Anxiety is omnipresent today, unfortunately. Given that anxiety is a reaction to stressful and dangerous situations, we experience it every day. What I have noticed recently is that more and more people are talking about anxiety as a normal and common experience, and although common, it should not be perceived as a normal one. Anxiety in fact can seriously endanger our mental and physical health.
Although feeling anxious in a stressful situation is a normal human emotion, feeling anxious and nervous persistently can lead to anxiety disorders (panic disorders, compulsive disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress, and social anxiety disorder) that can easily disable people to lead a normal life.
Above all, anxiety disorders are serious mental illnesses, and although we need professional help to battle anxiety disorders, we can in fact help ourselves fight everyday nervousness and anxiety, and we can battle it with alternative medicine.
Meditation: A Practice To Help You Prevent And Overcome Stressful Situations
More and more people are turning to meditation to decrease everyday stress, learn how to accept changes peacefully and calmly and to improve overall wellbeing. Meditation is a practice that helps people control their emotions and thoughts, and it is one of the best practices because it teaches people how to clear their minds, and to be less vulnerable to tension and stress.
Practicing meditation also helps people stay focused and concentrate, and mentally strong, being able to choose the most appropriate way to solve a certain problem, or to avoid getting into a conflict.
Numerous studies showed that meditation is beneficial for anxiety. The research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that meditation provides relief from anxiety and depression. Madhav Goyal, an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of a study, and his colleagues found that “mindfulness meditation” (a form of Buddhist self-awareness meditation designed to help people focus on present moment) showed positive results in alleviating symptoms of pain and stress.
“A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing, but that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways”, Goyal explains, and suggests practicing mindfulness meditation for 30 to 40 minutes a day.
Although Eastern tradition, meditation is becoming more popular in Western culture as well. Whether mindfulness meditation, or small meditations which we already wrote about, meditation is one of the ways you can help yourself overcome and prevent stress, thus anxiety.
Homeopathy: An Individual Remedy For Every Patient
Homeopathic medicine is a treatment that stimulates both body and mind, and with a specific remedy that is prepared for each individual, and focused on psychological symptoms of anxiety, homeopathy helps a person returns to a healthy state. Homeopathy also has a long tradition in treating anxiety and similar mental conditions, one study showed that homeopathy can be used in treating depression, social phobia and panic disorder.
Homeopathy uses diluted doses of natural substances (from plants, minerals, or animal sources) to treat anxiety. Homeopathic consultations alone can sometimes help a patient better, and relive the anxiety.
What you need to keep in mind is that not every homeopathy professional is truly a professional. Although homeopathy deals with natural medicines, the professional also needs to have a vast knowledge of human brain and psyche. Homeopathy is strongly connected with psychology and psychiatry.
Herbal Medicine: A Natural Medicine Which Brings Relaxation To Body And Mind
Treating anxiety and nervousness with herbal medicine probably has the longest tradition. For centuries people have been using certain herbs and plants that have the ability to act on the nervous system and to relieve the mental pain. Many herbs have a power to relax tense muscles, soothe an upset stomach, help with insomnia and sleep, and relive the pain from stress-related headaches and more.
Most of us are familiar with these powerful herbs: Valerian root, for instance, that has a calming, sleep-inducing effect, Skullcap, which has a power to ease emotional tension and headaches caused by emotional pain, or Kava kava, for muscle tension. Other well-known herbs are chamomile, lemon balm, passion flower, and St. John’s Wort. These herbs are common remedies for insomnia, as well.
On the other hand, these herbs (especially valerian, kava kava and skullcap) can have side effects when used in large doses or improperly, though usually without side effects. One needs to know that herbal medicine is used to provide short-term results. However, herbal medicine provides many benefits for treating anxiety and reducing stress.
Other Useful Anxiety Treatments: Aromatherapy, Yoga, Body Workout And Nutritional Therapy
Aromatherapy is effective at rebalancing the physical, emotional and mental aspects of the body, thus it shows great results in reducing stress and anxiety. With the help of essential oils (essential plants and flower extracts) that are usually used in massage, but very often inhaled, aromatherapy stimulates, balance, soothe and calm our body and mind.
These essential oils trigger the olfactory sense that is connected to our brain, and produce feel good hormones. Commonly used essential oils for stress and anxiety are lavender, geranium, chamomile, jasmine, bergamot, sandalwood, and clary sage.
Yoga is another treatment that helps reduce the stress and anxiety with specific breathing techniques and body postures. These postures increase circulation, and improve energy levels in the body. We are all aware that when stressed our muscles are tight and our body twists and contracts in a certain way, thus relaxing the body can lead to relaxing the mind.
Body workout is as effective as yoga treatment, because any type of exercising can help reduce the stress and relieve the pain, both physical and mental. The greatest help of body workout is that one can opt for many different ways to relive the stress: dance therapy, different sports, Pilates, aerobics, working out in the gym, and more.
Finally, there is also a nutritional therapy for anxiety that includes dietary changes, and nutritional supplements. Sometimes just by eliminating caffeine, cigarettes and food additives one can cope with stress easily and effectively. Adding calcium and magnesium to nutrition can also improve energy levels and physical and mental strength.
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Bourne, E. J., Brownstein, A. and Garano, L. (2004). Natural Relief for Anxiety: Complementary Strategies for Easing Fear, Panic, and Worry. New Harbinger Publications.Green, J. (2000). The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual. Crossing Press.Murray, M. T. and Pizzorno, J. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Atria Books.Sri Chinmoy (1989). Meditation: Man Perfection in God Satisfaction. Aum Publications.Sri Chinmoy (1974). Yoga and the Spiritual Life. Aum Publications.
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