According to National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), over 19 percent of the total population in the US suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder. The most common types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic attacks that leave you breathless with your heart pounding faster than it should.
You need to face your demons and break free from the humiliation that is attached to mental illnesses. Unless treated and controlled, anxiety disorders can ruin your personal life and also your career prospects. So, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you need to get help and get it NOW!
If you are on medication, then you need to explore other ways to keep yourself relaxed and healthy. Experts claim that certain supplements can help manage these conditions and regain control over your life. Let us now look into some of the most relied-upon supplements, recommended by highly acclaimed sources.
Can you get rid of Anxiety, Permanently?
You may have heard of how this condition has no cure, but don’t fret over it. As long as you can get your thoughts under your control, you should be able to lead a normal life. There are several ways to minimize the symptoms of anxiety disorders, but the fact remains that there is no permanent cure.
In fact, most pills help block out painful and disturbing thoughts, but that’s only for a while. So, before you pop in those pills and hit the sack, you need to know that it’s temporary. As soon as the drug’s effect fades away, you are going to have to pop in another one.
This is why you need to explore alternatives that can help tackle this health condition and keep you calm and composed. You need to think of how you are going to bring the situation under control in the long run.
Although nothing can substitute sound medical advice, there are ways to deal with anxiety disorders. Below listed are five things that you can do in your everyday life to deal with anxiety.
5 Ways to Treat Anxiety Naturally
1. Find someone to talk to
You can try confiding in a close friend or schedule counseling sessions with a professional and speak out your fears, loud and clear.
According to studies, communication provides relief in case of anxiety disorders, and who knows! You may also find solutions to your problems.
2. Connect with volunteer groups
There are several volunteers ready to hear all your woes and do all that they can to make you feel better. You can try finding help by getting in touch with organizations like Mental Health America (MHA) or choose to be a part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that lets you connect with others dealing with similar issues.
3. Take a Break, De-stress
You need to pay your bills, your mortgage and also save up for a rainy day, and all of that is not going to be stress-free. In fact, that is not going to be possible unless you are mentally fit and capable of working in a normal environment.
According to Experts at Anxiety and Depression Association of America
(ADAA), stress can greatly aggravate anxiety disorders and disrupt your routine, leaving you devastated and desolate. So, before that happens, take a break from the monotonous routine and de-stress.
Pack your bags and take a break! It does not have to be a super expensive exotic location. You can always work out a vacation, even on a tight budget.
4. Connect with Nature
Nature has its own way of healing and while you are probably thinking of taking a break, do make it a point to connect with nature.
You could plan camping, beach hopping, or even sailing for a while.
Alternately, you can consider having indoor and outdoor plants around you, even if it’s just a terrarium placed on your work desk.
5. Try finding the root cause and viable solutions
You’d be amazed to know that some supplements can do wonders in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety disorders. They fill the void by supplying your body with the required nutrients and vitamins, which otherwise worsen this health condition.
Well, there are more surprises in store for you along with a brief list of some of the best supplements that help deal with anxiety disorders.
Which vitamin and mineral deficiencies cause Anxiety?
Believe it or not! You could be suffering from uncontrolled thoughts and anxiety because of the lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the body. Long since, studies have shown how a supply of certain nutrients can alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
For instance, in 2012, NCBI confirmed that a proper supply of magnesium could help patients suffering from insomnia. Also, Vitamin B-Complex helps make you feel better as it increases your energy levels and helps keep a tab on your stress hormones.
While, on one side of the pendulum, there are deficiencies that can adversely affect your mental health, on the other side, there are a number of healthy nutrients that when added into a daily regimen can provide ample relief. These typically include L-Theanine, Omega-3 Fatty acids, B and other Vitamins, Probiotics, and a number of other Supplements.
Best herbal supplements that help combat Anxiety
There are countless herbal supplements that can relieve anxiety by providing your mind and body with the much-required rest and sleep it needs.
Yes, it’s true that most herbal supplements act as natural sedatives and induce good sleep, but some of them go beyond that. There are those that also supply numerous vital nutrients to the body.
Let us now look into some of the most recommended natural supplements for stress and anxiety.
1. Valerian Root
Nothing can be more frustrating than tossing and turning in your bed with a flood of unpleasant thoughts that you can’t get out of your head. But the fact remains that when you suffer from stress and anxiety, you tend to remain sleep deprived.
