Excessive sweating, nail biting, a racing heart and dizzy head! It’s absolutely normal to suffer these bodily symptoms if you are awaiting a hearing in the court, appearing for your job interview or are in the doctor’s clinic to find the diagnosis. When the brain senses a stressful stimuli or danger it prepares every organ in the body to be alert and ready to face the situation. However, some people experience the anxiety symptoms too often and some time without a genuine reason. Now, this can get your health into trouble. People who worry too much about everyday issues are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Although being too worried every day does not declare you a patient with a panic or anxiety disorder, it surely does affect your health to a certain degree.
Scientists believe that people who worry excessively tend to have an abnormal connection between the brain regions that help us to recognize the danger and yet be calm and in control. Since you don’t qualify for a medical treatment with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder, it is best to look for some natural therapies to increase work efficiency and relax your mind.
Here are 5 natural therapies that can effectively reduce anxiety and lead to mental calmness.
Healthy dietary changes are considered as a potential therapeutic option for reducing anxiety. Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are known to improve mental health. One study reported that Omega-3 supplementation showed 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms. In addition mineral supplements containing magnesium and zinc, and amino acids such as L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan which are the known precursors for specific neurotransmitters, are found to be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. (Source: Lakhan SE. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 42.)
Herbal extracts of Kava, Passionflower, St. John’s wort, and Ashwagandha have shown promising results in treatment of anxiety. These herbal supplements are known to calm the mind and positively enhance mood.
(Source: J. Sarris, Moylan S. Complementary Medicine, Exercise, Meditation, Diet, and Lifestyle Modification for Anxiety Disorders: A Review of Current Evidence Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 809653, 20 pages).
The practice involving “mindfulness,” that refers to “focusing on the present moment non-judgementally” helps to get rid of all the negative thoughts and lead to calmer mind. Scientists believe that meditation may influence neurotransmitter release in the brain and also increase the oxygen supply to the brain.
(Source: Yu X1, Fumoto M. Activation of the anterior prefrontal cortex and serotonergic system is associated with improvements in mood and EEG changes induced by Zen meditation practice in novices. Int J Psychophysiol. 2011; 80(2):103-111.)
Aromatherapy Massage is performed using fragrant oils obtained from various plants. These essential oils possess specific medicinal properties that help to achieve mental calmness. Aromatherapy Massage with Lavender Oil is known to improve mood and reduce levels of anxiety.
Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese Medicine principles and is used very widely in China, Japan, and Korea, to treat emotional, psychological and spiritual conditions, including anxiety. There is some positive evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder. Although the data from clinical studies seem promising, further research may confirm its recommendation in routine practice
Melita Fernandes is a Health & Wellness writer at Four Fountains Spa. She holds a masters’ degree in pharmacy and is an efficient wellness writer. She has worked as a patient advocate and contributed content for several health portals specifically designed for people with diabetes and mental illnesses. Melita herself is a health enthusiast and believes that healthy eating, regular physical activity and stress management is the tripod of good health.