We all feel anxious from time to time, but if you are experiencing this with no specific reason, and your everyday life is being affected, then it is time to take action.
The usual symptoms can include restlessness, feeling tense or on edge, irritability, impatience, or poor concentration. You may also have physical symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, muscle tension, insomnia, dry mouth, fatigue, chest tightness, indigestion, bloating, excessive sweating, and headache.
If your symptoms persist, particularly if you are having chest tightness or shortness of breath then please consult your doctor, but you may find that some of these natural suggestions will help:
1. Bioidentical natural progesterone has the effect of being a natural anti-depressant. For this reason it has helped many women who suffer from greater anxiety during the hormonal changes of menopause. For more severe moods then a combined cream that has both progesterone and oestrogen has been found helpful in work by Dr Jeffrey DAch in the USA.
2. Herbs are frequently prescribed to help with both anxiety and panic attacks. Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata) helps with anxiety but must not be used in conjunction with sedatives unless under medical supervision. Valerian is usually suggested for insomnia, and again shouldn’t be taken with many medications, especially those that depress the central nervous system, such as sedatives and antihistamines. Don’t combine it with alcohol, or use before or after surgery, or if you have liver disease. Other herbs that have been found useful are chamomile, hops, oats, borage and lavender. Bach Flower remedies for anxiety are also popular and perhaps the most useful is Rescue Remedy which can be applied directly to the tongue for immediate relief or put into a bottle of water to sip throughout the day.
3. Simple dietary measures to cut the anxiety rate include cutting out coffee and caffeine drinks such as cola as they are highly stimulating, and ensuring your blood sugar levels stay constant throughout the day. This means a protein rich breakfast, and avoiding too many carbohydrates, biscuits, cakes, pasta and potatoes in order to control your energy levels and keep them stable. Ensure you have a good supply of oily fish in your diet and drink plenty of water.
4. Supplements have also proved useful; vitamins C, D and B complex are often suggested for stress and anxiety. Best supported with a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement and fish oils. Homoeopathic remedies are effective and there is a combination of Arg.Nit, Ambergris and Acon that is specifically for both anxiety and panic attacks.
5. All forms of bodywork will help reduce anxiety levels so treat yourself to a massage. Shiatsu, reflexology and practices such as yoga, tai chi and chi gong are widely used to diminish muscle tension.
6. Mind/body breathing exercises such as meditation are well established as being helpful for reducing stress and increasing calmness. If severe then you could try hypnotherapy with a qualified practitioner as that can help get to the root of the cause of the anxiety.
7. Aromatherapy using organic essential oils can be added to baths, massage oil, or infusers and the best for anxiety are: bergamot, cypress, geranium, jasmine, lavender, melissa, neroli, rose, sandalwood and ylang-ylang.
There are many ways to help deal with anxiety and you may need to experiment to find the one, or ones, that work best for you. If stress is behind your anxiety then tackling that first will be a good place to start.