Why It’s A Problem
Chronic anxiety can prevent you from meeting your daily responsibilities, at work, at home or socially. It gets in the way of getting along with other people, both meeting new people and maintaining existing relationships, says Jane Timmons-Mitchell, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
The physical effects can be wide-ranging, as well. Anxiety can impact physical health in almost any way you can imagine, Zucker says. It’s very, very powerful. It can contribute to sleeplessness, gastrointestinal difficulties, breathing problems, back pain and cardiovascular disease.
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Natural Medicine Is Still Medicine
The most important thing to understand is that the most “natural” way to treat anxiety is without any type of medicine at all. Many people turn to herbal supplements, for example, because these supplements are not made from synthetic products, but medicine is still medicine, herbal or not. The safest possible way to cure anxiety – and the most natural way to treat anxiety – is with some type of therapy or exercise that does not involve any type of herbal or medicinal treatment in any way.
Keep that in mind as you consider alternative options to prescription anxiety medications. While an herb or mineral may improve your anxiety, they still affect your body and are not truly as natural as learning new coping mechanisms and ways to control stress.
ALSO NOTE: Many natural treatments still have compounds that interact with other medications you may be taking. That is why it is always important to talk to your doctor before taking any medication, natural or manmade. Herbal supplement companies are not required to state the risks on their products, but that doesnt mean theyre 100% safe. Your doctor should give approval.
Do I Need Treatment For Anxiety
Thereâs a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.
Signs that itâs time to talk to a mental health professional include:
- Constant or nearly constant anxiety
- Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
- Anxiety about things that donât actually threaten you
- Panic attacks
Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.
âYou donât want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,â Kissen says.
Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Rosmarin notes that itâs important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesnât need to go on indefinitely to be effective.
âA course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,â he says. âThereâs also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.â
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Combining Psychotherapy And Medication
Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have been shown to be more effective than control groups. However, whereas drugs are mostly compared with placebo controls, the evidence for psychotherapy in anxiety disorders is mainly based on comparisons with a wait-list, a control method that was used in 70% to 75% of the studies in adults and children.,, Because pill placebos have higher effect sizes than waitlist controls, the effect size differences between active and control conditions cannot be compared between psychotherapy and medication studies. Therefore, our research group conducted a large meta-analysis of all available controlled short-term studies for anxiety disorders and compared the pre-post effect size differences between medications and psychotherapies. In this meta-analysis, which was based on studies with around 35 000 patients, medications were associated with a significantly higher average pre-post effect size than psychotherapies . It was also found that patients included in psychotherapy studies were less severely ill than those recruited for medication trials.
The meta-analysis also showed that combinations of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy had a relatively high effect size . However, only a few combination studies were available for this comparison, and some of these have not been conducted with the most powerful drugs.
The Only Way To Recover From A High Anxiety Condition Is To Return Your Anxiety Levels Back To Normal
This isnt OUR theory, its biological fact. A simple way to understand this in context is that when you laugh its because the data you have collected through your senses tells you that something is funny. When you cry, its because your senses have collected data about something in your environment that is sad. This data is sent to your subconscious mind and hormones are released that make you experience the emotion. Once the event is over, we stop crying or laughing. The same is true of anxiety. There is therefore only one solution and that is to SWITCH OFF the emotion of fear in you.
- No medication can achieve this.
- No psychotherapy can achieve this.
- CBT cannot achieve this.
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I Need Relief And I Need It Now
So where does that leave you if youre suffering? Even when anxiety relief comes with side effects and dangers, that can still sound like a fair trade when panic and fear are ruling your life.
The bottom line is that theres a time and place for anxiety medication. If you have severe anxiety thats interfering with your ability to function, medication may be helpfulespecially as a short-term treatment. However, many people use anti-anxiety medication when therapy, exercise, or other self-help strategies would work just as well or better, minus the drawbacks.
Anxiety medications can ease symptoms, but theyre not right for everyone and theyre not the only answer. Its up to you to evaluate your options and decide whats best for you.
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Create A Support Squad
One of my biggest fears was telling people at work about my anxiety. I was afraid of telling people around me that I was afraid talk about a negative thought cycle! I would fall into a black-and-white thinking pattern of either telling nobody or telling everybody. But I have since learned that there is a healthy in-between.
I reached out to a few people at the office whom I felt comfortable with. It really helps to be able to talk to one or two people when youre having a bad day. This took a tremendous amount of pressure off of me, as I was no longer powering through each day with a superhuman persona of positivity. Creating a small support squad was the first step toward creating a more authentic me, both in my work and personal life.
I also found that my being open worked both ways, because I soon found that my colleagues would come to me too, which made me feel really good about my decision to open up.
All six of these life hacks can be put together into an effective high-functioning anxiety toolbox. Whether I am at work or at home or out with friends, I can use these skills to put myself back in the drivers seat. Learning how to cope with anxiety doesnt happen overnight, something that we Type As can find frustrating. But I am confident that if I put even a fraction of that overachieving energy into my own wellness, the results will be positive.
