Anxiety is looked upon as a mental disorder. Figuring out how to treat it with success has taken many, many years. Almost everyone can say that at some point in their life they experienced some form of an anxiety-related disorder.
The terrible thing about anxiety is that if you don't deal with it, it can become worse over time. It has the power to influence all aspects of your life – job, social and school life, relationships, and your attitude.
Before we look at natural cures for anxiety, let's take a closer look at what anxiety is.
Exactly What is Anxiety?
Apprehension, agitation, angst, fear, unease, and stress are common feelings that we all go through. It's perfectly normal.
But it becomes a different matter when it's severe enough to be diagnosed as a disorder.
All people differ as well about what causes them to feel anxious and stressed.
There are a few differing anxiety-related disorders and some symptoms will overlap. This makes it quite tricky to decide if it's linked to a specific disorder or what diagnosis should be made.
Thus, you should work with a licensed professional such as a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to diagnose and treat.
Let’s look at the 3 categories of anxiety-related disorders:
These are about general fear and anxiety.
Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders:
These are about obsessive thoughts that we can’t stop thinking about as they are so intrusive.
Stress and Trauma-related disorders:
These are stresses from traumatic events in our life such as the death of a loved one, divorce, etc.
Health care professionals always refer to their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is a handbook covering the diagnosis of all the mental health disorders. It allows professionals and researchers to use the same terms and language when they discuss mental health problems.
You are not suffering alone
Don’t feel alone, don’t feel that if you are struggling with an anxiety disorder, that you are weak or unique. No, you are not alone. If it makes you feel any ‘better’, just look at these statistics:
- More than 40 million USA adults suffer from anxiety disorders
- Anxiety disorders rank as the top mental disorder in the USA
- Women suffer more than men with PTSD
- Over 40% of USA adults have experienced anxiety disorder, but that only one-third of receive treatment
- Children and teenagers suffer from anxiety disorders too, and many do not receive treatment
- It costs the USA over $42 Billion towards this disorder
Many people feel misunderstood and all alone. And it is often because people who have never experienced anxiety disorder don’t really understand why some people get ‘freaked out’ when caught up in crowds of people.
Or not being able to wash their hands after meeting new people…
Or being in a car accident…
These are ‘serious’ problems for people with anxiety disorder and the people who don’t understand it will just say “You’ve got nothing really to worry about – just let it go!”.
Sometimes comments like this prevent people from seeking help.
You should consider anxiety a severe physical disease. Some people who have anxiety disorder might even have brain abnormalities, as well as altered brain function.
Evidence proves that anxiety disorders can be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain.
There are also generalized anxieties and specific anxieties that people suffer from on a daily basis.
Have you experienced any of these?
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Substance medication-induced anxiety disorder
- Other (Due to other medical conditions)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Excoriation (a skin-picking disorder)
- Hoarding disorder
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Acute stress disorder
- Adjustment disorder
Symptoms of Anxiety
- A person shows anxiety or worries about things that will happen in the future like social events, work demands, being separated from their “safe” people or places.
- The person experiences feelings of anxiety which are accompanied by reactions like heart racing, sweaty palms, heavy breathing.
- They can’t sleep properly because they are anxious and worried.
- They can’t concentrate properly.
- General signs of neglect in their appearances, like weight gain or loss, neglect of personal hygiene, a decline in their work responsibilities, huge changes in their mood, withdrawal from relationships and activities.
Remember, anxiety is a normal reaction to situations that are stressful. Disorders become present when the symptoms go on for a few weeks to months, interfering with day to day function.
What Causes Anxiety?
Could be Genetic
As mentioned above, we have all suffered from anxiety to some degree. Many studies focus on trying to figure out what the factors are that increase the risk for an anxiety disorder.
It would appear there are variations in genetic codes that present a heightened risk for anxiety. There is a risk for anxiety disorders to show up where there is a history of anxiety disorders in the family.
But then given that around 70% of anxiety is not ‘genetic’ gives people a lot of hope for treatment. This also means that anxiety disorders are also seen in children from early childhood too. New ideas are being developed to help kids that have brain over-activity and anxiety disorder.
Stressful Home Life
Environmental factors can also play a role. For instance, kids with a stressful home life… Like physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or parental loss, or rejection – these all increase the risk for anxiety disorder later on in life.
Chronic Health Conditions
Another cause of anxiety disorder is to experience a chronic medical condition or severe and frequent illnesses. Even dealing with significant illness from other members of the family.
