patients can calmly reflect on their past attacks and determine what went wrong. From this point on, they will become more conscious of what is happening to their bodies whenever a panic attack is imminent. This will enable them to use deeper forms of mediation, relaxation techniques, and other forms of natural cures for anxiety to prevent the escalation of their current emotions. When taking this step, patients are advised to keep a diary and to read the last entry every single morning. Patients can also be asked to jot down the things or events that trigger strong emotions within them, which can include anger, impatience, and sadness.

When using natural cures for anxiety, especially mediation, patients should always inform their physician of their preferred treatment so that they can be properly monitored. This prevents highly-disruptive anxiety or panic attacks from causing involuntary body processes that can endanger the lives of patients.

About the author

Mae Davies

BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.