How often do you experience a racing heart, sweaty palms and shaky knees? If this happens often and the feelings come and go, chances are it isn’t anything serious and is more so related to feelings of anxiety or panic attacks. However, when you have these feelings, your anxiety and fear overcome you, and pull you down even further into a full blown panic attack. It can even feel as though you are having a heart attack at times. (NOTE: It is never a good idea to brush off the warning signs of a potential heart attack; seeking immediate medical attention is important) This is an all too real feeling and can be very frightening if you do not understand what is happening or how to stop it.
Most people who experience high anxiety or panic attacks allow their minds to fill with negative thoughts, and worry takes hold. I know many people who experience these types of panic attacks or high anxiety and although there are many ways you can take control, there are a few natural ways and techniques that you can use. Let’s take a look at a few:
I know that exercise is probably the last thing on your mind when you are in the midst of a full-blown panic attack but once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.
The links between anxiety, depression and exercise aren’t entirely clear but working out can definitely help you relax and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep anxiety and depression from coming back once you’re feeling better.
According to research, exercise helps in:
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
- Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
- Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Healing herbal teas are a fun place to start. But even in the best case scenario, they’re just a Band Aid for your anxiety. You’ll get some relief, but that relief will be temporary and won’t be that meaningful. You simply cannot expect any tea to provide you with the cure you need.
That’s why those that use tea alone simply cannot hope to see tea as anything other than what it is – a drink that may reduce some of your anxiety. You still need to pair it with coping strategies and tools that will keep your anxiety from coming back.
It’s always a good idea to talk with a doctor before taking any herbal tea or natural supplement because there may be side effects that you need to be careful of.
With that information in mind, there are several herbal teas for anxiety. Make sure that you’re taking one without caffeine. Caffeine itself can cause anxiety attacks in some people. The following are possible herbal/natural solutions for anxiety:
- Passionflower Tea
- Valerian Root Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Lemon Balm Tea
Remember, none of these teas have much support behind them, but users them swear to their effectiveness and with the exception of peppermint tea (which can aggravate gastroesophageal reflux disorder), none of the teas appear to have any side effects.
Healthy eating is one of the best ways to control anxiety and stress. In fact, one of the best things you can add to your diet is more water. Many studies have found that dehydration affects as many as 25% of those with persistent stress or more, and dehydration is known to cause more anxiety.
As for foods, anything with magnesium, vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins), zinc, and antioxidants can be beneficial for helping you deal with stress. There are also herbal supplements like kava and passionflower that may be valuable for anxiety.
Easily the most common bad habit that contributes to anxiety is sleep deprivation. Far too many people suffering from anxiety avoid sleep, allowing their stresses to keep them awake. Sleep is one of the most important tools for coping with stress, so when you allow yourself to be kept awake, you make it much more likely for stress to affect you.
In some cases anxiety and stress may be keeping you awake against your will so going to bed earlier can help. You should also create a boring routine before you go to bed. Why? Your mind finds comfort in a boring routine before going to bed, especially one that is free of technology.
Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep? Try keeping a journal next to your bed. This way, when you have negative thoughts that keep you awake or waken you in the middle of the night, you can grab your journal and write them down. It is an odd fact that our minds perceive that it is okay not to obsess over them once they are down on paper and sleep will come much easier.
Most of all, never avoid sleep on purpose. You absolutely need sleep in order to cope with the anxieties and stresses of the day.
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