Relief for Anxiety
Several things can cause anxiety. It’s a normal response to the stress you’re feeling, according to Anxiety Disorders Association of America. But anxiety becomes a disorder when you worry excessively about issues such as money, work or the economy for months. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America says nearly 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States.
Simple lifestyle changes can provide anxiety relief. The Mayo Clinic suggests regularly exercising several days a week to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Learning physical and mental relaxation techniques can relieve anxiety. According to Curing Everyday Ailments the Natural Way, visualization techniques using meditative or light nature music can help relax your mind and body and enhance your mood. Before you begin, find a place away from all distractions. A variety of CDs and DVDs provide relaxation techniques.
Anxiety can disrupt your sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, try drinking chamomile tea to calm your mind and prepare you to rest and get adequate sleep.
Poor nutrition can cause moodiness if you’re deficient in vitamins and minerals. According to Curing Everyday Ailments the Natural Way, a lack of B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium can contribute to anxiety. Fatty acids are essential nutrients as well. The Mayo Clinic suggests you consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, almonds, mackerel, orange roughy, tuna and halibut, to help reduce anxiety. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which can increase anxiety. Instead drink water, natural fruit juices and herbal teas.
Some supplements such as kava can relieve anxiety. Kava is recognized as an herb that can help you relax without “making you feel sedated,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s primarily used to treat anxiety and insomnia. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that kava should not be used long-term or heavily. It can lead to liver damage, hepatitis and liver failure, which can be fatal.
For tea, pour boiled water over kava root. Allow it to steep five to 10 minutes before straining to drink. You can drink kava tea three times a day for two to three weeks, as stated in Curing Everyday Ailments the Natural Way.
You can also take between 150 mg and 300 mg of kava, one to three times daily for anxiety. Take kava only when you need it. The University of Maryland Medical Center says kava should not be taken more than three months without a two-week rest period.
Medications exist to treat those who suffer from acute or severe forms of anxiety. Medications generally used to treat anxiety include antidepressants, buspirone and benzodiazepines. According to the Mayo Clinic, antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft can improve “activity of brain chemicals.” Buspirone can take several weeks to display signs that its working. Benzodiazepines such as Valium or Xanax provide short-term relief of symptoms. In addition to medical treatment, severe forms of anxiety also call for professional counseling.