At one time or another, in all our lives we experience anxiety – a sense or vague feeling that something unpleasant is going to happen soon. If this feeling gets intense and continues persistently for a long stretch of time then it might take the mammoth shape of a serious mental disorder. These disorders take different forms having specific symptoms such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Phobias etc. As of now let us study in detail about anxiety.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has defined anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” When faced with harmful situations, such feelings are not only normal but also essential. Such situations trigger alarms in the body in the form of sweat, increased heartbeat etc. A rush of the Adrenaline hormone in response to those situations enunciates these reactions. This Adrenaline is also known as the “fight-or-flight” hormone which either prepares the body to either fight or escape from the situation.
In modern days such feelings of anxiety revolve around work, studies, family life etc. Such feelings of anxiety is essential as it may make the person a little cautious such as while taking important decisions or crossing the road etc. Anxiety is not similar to fear. Fear is the response to an immediate fearful situation whereas anxiety is the expectation of a future threat. For instance the scene of an accident can generate fear but to keep thinking that an accident is going to happen anytime is anxiety. Anxiety is often accompanied by fatigue, muscle tension and problems of concentration. People facing anxiety may withdraw from the situations which have already provoked anxiety in the past. Anxiety can be either of short term or long term leading to a disorder. Thus we can conclude that an anxiety (Baron, 2002) is an increased arousal accompanied by generalized feelings of fear or apprehension.
The symptoms of anxiety include
- Neurological symptom such as headache.
- Digestive symptom such as indigestion, abdominal pain, nausea.
- Respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or heavy breathing.
- Cardiac symptoms including chest pain and palpitations.
- Bodily symptoms include fatigue, perspiration, itchy skin etc.
- Cognitive symptoms such as lack of concentration, racing thoughts or unwanted thoughts.
- Behavioral symptoms such as irritability or hypervigilance.
11 Must Know Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Anxiety is a part and parcel of our life. It makes us more vigilant and stay organized. However a great deal of anxiety may create problems in our healthy lifestyle, thus it should be checked before it gets out of control. Some of the natural remedies for dealing with anxiety include the ones discussed below.
To stay active means to keep a balanced physical and emotional health by working out for a few hours every day to keep the body fit and mind fresh. This may help reduce tension or stress for some time each day.
Most people with anxiety consume alcohol to keep out the anxiety for some time. However alcohol is only a temporary sedative and once the effect is over, the anxiety may rush in once more. If continued, in the long run the person may develop an addiction to alcohol.
Smokers always look for cigarettes to avoid a stressful situation. However the anxiety may not be cured but the chances of having life threatening ailments later in life may start to develop, such as lung cancer. It may also increase the level of anxiety in the later years.
Getting sufficient sleep
Anxiety may often cause restlesness and insomnia. Getting sufficient sleep each day may help reduce anxiety. No use of mobiles while sleeping, avoiding nicotine before bedtime, keeping the room dark are some of the things that should be kept in mind. Reading to bed can be helpful in arousing sleep.
This can help in calming the body and the mind by reducing stress and tension. Meditating and doing yoga everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes can help in the long run to reduce anxiety.
Balanced and healthy diet
A healthy diet rich in carbohydrates, magnesium and proteins can provide energy to the body to stay fit and active reducing lethargy which may cause anxiety.
People with anxiety often have rapid heartbeats and fast breathing. Deep breathing can help restore calmness in the body and mind and reduce tension.
Aromatherapy can help a person relax, bringing in sleep naturally due to the sedative smell, causing the body to release the stress, improve blood circulation and enhance the mood of the person.
Consuming green tea or any other herbal tea can help reduce anxiety compared to caffeine or nicotine. The best would be chamomile tea due to its sedative properties, calming the brain and the body at once.
Writing down the stressful events can help in releasing tension. Diary writing is one of the most useful as it gives an exposure to ones emotions without any fear. Most people fear to express their sufferings thinking that they will be judged and writing may be helpful for them.
Getting support from friends or family initially may help in reducing anxiety. Sharing of the problems and pains with near and dear ones can help along with their constant support and positivity. Most people with anxiety are ignored due to their constant over thinking and nagging behavior which only adds to the anxiety. This must be stopped at once.
The above mentioned are some of the most helpful ways to reduce anxiety. However even after trying these remedies the anxiety still prevails then one must seek professional help and medication if required. Anxiety is just another change in the body like any other illness or disease. It is not a stigma or a joke. Proper care can help a person overcome this problem and restore back to healthy life.