• Institute of Natural Medicine

Anxiety – Natural Remedies

Everyone at some point has experienced some amount of anxiety in their life.

But, anxiety and the pressures of stress can impact individuals more than they are aware. With anxiety disorders fast becoming the most widespread mental illness today, we reveal what may be some of the causes of anxiety while presenting alternatives to overcome it naturally.

What is Anxiety?

When humans experience some stress, the body's adrenal system kicks in, releasing hormones that provide the body with what it needs to survive what it deems a threat. The release of this stress hormone cortisol creates a sensation that most describe as unease, fear or panic.

It is natural to feel anxious about new experiences like giving a speech or getting a new job. This feeling is normal and temporary. While anxiety is unpleasant, it can motivate you to achieve better or do better.

Anxiety only becomes a serious problem if the feeling becomes persistent and lasts for extended periods. Unfortunately, in anxiety disorders, those heart-racing, sweat-inducing sensations can be constant and have the potential to develop into a debilitating mental health issue if left untreated.

In extreme cases, stress and anxiety can deter people from carrying out simple daily tasks. So what can we do to stop it before it starts?

5 Natural Remedies for Anxiety

There are many over the counter and stronger pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat anxiety, stress, and panic disorders. While it is hard to place them all under one category, they come with side effects, some more pronounced than others. Unfortunately, some of these side effects can be incredibly pervasive. Many who begin taking prescription anxiolytics or antidepressants prefer to suffer from the symptoms of their mental health problems than to deal with the extreme pharmaceutical side effects. Side effects may include hypertension, nausea, headaches, and dizziness, and so much more.

However, these side effects aren't the main reason for thinking about switching to natural remedies. Instead, it's the risk of physiological and psychological dependence that these drugs tend to produce that we are only now recognizing as far more worrying than before. These dependencies occur due to the understanding that instead of targeting the root of the problem, pharmaceutical drugs instead cover and hide the cause of the issue, creating further dependence on outside intervention. Over time this can mean that trying to overcome anxiety without medical intervention becomes far more significant a problem than it ever was before.

Natural remedies are safe to use and are not known to have debilitating side effects, making them an increasingly popular option to the conventional prescription drugs that often involve dire health risks. So, here is a list of 5 natural remedies for anxiety relief.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is the optimal way to burn off anxious energy and lead a healthy life. If your body feels good, so will your mind, which is also reflected in your body's physiological response to physical activity. For example, when your body undergoes a length of physical activity, the body releases chemicals called endorphins that aid in pain reduction, improves sleep, along with a host of other positive mental responses. Some other studies have focused on conditional anxiety, such as the positive effects exercise was found to have on smoking cessation. So it would seem, improving your physical health is essential to sustaining a balanced and anxiety-free life.

  1. Meditation

Even though meditation hasn't become exactly mainstream, many people practice it in the hopes of eradicating stress and stress-related problems. Mindfulness meditation has become more common in recent years, and scientific research supports it. The practice is ancient and involves sitting comfortably, breathing consciously, and focusing on the present without drifting into past or future concerns. Meditating is an exercise just like jogging or swimming and can take some time to get the hang of. To find what works best for you, why not try searching for guided meditation videos on YouTube which can be astonishingly helpful for those just trying it for the first time.

  1. Aromatherapy

While many people turn to prescription drugs to deal with stress and anxiety, it is worth looking into natural options first. Essential oils are used for their mood-changing qualities, being primarily utilized for their calming qualities, which are increased further when paired with other natural stress-relief techniques. Healthy kidneys clean blood and remove excess fluid in the form of urine. When kidneys fail to do so, there are two main treatments, either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is when the blood is pumped out of the body into an artificial kidney/filter and then pumped back into the body.

This type of therapy is easy to apply and has quick results. For example, a single whiff of concentrated essential oil may instantly trigger a response from the body, allowing it to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which induce a feel-good mind and body state.

  1. CBD Oil

Research that supports the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) is well documented. CBD is a natural molecule that can be extracted from cannabis plants. CBD is known for its applications in both ancient and modern medicine and its non-intoxicating qualities, which, unlike THC, will not get you high. However, the way CBD reduces anxiety is not fully understood yet. Still, it relates to how it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are crucial in maintaining homeostasis throughout the body.

There are many ways to use CBD oil to treat stress and anxiety disorders, but what is pivotal is ensuring that the CBD product is as pure as possible, with minimal amounts of THC.

  1. Herbal Tea

More and more people are zealously seeking safer and natural solutions when dealing with anxiety issues. Herbal teas and aromatherapy, though used for thousands of years the world over, are now making a comeback in contemporary society. Unfortunately, research is scarce in this field. However, there is enough evidence at present that shows the beneficial properties of many herbal teas, like chamomile, peppermint, valerian, to name a few.

While herbal teas don't cure anxiety, they sure have calming and soothing properties that can alleviate anxiety symptoms. When paired with a balanced lifestyle that includes meditation and exercise, herbal teas may have a tangible impact on calming nerves and inducing better sleep.

Outlook – Lead a stress-free life

Living a stressful life limits our efficiency and reduces our capacity to live pleasantly and in good health. Moreover, being in a state of stress weakens the immune system and inevitably leads the body to develop illness and disease, which is why it is so important that we do our utmost to appease it as best we can.

Anxiety disorders are serious health issues that shouldn't be left untreated. So while the role of natural remedies as a treatment for anxiety dates back centuries, we always suggest speaking with a healthcare professional when it comes to treating mental or physical wellbeing.

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