Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Combating Anxiety Through Complementary Medicine: These could work for you and is a safer method for dealing with stress

Photo credit: Unsplash



Anxiety is common in many people and thus affects their daily lives and the way they cope with “normal” situations.
Before I delve into what you should know about anxiety, here are some aspects related to it.

How do I know I could be experiencing anxiety?

Inability to reason rationally


In some cases, people experiencing anxiety would have sudden outbursts and express emotional distress. Oftentimes when assessing the circumstances, it’s clear that the reaction wasn’t warranted.

Photo credit: Unsplash


Feelings of agitation

Anxiety could present itself in ways where people can feel annoyed and agitated at almost anything. This is because the body’s chemical reactions are out of sync and producing more stress hormones at the time. 

Chronic health conditions can also sometimes influence the way the body produces chemicals and emotional signals. Depression, for example is, often observed in patients with low serotonin levels. Antidepressants help the brain to produce more serotonin, and this happens over time.

Loss of sleep

Sometimes not being able to sleep for one night is not a worry but if you experience insomnia all the time, it may be something to look into. Loss of sleep or insomnia is often experienced by people who are chronically depressed, or struggling with anxiety.

Anxiety disorder can also manifest in the following ways:

  • Phobias 
  • Panic attacks (rise in heartbeat, hyperventilation, or a feeling of not being able to breathe)
  • Society anxiety
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disorders (insomnia, only able to sleep lightly)
  • Palpitations
  • Cold sweats and night sweats
  • Nausea
  • Dizzy spells
  • Tension 
  • Headaches

Some of these conditions I’ll breakdown into a separate post or posts for a more in-depth look at them. 

Here’s how you can combat anxiety and “banish” some of the symptoms


#1 Do some exercise

Photo credit: Unsplash

Exercise is critically valuable for the well-being of our bodies. Yet for many of us, it is one of the last things on our minds let alone that it could lower stress and anxiety levels.

Try to exercise everyday so that you can enjoy the benefits as a long-term health investment. If you don’t have time to cram in an exercise session, simply allocate less time to it. For example take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. A quick cardio session will not only help you to feel better but will also promote weight loss.

#2 Just breathe

Breathing exercises can do wonders for your body. It can almost immediately allow you to relax when feeling anxious. Because gentle breathing slows down your heart rate, it encourages your body to relax as your brain signal a mood change of a more calming effect

There are several types of breathing exercises that may help you and once you’ve got the hang of it, you could do some throughout the day. Alternate nostril breathing helps reduce anxiety and “frazzled” feelings.


#3 Listen to relaxing music

Photo credit: Unsplash


Music can help you focus and relax. Certain sounds can trigger more relaxation than others. You’ll notice that health spas often play tranquil sounds. These can include sounds in nature (chirping, singing birds, waves over the ocean, rippling water, whale sounds etc)

#4 Meditation

You’re probably already aware of the benefits of meditation, and it can help your body to relax. Anxiety, as mentioned earlier can increase your heart rate and activate your body’s fight or flight responses. Fight or flight is not supposed to be activated all the time but only in an emergency or dangerous scenario.

Being in “stress mode” all the time can take a toll on the body and could lead to other chronic health conditions if not monitored and managed.

Meditation incorporates breathing and this helps your body to relax. The more you meditate, the more you activate your body’s relaxing responses. This will help to naturally produce relaxing hormones and the body’s own pain reliever (endorphins). 


#5 Make time to be in nature

Photo credit: Unsplash

Nature is healing and therapeutic in many ways. It can help you to unwind and feel more relaxed. Whether it is a long walk on the sandy beach, or a hike in forestry setting, you can be sure your body and mind will start feeling at ease and relaxed.

Nature incorporates beautiful scenery and smell and this stimulates our senses which can be another form of therapy for anxiety. You could also take your exercise session outdoors and feel the wind and sun on your skin.

#6 Do therapeutic activities

Therapeutic activities differ for everyone, but they are known to help lower stress and feelings of anxiety. Therapeutic activities are often physical. For example pottery, knitting, painting and sketching to name just a few.

You don’t have to be an artist or expert designer to enjoy therapeutic activities.

#7 Stimulate your senses with aromatherapy

Photo credit: Unsplash

Here again, therapy in the form of using your sense of smell is what helps many people. Aromatherapy is an ancient practice and while it may not have been known by the same name then, it was used for the benefits. Burning essential oils or diffusing some in a bathtub of water or via an electric diffuser works to.

Some aromatherapy benefits include:
·         Uplifting a low mood
·         Energising your mind and body
·         Help you to relax

#8 Use herbs

Photo credit: Unsplash

There are various herbs in the world, and these are good stuff found in nature. Herbal tea can help with many things. Take camomile tea for example; this may help you to relax and that’s why it’s also great if you struggle to get a good night’s sleep. There’s also matcha tea and other herbal teas that produce a favourable effect on health.

In South Africa, Cannabis was decriminalised in 2018 and what a joyous moment it was. This herb offers a world of medicinal benefits including pain management. What’s more is that you can use the whole tree.

Conclusion

Combating anxiety through natural alternatives can reduce the risk of side effects that come with manufactured drugs. Nature possesses many medicinal gifts to offer. When we take care of our bodies and eat nutritious meals while also setting aside time to exercise, it can only do us good.

What do you do to help keep positive and in good spirits?