Some medical conditions are linked to anxiety, such as thyroid disease, heart disease, menopause, and diabetes. Also, drug abuse and/or withdrawal from certain substances can be characterized by acute anxiety.
Taking Certain Medications that Affect Sleep
Behavioral choices can also impact the risk of anxiety disorders. These can increase your anxiety:
- Excessive alcohol
- Too much caffeine
- Recreational drugs
- Excessive stimulation
Body and Personality Traits
Ayurveda categorizes different body/mind types into the doshas known as Vata – Pitta – Kapha. Those who have a Vata body/mind type are more likely to experience anxiety.
Vata is the qualities of the air and ether elements. Its characteristics are unstable, light and flighty. Vata types are easily agitated and they have sensitive nerve impulses. When it comes to anxiety, an anxious person benefits when they balance Vata Dosha. (more on Ayurveda below).
Social differences exist in all parts of the world and this can impact anxiety disorders. Whether the socio-economic status is about income, education or occupational status. Those with low socio-economic status groups are at greater risk of anxiety-related illnesses.
Anxiety and your physical health
When one is suffering from an anxiousness disorder, the chances of other medical illnesses are much higher than those who are not.
These are all linked to anxiety:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High levels of cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides
It is not clear what causes the link between anxiety and bad physical health, but research does show that it contributes to disease. Anxiety brings about changes to the stress hormones and heightens inflammation.
Natural Cures For Anxiety
Let’s look closer at some alternatives treatments:
Anxiety is associated when there are abnormal patterns of the brain. So one way to treat is to target that abnormal cell activity – to directly target abnormal nerve cell activity. A neuromodulator is non-invasive and painless, stimulating the human brain.
Acupuncture or Acupressure
Acupuncture or Acupressure is still used much today, coming from traditional Chinese medicine. Thin needles are inserted or pressure is applied into the targeted areas.
Though more research may be needed to understanding how acupuncture works for anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, it has proved over time to be a viable and safe option.
If you suffer from anxiety, and you haven’t been successful with other methods of treatment… or you just like the idea of trying something different, acupuncture is a great option! And this natural cure for anxiety doesn’t make your symptoms worse, for sure!
There is a lot of interest in the use of psychoactive drugs like cannabis. Even though it is controversial, given that it has the effect of making people feel “high”. Certain strains of cannabis have demonstrated positive effects for treating anxiety.
Some of the best-known strains for Generalized Anxiety are Granddaddy Purple and Jack Herer. But, do some research on a trusted cannabis information website like GreenFlower Media or find a local dispensary and consider experimenting with suggested strains to best suit your symptoms.
Ayurveda -The Science of Life
The mind-body medicine of India, Ayurveda is an extraordinary resource for bringing all levels of wholeness to our life. It is one of the world's oldest and most complete systems of natural healing containing great wisdom for all of humanity.
Ayurveda looks at the biological humors of Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water) as the basis for determining both your physical and psychological constitution. It also considers the qualities or Gunas of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas which help you to focus your mental and spiritual nature.
Ayurvedically, anxiety is an imbalance of Vata dosha accumulating in the nervous system. The Ayurvedic approach to cultivating a sense of peace and calm is to balance Vata Dosha with diet, lifestyle, herbs, essential oils, meditation, and yoga to help bring balance to the body and mind.
Some more natural cures for anxiety
- Essential Oils – Highly concentrated plant extracts, essential oils for anxiety can give you speedy results because researchers believe our “smell” receptors communicate directly with the amygdala and hippocampus.
- Relaxation techniques – Learning to breathe deeply has an excellent effect on high blood pressure, reducing tension and slowing your heart rate. You allow your body to switch from an anxious state to a more relaxed calm state.
- Guided imagery – Also a good relaxation strategy. Sit back in a chair and create mental images of lovely peaceful places, gardens, beaches, allowing your mind to focus on positive thoughts and sensations. Here's a free session.
- Going into nature – Practice a moving meditation by feeling the sun on your back, the wind in your hair and appreciate the wide open spaces, appreciating the rich aromas that nature offers – a tonic for the soul.
- Mindfulness, meditation, and Yoga Nidra are very helpful. Being mindful is being aware, being present with no judgments, its being in the moment. Concentrate on things that give you joy.
- Exercise is very important too. You need to incorporate it into your daily activities. Exercise decreases stress hormones and improves your mood. It helps you to focus on the moment and disengage from stress and worry.