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Should Antioxidants Be Included In Your Anti
Anxiety is thought to be correlated with a lowered total antioxidant state. It stands to reason, therefore, that enhancing your diet with foods rich in antioxidants may help ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders. A 2010 study reviewed the antioxidant content of 3,100 foods, spices, herbs, beverages, and supplements. Foods designated as high in antioxidants by the USDA include:
- Beans: Dried small red, Pinto, black, red kidney
- Fruits: Apples , prunes, sweet cherries, plums, black plums
- Berries: Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans
- Vegetables: Artichokes, kale, spinach, beets, broccoli
- Spices with both antioxidant and anti-anxiety properties include turmeric and ginger.
Reconnect With Your Body
I take walks outside, sometimes during my lunch break. I exercise. I do yoga. And whenI feel too busy or too overwhelmed I do these things anyway. Because I need them, even if its just for 10 or 15 minutes
Anxiety is just as much physical as it is mental. People with high-functioning anxiety tend to live in their heads and find it hard to break the cycle of fearful thinking and feeling. I used to spend 10 to 12 hours at the office every day, and never exercise. I felt stuck, both physically and mentally. A critical component of how I deal with my symptoms today is by reconnecting with my body.
I use deep breathing all day, every day. Whether I am in a meeting, at my computer, or driving home in traffic, I can take slow, deep breaths to circulate more oxygen, relax my muscles, and lower my blood pressure. I stretch at my desk. I take walks outside, sometimes during my lunch break. I exercise. I do yoga.
And when I feel too busy or too overwhelmed I do these things anyway. Because I need them, even if its just for 10 or 15 minutes. Having a healthy relationship with my body gets me out of my head and channels my nervous energy in a more positive direction.
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Cbd Oil Gummies And Treats
As of now, theres not enough scientific evidence to really tell us whether or not cannabidiol, a chemical found in marijuana thats become especially popular in the past few years, is effective when it comes to treating anything from epilepsy to anxiety. However, some people swear by it.
While Dr. Margaret Haney, professor of neurobiology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, told the Cut that although CBD seems to act at a wide range of brain sites, and could therefore be acting at one of the serotonin receptors in your anxious brain, many scientists say they still just dont know enough about the chemical. If youre interested in trying CBD, though, it comes in everything from edibles to eye serum to oil.
Unplug From All Sources Of News
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
Robert J. Sawyer
It took me a long time to see it, but the news was my single biggest source of anxiety.
The websites I was reading each day talked non-stop about crime, corruption, economic breakdown, and the end of the world. As a result, my fear of being attacked spun out of control. I became obsessed with protecting myself from every possible threat. I researched what to do if I was arrested and thrown in jail. I spent hundreds of dollars on food and equipment that I hoped would save me in the event of a disaster.
There was nothing inherently wrong with preparing for an emergency, but obsessing over apocalyptic scenarios, every day, for months on end?
One day, it finally dawned on me: my fear of an imaginary future was destroying my ability to enjoy the present.
And what planted those seeds of fear? The news.
When I made the commitment to cut the news out of my life completely no TV, no conspiracy sites or truth deliverer blogs, ignoring / blocking every sensationalist link I came across on social media, etc. my anxiety plummeted in less than two weeks. The negative information I removed from my conscious awareness freed me from the confines of other peoples frightening narratives.
But if you are consuming content thats joyous and playful, your mind will become happy and loving. Simple as that.
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Understand Differences In How Anxiety Manifests
Because of evolution, were wired to respond to fear by either fight, flight, or freeze. For different people, one of these responses will typically dominate. For instance, my spouse tends to freeze and will bury her head in the sand rather than deal with things that make her feel stressed and panicky. I tend more toward fighting, and will become irritable, excessively perfectionistic, or dogmatic if I feel stressed.
When you understand that anxiety is designed to put us into a mode of threat sensitivity, its easier to understand someone who is feeling scared and acting out by being irritable or defensive, and to find compassion for them. By paying attention to how anxiety manifests in the person you care about, you can learn their patterns and be in a better position to help.
Referral To A Specialist
If you have tried the treatments mentioned above and have significant symptoms of GAD, you may want to discuss with your GP whether you should be referred to a mental health specialist.
A referral will work differently in different areas of the UK, but you’ll usually be referred to your community mental health team.
These teams include a range of specialists, including:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.
They’ll ask you about your previous treatment and how effective you found it.
They may also ask about things in your life that may be affecting your condition, or how much support you get from family and friends.
Your specialist will then be able to devise a treatment plan for you, which will aim to treat your symptoms.
As part of this plan, you may be offered a treatment you haven’t tried before, which might be one of the psychological treatments or medications mentioned above.
Alternatively, you may be offered a combination of a psychological treatment with a medication, or a combination of 2 different medications.
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How Do Essential Oils Help With Anxiety
Its highly recommended that you try using essential oils if you are feeling anxious, and its all down to the power of scent.35
Simple smells, such as lavender, chamomile and rosewater can instantly help us feel calm, particularly if youre gently breathing in or rubbing these essential oils on to your skin .
Its essential you dilute them as theyre far too potent to be used neat.
To dilute essential oils, simply mix them with a carrier oil.
The amount you dilute them down by depends on their original strength.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher their percentage, the more likely you are to have a reaction, so its important to mix them correctly.
Always check the usage instruction before using essential oils.