Natural Anxiety Treatments – A Personal Account

anxiety spider web image panic attack seizure

The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.
-Caroline Myss

Anxiety is a disabling condition that changes your mindsetand the way you view the world. It’s a fear based emotion. Symptoms can be anything from a feeling of mild discomfort, to a full blown panic attack . Anxiety includes fear and often the fear of being afraid. However, please keep in mind that anxiety on it’s own cannot hurt you and it’s only a feeling.

Anxiety itself is not harmful to you, but asign of another underlying cause in your body. The most typical causes of anxiety and panic attacks are hormone alterations, for instance pre-menopausal symptoms, menopause, ova hysterectomies. Auto-immune disorders and being unable to deal with stress as a result of distressing events. There are several causes for anxiety as well as different kinds. This manual is aimed toward women in their 30’s who acquire sudden anxiety symptoms due to hormone changes and/or autoimmune disorders, but might also apply to an extensive range of anxiety sufferers.

Due to the fact we live in a society that contains individuals, it’s inevitable that we will experience stress. It is not the worries that gives us anxiousness, but the inability to handle stress. Some anxiety is normal. Our bodies are good at helping us prepare for what we are about to face. Regular anxiety can arise when talking in public places, heading up a conference, performing in front of people. Such type of anxiety produces a normal stress response. Another example is when somebody pulls out in front of us whilst driving and we have an adrenaline rush or when we enter into a fight. Adrenaline is a normal stress response to assist in giving us that extra push. Stress and anxiety alone can’t hurt you. It’s only a feeling whenever we need it. Adrenaline and the stress response was created to help us

In this post, we will center on various areas we can focus on to ease anxiety symptoms. We will strive to get to the source of our anxiety and work from there. The three primary areas we willlook at are; nutrition, environment and spiritual healing. We’ll also have a look at what triggers your anxiety and how to turn triggers into non-triggers.

The first tab in this manual is the go-to source when you’re encountering an anxiety or panic attack. It will gently guide you through breathing exercises, grounding exercises and away to change your perspective of the trigger that started the attack. On the following page are a couple of typical fears related to anxiety and panic attacks.

Common Anxiety Triggers


Health issues:

 A frequent trigger is worrying about overall health. A new symptom appears, a weird pain in your body or simply a throbbing headache can trigger many into thinking something is critically wrong with them. Sickness in a significant other:  

Sickness in a significant other:  

Anytime those close to us are suffering, you will find there’s fear of losing them. This may trigger many emotions, especially if it involves your kids or spouse.

Medication:

Whenever taking a new medication, there’s always a little risk in our mind. This for many, is way too much to deal with, and if there is any alternation in feeling as a result of medication, this is usually a trigger. Most common are definitely the effects of Benedryl, sleep drugs, cold and flu medication, or others that may trigger sleepiness. Also psychoactive drugs such as Medical Marijuana also is a trigger. For me personally, I found if I take these at night time before bed, there is a greater chance for them to trigger an anxiety attack.

Being reminded of any traumatic event:

If sufferers of anxiety have had a past traumatic event in their lives, any situation that slightly reminds them of that event will bring back these emotions, as a result becoming a trigger. Some situations may include an auto accident, breakup, dog bite, a death in the family, abuse, being yelled at by someone, a confrontation, a fight, etc. Stop thinking about the event in your head. This is a handy visualization exercise you can try:

  • Make sure you are in a safe place.
  • Close your eyes and imagine your distressing memory as a movie playing in a theater.
  • Now, take the movie playing on the screen stop to a still image.
  • Change it out to black and white.
  • Position the picture in a frame and hang it on the side wall of the theater.
  • Get out of your seat and walk out of the theater.
  • That’s the place that the picture will remain. You never have to go back into the theater again. If the memory comes back, don’t worry, just put it back in the frame and re-hang it on the wall.
  • After a while, the memory is rendered harmless in your mind and you’ll be able to get over it.


Getting together with new people or meetings:

The worry of the unknown is enough to throw us right into a panic attack. Doctor visits, dentist appointments and even expecting a visit at your own home such as a repair man could be a trigger.

“I Need Help Right Now! “

If you’re enduring a panic attack right this moment, you are not alone. Stick to the tips on the next few pages and you’ll start to feel better. Do these exercises over and over until you feel the anxiety lift. Find the activity which helps you the most and do ita couple of times. The majority of anxiety attacks rarely last over 20 minutes.

