Anxiety attacks are difficult to control without the help of a therapist. But by learning and educating oneself about anxiety may help to prevent it. Anxiety is an excessive reaction to a stressful situation, which brings in trembling, a choking feeling, pain in the heart region, and fainting. Panic attacks can be extremely dangerous for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Anxiety is the most common of all mental health problems. There are many forms of anxiety and they include:
Recognize and identify specific fears and situation that can cause anxiety so that a better plan can be made to deal with it. For example, if worrying about one's finances, one can make better plans to manage them. Moreover, do not dwell on your problems or past very often. Bring about changes that can make you feel better and comfortable. Let go of things in the past that cannot be changed. Be kind to your body by avoiding any forms of stress.
So how can one treat anxiety?
Effective home remedies
There are different kinds of non-drug remedies for different kinds of people, and the most effective one depends on the symptoms.
- Breathing - one of the most important things to relieve anxiety is to train the body to breathe efficiently and to understand how panic attacks are affected by breathing. During an anxiety attack, hyperventilation (excessive carbon dioxide release) occurs because a person tries to take deep breaths that worsen the situation.
To counter the attack, a slower breathing should be done. Before having a panic attack, try to slow down your breathing frequency and depth by breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 2-3 seconds, and then breathing out for 7-8 seconds. Make sure that breathing is done through the nose. Retraining is practicing the breathing method even without an anxiety attack. Through retraining, the body will be trained to breathe this way.
- Laugh off - Try cultivating a good sense of humor. Even if it is a fake laugh, there is an instant hit of dopamine, which is a brain chemical that controls the feeling of pleasure and rewards. If you find laughing on your own difficult, then you can join laugh clubs. A jovial laugh reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that increases when you are anxious.
- Desensitization - In this method, the situation that triggers the anxiety attack is experienced over and over again until the body no longer finds it frightening. This method should be combined with some kind of relaxation exercises to make sure that your anxiety level will not increase. Moreover, a desensitization must be continued to avoid future panic attacks. It is often advised that desensitization should be performed in the presence of a professional.
- Exercise - It reduces muscular and mental stress. It releases substances that help in calming down the body, promotes better sleep, improves hormonal regulation, and also improves breathing. All of these are important to control anxiety and symptoms associated with it. You can also relieve tension through a massage and exercise. Go for an early morning walk for at least 15 minutes. It is not only a good source of vitamin D but it also takes your mind away from stress.
- Reduce stress - Spending more time with family and friends, as well as involving oneself in activities, may help reduce stress and consequently decrease panic attacks. Distracting oneself before the occurrence of a panic attack will help decrease the severity of one's anxiety.
Calming yourself through stress management
- Awareness - Learning about the type of anxiety and understanding its symptoms are very important steps to relieve panic attacks. Several treatment options are available, but to know which one is correct, one has to start with learning about anxiety.
- Food - Eat a balanced diet, which includes fresh fruits and healthy vegetables that contain an appropriate number of nutrients and minerals. Moreover, try limiting your sugar, fat, alcohol, and caffeine consumption.
- Anxiolytic drugs - During a panic attack, calm down by taking an anxiolytic medicine. If a person is having a panic attack, it would be better to move that person to a quiet place to distract his or her mind from the source of anxiety.
- Support groups - joining local support groups such as the one organized by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America or ADAA can be helpful in handling the panic attack in a better way. Participating in such group sessions can help you share your experiences with other people who are suffering from the same problem and will help you know better ways to prevent an attack.
- Change of thinking - Avoiding negative thoughts and positively thinking about all things is a good way to start preventing anxiety. However, changing the way you think does not occur overnight. Therefore, try to practice positive thinking every day, and later, the mind will naturally think in a positive way.
Home remedies combined with medical treatment will help relieve anxiety. There are many safe and non-drug remedies to treat anxiety. They include:
- Chamomile - compounds of chamomile tea bind with brain receptors to help a person to calm down. It works similarly to the drug Valium. Chamomile also promotes relaxation.
- Omega 3 - eases anxiety symptoms and reduces stress elements such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, flax seeds, and walnuts are rich in omega 3.
- Breathing lavender - a study shows that getting a massage with lavender oil helps in dealing with stress as it reduces one's systolic pressure. A few drops of lavender oil in hot water while bathing, adding a few drops on the pillow, or applying it directly on the skin can ease anxiety symptoms.
- Epsom salt - taking a hot water bath with Epsom salt is calming. It lifts the mood and reduces anxiety.
- Reduce the intake of caffeine - Caffeine is used to boost energy and will only make you feel more anxious and jittery.
- Green tea - helps in curbing a high blood pressure and heart rate. The amino acid in the tea helps a person to meditate for hours, being both alert and relaxed.
A deficiency of magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12 is also linked with anxiety. Vegans should take a vitamin B12 supplement as this vitamin is only found in animal products. Finally, do not starve yourself too much that the sugar level in your blood drops, making you feel more anxious.
Anxiety can be treated in many ways, but it is crucial that medical help is taken and anxiety is managed according to a medical professional's advice.