According to The American Psychological Association, anxiety defines as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes.” Everyone has feelings of experiencing occasional anxiety at some point in their life. For instance, everyone feels anxious or nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. That can be normal. But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness that affect your health. If you have an anxiety disorder, then you may experience a high risk of physical health problems. So when you manage your anxiety, you’re also taking care of your physical health. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Several types of anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder, phobia, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Symptoms of anxiety
Common anxiety signs and symptoms are:
- Feeling nervous, restless and tense
- Insomnia- difficulty in sleeping
- Lack of concentration
- Tachycardia- increased heart rate
- uncontrollable feelings of worry
- sweating and tingling hands or feet
- feeling on edge
- high irritability
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Causes of anxiety
The causes of anxiety disorders are unknown. Researchers believe that it is due to the combination of factors, including genetics, environmental, and medical factors.
- Research shows that people who have family members with anxiety problems are more likely to have one themselves.
- Difficulties at work, relationship problems, or family issues leads to anxiety.
- Anxiety can be a side effect of certain medications which include birth control pills, cough and congestion medications, some psychiatric medications, and weight loss medications.
- Consuming coffee may trigger or worsen anxiety. People with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder are sensitive to the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine.
- Withdrawal from an illicit substance or alcohol can be linked to anxiety.
Treatment of Anxiety
Treatment comprises a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication.
Psychotherapy involves working with a mental health therapist to understand and deal with your anxiety disorder. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that makes you how to recognize and change your thought process and behaviors that elevates anxiety levels.
Anxiety Ayurvedic Treatment
According to Ayurveda, Ayurveda offers a number of treatments and therapies for the alleviation of anxiety. Research shows that Ayurvedic formulations which are made out of herbs have an effective remark in mental related illness. Ayurvedic formulations also help to keep our body and mind free from toxins and thereby improving our mental stress.
In Indian traditional medicine, several herbs have been used as nerve tonics.
Natural Herbs for Anxiety
Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) which is also called tulsi in Ayurveda, has been used for centuries in India.
It has several health benefits in reducing stress and anxiety. Since Tulsi is caffeine-free, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking holy basil daily as tea using leaves or dried leaf powder. 2–3 teaspoons of holy basil in a cup of boiling water and letting it steep for 5–6 minutes. Tulsi tea calms the nervous and endocrine systems at the end of the day. Because of its bitterness and spicy flavor, it’s also available in supplement pill and tincture form. An average recommended dose is 500–1000 mg up to three times daily, as needed. Usage of Holy Basil Essential Oil in inhaler and diffuser blends helps to relieve anxiety and stress. Apply 2-3 oil drops directly to the skin, dilution is not required except for very sensitive skin. Diffuse for one hour up to a few times daily or as directed by your Health Practitioner.
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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry is one of the most ancient Indian medicinal herbs in Ayurveda with multiple health benefits.
It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress and anxiety, increase energy, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even boost brain function. Extracts or powder from the plant’s root or leaves is used to treat a variety of health conditions. A commonly used dose is 400–800 mg per day. You should always consult your physician before starting any new supplement when you have specific health conditions.
Different variations of Ashwagandha:– (BUY FROM AMAZON BY CLICKING THE BELOW LINKS)
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi or Spikenard) is the root of Indian Ayurvedic Herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda.
It is used for the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. The rhizome extract of this plant has a potential effect on the nervous system. It also has an antidepressant activity that controls psychological disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, mental fatigue, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It controls restlessness, nervousness, normalizes heart rate, controls worrying, trembling, and trouble sleeping in anxiety. Oil of spikenard can be taken to help support nervous headaches, indigestion, insomnia, anxiety, and melancholy. Topically used for skin rashes and inflammations. The commonly used dose is 500–1500 mg per day. Take 3 to 5 gms (half to one teaspoon) of Jatamansi Powder 2 times a day with water 1 – 2 hrs after meals. Take the first dose after breakfast. If you are mixing with other herbs, use Jatamansi proportionately, or consult your health care provider before taking any new treatment.
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Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is an Ayurvedic herb belonging to the parsley family traditionally used for a variety of health conditions. It’s also known as “a herb of longevity” used to prolong the lifespan. It has a role in memory issues, nerve damage, anxiety, depression, stress, and many more. Gotu Kola leaves is used as a culinary ingredient in various salads and curry dishes. Because of the bitter-sweet taste, it is usually blended with chamomile and lavender for controlling anxiety.
Gotu Kola was found an effective herbal remedy for psoriasis when used along with Turmeric and Honey. The dose is 350–1400 mg per day. Take 500 mg of Gotu kola capsules twice a day for up to 14 days at a time. Take Gotu kola powder ¼ to ½ teaspoon with warm water, once or twice daily, or as directed by your health practitioner.
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Gotu Kola Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract (Take 20-30 drops, three times a day, or as directed by your practitioner).
Organic Gotu Kola Teabags ( Use one teabag per cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 3-6 minutes)
combination of Chamomile, Lavender, Licorice, Lemongrass with Gotu Kola Tea Bags (Bring water to boiling and steep 5 to 10 minutes, consume 2 to 4 cups a day).
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is the most popular traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicine mainly to boost memory. It has been used by Ayurvedic health practitioners for almost 3000 years.
The traditional use of Brahmi has an anti-anxiety property in Ayurvedic medicine is supported by both animal and clinical studies. Brahmi reduces stress and anxiety by decreasing the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Brahmi counteracts the effects of stress by regulating hormones involved with the stress response. The usual dose is around 750 mg per day (range: 500–900 mg). Brahmi leaves (fresh or dry) can be used to make tea that helps to calm you down and relieves anxiety and stress. There are Brahmi supplements available in the markets as pills or in powdered form, but take these supplements only after consulting a doctor or health experts.
Different variations of Bacopa:– (BUY FROM AMAZON BY CLICKING THE BELOW LINKS)
Shankhapushpi(Convolvulus Pluricaulis or Aloe weed) is a very important herb used in Ayurveda due to its therapeutic benefits, popularly known to treat sleep disorders like stress and anxiety. It is a potent memory booster and brain tonic that actively works to improve the intelligence and functioning of the brain.
It also helps to increase concentration, learning capabilities, mental fatigue, insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, etc. The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes. Shankhapushpi comes in various forms in the market in tablets or capsules, powder, juice, syrup, and oil. The tablets or capsule (2 capsules twice a day) can be swallowed with milk or water preferably after meals or as suggested by the doctor. Take ¼ to ½ teaspoon of powder with warm water/ milk, once or twice daily, or as directed by your health practitioner. Used on a daily basis, it is extremely beneficial to boost memory.
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Natural and Home Remedies for Anxiety
Natural Anxiety Relief:
- Avoid Alcohol, smoking, and Caffeine. Researchers suggest nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety and caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders.
- Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. Include steamed veggies, homemade soups, and baked squash.
- Exercise regularly at regular times helps release brain chemicals that cut stress and improve your mood and get enough sleep.
- Do yoga and meditation daily, deep breathing exercises can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety. The yoga asanas and Pranayama exercises increase neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins that will improve mood and increase circulation to the brain thereby producing hormones that are essential to mental health.
- Use Essential oils like Bergamot, Lavender, Clary Sage, Grapefruit to relieve anxiety. The oils may be inhaled directly or added to a warm bath or diffuser. It will enhance your mood, helps you sleep, and relax.
- Drinking Chamomile tea to calm anxiety and promote sleep. It has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years.
- Take relaxing baths using sea salt at night.
- Always consult the doctor before starting any new treatment or medicine.
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