Holistic Treatments for Anxiety
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Since the future hasn’t happened yet, anyone can feel anxiety about the uncertainty of future events – from your next job interview to the fate of the economy. Our mass media plays a significant role, relying as it does on the commodities of fear, anxiety, chaos, and an uncertain future. Anxiety also gets clinical names like General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or Social Anxiety Disorder. Prescribed for these are psychoactive medications to “manage” anxiety, numb real emotions, and subject individuals to an overabundance of alarming side effects. Natural and holistic solutions to this problem do exist, and none of them involve questionable psycho-pharmaceuticals. You can break down these remedies into the general categories of physical, mental, and spiritual:
- Nutrition. Consuming only foods that have little nutrition can put your body and mind in a state of agitation or anxiety. Heavily processed foods high in starches, fats, and sugars can contribute to this negative effect. You need unprocessed or organic proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables in order to function properly. Your body may be undernourished and calling out to you to do something about it.
- Vitamins. Taking a multivitamin with meals is an excellent way to assist the natural balance between body and mind. B-vitamins in particular have calming effects and promote improved function of the endocrine system (system of hormonal glands). Other helpful supplements are the electrolytes calcium and magnesium – available as a hot, soothing drink.
- Herbs and phytonutrients. Certain herbs have been found to act as a natural remedy for anxiety. Specifically recommended are kava root, passion flower, and lemon balm. Phytonutrients are plant-based and are increasingly used to increase energy and improve physical and mental well-being.
- Exercise. Insufficient exercise (or no exercise) can have a disastrous effect on your state of mind. Many people drive to work, promptly sit down for their office job, and eight hours later drive home. Get outside, take walks, run, work out – whatever you prefer, but do it.
- Media and television. Some people spend way too many hours per day glued to the screen – the TV and the computer. Watching the news can be informative, but it can and does fuel anxiety on a personal and societal level. This can have a gradual effect where the person is continually introverted or internalized. To remedy this, simply turn off the machines for a while and do things you enjoy, pursue a hobby, take up a musical instrument – the possibilities are endless.
- Plan a future. One way to ease the stress of an uncertain future is to create your own. Make plans as to where you want to be in one year, five, or ten years. Then back that up to what you’ll be getting done this month, this week, and today. Just setting goals and planning for their attainment is therapeutic in itself. Making progress – big and small – further augments your positive state of mind.
- Broaden your scope. Some say if you want to help yourself, start helping others. You can start with your family, your community, and work your way out into society. Just doing something that others appreciate can help “flip your view” outwards and empower you as a proactive member of the human race.
- Spirituality. Many find solace in faith, religion, or spirituality. Pursue whatever path is right for you. Other avenues are self-help techniques, yoga, or martial art philosophies (like Tai Chi or Aikido).Look around and you’ll find ways to increase your energy and channel those energies into positive results.
Those are just a few of the methods you can employ to calm your nerves and improve your outlook. Hopefully, you found some of these suggestions helpful. For some, just reading a good book is enough. Ultimately, it is up to you to find what works best for you.