Anxiety isn’t something you should ignore or accept as a natural part of your life. Overcoming anxiety can be a challenge, but there are certain over-the-counter methods and natural remedies that can offer relief. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with anxiety that’s going to work for absolutely everyone. However, there are certain methods that can aid in your recovery from various forms of anxiety. Here are five natural and OTC approaches to dealing with anxiety:
1. Herbal Remedies
Various studies have confirmed the numerous healing properties commonly associated with certain herbal remedies. Specifically, Chamomile, St. Johns Wort and Valerian root have been shown to help significantly reduce common anxiety-related symptoms. Some reports suggest that herbal remedies alone are more successful for treating mild cases of anxiety rather than sudden panic attacks and severe anxiety. It’s important to check with your doctor before starting any herbal remedies to avoid an adverse reaction with any medications you currently take.
2. Natural Supplements
If you’re going to try certain supplements to help combat some of the symptoms of anxiety, it’s generally recommended that you go with a natural supplement. Natural supplements tend to have far less adverse reactions, especially if mixed with any existing medications you may be taking on a regular basis. Some natural supplements to consider for use in easing anxiety attacks include:
• Magnesium – Magnesium has been found to be effective in helping to reduce the impact of traumatic stress frequently experienced during periods of intense anxiety. Magnesium is believed to help create new brain response patterns to counteract the effects of previous anxiety attacks.
• Omega 3 fatty acids – Omega 3 fatty acids have long been touted for many health benefits. When it comes to anxiety and stress, a study suggests that omega-3s can reduce the effects of anxiety-related conditions by about 20 percent. If you don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, supplements provide a more concentrated amount with similar results.
• GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) – GABA has been found to calm firing nerves within the central nervous system. Prolonged stress can interfere with this process. When this process is inhibited, individuals prone to anxiety attacks may experience symptoms such as manic behavior and recklessness. A general recommendation is about 500-1000 mg per day. You can also balance it out with foods that contain GABA such as spinach, green tea and bananas.
3. Relaxation Therapy
Relaxation therapies such as yoga and mediation release so-called “feel good hormones” that can naturally counteract some symptoms of anxiety. Since relaxation therapies can also be fun as well as relaxing, they can be easily incorporated into long-term anxiety relief treatments. An added benefit is that relaxation therapy can be a group activity where you can meet other individuals dealing with similar stresses or it can be something you do in the privacy of your own home on your time.
4. Anti-Anxiety Diet
Anxiety is more than just mental. New research suggests that some anxiety disorders may be related to your diet. Making certain adjustments to your diet could dramatically reduce panic attacks and certain anxiety-related conditions. While there are many different diets recommended for this purpose, most anti-anxiety diets call for a reduction in the consumption of sugars, fats, dairy and meat while recommending an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
5. Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
Not the be confused with cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, cognitive behavioral techniques can be practiced on your own time. CBT techniques have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in some individuals dealing with a certain level of anxiety on a regular basis. The idea behind CBT and panic attacks is to employ these techniques when you feel the onslaught of a panic attack to stop it before it becomes more severe. Some common cognitive behavioral techniques include:
• Thought Records – As the name implies, you simply keep a record of negative thoughts that occur throughout the day. This may include negative statements or your reaction to stressful situations such as a confrontation with your boss or an issue with a rude parking attendant.
• Pleasant Activity Scheduling – This technique involves scheduling some pleasant activity to give yourself something positive to look forward to on a regular basis. It could be Monday, Wednesday, Friday or on weekends. The idea is to participate in some pleasant activity you haven’t tried yet but have some interest in such as painting or taking a cooking class. It can be a group activity or something you do entirely on your own time such as woodworking or biking.
• Situation Exposure Hierarchies – Start by making a list of situations that cause you the most stress. Each subsequent item decreases in its personal stress level for you. For example, if you have an eating disorder, eating some fat-free yogurt would be relatively easy while enjoying an ice cream sundae as a treat would be something you would find difficult. The idea is to work your way through the list until your level of stress associated with each task is reduced.
• Imagery Based Exposure – This technique is about directly dealing with stressful moments rather than trying to forget such situations. The concept is to go over every detail of an especially stressful moment to the point where you understand all the emotions that were at play and what triggered your reaction so that the next time you encounter something similar your stress level will be reduced.
While there are many approaches to dealing with anxiety, the Linden Method is an approach to overcoming anxiety that many individuals have found to be effective. It’s a natural method that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or require commitment to expensive therapy sessions. The program, which includes a detailed manual and audio and video accessories, can be purchased at bookstores worldwide or online. You can get the latest information and best prices on the linden method here.
Learn more about the Linden Method by reading our in depth article here.