1. Basic Grounding
Find 5 things you can see
Look around and notice the mundane details of your environment. It could be the color of a light switch, a picture on your wall or the spackle pattern on the wall.
Find 4 things you can touch
Notice how things feel. The soft qualities of a fuzzy blanket, how smooth the kitchen counter top is, the coolness of a chilly drink or the heat of your morning espresso.
Find 3 things you can hear.
The sound of cars passing by outside, birds chirping, or maybe the hum of the AC unit.
Find 2 things you can smell.
The smell of breakfast in the morning, freshly cut grass or smell something near to you, such as a pillow.
Find 1 thing you can taste.
A salty snack, or the sweetness of an apple slice.

Basic Grounding may help you when you feel like you’ve lost control of your surroundings. Try to remember: You are NOT in danger and this will soon pass. (Say this to yourself a few times in a row)

2. Tactical Grounding
-Hold an ice cube in your palm for as long as you are able to bear
-Snap a rubber band on your wrist
-Take a cold shower
-Pinch some fat on your belly.

Tactical grounding brings you to the present moment by experiencing a slight discomfort.

3. Visual Grounding
-Notice as many things in your environment as possible.
-describe each thing you see
-take note of colors, textures, if it is crooked or straight, large or small, smooth or bumpy
-Find as many details about each object that you can think of.

4. BreathingBeing focused on deep breathing can certainly help put you back into the correct state of mind. Breathe using your belly.

5. Tapping
A simple exercise of tapping particular points on the body might help relieve anxiety.

Repeat steps 1-5 as much as you need!


Nutrition & Exercise

Perhaps the best things you can do to prevent potential anxiety attacks is a healthy diet and exercise. It appears to be very simple, but most people have the hardest time keeping a healthy diet and a healthy body. If a person wants to change they will. Should you truly want to get rid of your anxiety issues, you can. It all depends on how bad you wish to change. To conquer your anxiety symptoms, you have to be committed to a lifestyle change. There isn’t one magical cure which can work. It is a combination of many things. Things that work for some may not work for others. You will have to find the winning combination for you.
Very first thing you must do, and this is going to be hard, is reduce refined sugars and coffee. Are you still with me? Don’t worry, it’s for the greater good. Trust me, you will feel a lot better in a week’s period. In place of coffee, try swapping it with a chai tea in the mornings. Matcha Green tea can be another great alternative. Try replacing your sugars with Agave or Honey if you think you can’t do without some sweetness.

Second thing you should do is wean yourself off of all processed foods. That means fast food, packaged foods, or foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Instead prepare simple meals at your home like salmon and veggies, chicken and potatoes, or pork and beans. It’s great to incorporate some kind of vegetables in each serving. Foods are the most abused anxiety drug and exercise is easily the most under utilized anti-depressant. Leafy greens are the best. Go organic if you can afford it. If you need treats during the day, have fruit, like a banana, apple slices or a bowl of yogurt. Keep your diet simple and pure.

Supplements
Despite the fact that we try and get a complete diet through the foods we eat, we still lack particular nutrients. Listed below are some recommended supplements that worked for me personally, however, it is always best if you talk with your doctor before you begin any new nutrition program. Don’t take anything that may interfere with your current medication.

  • Most people who are suffering from anxiety symptoms are Magnesium deficient. Find the best Calcium/ Magnesium supplement and start taking them daily.
  • Calcium Citrate is a type of magnesium that is easier for your system to absorb. If you are just like me and suffer from anxiety due to an autoimmune disease, then I suggest you also start treating yourself for inflammation as well.
  • Turmeric is a good organic supplement that reduces inflammation. I started with a turmeric supplement with 95% Curcumoids for three months, then went down to taking natural Turmeric powder dietary supplements two times a day.
  • Vitamin D3 is yet another supplement to include in your medicine cupboard. I Take the recommended 2000 IU every day.
  • Probiotics are essential in our path to healing as well. 75% of our immune system is directly related to our gut. If our gut isn’t functioning properly, it delivers signals to our human brain that something is wrong. The brain try to tell us by giving us symptoms. Symptoms are simply our bodies trying to tell us something. It’s best not to ignore or cover up the symptoms, but make an attempt to find out what they’re telling you. Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria. Some natural sources of probiotics are fermented foods for example raw, unprocessed sauerkraut (located in the refrigerated section), kimchi, natto, kombucha and kefir. You will also find some probiotics in yogurt, but often with high amounts of sugar as well.
  • Bear in mind with all of these foods, the less processed, the more effective they are for you. Natural food stores will often have a great collection of raw, unprocessed fermented items.
  • Due to my Crohn’s, I require some pretty large doses of probiotics in pill form as well as natural sources.
  • It is best not to ignore or hide the symptoms, but try and find out what they are trying to tell you.

