Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the U.S. Approximately 40 million Americans, 18% of the population, experience anxiety in one form or another at any given time. It’s no wonder, then, that anxiety cures are sought-after continually.
“Traditional” Anxiety Cures
Medication and/or psychotherapy are the more common ways people try to cure their anxiety. The medications range from anxiolytics, or those medications designed to directly attack the symptoms of anxiety. However, unlike some other medications, they do not cure anxiety, only bring symptom relief.
And, these medications have sometimes significant side effects. Plus, they have to be taken over and over again as the symptoms of anxiety return. So, anxiety cures they are not.
In addition, addiction is a possibility with some of these medications. Typically, they do bring some relief, at times pretty quickly. Unfortunately, those that bring quick relief also stop working quickly. This leads to the individual taking more and possibly becoming addicted.
Some antidepressant medications also serve to relieve anxiety symptoms. Many of these medications take quite a bit of time to begin helping. Some as long as four to six weeks. Besides side effects of these medications, not everyone gets help from them. At times, physicians have to try several medications, or even combinations of medications, to get the desired results.
Psychotherapy is another of the common anxiety cures. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown through research to be the most effective therapy approach for the most people. CBT combines changing thinking with changing behavior.
A possible drawback to CBT is the length of time it may take to realize results. Plus, therapy is tough. You may be required to face things you’ve kept pushed away for a long time.
“Non-Traditional” Anxiety Cures
There are a number of anxiety cures that aren’t like medications or psychotherapy. They’re more natural and thus have fewer side effects. These “non-traditional” anxiety cures consist of herbal approaches, lifestyle changes, nutritional approaches, and vitamins.
Herbs like chamomile tea are said to be good anxiety cures. Compounds in chamomile, such as Matricaria recutita, are said to fit into the same receptors in the brain as Valium, one of the anxiolytic medications. Taken as a supplement, dried chamomile flowers and 1.2% apigenin, research has shown good results in people with generalized anxiety disorder when compared with placebo. An amino acid, L-theanine, found in green tea has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of anxiety, also.
Included with herbs, essential oils have been found to help calm people with anxiety symptoms. A massage with lavender oil has been found to relieve anxiety and lower systolic blood pressure. Inhaling lavender oil on your pillow at night or in your bath can also be an anxiety cure.
Another of the herbal anxiety cures is catnip. Catnip has been used to relieve irritability, stop headaches caused by insomnia, ease muscle tension and stress, and alleviate the nervous cough sometimes seen with anxiety.
Fennel is not used directly for anxiety, but does seem to provide some relief from some of the symptoms. It improves digestion which is often inhibited by anxiety, provides some relief from asthma symptoms which are made worse by anxiety, and is an antispasmodic, which can be of help with anxiety.
Supplements and Foods
Anxiety cures can also be found in different foods and supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have some benefit in relieving anxiety symptoms. These fatty acids are best found in cold-water fish, walnuts, and flax seeds.
Nutrients in blueberries and peaches have been shown to help calm symptoms of anxiety, also. Magnesium and tryptophan are found in whole grains. The latter is an amino acid which is converted into serotonin by the body. Serotonin has a calming effect and will boost your mood.
Oats boost serotonin production and include a lot of fiber, which will stop blood sugar spikes that could lead to anxiety. Avocados, meat, eggs, and milk contain a lot of B vitamins that can relieve anxiety.
Lifestyle Changes as Anxiety Cures
One of the best lifestyle choices is to learn to physically relax. Abdominal breathing, or belly breathing, is one of the very good relaxation exercises to learn. When you’re lying down, put your hand on your belly and make it go up and down as you breathe in and out. As with all relaxation exercises, practice makes this easier.
Another lifestyle choice is visualization. Basically, this means bringing to mind a place where you felt completely relaxed and completely safe. Get it in your mind so completely that you can “put” yourself there in your mind. When this visualization is coupled with physical relaxation, you will find yourself being able to completely relax just about anywhere. Once again, practice is important. The more you practice, the more relaxed you get.
Exercise is another good anxiety cure. This doesn’t have to be physically strenuous exercise, but it does need to be moderately strenuous. It will flood your body with endorphins, the natural anxiety reliever in your body, and will help you feel better about yourself.
Some research suggests increasing your body heat through exercise will change some of your neural circuits. Especially those that affect serotonin. This neurotransmitter helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
A hot bath can be another of the anxiety cures. It soothes you, relaxes your muscles, and adding Epson salts can calm anxiety symptoms and lower blood pressure.
Another lifestyle change that can be an anxiety cure is laughing. Even if you have to fake the laugh, this activity gives you a quick hit of dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter that aids in the control of pleasure and reward.
Schedule time to relax. Most people live by schedules. Yours is under your own control, thus, you can put time into your schedule to use the relaxation exercises described above. Put in a half hour regularly to do what you find relaxing.
These are only a few of the possible anxiety cures that can be used to relieve symptoms. It is possible that only psychotherapy can bring a lasting cure for your anxiety.
19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20669377,00.html#chamomile-0
10 Home Remedies for Natural Anxiety Relief http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/natural-anxiety-relief/
6 Cheap, Natural, and Quick Anxiety Remedies http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/cheap-natural-quick-anxiety-remedies/
Treatments For Anxiety http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/anxiety/anxiety-treatments.php
Natural & Herbal Anxiety Remedies http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/natural-herbal-remedies