Now, this can cause much more harm than you can ever imagine, because sleep repairs and rejuvenates the mind and body.
For a good night’s sleep, try Valerian root (Botanical name: Valeriana officinalis) supplements. Valerian root is a time-tested remedy, widely used by the Greeks and Romans.
It is known to promote sleep, which in turn relaxes the mind and brings down high-stress levels.
2. Ashwagandha Root
You have probably heard of Ayurveda as one of the world's oldest holistic Hindu “whole-body” healing systems based on the idea of balance in body health and wellness, which includes diet, herbal treatment, deep breathing, and its long-lasting health benefits.
Understanding the viability and value of Ayurveda, then you must realize how important Ashwagandha root (Botanical name: Withania somnifera) is when it is regarded as one of the most highly valued herbal supplements in Ayurveda for its stress relieving abilities.
According to studies, this medicinal root re-energizes and revitalizes the mind and body.
Bacopa (Botanical name: Bacopa monnieri) is said to have the rare ability to bring down your cortisol levels and acts as a natural mood elevator. Cortisol, better known as the stress hormone can destroy your peace of mind and should, therefore, be controlled.
For years, this perennial herb has been used in Ayurveda to calm down the mind and body, and as you may have already guessed, this herb of Asian origin brings down the stress levels.
You could try chamomile (Botanical name: Matricaria chamomilla) supplements or prepare a quick chamomile tea, get yourself a book and simply relax and sip it before you go to bed.
This reduces stress, anxiety and if you end up liking its taste, then this is likely to turn into a ritual that you would look forward to.
In case you choose to buy chamomile supplements, it is recommended that you stick to a dosage between 350 mg and 500 mg per day.
Looking out for something that’s been tried and tested by Doctors themselves?
Try Rhodiola (Botanical name: Rhodiola rosea) — the wonder root from the European and Asian region, better known as the ‘Golden Root’.
Rhodiola is a reliable solution for those suffering from mood swings and anxiety. Also, it can help improve your cognitive abilities and keep you energetic much longer.
Kava (Botanical name: Piper methysticum) is a natural relaxant used by the Pacific Islanders since times immemorial.
This herb has the ability to regulate Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and alleviate the symptoms caused due to anxiety disorders.
Kava extract is one of the best supplements that can be a great alternative to benzodiazepines.
The average dosage of this supplement would be around 250 mg per day.
7. Lemon Balm
According to research, 300 mg intake of lemon balm (Botanical name: Melissa officinalis) for a period of 15 days has shown a positive outcome in dealing with anxiety disorders.
The NCBI also confirms that the lemon balm supplements can bring down your stress levels and keep you in high spirits.
Studies have shown that this herb has natural properties that ensure a better mood and good sleep.
For those who suffer from anxiety and dementia, this herb can also help regulate the acetylcholine function.
8. Licorice Root Supplement
Licorice (Botanical name: Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a Mediterranean herb that has been used since ages by Asians and Egyptians.
It has also found a mention in Chinese medicine and has been known to cure stomach issues and anxiety.
9. Passion Flower
Passionflower (Botanical Name: Passiflora) is currently one of the most popular herbal supplements that can help you get all the rest that you need.
The herb contains chrysin and benzoflavone that help regulate GABA.
You could try cinnamon in boiled water and filtered with a dash of honey, which is a flavorsome and relaxing tea with high medicinal properties. This helps break the vicious thought cycle and ensures better sleep.
You could alternatively add cinnamon powder to warm milk, sweeten it with honey and gulp down this miraculous concoction before going to bed. Milk contains tryptophan, which only helps while you are dealing with stress and anxiety.
Nutritional supplements to beat anxiety
1. Iron supplements
Acute iron deficiency can show the same symptoms like stress and anxiety — something that you need to watch out for in case you are on a special diet.
For those who are unable to get an adequate amount of iron through their everyday diet, iron supplements are strongly recommended.
You could buy OTC iron supplements in the form of pills or syrup and adjust its intake according to your age and the given instructions. However, it would be wise to avoid an overdose, which could otherwise lead to serious concerns such as diabetes and even liver damage.
