What natural remedies are used for anxiety?
Lifestyle changes can effectively relieve some of the stress and anxiety you may cope with every day. Most natural “remedies” consist of caring for your body and participating in healthy activities while eliminating unhealthy ones.
- getting enough sleep
- staying active and exercising
- eating a healthy diet
- avoiding alcohol
- avoiding caffeine
- quitting smoking cigarettes if you smoke
If these lifestyle changes seem like a positive way to help you eliminate some anxiety, read about how each one works—plus, get more great ideas for treating anxiety.
Anxiety and depression
If you have an anxiety disorder, you may also be experiencing depression. While anxiety and depression can occur separately, it’s not unusual for mental health disorders to happen together.
Anxiety can be a symptom of clinical or major depression. Likewise, worsening symptoms of depression can become triggered by an anxiety disorder.
You can manage symptoms of both conditions with many of the same treatments: psychotherapy (counseling), medications, and lifestyle changes.
How to help children with anxiety
Anxiety in children is natural and expected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4% of children and adolescents ages 3 to 17 have had a diagnosis of anxiety.
As children grow up, they should outgrow the worries and fears they felt when they were younger. It may be considered an anxiety disorder if they’re afraid to be away from their parents, exhibit extreme fear, and other anxiety symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day lives.
Anxiety in children can also become chronic and persistent, with uncontrolled anxiety leading them to avoid interacting with their peers or family members.
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder in children might include:
- trouble sleeping
- feelings of fear
Anxiety treatment for children includes cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy) and medications.
How to help teens with anxiety
Teenagers may have many reasons to be anxious. Tests, college visits, and first dates all pop up in these important years. But teenagers who feel anxious or experience anxiety symptoms frequently may have an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety in teenagers may include nervousness, shyness, isolationist behaviors, and avoidance. Likewise, anxiety in teens may lead to unusual behaviors.
For example, they may act out, perform poorly in school, skip social events, and even engage in substance or alcohol use.
In some teens, depression may accompany anxiety. Diagnosing both conditions is essential so that their treatment can address the underlying issues and help relieve symptoms.
The most common treatments for anxiety in teenagers are talk therapy and medication. These treatments also help address depression symptoms.
Anxiety and stress
Stress and anxiety are related but different. Stress is a typical and healthy reaction to an identifiable event that’s making you nervous, such as an upcoming test, presentation, wedding, or other major change in your life.
Stress will go away once the trigger goes away. Anxiety, on the other hand, persists beyond any trigger and may exist without a known trigger. A person may need treatment for anxiety to go away.
Both anxiety and stress respond well to physical activity, good sleep hygiene, and a well-balanced diet. But if your anxiety and stress don’t respond well and you feel your day-to-day functioning is impaired, a mental health professional can help you determine a treatment plan.
Physical symptoms of anxiety
When you experience symptoms of anxiety, they can manifest as physical symptoms such as:
- heart palpitations
- muscle aches and tensions
- dry mouth
- excessive sweating
Neither stress nor anxiety is always bad. Both can provide you with a boost or incentive to accomplish the task or challenge before you. But if these feelings become persistent, they can begin to interfere with your daily life. In that case, it’s important to get treatment.
The long-term outlook for people with untreated depression and anxiety includes chronic health issues, such as heart disease.
Anxiety and alcohol
If you’re anxious frequently, you may decide you’d like a drink to calm your nerves. After all, alcohol is a sedative. In addition, it can depress the activity of your central nervous system, which may help you feel more relaxed.
Some people with anxiety disorders abuse alcohol or other drugs regularly to feel better, creating dependency and addiction.
It may be necessary to treat an alcohol or drug problem before doctors can address the anxiety. But chronic or long-term use can ultimately worsen the condition.
Can foods treat anxiety?
Doctors commonly use medication and talk therapy to treat anxiety. But lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep and regular exercise, can also help. In addition, some research suggests the foods you eat may have a beneficial impact on your brain if you frequently experience anxiety.
These foods include:
- flax and chia seeds
- fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon
- vitamin D
Children and teens
It’s not known why anxiety develops in children and teenagers. But there are excellent public health approaches that work to prevent the disorder, and they include:
- suicide prevention
- bullying prevention
- youth violence prevention
- child maltreatment prevention
- mental health programs
As parents, you can communicate openly and honestly with your child while ensuring they’re making healthy decisions.
To learn more about how to support your child’s mental health, please check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resource page.
In addition, in cases of children and teens experiencing anxiety in response to something happening within their family or in their home, it’s a good idea to get family therapy. This is important especially because children and teens may not find it so easy to talk about their feelings or be aware of their anxiety.
There are many ways to prevent anxiety and its symptoms. Please see the below options:
- Avoidance. Avoiding people, places, and situations can lessen your stress and anxiety. But this would be a short-term strategy. In the long term, it’s better if you get treatment so you no longer need to avoid a trigger.
- Stress management and mindfulness. Practicing stress management and mindfulness prevents strain.
- Restrict caffeine. Caffeine can worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Support groups. Speaking with others is an opportunity to share coping strategies and experiences.
- Therapy. Speaking with a therapist can help you develop more effective ways to cope with fears and stress that lead to anxiety.
- Speak with a doctor about your medications. Regularly speaking with a doctor about your medications’ dosing, effectiveness, and side effects ensures any health condition is treated adequately and monitored for any possible anxiety-related side effects.
You can treat your anxiety with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
But some people who have a mild anxiety disorder, or a fear of something they can easily avoid, decide to live with the condition and don’t get treatment.
Avoiding the trigger, however, can actually make anxiety worse in the long term. Treatment can help you overcome the need to avoid a trigger.
It’s important to understand that anxiety disorders can be treated, even in severe cases. Although anxiety usually doesn’t go away, you can learn to manage it and live a happy, healthy life.
You must log in to post a comment.