Although the term “anxiety” gets used generically all too often, it is a specific mental illness that can produce severe symptoms. Those suffering from clinical anxiety may feel excessively nervous and agitated, as an episode begins to manifest. The condition is also marked by physical tension, which may cause the heart rate to speed up and can produce chest pain. While anxiety is often alleviated through the administering of prescription medications, these anxiety medications can lead to addiction, and there are more natural ways to alleviate the symptoms.
Research has already uncovered the vast mental health benefits that meditation produces, when practiced on a daily basis. Meditation creates a state of mindfulness that alleviates stress, helps the brain regulate mood, and relaxes the body. Even brief sessions of 10-15 minutes per day are enough to ease the symptoms of anxiety and better prepare the individual for their daily challenges.
While meditation isn’t something you can usually do on the go, carrying a journal around may be more convenient. Studies have found that writing out one’s thoughts and feelings, especially after an anxiety attack, can soothe the mind. Writing about the experience helps you put your feelings in perspective and, as you lose yourself in the process, your body relaxes.
There are a number of ways to enjoy aromatherapy, though scented candles are more common. You can also buy incense, or invest in an oil diffuser for heating essential oils. Specific scents, such as lavender, have been shown to relax the mind, promote better sleep, and reduce stress.
- Drinking Tea
The type of herbal tea you choose may not matter, since most blends do promote relaxation, ease tension, and calm the mind. In fact, some people claim that the smell of brewing tea is enough to relax them, even before they take that first sip.
- Get a Support Animal
If you’re single, or spend a great deal of time alone, you may be able to ease your anxiety symptoms by finding a pet for companionship. Several studies have found that grooming and caring for a pet helped people of all ages feel less tense and more at ease in uncomfortable situations.
- Lemon Balm
For centuries, lemon balm has been used as a sleep aid, because it reduces anxiety and stress. The reduced tension makes the individual better able to relax, allowing them to fall asleep faster. In a recent study, 600 mg of lemon balm extract made subjects feel calmer and increased their productivity levels.
In Germany, this natural sedative has been approved to treat nervousness and restlessness. Recent research has determined that it’s as effective as prescription medications in treating the symptoms of anxiety, though it lacks the adverse side effects. Since it is a sedative, it’s important to consult your doctor about combining it with other medications.
- Have a Healthy Snack
There are many things that can trigger an anxiety attack and they don’t all involve external factors. When you do begin experiencing an anxiety attack, try having a glass of water, or a healthy snack. Seeds, nuts, or fruits may help. This is because a drop in your blood sugar levels can trigger an emotional response. In many cases, anxiety is the result of hunger instead of stress.
- Increase Your Omega-3 Intake
This substance, which is commonly found in fish oil, is something of a natural wonder. It provides a host of health benefits, including improving heart health and alleviating the symptoms of depression. In a recent study, it was also linked to reduced anxiety. Looking at anxiety levels in college students, a test group was given 2.5 mg of omega-3 fatty acids each day over a 12-week period. A control group was administered a placebo. Those students taking the Omega-3 supplements experienced decreased anxiety, prior to taking an exam, while those taking the placebo exhibited no noticeable change.
This brief list offers just a few of the natural ways you can reduce the occurrence of anxiety attacks. Overall, living a healthier lifestyle and engaging in relaxing activities will alleviate the emotional tension that instigates many attacks. Prior to making any dietary or medication changes, be sure to consult your doctor. Even non-prescription supplements can adversely interact with other medications.