2. B-Protein Supplements
The lack of a sufficient amount of B Proteins can lead to fatigue and irritability, which can make you more anxious and worried.
If your doctor has not prescribed this already, then it would be wise to have a word about it. It is strongly recommended that you adjust the dosage of these supplements after having a word with a qualified medical practitioner.
These supplements are available in the form of pills, injection, and nasal sprays.
3. GABA Supplements
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) regulates the flow of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which is often dubbed as the ‘happy chemical’.
This neurotransmitter is responsible to transmit signals to the brain to react in a certain manner.
Therefore, its flow is responsible for making you ‘feel’ a certain way — happy, anxious or depressed.
Magnesium is responsible for the nerve and brain function, and a sufficient supply of this mineral can keep you calm and composed.
Apparently, research has found that Americans are prone to magnesium deficiency.
A 300 mg to 600 mg of daily supply of magnesium can show amazing results. However, this supplement could cause nausea and diarrhea and should, therefore, be adjusted accordingly.
An irregular sleep pattern can have a devastating impact on your overall health and correcting this alone can help alleviate several symptoms of stress and anxiety.
This brain chemical regulates your sleep pattern and balancing it can increase sleep efficiency and duration.
10 Ways to treat anxiety naturally at home
1. Stay healthy with regular exercises
Are you struggling with your everyday routine? And who isn’t?
We are all living a life that involves multitasking and a hectic routine.
If you can relate to this, then you are not alone.
On top of this, our current lifestyle revolves around laptops and gadgets, giving very little time for relaxation. Also, these gadgets make us inactive, as most of our work requires us to remain seated for long hours.
This inactivity gradually leads to sleeplessness and insomnia.
However, regular exercising can do wonders to those suffering from anxiety disorders. If you don't really feel like signing up for a gym then try to work out at home with a pair of dumbbells.
2. Surround yourself with positive people
It's not just alcohol or nicotine that are toxic!
In fact, the people around you could be much more toxic and mar your recovery process.
You need to watch out for those who increase your stress levels, such as
gossip mongers that lurk about in almost every office.
While suffering from an anxiety disorder, you need to surround yourself with people who have a positive influence on you.
3. Keep your gadgets away
What’s happening on Facebook or Instagram isn't going to make your life any better.
However, some good rest is definitely going to be of use.
According to studies, you must avoid using digital devices at least a couple of hours before you hit the sack. So, put your Smartphone and other gadgets away and resist the temptation to use them until you wake up.
4. Get and read a real book before you sleep
You probably saw your granny read a book before bedtime and that’s exactly what you need to do now.
However, this does not refer to eBooks read on digital devices because these devices emit bright lights that stimulate the mind and makes it more active.
So, grab a real book and read it until you fall asleep.
5. Reduce alcohol intake
Toxic substances like alcohol can not only spoil your relationship with others, but can also deteriorate your physical and mental health in the long run.
Most people prefer to hit the bar whenever they feel stressed out, but little do they know that this could turn their lives upside down.
So, if you are going through an anxiety disorder, don’t make it worse by consuming alcohol.
6. Break-up with caffeine and make-up with milk and yogurt
Coffee contains one of the most harmful substances, caffeine.
Although caffeine makes you feel energetic for a while, it remains in the bloodstream for quite some time. Too much caffeine can cause irreparable damage to your nervous system.
Besides coffee, there are some energy drinks that can do much more damage as they combine caffeine with other chemical substances.
So, make sure to monitor the ingredients of all that you consume, and also cut down on your coffee intake as caffeine can disrupt your sleep pattern and worsen the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
You can try shifting to milk or yogurt, as these contain tryptophan and calcium, which promotes sound sleep and keeps you calm.
7. Try Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Meditation is all about connecting with your inner self, and transitioning into a state of absolute relaxation.
Since most meditations involve deep breathing, it sends a sufficient amount of Oxygen to your brain.
As long as you achieve this, it doesn’t matter whether you do that through Yoga, Zen or whatever way you choose! But just make sure to spare some time for it.
8. Try Aromatherapy
Never underestimate the power of aromatherapy!
You’d be surprised at what this simple and time-tested technique can do to your worked-up nerves. While all of us have our own set of personal
preferences, there are some smells that make most people feel a certain way.
For example, research has proven that lavender oil helps most people fall asleep, while rose oil is known to have a calming effect.
