Anxiety
Health

6 NATURAL WAYS TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY

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A severe anxiety attack is as serious as a heart attack! And hyperventilation isn’t something to joke with!

Anxiety is a major issue facing the world today. In fact, it is said to be the most common type of mental illness. The spike in the usage of antidepressants and sedatives worldwide is not something to be celebrated. Thus as we always advocate for holistic alternatives in coping with health challenges, anxiety disorder isn’t left out.

Anxiety isn’t exactly a bad emotion, as it makes you aware of dangers and calculated risks. However, when anxiety becomes a constant struggle, it may greatly impair your daily activities and adversely affect the quality of your life. This is when anxiety becomes a disorder.

Below are a few proven natural remedies to take care of your anxiety and reduce the risk of an attack.

What is anxiety?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Anxiety is mainly due to stress, but it can also be as a result of a sudden occurrence or an accumulation of stress over time. Traumatic events can also result in someone becoming anxious toward a particular trauma, which becomes a trigger and, most times results in panic attacks.

When anxiety becomes prolonged and interferes with your daily activities, it is no longer a natural response but a disorder.

Anxiety disorders are often treated with antidepressants and sedatives to manage the symptoms and prevent an episode. Psychotherapy is another form of treatment used when the triggers are being identified and controlled.

Is anxiety different from nervousness?

Anxiety is a response of your body to a stressful situation, so is nervousness. The major difference between these two is that nervousness is usually short-lived and limited to a particular trigger. Once that factor is removed, you stop being nervous. On the other hand, anxiety can result from one or more triggers and usually extends over a long period of time. It eventually becomes more severe as it stretches.

Another distinction is that nervousness can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder or the onset of an anxiety attack.

Finally, the physical manifestations of anxiety are more severe than nervousness.

Symptoms of anxiety.

Truthfully, anxiety is a natural response to stress. Now, what our brain defines to be stressful varies depending on each individual. This implies that the physical manifestation of anxiety varies from person to person. The general symptoms may include:

  • Nervousness
  • Hyperventilation (rapid breathing)
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Sleeplessness
  • Trembling and sweating

Read Esta’s true story on anxiety

Title: In Between (Fantasy and Reality | Optimism and Pessimism)

Growing up, I was always scared of being optimistic because anytime I got optimistic, something bad always happened.

So I taught myself to always expect the worst of every situation.

When something good happened, I wouldn’t get excited until it was done, and even after, I had to wait for the effect to take place before I shared the news. Truthfully, it was exhausting: being unable to be excited or get excited or share that excitement.

The only thing I got excited for was movies. It was definite and subjective.

I could get optimistic and excited about it as I desired because it was not in my control, and it is what is. A creation from an imagination. NOT REAL.

So I held onto it. To feel better, to stay passionate, and to be able to express myself, or share my excitement with people once in a while, but sooner or later, people got tired of that and associated me with POP CULTURE and never anything of substance.

They would come to me to talk about movies or music but never about something real, and even if they did, it was to make a mockery of me or to feel like they were better than me.

Somehow, I would say my relationships with people weren’t real. I stayed clueless until I started to push myself and reached out to genuine people for friendships. Ironically they were online friends who also enjoyed POP CULTURE like I do.

We all had something in common and because we seemed so far away, I was free to share personal stuff with them.

Soon enough, I began to share my excitement about other things; I was neither optimistic nor pessimistic. It always felt like a therapy session, and I always felt good after that.

So I began to apply these forms of relationships to my everyday life. It worked with some, and it did not work with some. With the help of the Internet and further readings, I realized that my irrational fears are symptoms of anxiety.

By understanding my situation and mental health, I got a better grasp of things. I’ve also realized that what will happen will happen; there’s no need to fear the uncertainty. What’s important is your reaction to situations and how you manage them. Your mindset is important. Neither optimistic nor pessimistic is good. It is your ability to strike a balance between both that’s important and never letting your down moments determine the outcome of your decisions.

Also, I realized that I didn’t build relationships, not because there was something wrong with them or me. We are all just different people, and relationships differ. Yes, some people are rude and super annoying, but that’s their mental frame, and I won’t judge them for that.