Herbs and Essential Oils
There are some herbal supplements and essential oils now that you can buy that can bring some forms of relief from stress and anxiety. They could be worth considering as anther tool to have in your anti-anxiety tool belt.

Herbal remedies have already been used by centuries as healing medication. Before modern day medicine, man had to rely entirely on these herbs for healing and relief. Just because they are plant based, don’t believe that they are less potent than modern day meds. Herbs have potency and just like synthetic medication, needs to be taken only under trained professional guidance. They have the power to help, but they also are capable of doing more harm if you do not know what what you are doing. Thus make sure to seek out a trained herbalist and make sure it is a safe route to explore with your doctor.

Like herbs, essential oils are also powerful and useful. Plant based extracts may be used in a number of different forms for calming effects. There are a lot of popular essential oil companies out there now that offer a large collection of products. They all claim to be pure and the best, therefore it is recommended you do some research on the individual company to best meet your needs.

I went down to the health food store and picked up a few vials to use in my diffuser. As most of my episodes were at night, I’d start the diffuser in the evening and let it run while Itry and fall asleep. Follow the directions of the manufacturer of the product or products you want to use. For me, the oils didn’t make a huge difference, nevertheless they were good to take the edge off.

Exercise

Not really a favorite subject by many, however, if you really want a good grasp on self-control, being active is essential. Here’s the deal: start where you are at. if you start small and work your way up, it will not be as bad and you’ll have a tendency to stick with it. People that try to jump in the deep end of exercise burn out easily and quit too soon. (I wonder how many unopened video sets of Tae Bo there are out there?)

If you are overweight, eat fast food and watch TV all day, start with doing what you can. Do squats during commercials, walk around the neighborhood and celebrate your success with an episode on Netflix. Start small. A gym membership and personal trainer may be needed in case you have a hard time starting and keeping yourself motivated. Join a Zumba group. Others will understand if you don’t have the move just yet. A good number of groups are extremely supportive of newcomers. Even if your exercise is catching Pokemon, at least you are up and about! I personally enjoy martial arts. I joined a Kajukenbo group. Not only did I get exercise, but I learned self defense, breathing exercises and even a little tai chi! Learning to do a choke hold or joint lock on someone really does wonders for your self confidence! I found even during my most difficult weeks whenever i was anxiety stricken, as soon as I stepped into the dojo, the anxiety was gone! You are trained to set your focus on the coach and the technique he or she is teaching. There’s really no room for fear or anxiety when you have complete focus! There have been so many nights where I felt awful on the way to martial arts, almost enough to not want to go. On the way home, however, I became a totally different person! I was pumped and ready for life once more! There is absolutely no room for worry or anxiety when you have complete focus.
Make an effort to begin with 2-3 times a week with 30-60 minutes a day and work up from there. In most cases it is a good idea to exercise with a buddy. Friends help you stay accountable and supercharge your confidence!

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that includes meditation and control of the body. It is especially helpful with anxiety and learning to quite the soul. You can look on Youtube for a qualified instructor and practice daily. Simply mind boggling how Tai Chi makes you feel after a week as part of your morning routine.

Rejuvenating the Spirit


We briefly touched upon the body, the mind and now let’s look at the spirit. Even if you’re not really a “spiritual” person, there are still some practical ideas to consider when discussing a spiritual cleansing. It truly is healthy to take a metaphorical step back and look at our life. Just what areas can we change to improve our life? What relationships require fixing? Where can we purge to view things more clearly? Where can we trim to make life a little less nerve-racking? Do we have enough recreation to balance the stress load? What areas of our life gives us the most grief? What can we change for it to be better?

