Millions of Americans are living with anxiety, and even more around the globe. I was recently interviewed about natural approaches to dealing with anxiety. Here’s my interview, and make sure you see the full article below.
1) What are some natural ways to treat anxiety without medication?
There are a variety of ways to treat anxiety naturally. Initially, when patients seek help, I recommend Theanine. It is an amino acid found in green tea, that interrupt the stress response. It acts like a natural Valium, without the normal drug induced side effects (sleepiness) and actually relieves anxiety, and improves alertness at the same time.
Also, I advise deep breathing. We know that 20 deep, diaphragmatic breaths interrupt the stress response. Long term approaches to relieving anxiety, I feel most importantly should include cognitive reprogramming, i.e., affirmations, as anxiety by in large is the result of one's perception of a situation, not the situation itself. Exercise, appropriate sleep, other nutritional supplements, B vitamins, Magnesium, and adaptogenic herbs (Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Ginseng), Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids) are also helpful, as is using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), a therapy that taps acupuncture points (meridians) while stating affirmations regarding the stressful situation.
2) What's the most popular and effective natural way to treat anxiety? I believe taking nutritional supplements are.
3) What is the benefit of resorting to alternative therapies compared to taking prescription meds for
anxiety? I believe the primary benefit is that natural approaches address underlying causes, without the side effects the anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) cause--sleepiness and dependence on the drug.
4) Are there any particular foods that can lead to lesser anxiety levels? Any food that reduces inflammation and enhances brain function such as nutrient rich fruits and vegetables help with anxiety. As inflammation plays a part in making the brain more susceptible to anxiety. I find the berries (blueberries), green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale) and nuts (especially walnuts) to be particularly helpful.
5) What factors contribute to the heightening of anxiety, and how can those suffering from anxiety avoid, or handle them?
As noted above perception is the major factor, and altering one's perception, regarding the stress inducing situation helps tremendously to change the body's physiology. Also, anything that causes inflammation (processed foods), the lack of appropriate sleep, and exercise, as well as nutrient deficiencies, such as B vitamins, and magnesium, also contribute to making one more susceptible to anxiety.
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