For someone who didn’t have a hold of reality, I don’t seem to be that clueless anymore.

My anxiety might not be gone or ever go away, but it will never determine who I am becoming.

Esta Donna

Six (6) natural ways to deal with anxiety.

There are a number of effective ways to help you navigate the turbulence of anxiety.

Below are six (6) natural ways to help you deal with anxiety.

  1. Meditation:
Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Madison Lavern on Unsplash

Meditation is an incredible way to reduce stress and anxiety significantly. The practice of meditation involves focused attention/concentration, which helps to connect to the present moment, detach from anxious thoughts, and restore calm and inner peace.

Studies have shown that meditation reduces anxiety, improves attention span, increases imagination and creativity. It also regulates your response to perceived threats, enhances self-awareness, and boosts your overall emotional health.

2.     Exercise:

Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

Exercise is a powerful tool to combat many health challenges, from physical to mental. It helps counter chemical imbalance, decrease muscle tension, improve your energy, release stress and anxiety by producing “feel-good” hormones called endorphins, which boost your mood and improve the cognitive functions of your body system.

The best part is that you don’t have to be a fitness junkie or do any complex exercise to reap these benefits. Moderate exercise can also help.

3.   Sleep:

Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Did you know that lack of sleep could trigger the same brain mechanisms that make us sensitive to anxiety?

We live in a time where it feels like 24 hours is no longer enough for a day. Time keeps up its fast pace, and life isn’t holding on either. In a bid to catch up, we choose to lose a little sleep now and then.

However, studies show that the quality and quantity of sleep that a person has is connected to the functioning of their body system.

Sleep provides the body space and time to repair damage incurred by stress and other factors. It is a key factor to maintaining a healthy physical outlook, together with emotional and social functioning.

So the more and deeper your sleep, the more effective your body system will function, and vice-versa. A popular saying in pidgin (Nigerian vernacular language) goes:

try dey rest problem no dey finish” meaning always try to rest as often as you can because problems will keep arising.

Victoria Nwachukwu

4.   Cut back on caffeine and alcohol:

Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Lizzie on Unsplash

People with anxiety tend to turn to taking alcohol as a way to ease their worries and drown their pain, but this method doesn’t always prove effective because upon becoming sober, anxiety returns sometimes with more intensity.

Studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which causes jitters, nervousness, and increased anxiety.

While it may not be possible to totally quit drinking alcohol and caffeine, you can start off by reducing the quantity you consume and with each significant benefit, you realize it’ll be much easier to let go completely.

5.   Aromatherapy:

Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Aromatherapy uses soothing essential plant oils externally to promote health and well-being.

It has been discovered to reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormone), thereby relieving stress and anxiety.

Essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, peppermint, rosemary, and lemon balm may be inhaled directly or added to a warm bath or diffuser. Other methods include, burning scented candles, engaging in aromatherapy incense meditation, and using aromatherapy body products.

6.   Journaling:

Ruth Adeyemi | Image source: Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Journaling helps you track your worries and fears, identify negative thoughts and feelings, release emotions and work through your anxiety to bring clarity and control.

Conclusively, prevention is always better than cure. In light of this, when you feel yourself getting stressed, overworked or nervous, don’t force it and don’t ignore it. Take a break, rest, eat well, and talk to someone.

Most anxiety attacks can be treated with the above remedies, but it should be noted that when you frequently experience symptoms of anxiety in severe degrees, it is best to consult a physician.

Disclaimer:

The above list is not a substitute for professional help. Yes, it may help you ease your anxiety but not necessarily get rid of it completely.

In the end, nothing beats a doctor’s advice.

READ ALSO: 5 UNIQUE TIPS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP


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8 Comments

  1. Ayowrites says:

    Thanks for sharing this! ❤

    1. You are welcome

  2. Just seeing it, thanks so much 💕

    1. You are welcome. Thanks for reading.

  3. Damilare says:

    Loved this and 143

  4. Kehinde Aderibigbe says:

    wow what an amazing piece, learnt so much from this.

    1. I am glad you did!

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