Health Issues Caused by Anxiety and Panic Attacks / What Causes Anxiety? / Natural Hands On Treatments For Anxiety / Herbal Remedies, Nutrients and Supplements for Anxiety / Habits You Can Embrace to Live Free From Anxiety

Natural Treatments For Anxiety & Stress

 

1. Introduction

 

Are You A Prisoner to Your Anxiety?

 

Stress, anxiety and panic can be an occasional aspect of normal life. Stress in particular is something that everyone deals with from time to time. Stress can in fact be good for you in small amounts. And there are different types of stress, some easier to manage than others.

Anxiety is a whole different emotion. Like stress, there is a physical response, however, anxiety relates directly to fear. In fact, anxiety is defined as, “A state of uneasiness and apprehension about future uncertainties.”

Anxiety can take control of your life. One worry can snowball into constant worries about everything in your life.

You can feel anxiety about:

  • Relationships
  • Money
  • Your Job
  • Family Members
  • Parenting
  • Pets
  • Your future
  • School/Education
  • Performance

Chronic anxiety can turn into or be part of what’s called an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders include conditions like PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. However, they can also include Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which means you’re fearful of everyday situations. Social Anxiety Disorder is also common. That’s when someone is fearful of social situations. They worry they’re going to be laughed at, judged or they’re going to embarrass themselves.

If your anxiety builds to the point where it’s controlling your life, its time to take action to get your life back. If you have changed your habits or lifestyle to lessen your anxiety, its time to get your life back. If you’ve turned to drugs or alcohol to reduce your anxiety, its time to get your life back. 

 

This course is designed to help you break free from anxiety – to help you stop being a prisoner to your own fearful thoughts.

 

Over the next 5 sections we’ll discuss:

  1. Health Issues Caused by Anxiety and Panic Attacks 
  2. Common Causes of Anxiety
  3. Herbal Treatments & Anxiety Remedies
  4. Hands on Treatments for Anxiety
  5. Habits You Can Adopt to Reduce or Eliminate Anxiety

 

This course is an overview of anxiety related conditions and natural treatments. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder or believe you might suffer from an anxiety disorder, it’s important to see your doctor. 

Once diagnosed properly, your physician will refer you to a behaviour therapist or psychotherapist who can help you learn to manage stress and anxiety. Depending on your diagnosed condition, and there are five main categories of anxiety disorders, you may also be prescribed medication.

Medication isn’t a long term solution in most cases and instead treats the symptoms until therapy can help you turn things around. Medications for anxiety disorders come with a number of side effects and risk of addiction. They’re not a cure.

Unlock the Potential of You Course, which you can access on this site has tools and techniques to help you become your own therapist and deal with your anxiety and stress in the longterm until it is no longer an issue.

However, if you have mild anxiety or are already under the care of a physician and would like to speed up your progress, natural anxiety treatments may be exactly what you’re looking for. This report is for you!

If you are under the care of a physician and/or therapist for your anxiety, check with your doctor before beginning any new program. It is particularly important if you try any herbs or supplements to treat anxiety naturally because they may interfere with medications you’re already on.

Okay, now that we have a basic understanding about what this report covers and who it is designed to help, let’s get started!

2. Health Issues Caused by Anxiety and Panic Attacks

 

Before we jump into the health problems caused by anxiety it’s important to make a few distinctions.

 

  • Stress

 

Chronic stress can cause anxiety. It can worsen the symptoms of someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder and it can cause more frequent panic and/or anxiety attacks. However, you can absolutely experience stress without experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. And you can live a very stressful life and not have an anxiety disorder. There are health problems directly caused by chronic stress, which we’ll discuss in this chapter. 

 

  • Anxiety

 

You can experience anxiety without having an anxiety disorder. Chronic anxiety can cause a number of health related issues. Chronic anxiety can cause or lead to an anxiety disorder and chronic anxiety can lead to panic and/or anxiety attacks. 

 

  • Panic

 

Panic in and of itself is a normal body reaction to extreme stress. If a giant dog is chasing you down the street growling and barking, your body is going to have a panic reaction. You may be able to run faster, make faster decisions and react quickly. Panic can save your life. 

 

However, chronic feelings of panic when there is no real reason to experience it can cause health related problems. If you experience feelings of panic without a reason to, then you probably have an anxiety disorder called Panic Disorder. It simply means that for one reason or another your body is having an inappropriate panic reaction. It’s treatable.

 

If chronic stress, anxiety or panic attacks are left untreated you can and will likely experience a number of health related issues. Not to mention your quality of life is going to deteriorate. This chapter takes a look specifically at the health problems associated with Stress, Anxiety and Panic attacks.

 

 

 - Health Problems Related to Stress

 

There is no way to live a life without stress. Family alone can cause stress. Couple that with your job, financial responsibilities and relationship expectations and well, you have stress. However, to a very large degree, you have the ability to control how you react to stress. 