A healthy diet is vital and there are some do’s and don’ts that will help a lot:
- Incorporate Vata pacifying diet and lifestyle routines
- Take Omega-3 fatty acids – helps to make your brain happy
- Probiotics play a huge role in the mood as it helps a good digestive system
- Drinking plenty of water – to keep everything flowing smoothly
- Take antioxidants because they protect the brain against oxidative stress
- Drink herbal teas for anxiety: chamomile, passion flower, peppermint
- A vitamin B complex bumps up the good feelings
- Green tea contains L-theanine, to provide calming effects for anxiety and stress
- Magnesium will help you not to feel so over-stressed – calming
- Get enough sleep
- Some excellent essential oils that help with anxiety are Bergamot, Lavender, Clary sage, or Rose
Recommended Ayurvedic Herbs For Anxiety
A superb plant with beneficial properties from the seeds and root to help reduce stress. Ashwagandha really is a superstar when it comes to anxiety.
A study done in 2017 revealed that Ashwagandha reduced stress by as much as 55% compared to the placebo which reduced stress by 5.5%.
Apart from helping with stress and anxiety, this herb is packed with ingredients that make it a herb for strengthening the nervous system.
In fact, chess players, Olympic athletes and Chinese emperors and other political leaders use it for the simple fact that it optimizes the body and mind.
Being adaptogenic, it helps you cope with stress, be it emotional, physical, or environmental. It can be of great help when comes to burnout which occurs usually in people under extreme stress.
A perennial plant, valerian is native to Europe. Valerian is one of the top herbs; everybody knows Valerian for the reduction of stress. And it helps with sleep issues too.
This wonderful plant is also known as Brahmi. It’s used for a lot of mind related health concerns and that even includes Alzheimer’s disease.
It is excellent for memory loss, for anxiety, ADHD, epilepsy and a general tonic to help in fighting stress. People also use it for joint pain and backache.
Unplug and live your best life
No matter whether it is work or personal relationships that are leaving you stressed out, it is not a bad idea to consider unplugging for a while. Take a break, around a 48-hour break from social media and from electronics, turning your cell off and out of sight. These can definitely bring some relief.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 450 million people have mental disabilities and disorders.
They reckon that by 2030 anxiety and depression will rank at the top of the list when it comes to health-related matters and the number one financial burden in the world. That is stressful news to hear.
It looks today that our love affair with technology – The state of the art gadgets, the gizmos and needing to keep on the cutting edge of life, are putting us on a never-ending treadmill of being overworked, under-sleeping and hyper-stressed.
Get back to nature, get back to eating healthily like our ancestors did – non-processed foods, no sugar – get back to tranquility.
If you are feeling down, anxious, depressed, there IS a solution. Even the ancient ‘greats’ suffered from anxiety. Look at Lincoln and Einstein. Look at King David who wrote in the Bible, “Why so cast down my soul?” God was His deliverer, who made nature.
And Nature has many, many answers!
Ayurveda is Nature's Medicine
I gave you lots of great natural cures for anxiety above.
But if you need a clear path to heal your chronic stress, anxiety, and depression through nutrition, herbs and lifestyle practices watch Harvard trained, Dr. Akil's video next – Ayurveda Chronic Stress, Anxiety, and Depression.
MORE on Ayurveda Chronic Stress, Anxiety and Depression
I took this program three years ago after the death of a loved one. It gave me many great insights about what I was experiencing as well as crystal-clear instruction about what was causing it and how to holistically resolve it.
The course is easy to follow, and it blends the best of medical science with the wisdom of ancestral traditions.
How Is This Information Different From All The Other Offerings in the World of Anxiety and Depression?
- While profession medical support with a doctor or practitioner is irreplaceable, there's something empowering about self-study with a highly qualified, source. Dr. Akil gives you the confidence to make changes at micro-level with new behaviors, habits, and diet. Dr. Akil is Stanford and Harvard trained, practices actively and it can sometimes take weeks to get an appointment with him. Plus you can repeat the information as many times as needed.
- The course is exceptional because of the caliber of such a talented physician. He seamlessly combines the principles of modern medicine with ancient Ayurvedic principles of healing in the most practical fashion.
- The uniqueness of the course cannot be overemphasized – for both laymen and medical professionals. The Ayurvedic perspective on anxiety and depression is highly illuminating and exceptionally useful for a natural cure.
- What doctor spends their time educating you about the concepts of anxiety, depression, chronic stress, how it works personally?? VERY FEW can take out that time for every single patient, and I don't blame them. But this course enables you to learn from a physician in a matter of a few hours, what he spent years learning, researching and observing – ALL FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below. I love to help you out and typically get back within “hours” most of the time.
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