Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Holistic treatment for anxiety

Holistic Treatments for Anxiety

Anxiety Defined

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:

Physical

  • 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.

Mental and Spiritual

  • 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.

2 Comments

  • Amanda

    Anxiety is something that many people struggle with. It is condition that affects people in a bad way. It can lead to a lot of side effects in peoples personal as well as professional lives. Many people feel that there is a way to medicate the problem away and there are plenty of doctors that are looking to do just that. What I can say is that these drugs are not effective as they can have side effects that are just as bad having the anxiety in the first place. I really do not know that it does any good to have more drugs out there “trying” to handle this problem, when as this article points out there are plenty of non drug methods that are way healthier to handle the effects of anxiety. I think that everyone has had anxiety at some point in their lives for different reasons, but I do not think that means that we should all be on drugs. I know that there is a lot of thoughts and feelings that are not fun when it comes down to it, but at the same time, it is something that can be handled holistically. I have found that when I watch the news too much it gives me an after effect that makes it hard to not think that the world is going to end, when in reality that is to a degree the desired effect that is being pushed. In reality there is a lot of good in the world that does not get promoted. On the other hand there is plenty of ways to handle anxiety. I have found that the best thing for me is to not watch TV, and to get some exercise. There also is the aspect of getting the exercise and eating a proper and healthy diet. It really makes a difference, as I am a believer that people who do not eat a healthy diet are subjected to this as their body is put under stress from not getting the proper nutrients and vitamins needed. That is just my 2 cents, but it is something to think about. Overall, I think that there needs to be a shift in viewpoint on how people go about handling anxiety and I think that the points in this article are helpful in handling that.

  • Walter

    I think that there is a lot to be said about anxiety. It is a problem that affects everyone at some point in their lives. I know for a fact I have experienced it, but at the same time I can realize that the anxiety that I have faced is from decisions that I have made with myself and are caused by myself. When I look at how much attention people put on the problem with anxiety in our culture it really is shocking that more people do not recommend non-drug related solutions to solve the problem. I know that people who exercise and eat healthily tend to have less stress in their life, but that is not the only reason. I have seen people that did all of those things and they still suffered from anxiety. It is something to see that we live in a day and age where the mentality is to take a pill to solve problems, and I think that this is flawed thinking. When you break it down, more people need to be able to see how they cause stress and anxiety in their lives and then minimize those sources. I know for a fact that getting out and taking in sights and getting some air in your lungs goes a long way to the release of endorphins that cause you to feel better, but I can also see the value and truth in the way that the media and news puts attention on things that cause stress. It is something to see. I really like the way this article spells out things that anyone can do to minimize the levels of anxiety that they have and as a result of that lead less stressful lives. While at the same time we take people who have gone the anti-anxiety drug route and as a result of that we start to get them off of these drugs as they can have a very destructive and detrimental effect on us as a society. I know of not one person that has been really helped. Sure the symptoms may be less, but at the same time you can see where it is not something that is really fixing the root of the problem, but rather covering it up so that they are not as perceptive to what the source of the anxiety is. I really think that this does a good job of isolating sources of stress and then getting that to be put in the fore front as opposed to medicating the person.

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