Home Remedies for Anxiety
What Is Anxiety?
When you are anxious about something, your body is providing a natural defense mechanism that allows you to react to the situation. Anxiety is a way of telling you to be on the alert for things that might threaten you, such as taking that dreadful final exam that you are sure you are going to fail, or driving in a snowstorm. It can also be triggered by something simple, such as trying to decide what to buy at the store or an unreasonable fear such as driving over a drawbridge.
This world is a stressful place to live in, and can even be a dangerous place to live in. If you are in an unsafe position, anxiety is a healthy, bodily response. It tells your brain to release adrenaline so you can react appropriately.
What Happens When You Let Anxiety Rule Your Life
Anxiety is a normal part of everyday life, however, there are times when we let it rule our lives. Some of us may be so filled with anxiety that we are afraid to leave our homes. Some of the signs that we are letting anxiety control our lives include:
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Shortness of Breath
- Rapid Breathing
- Rapid Heartbeat
When you are under high levels of anxiety, even when there is no reason to be anxious, you can get a whole range of health problems. These include:
- Lack of Concentration
- Loss of Appetite
- Lack of Motivation
- Stomach Issues
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Increased Depression
If you believe that your anxiety is getting out of control, you are not alone. Many people are in this situation. There are things you can do so you can put anxiety on a leash.
Combat Anxiety With Exercise
Take up an activity that will keep you active. If you start noticing the signs of anxiety, doing activities such as exercising, cleaning your house or cooking, will help keep your mind focused. Even reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle will do wonders.
Taking an aerobics class is an excellent way to combat anxiety. This type of exercise not only burns lactic acid and improves the amount of oxygen in your body, but also produces endorphins which are the feel-good hormones. If you feel like you have shortness of breath or are breathing rapidly, take deep, slow breaths to calm down.
Avoid drinks such as coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine. These will only make you become more anxious. Also, avoid smoking cigarettes. While some people claim that smoking calms them down, it will do nothing for anxiety and only give you an excuse to reach for another cigarette.
Excellent Relaxation Techniques
Today, many of us live in a hectic and high strung world. You might have might have one appointment or another with doctors and dentists. You might have a full-time job and have to work more than the standard forty hour work week. You might be married and have children and have to balance your life between work, cleaning your house, and attending meetings with your children's teachers. You might even have to attend different activities your children are involved in.
In our society, many of us are living in a stressful environment. With everything going on around you, you need to take a time out to relax. Practicing several relaxation techniques will help you keep your stress levels lower. They will also help relieve muscle aches, prevent you from getting headaches and keep your blood pressure down. If your hectic lifestyle prevents you from getting a restful sleep or you feel fatigues during the day, these relaxation techniques will come in handy.
The first thing you have to do is find a place in your house that is quiet. Pick out a quiet place in the house that is free from distractions. Some ideas are a small section in the attic, your bedroom or a bathtub with warm water. The key is to be comfortable while you are trying to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. Make sure that your children and husband will not disturb you. Turn off the television and set your answering machine to handle calls.
One relaxation technique is visualization. When you have thoughts and worries running through your mind it is hard to relax. Close your eyes, and focus on an image that you find peaceful and relaxing. It might be an image in nature such as a deer drinking from a lake and a waterfall in the background. It might be waves from the ocean hitting the shores of a beach. It might be an image of one of your children receiving a reward for an accomplishment. The key to this technique is comfort. Whether you are sitting on the floor in the lotus position, sitting in a comfortable chair, reclining in a bath or lying in bed, your body has to be relaxed so your muscles are not tense.
As you focus on your image, focus on your breathing as well. As you inhale, take deep breaths through your nostrils. When you feel your chest expand and fill with air, pause for three seconds before you exhale. Exhale slowly through the mouth and pause for three seconds before inhaling again. Concentrating on your breathing helps you relax.
While some people need total quiet to relax, others may need auditory stimulation. While the television is a major distraction while trying to relax, there are many other auditory techniques that will help you. If you own a Kindle, I-Pad or smartphone, there are many apps which you can download meditation music. There are even ones that help with certain stressful areas of your life. For example, if you are trying to lose weight or quit smoking, there are hypnotic programs where you can focus on subliminal messages.
By concentrating on the music or message, when you are comfortable and focusing on your breathing, worries of the day will be behind you. These are just three techniques that will help you relax. However, there is much more out there. Do your research to see which one works out best for you.
Aromatherapy works wonders when it comes to anxiety. Many essential oils contain calming and relaxing properties. For an excellent relaxing blend, place two drops of each in an oil burner:
- Ylang Ylang
Breathing in the aroma will put your mind at ease.
When you are performing the above techniques, do not concentrate on whether the method is working. It may cause you to think about what is causing you to be anxious. Wherever you decide to try these methods, make sure that you are comfortable. If you are sitting in an awkward position, your muscles may be tense. The best positions are either lying down or reclining back in a chair. For these methods to work properly, it is important that all the muscles in your body be relaxed, especially in the neck and face.
Excellent Anxiety Fighting Herbs and Plants
There are prescriptions that can curb your anxiety. However, there are many side effects. The good news is there are many supplements and herbs that you can purchase at your local pharmacy, grocery or health food store. Multivitamins that contain calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex play a role in reducing anxiety. The following herbs contain calming and relaxing properties:
- Borage Juice is also a blood purifier and stimulates the glandular system
- Bugleweed is excellent for the nervous system
- Fennel relieves issues in the stomach related to anxiety including flatulence
- Feverfew reduces headaches and migraines caused by anxiety
- Ginkgo Biloba is a known mood elevator
- Kava Kava is excellent for insomnia as well
- Lemon Balm helps you relax
- Meadowsweet reduces headaches and migraines caused by anxiety
- Mullein calms the nerves
- Passionflower relieves nervous tension
- Peppermint calms the nerves
- St John’s Wort is excellent for stress and depression
- Skullcap helps prevent panic attacks
- Valerian also prevents panic attacks
While are these herbs are safe to take, talk to your doctor. There is always the possibility of certain herbs interacting with medications and supplements that you may be already taking. Before you start using any of the above herbs to treat your anxiety, make sure you know the recommended dosage.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2017 Lois Ryan