A lot of us experience getting anxious for so many reasons. This could be brought about by different factors in our lives that trigger a response from our bodies. This can make us feel tense, nervous, panicky, tired, or unable to concentrate. In addition to this, anxiety can also manifest physically and give us physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, hyperventilation, sweating, trembling, and even gastrointestinal problems. While all these are normal body responses, excessive cases of anxiety are classified as anxiety disorders that are usually intense and excessive fear about different situations.
Nobody is excused from feeling common anxiety as life is full of things and events that can cause us to feel fearful and worried at times. But, if you experience anxiety and find it affecting your daily life, having suicidal thoughts or self-harm, or if you think that you may have other mental concerns, you should seek anxiety disorder treatment from an expert to help you manage it.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
While common anxiety is normal, excessive episodes of this can be classified as a disorder. Here are some types:
- Generalised anxiety disorder – GAD is characterised by persistent and excessive anxiety or worry about certain activities, including an ordinary routine. This uncontrollable worry lacks parity to the actual circumstance, which could manifest physically. It is said to often happen together with other anxiety disorders.
- Panic disorder – This kind of anxiety disorder is classified as recurrent and unexpected panic attacks that often occur over long periods. It is characterised by having a sense of impending doom, fear of loss of control, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chills, and hot flashes.
- Separation anxiety disorder – Separation anxiety is normal in kids ages 18 months to 3 years old. But excessive separation anxiety for the child’s developmental level causes significant distress in daily functioning; it is then classified as a disorder. It is characterised by recurrent and excessive distress when being away from home or significant people.
- Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition – Anxiety can also be triggered by many health conditions. This includes heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and respiratory disorders. In addition to this, withdrawal from substances like alcohol, anti-anxiety medications, or drugs can trigger anxiety disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder – Social anxiety disorder is often seen in people with a fear of facing crowds or social situations. It is characterised by high levels of anxiety and fear that causes avoidance of social situations. This is caused by anticipation of feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and thoughts of being judged or viewed negatively by others.
- Specific phobias – Most people have something that they fear. But with specific phobias, it is characterised by major anxiety when presented or exposed to a specific object or situation, which triggers fear or desire to avoid it. Phobias often cause panic attacks in some people.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder – This anxiety disorder is directly linked to drugs or stopping the use of a drug. It is characterised by intense anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, or panic attack.
Treatments for Anxiety
Two medical treatments are recommended for people who suffer anxiety:
Psychotherapy – This treatment is done with the help of a therapist. This involves talk therapy or psychological counselling to reduce your anxiety symptoms. One form of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This short-term treatment teaches you specific skills to reduce your symptoms and gradually help you perform the activities that trigger your anxiety.
Medications – Depending on your anxiety disorder, your doctor may prescribe medications like antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sedatives or beta-blockers that may help relieve anxiety symptoms.
Natural Treatment To Reduce Anxiety
- Exercise – Staying active with regular exercise is good for your physical health and benefits the emotional aspect. Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety for hours after working out.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking – While the nicotine in smoking can increase blood pressure and heart rate, alcohol, on the other hand, can change the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety.
- Don’t take anything with caffeine – Caffeine stimulates the fight or flight response of the body, making anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack. Caffeine can cause nervousness and jitters, which may worsen anxiety disorders and cause panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep – According to studies, not having enough sleep can raise anxiety by up to 30%. In addition to this, studies suggest that deep sleep is a natural way to relieve anxiety.
- Meditate – Meditation promotes a sense of calm and mindfulness that helps relieve stress and anxiety. It is suggested that 30 minutes of daily meditation may reduce anxiety symptoms and even act as an antidepressant.
- Aromatherapy – This practice has been in existence since early times. Aromatherapy claims that the use of aromatic materials like essential oils can improve your psychological and physical wellness. Aromatherapy can promote relaxation, helps with sleep, mood, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure, depending on the chosen oil. For instance, essential oils like bergamot, lavender, clary sage, grapefruit, and ylang-ylang are thought to help reduce anxiety.
Supplements and Vitamins That Helps
Cannabidiol (CBD) – CBD is one of the popular natural supplements to reduce stress and anxiety. Many people use CBD oil for pain, to improve sleep quality as well as to reduce anxiety. To provide its potential benefits, CBD works with our endocannabinoid system, a special biological signalling system responsible for regulating the balance in the body, including different body responses like mood, appetite and metabolism, memory, sleep, and immune response. CBD oil also comes in different formats, from CBD capsules and gummies to sublingual CBD tinctures and CBD vape oil, which is considered one of the fastest methods to experience positive effects of CBD.
Ashwagandha – Originated in Indian Medicinal Practice or Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is recognised as one of the most effective adaptogens that can give therapeutic effects to the body. Amongst its main benefits are its ability to reduce anxiety and increase energy levels. It is also known to improve overall wellness for people that are subjected to stress.
Passionflower – This plant is commonly used as a flavouring, but it also carries many health benefits. It is known to have calming, sleep-inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects. Many people use passionflower to help them ease the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, stress, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and pain.
Liquorice Root – While liquorice root is commonly used in many candies and beverages, it is also known for its effects on people who suffer from anxiety. Liquorice root is said to work on the adrenal glands that produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Its effects can regulate the production of these hormones, making it beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety symptoms.