Anyone who has lived with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder or Seasonal Affective Disorder understands how this type of emotional illness permeates every aspect of life. The racing mind, sensation of being about to pass out or even die, and the inability to do things that usually come so easily is frustrating at the least.
While there are prescription medications that help with the symptoms, they do nothing to heal the underlying cause of the anxiety. What they can do is leave you with an addiction that’s often worse than your disorder. To learn more about prescription drug addiction, please visit The Recovery Village. If you would prefer to avoid addiction and still reclaim your life, consider these natural alternatives. The right combination could make all the difference.
1. Exercise is Your Friend
Anxiety does seem to sap you of energy and leave you feeling too tired to exercise. In fact, being active is one of the best things you can do for your condition. A brisk 30-minute walk on a daily basis helps restore the balance of key neurotransmitters and calm your racing mind.
Working out should also be part of the plan. If being in a gym right now is more than you can take, invest in some equipment to use at home. Treadmills, weight benches, and even jumping rope will help calm your mind even as the exercise tones your muscles.
2. B-Complex for Your Nervous System
People sometimes try one or two B vitamins to combat their anxiety. The problem is that you really need a full round of all the vitamins and the amounts need to be balanced properly. Consider taking a high-quality B-Complex vitamin once or twice a day. While it will take a few weeks to make an impact, you should notice that your mind slows a little, it’s easier to concentrate, and even the panic attacks are less severe.
3. Make Some Changes in Your Diet
Part of the problem could be that your body is starving for essential nutrients. It’s time to incorporate more foods that provide the fuel your body and mind need. That includes ramping up your consumption of dark green leafy vegetables, various types of legumes, brown rice, fresh fruits, and tuna or salmon.
As you add in more fresh foods, reduce your reliance on processed foods. The preservatives, additional salt, and other ingredients could be interfering with the body’s ability to properly absorb those essential nutrients. Along with helping ease the anxiety, you are likely to notice your skin and hair look healthier.
4. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can help you ease back from the brink of a panic attack. Keep a vial of lavender essential oil on hand to sniff when you feel your world spinning out of sync. Men often find that sandalwood also helps calm them down. Lemon essence is another fragrance that helps many people.
Keep a diffuser on hand and use the oil of your choice. As the oil warms and the scent fills the space, the scent will help to settle your overworked nervous system and make it easier to relax.
Along with keeping essential oils on hand to sniff, many of them are safe for consumption. A few drops under the tongue could help calm you in as little as 20 minutes. You can also burn incense made using real rather than synthetic ingredients to help calm your jangling nerves.
5. Sip Water
This is a tip that often gets overlooked. If you feel a panic attack coming on, sip water. As you sip, concentrate on the taste and temperature of the water. Swish it softly in the mouth and then swallow. Repeat the process as you seek to float through the attack. Remember that panic attacks only last a few seconds, but seem longer as your nerves trigger successive attacks as the previous ones are subsiding. If you concentrate on the water, it can be enough of a distraction to break the cycle.
6. Try Maca
Powdered maca root has a reputation for being a whole body tonic. That includes having a calming effect on the nerves and promoting a more positive outlook. You can take it as as supplement or add the powder to beverages. It can even be sprinkled on oatmeal. While it takes at least a month to get into your system, you’ll notice that it does seem to take the edge off your attacks and may make it easier to visit places that you’ve been avoiding.
7. Chamomile Tea With Lemon Balm
Chamomile has long been a means of calming an anxious mind. Anecdotal evidence as well as some tests indicate drinking chamomile tea can help ease the severity of mild to moderate anxiety disorders. When you add a little lemon balm to the tea, it’s possible to increase the effectiveness.
Along with calming your nerves, this combination can also help you enjoy more restful sleep. That’s important, since your stressed nervous system needs rest in order to recover.
8. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Different types of talk therapy have helped many people cope with and eventually recover from anxiety. One of the more popular examples today is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. Essentially, this approach is all about changing the patient’s perspective about what is happening while the mind is racing or a panic attack is building. The goal is to defuse the fear associated with the attack, an approach that basically takes away its power.
These are only a few of the natural ways to cope and eventually overcome anxiety disorders. Talk with a health expert and identify a few other strategies to try. In less time than you thought possible, the right combination of approaches will help you get your life back.