Do you avoid social gatherings with strangers? Do you find it difficult to be assertive or hate confrontation? Do you worry a lot?
Feeling anxious every now and then is a normal part of life. But for some people, anxiety makes it hard to cope with everyday situations.
If you feel you could be suffering from a form of anxiety — don’t ignore these feelings. It’s time to get some help to tackle the anxiety monster.
Symptoms of anxiety can be very unsettling. Your heart rate increases, your mind races and you can no longer think straight. Though everyone experiences anxiety a bit differently, there are some more common symptoms to look out for.
Physical sensations can include:
hot flushes, sweating and skin clamminess
frequent gastrointestinal upsets.
Emotional sensations can include:
feelings of excess worry, panic, fear or guilt
obsessive thinking and behaviours
feeling generally tense and wound up.
If you can relate to any of the above, speak with your Naturopath — this doesn’t have to be your everyday ‘normal’.
How to break the cycle
Herbal medicine is a fantastic tool for reducing anxiety and nervousness, as well as improving your emotional resilience. While your Naturopath will help select the best herbal mix for you, my favourites include:
Passion flower – decreases that sense of ‘restlessness’ and can help settle nervous stomachs. It increases the calming neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), soothing a racing mind, decreasing tension and irritability.
Zizyphus – widely used in Chinese herbal formulas for its anxiety reducing properties, zizyphus is considered cooling, calming and another herb that’s effective for restlessness.
Siberian milkwort – a calming herb that is often included in formulas for sensitive people who find themselves feeling teary and weepy when they are stressed or anxious.
Bupleurum – useful for those experiencing stress and unrest due to excessive nervous energy.
Natural strategies to support anxiety
The best things in life are free – well almost! Incorporate as many of the following resilience-building strategies as you can each day. These tips will lead to better overall wellbeing as well as helping you to manage stress and anxiety:
• Connect with friends – keeping in touch with people maintains your support network
• Exercise (ideally outdoors) – regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress
• Choose healthy foods – consume protein at each meal and avoid refined and sugary foods to balance your blood sugar levels and reduce mood imbalances
• Avoid caffeine – stimulants such as caffeine can exacerbate anxiety
• Breathe! – if you start to feel panicky or anxious, focus on taking some slow, purposeful, deep breaths, helping you return to a state of calm
Conquering the anxiety monster
Everyone experiences fears and worries from time to time however if anxiety becomes excessive and stops you from enjoying everyday life, then it’s time to act. Speak to your Naturopath about how they can help you feel calmer, more positive and in control of your situation.
Take the anxiety and stress questionnaire here.
Do you want to get your anxiety under control and start feeling yourself again?
Click here to download our free guide on the naturopathic approach to treating anxiety, including super foods to enjoy, lifestyle and exercise advice, and supplements that can help.