Take about Five minutes to write down your priorities: For example,
Priorities:
1. Spouse
2. Children
3. Health
4. Job
5. Pets

You get the idea. It’s going to be different for everyone. Now, make a
list of things you wish to change for the better. Example:
1. Better health
2. Better relationship with ___________
3. Financial Health
4. Better friendships
5. Less Facebook/ TV

For each item on this list, write down a few ideas on how you can improve each item. Over the next week, concentrate on your list and start taking steps to implement them. It’s not essential to do everything at once. Once again, start small. Call someone you want to have a better relationship and ask them out to coffee, (or Chai tea in your case) Join that Zumba class, start walking the dog daily, take a financial help course, etc. Try to improve your life about 2% each day.

Are you a church goer? If so, find out how you could be more involved in church. Volunteer for that children’s ministry, offer to give out bulletins, etc. After you help others, it takes the focus away from yourself. I’m at my best when I am helping others. Do you read the Bible? There are a lot of comforting scriptures which can help you rest at ease. (Hint: stick to the New Testament at first!) Psalms and Proverbs is an excellent place to begin. I participate with the Life Journal reading program. Whenever you read the passage, you write in the Life Journal of how the scripture can be applied to your life. You get a lot more out of it than by reading by yourself. Another excellent tool to enhance focus.

If you are not yet a church goer, but you are interested, keep in mind, there are many different types of churches but not all are created equal. Go church hopping for a while until you find one that really jives with your spirit. Don’t be discouraged right after the first one you try. Every church has a little different flavor. You just have to find one you like and that is fulfilling to you. Try to avoid churches where you feel pressured to do anything. Or one that pushes you to do things so that you can secure a place in heaven. Once, whilst in college, an acquaintance invited me to their church and I tried it out, it turned out to be OK, but didn’t really seem like an great fit. Therefore i didn’t go the next week. Amazed to discover, some “friends” that I met at the church came knocking on my door to take me to church. I fibbed and said I wasn’t feeling well, nonetheless they came again the next few weeks in a row. Finally I needed to tell them I just don’t want to go to your church! Please leave me alone! I later found out that this type of church is known as a cult and very challenging to get out of once you are in! Please avoid those types of churches!
I’m most comfortable in Foursquare churches, Protestant or Open Bible. Some others to consider may be, Methodist, Presbyterian, and there are some good independent churches as well. Although churches vary depending on the leadership, generally they are open to newcomers and have a heart for people. If you desire to explore other religions, that’s fine, I just don’t have any personal experience with them.
Alternative methods in which you can help others can include volunteering for the Red Cross, your local Search and Rescue team, food banks and dog shelters

Helping Others to Understand


Simply because anxiety is an invisible condition, meaning, there are generally no physical signs, others around us do not understand the turmoil we are going through. People react differently and often badly, making us feel worse. Those suffering with anxiety can sometimes even manage to put a smile on their face in the midst of a panic attack! How’s the easiest way to make others around us understand what we are going through? The answer is not an easy one. Because non-anxiety sufferers never have experienced a panic attack, they have no way of knowing how you’re feeling. You look fine to them after all. Sometimes the way I explain it to others is to think of the poor people locked in the jail cells on board the Titanic and slowly sinking. That panic stricken feeling you are about tokick the bucket? Yeah, that’s pretty much it, except in our case, there’s no apparent reason for the panic. Here are a few things to tell our friends and family members if they want to help:

1. Please do not try and fix anything, just being there helps me feel much better.

2. Don’t tell me “not to worry”.

3. Very helpful things friends can say: “You can get through this”, “It’s not the place that’s bothering you, it is the thought”, “I’m proud of you, great job”, “What you are feeling is scary, but not dangerous”, “Concentrate on breathing, stay in the present.”.

4. Have friends help by finding a quiet, safe place to take you.

5. Have your friends speak in short, simple sentences and avoid surprises.

6. Most of all, friends and loved ones need to remember to stay calm.
Try to look for friends that have a calming personality and are also understanding. Accept the situation at hand, don’t try and fight it. Attacks only last about 20 mins on average, so keep in mind, the episode will pass soon.

Keep an optimistic outlook, you can get rid of anxiety attacks!

The suggestions in the article are techniques and treatments that have helped reduce and eliminate my panic attacks. Hope they help you as well!

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