We all know the anxiety response– characterized by a fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, and feelings of dread (maybe even impending doom). It’s natural, after all, and a crucial part of our fight or flight response, right?
Once “normal” stress levels escalate out of proportion, anxiety can snowball, taxing both the body and mind in what may seems like an impossible tug of war.
Fortunately there are ways to combat this doomsday tunnel vision. Here are a few natural remedies for instant anxiety relief:
Web MD suggests that hypnosis can help relieve anxiety and alter perceptions about anxious situations. According to the American Psychological Association, hypnosis prior to surgery has been shown to reduce pain and recovery time in patients and improve detrimental pre-surgical anxieties.
Through suggestion and analysis, hypnosis can assist cognitive behavioral therapists in working through past traumas to promote healing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids for your overall health. According to Dr. Mercola of Mercola.com, it’s an essential supplement for cholesterol regulation and fighting inflammation.
Psychology Today suggests that the supplement prevents the inflammation in our brains too, a major perpetrator of anxiety, depression, and a slew of other neurological disorders.
Dr. Barry Sears writes that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates and cheap vegetable oils results in a surplus of omega-6 fatty acids, a leading cause of brain inflammation. Eating plenty of omega 3’s, found in fatty fish like salmon, helps keep an omega-6 imbalance at bay, preventing neurological disfunction.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an anxiety disorder can easily precipitate a sleep disorder, and vice versa. Valerian root, luckily, seems to combat these effects.
Mayo Clinic suggests that several studies have shown Valerian to improve anxiety levels and promote sleep. This mild sedative has been shown to help patients with insomnia fall asleep faster and more deeply in a recent study by the Institute of Clinical Pharmocology in Berlin, making it a promising treatment for sleepless nights.
Ashwagandha has been touted as one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs for thousands of years. Scientists have just begun to discover it's value for mental and physical health, particularly anxiety. One study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine showed that this ancient tonic can significantly reduce stress responses, helping to regulate moods, especially as a long-term treatment.
A similar study published in the Journal of Biological Sciences proposes that Ashwagandha mimics GABA in the body, supporting healthy mood levels and stimulating nerve cell regeneration– which could possibly reverse some of the harmful effects of stress on the brain.
Long known as a natural treatment for depression, the Vitamin D we get from sunshine can prevent PTSD and other personality disorders, according to Psychology Today. Mercola seems to agree, listing vitamin D supplementation as an important element in healing symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
Another paper, published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, reveals that sunshine plays a major role in the production of the neurochemical serotonin, which is essentially responsible for keeping you happy.
Remember that you aren’t alone in your experience. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 20% of Americans suffer from anxiety.
If you’re one of them, these treatments, alongside a healthy diet and exercise program, may be able to help you feel empowered again.
Something to smile about? We think so.