In this next part of our series on stress, we will talk about a natural approach to dealing with anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. You may feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem, taking a test, making an important decision, or when afraid. When these feelings cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life, then it can be considered an anxiety disorder.
There are different types of anxiety disorders:
Panic disorder: Panic anxiety disorder is having the feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeat with no warning. Anxiety symptoms related to panic disorders include sweating, chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeats), and feeling of choking.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): OCD is having constant thoughts or fears that cause you to perform certain routines or rituals. The disturbing thoughts are obsessions and the rituals are compulsions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a sexual or physical assault, among other things. People often have lasting and frightening memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb.
Social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.
Generalized anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
- Problems sleeping or sleep disruption
- Muscle tension
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
- Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
- Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand-washing
- Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to be still and calm
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
There are many approaches to dealing with an anxiety disorder. If you have been diagnosed with any of the above classifications, talk to your primary healthy care practitioner about the best way to treat it.
In general, everyone will benefit from dietary and lifestyle modifications. A healthy diet, plenty of quality sleep and the following helpful coping skills are all important to treating anxiety:
- Exercise regularly
- Practice yoga, meditation, and qi gong
- Create “me” time
- Declutter your living space, work space and unhealthy relationships
- Trust yourself
- Spend time with friends
- Consider talk therapy
Supplements may also be helpful with supporting healthy stress levels, and managing anxiety. Pathway RELAXATION SUPPORT combines a soothing blend of relaxing herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It contains Relora®, a patented blend of Magnolia officinalis and Phellondendron amurense, studied for its calming and focusing effect as well as stress-induced weight management problems. SunTheanine® is also incorporated in the formula, which aids in relaxation. Also included are calming herbs, such as chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap, hops and passionflower.
There may be other supplements that could be best for your particular condition, so consider scheduling a consult with one of Village Green’s naturopathic doctors for a personal assessment of your unique situation. During your appointment (either by phone or in-person), they will:
- Review your anxiety symptoms and health history
- Examine your diet and lifestyle
- Recommend specialized testing
- Assess possible drug-nutrient interactions or depletions
- Answer any questions you may have
- Evaluate anxiety-reducing options
- Create a customized plan that includes natural solutions, diet and lifestyle recommendations, and custom compounding
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