So, go ahead and buy a diffuser and experiment to figure out which fragrances work best for you.
9. Music Heals
Try playing some light music to break the cycle of thoughts racing through your mind. According to UHN, music can promote the flow of endorphins and also increase the levels of dopamine.
Now when I say music, I do not refer to playing heavy metal or sad songs about broken hearts.
Just play some classics, preferably instrumentals that have nothing to do with reminding you of your troubles.
10. Pursue a Hobby
It doesn’t matter if you are a full-time Computer Programmer or even a CEO. If you enjoy doing some woodwork or even cooking, make that your daily stress-buster. It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you do all day.
If you are truly passionate about something, just do it. That is going to give you a sense of fulfillment which can help battle against stress and anxiety, so go ahead and do what makes you feel happy.
Many of the herbal and non-herbal supplements mentioned above can make you drowsy and sleepy. This is why it is strongly recommended that you avoid driving or any other activity that requires you to be extremely alert when using certain supplements.
It would be advisable to not only take the time needed to learn which combination of supplements will work best for you, but also as a precaution, learn if they affect you in any ways that would give you pause in certain functions.
Finally, there are several types of anxiety disorders and the severity of its symptoms varies on a case to case basis. Therefore, nothing written in this article is an alternative to medical advice and psychiatric treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
1. What are the best natural supplements for anxiety?
Best herbal supplements that help combat anxiety include:
2. Which Vitamins help with anxiety?
Numerous Vitamins help make you feel better as they increase your energy levels and help keep a tab on your stress hormones, such as:
3. What can I take for severe anxiety?
Supplements can help. But, if severe anxiety continues, several antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa are available as prescribed by a doctor. It is recommended that you consult your doctor immediately.
4. How can I calm my anxiety naturally at home?
You can manage anxiety naturally at home, in the following ways:
5. What can you take for anxiety over the counter?
You can consider the below-listed natural supplements:
6. How do you treat high anxiety?
Supplements can help. Try deep breathing. But, if it continues, consult your doctor.
It is also recommended that you avoid the following:
7. Which vitamins are good for anxiety?
Vitamin B-Complex can make you feel more energetic, promotes cell growth and provides necessary relief in case of anxiety.
Other Vitamins that help are Vitamin A, C, D, E and Fish Oil.
8. How do I get rid of anxiety permanently?
Medical science has no permanent cure for anxiety disorders, but you can use supplements to help alleviate its symptoms.
9. What deficiency causes anxiety?
According to studies, Vitamins B6, B12, Folate, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium deficiencies can lead to anxiety.
It must be noted that Anxiety may or may not be caused due to a deficiency.
10. Can Magnesium deficiency cause anxiety?
Yes, Research has found that magnesium deficiency can have a strong impact on a person’s mood and behavior.
11. Can magnesium deficiency cause panic attacks?
Although magnesium deficiency can adversely impact the mood and emotions in an individual, there are no clear studies to confirm that magnesium deficiency can cause panic attacks.
12. Which Magnesium is best for anxiety?
Magnesium glycinate is said to be particularly useful in managing anxiety as it has a calming effect and also helps induce sleep.
13. How much Magnesium should I take for anxiety?
This depends on a lot of factors, such as age, race, overall health condition, etc. But generally speaking, the following ranges should suffice.
14. Can B12 cause anxiety?
Since deficiency of Vitamin B12 has a direct impact on the nervous health, then the lack of it can lead to any psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders.
15. Does low Vitamin D cause anxiety?
According to studies, low Vitamin D increases the chances of an individual suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can leave you in a state of dilemma, where you are constantly worried about being accepted as “normal”. You need to find ways to stop doing that, because all that worry only adds to your troubles.
Instead, accept yourself and explore ways to alleviate the symptoms of your health conditions from the options given above. Check for deficiencies, and provide your body with the proper nourishment it requires.
Also, you need to find inner peace and joy to survive through anxiety disorders, and you can do that by adopting the right lifestyle and utilizing some of the above-mentioned natural supplements and remedies.
These may not work overnight and that’s completely okay as long as you are keen on finding a solution to your health concerns and are ready to explore alternatives.
It's time to find happiness again, in an Anxiety and Stress free life!