Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety

These days, it seems like almost everyone I know suffers from some level of anxiety and/or depression. Perhaps it's our society, our modern way of living, our stress levels, our lack of extended family and social support structures. Perhaps it has something to do with our diets. No matter what is causing the anxiety, many of us are looking for relief.

If you are suffering from acute anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, or other debilitating symptoms, see a medical professional for immediate help. A psychiatrist or even your general practitioner can prescribe medication that will make a big difference. Anti-anxiety drugs work wonders, and do so very quickly. But some people prefer to treat milder levels of anxiety with natural supplements, over-the-counter aids, and practices that enhance their overall health. If this sounds like you, read on!

MEDITATION AND DEEP BREATHING: Whether you are experiencing mild stress and anxiety, or a full blown panic attack, working with your breathing can help to bring your symptoms under control. The more you practice deep belly breathing, the more effective it will be in reducing anxiety. Ideally, deep breathing should be practiced on a daily basis, even when you aren't stressed or anxious. Movement practices--yoga, t'ai chi, qi gong--which emphasize slow, deep breathing will also help.

IMPROVED DIET: Diet plays a huge role in determining mood. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate all contain stimulants which can make us jittery and nervous. Sugar and refined carbs (processed white flour, junk foods) raise the blood sugar quickly, stimulating an insulin response which then promotes a subsequent sharp drop in blood sugar levels, leaving us feeling irritable, grumpy, and hangry. Recent studies also show a link between our gut biome and mood issues, so supporting your gut with probiotics certainly couldn't hurt and very well might help with anxiety. Alcohol seems to relax us initially, but disturbs our sleep and ends up causing more problems. A ketogenic diet, which emphasizes good fats, moderate protein, and very low carbs, can make a big difference in reducing anxiety and improving mood.

NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS: There are many supplements available over the counter which help with calming the nervous system and improving sleep. I take melatonin, magnesium, and theanine each night before bed. During the day, I also supplement with fish oil and turmeric. Both of these have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and improve mood.

CBD AND PASSIONFLOWER: In addition, many people are turning to newly available products like CBD oil and passionflower extract. CBD oil shows promise for treating many different issues, including anxiety. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and may also help with pain and joint problems like arthritis. CBD oil seems to be safe and tolerated well by most people. When purchasing CBD oil over the Internet, look for products grown in the USA as these tend to be higher quality.

Passionflower extract also seems to be effective for mild to moderate anxiety. I have been using both CBD (Cannovia brand) and passionflower (Herb Pharm) for a short amount of time. I can't say for sure, but I believe I have been seeing some reduction in anxiety since I started. I know several others who have tried CBD oil and passionflower extract for anxiety, who also believe it works for them.

Bottom line? Anxiety is not something you just have to live with. There are prescription medications that work well for those with acute symptoms. For milder cases, there are many ways to improve your symptoms without any side effects. A combination of diet, life style, and over-the-counter supplements might do the trick!