Natural Remedies For Anxiety
by Audra Mrini, MA, NCC Resident in Counseling
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the U.S.? It affects 40 million adults, age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. We live in a time with many stressors and demands and little emphasis on taking time to be still and take care of ourselves. When we are under such persistent stress, it takes a toll on our bodies. It’s no wonder anxiety is so prevalent. One of the possible outcomes of maintaining this type of lifestyle is that we can experience anxiety symptoms. Before we explore the natural remedies for anxiety- let’s look at the root cause of the problem.
Some stress is normal
Our bodies are designed to be able to respond to stress. When we experience a crisis or an emergency it is important that our brain reacts in such a way that it primes us to respond so that we can be safe and protected. We call this the fight, flight or freeze response. In these situations, our brain releases hormones and nerve chemicals that send signals to various parts of the body to be able to act quickly. This image shows all of the different ways our body responds in dangerous situations.
So what’s the problem?
So if we are designed to handle stress, why do we sometimes have anxiety and related problems? If our brain perceives that we are under a relatively persistent state of stress, it is tirelessly sending the hormones and nerve chemicals out to our bodies. Our bodies are then in this heightened state most of the time. For example, one of the body’s responses is for the muscles to tense so that we can run or fight as fast or as hard as needed. Can you imagine your muscles being tense almost all the time? Well, that’s what it’s like for many living with symptoms of anxiety. Many experience tension headaches and sore muscles most of the time. And that’s not all! Many people are suffering persistent problems such as ulcers, colitis, migraines, fatigue, irritability, and sleep disturbance, just to name a few. Our bodies are not designed to be in a persistent state of stress. It takes a toll on our health, both physical and emotional, which can then lead to disruptions in relationships, careers, and other day to day aspects of our lives.
What can we do about this?
Many people don’t realize that what they are experiencing is called anxiety. Many go to the doctor looking for relief from their medical symptoms, but don’t realize that the root of these symptoms stems from anxiety. If we address the root cause, we can also address the physical, emotional, and social symptoms as well. There are many medications prescribed to treat anxiety. These can be helpful. What if there were natural methods to help provide a natural anxiety relief with the possibility that medication may no longer be necessary in the long run?
Natural Remedies For Anxiety
Research, particularly that of Bessel van der Kolk, provides evidence that supports incorporating skills that regulate and reset the brain to a calm state thus reducing and eliminating anxiety symptoms. One of the most basic and effective interventions that I use with my clients is deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises. I observe, and clients report, significant reduction in symptoms and experience of anxiety. We also explore other evidenced based natural remedies for anxiety habits such as:
- soothing music
- creative arts
- supportive and encouraging relationships
- and other natural anxiety relief practices
Many clients find they are able to discontinue their medications and also find relief from medical issues once they incorporate anxiety reduction strategies on a regular basis.
Do you relate to this experience of physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety? Do you want relief from these and an experience of better quality of life? Click the link below to talk with one of our counselors. We would be honored to help you.
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