Don’t Worry Be Happy: Holistic Remedies for Anxiety

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Woman sad with hand on her faceHere at Earth’s Friends we like to take a holistic approach to healing. That means we examine both the body and mind when looking at our health – in other words, the whole self. Instead of merely targeting one symptom at a time (even if we do so via natural remedies), we try and see the full picture. What is the underlying cause of the problem or health issue? Once we know that – we can work on treatment based not only on natural remedies but on lifestyle changes.

Anxiety Plagues our Society

Anxiety is one of the most common concerns in mental health today. While anxiety is a natural reaction to certain situations such as danger, it becomes problematic when it’s the reaction to much more minor situations and when the condition dominates most of your conscious awareness.

We’re taking a more in-depth look at a holistic approach to treating anxiety – with tips for managing and preventing unwanted anxieties altogether. First, however, in the spirit of holistic treatment, we need to define anxiety and explain a little bit about what triggers it in today’s hectic lifestyle.

Definition of Anxiety

Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of the mind caused by fear or danger, whether real or perceived.

Anxiety is the instinctive physiological reaction often referred to as “fight or flight“. Ancient humans relied on anxiety to warn them of pending danger and to aid them in quick instinctive decisions to either retreat or attack when time did not allow the long, logical, contemplative process of thinking and evaluation.

We no longer need anxiety for our survival, but our brains perceive many of the conditions of our modern lives as threatening danger (and in fact, they may very well be dangerous), and so they produce the physiological sensations of anxiety.

Over-stimulation is a common cause of anxiety, for example. When our senses are over-stimulated, we become overwhelmed and cannot filter what to tune out and where to place our focus. As a result, panic begins to rise in the conscious awareness and before you know it, you are suffering a full-blown anxiety attack.

The Underlying Causes of Anxiety

Based on this more traditional definition of anxiety, it is difficult to understand then, why the symptoms seem to appear out of “nowhere”. Many times people experience the symptoms of anxiety, but deny them by saying something like “I don’t have any reason to feel this way”.

We have to broaden the definition then in order to see how anxiety is the result of more subtle and less dramatic causes. In a nutshell, the chaotic busyness of today’s modern life creates stress, and the brain interprets stress as the threat of danger and/or loss. In other words, stress is the most common cause of anxiety in today’s world.

Identifying Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety manifests itself in the body in the form of a tight chest, racing heart, sweaty palms, and other unfamiliar, worrisome symptoms which are often triggered by the influx of adrenaline the body excretes to react to the flight or fight need it perceives. Anxiety can cause insomnia, headaches and other physical pain, lack of appetite, irritability, and an overall gloomy perception of the world. Clearly these symptoms all affect your quality of life.

Recognition of Anxiety Symptoms

Unfortunately, you cannot simply talk yourself out of the symptoms. When anxiety has taken over your whole being, you are truly disabled in your normal functioning. The first step in finding a cure then, is recognizing your symptoms and calling the kettle black, so to speak: recognize that what you are experiencing is real and identify it as anxiety.

Anxiety is a serious mental health disorder and requires serious attention and deliberate intention to overcome. Fortunately, the medical community and most of society have finally come to admit this reality of the severity of anxiety and how far reaching it is among the population. As a result, there are many cures available to treat this disorder. In our world dominated by Western medicine, we hear a lot about pharmaceutical drugs that are designed to reorder your brain’s chemistry to set it back in balance. But what if you want a more natural way to restore your mental health?

holistic remedies for anxiety

Fortunately there are many natural cures for anxiety that address both the body and mind, using a holistic (whole being) approach. In particular, these constitute two main categories:

Stress-Relieving Lifestyle changes

It is not realistic to think you would be able to change your job, fix all your personal relationships, find a quick fix for your financial woes, or create more hours in your days (these are the major stressors in most people’s lives) overnight. However, you can make changes in your lifestyle that will help you better manage those problems. Increasing exercise and eat a more wholesome diet with fewer processed food will have a tremendous affect on how you feel and are able to manage life’s stressors. Further, meditation and other mindfulness practices that remind you to live in the present moment rather than worrying about the past or the future will also go a very long way to bringing you more peace of mind, body and spirit.

And, while you cannot change your life stressors over night, you can take the time to start truly examining them so you can make better choices in the future. For example, if your job is making you miserable, it might be time to seek out a new one that is more fulfilling.

Natural Herbs for Anxiety Reduction

A change to your lifestyle will often address the core, or source, of your anxiety issues. While you’re adjusting the way you life your life, it can help to also move toward a natural diet and focus on natural herbs and teas to calm your nerves. Read our article on Herbs for Anxiety and Depression for more details on how to impact your mental health and clarity through natural, non-medicinal methods.

Natural Healing through Emotional Freedom Tapping Technique

Emotional Freedom Tapping therapy (or EFT) has recently received attention and popularity for being an effective holistic anxiety treatment. By touching certain points in the body several times while repeating positive affirmations, you can channel positive energy to the brain and make significant impact on your emotional well being. Read Dr. Serina Deen’s personal experience with the “Emotional Freedom” technique or watch the news story below from WTNH.

Make yourself and your happiness a priority by doing things regularly that you enjoy. Think positive thoughts and try to reduce the causes for the anxiety you are feeling. Through these small steps, you can make a powerful impact towards healing and can work towards freeing yourself from the chains of anxiety.

Have you found a helpful holistic treatment for anxiety?

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