 

When you’re stuck in traffic, for example, and are late to an appointment you can feel quite a bit of stress right? One reaction to this stress might be to worry about what people are going to think about you if you’re late. You might also get angry and irritated with the other drivers around you.

 

You might feel hostile, out of control and anxious about being late.

 

You might also choose to relax. To feel gratitude for your safety. You may choose to call the person you have an appointment with just to let them know you’re stuck in traffic. You may choose to spend the time sitting in traffic listening to your favorite music, catching up with a friend on the telephone or listening to an audio book.

 

Two different emotional reactions lead to two different physical reactions.

 

The person who reacts negatively to the stress can put their body under tremendous pressure. They may increase their heart rate. Increase tension in their body and experience a tension headache. The feelings of anxiety and stress can degrade their organs and the systems in their body. This of course doesn’t happen in just one stress event but over time if the reaction remains consistent.

 

However, the person with the positive reaction to a stressful event experiences none of the physical problems. Their heart rate doesn’t increase. In fact, when they feel gratitude they may actually be taking measures to improve their health.

 

Negative reactions to stress aside, too much stress may lead to:

 

  • Insomnia
  • Depression 
  • Diabetes 
  • Digestive disorders
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss 
  • Heart disease 
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Obesity & weight gain
  • Weakened immune system
  • Anxiety disorder 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Tooth and gum disease 
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Migraines
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Moodiness

 

Chronic stress is a slow killer!

 

And as we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, chronic stress can lead to chronic anxiety and an anxiety disorder. 

 

 

 - Health Problems Related to Anxiety & Panic

 

Anxiety is fear based. Instead of feeling pressure to be somewhere, to accomplish something or to meet a deadline which are stressful but not necessarily fear based, anxiety is literally the fear of the future. And fear is a powerful emotion. It can limit your life, heck it can control your life. 

 

You’ve probably experienced debilitating fear at some point in your life. Maybe you tried sky diving and getting out of the airplane just wasn’t going to happen. Maybe you wanted to apply for a job or ask a guy/girl out but were too afraid. You let fear make a decision for you. Now imagine that fear happens to you all the time. Imagine you live your life based in fear of what might happen. That’s what people with anxiety disorders feel like. It amplifies the health problems cause by anxiety because it is chronic – it never goes away.

 

Anxiety causes:

 

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic illnesses and a weakened immune system
  • A burden on your heart and circulation resulting in lasting damage and potential heart disease
  • Back problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Poor eating habits
  • Depression

 

As you begin to experience more and more anxiety, if you let it take over your life, you may develop an anxiety disorder. Which of course can then cause more health problems. Panic attacks are heightened emotional and physical responses. They may or may not be triggered by a specific event, sensation or memory and can occur seemingly out of the blue. The health problems from panic attacks are the same as chronic anxiety or anxiety attacks.

 

  • Substance Abuse

 

One thing we’ve yet to mention, and it’s important to call out, is the incidence of substance abuse amongst people who deal with chronic stress or anxiety. They often turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. Unfortunately, beyond the health problems specifically related to substance abuse, drugs and alcohol can also worsen the stress and anxiety a person experiences. Drugs and alcohol can even make you more susceptible to panic attacks. 

 

  • Depression

You may have also noticed that depression is a common health problem stemming from chronic stress and/or anxiety. The truth is, there is a strong correlation between depression and anxiety disorders. In fact, in 58% of the cases these two illnesses co-exist. If you have both depression and an anxiety disorder, medication will likely be prescribed to get symptoms under control until therapy can take hold. However, as you’ll see as you read the rest of this report, there are natural remedies that can treat depression too. 

Before we jump into the natural remedies, let’s take a few minutes to explore what causes anxiety and anxiety disorders. Because if you can begin to understand the cause, finding the right natural treatment becomes easier.

 

You may want to use this Anxiety Journal below to write down what you think may be causing your anxiety: 

3. What Causes Anxiety?

 

It’s important to know several key things before we dive into the causes of anxiety. The first is that if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, anxiety attacks or even panic attacks it is completely normal. Anxiety disorders are not made up things. They don’t exist in someone’s imagination. They are real health conditions with diagnosis and treatment protocols. 

The second thing that is very important to know is that the cause for anxiety or an anxiety disorder differs by individual. Additionally, anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic disorders are rarely caused by just one thing. 

Scientists and the medical community have theories or ideas on what causes anxiety to be heightened in specific individuals. They have made connections to what causes anxiety disorders, however, as of yet there is no sound evidence to say any one thing causes anxiety or anxiety disorders. 

That being said, let’s explore some common theories behind the reason more than 4 million Americans and 2 million adults in the UK suffer from anxiety disorders.

 

#1 Heredity/Genetics

 

First off, let’s be clear. You cannot inherit a panic or anxiety disorder. If Grandma B had Agoraphobia or General Anxiety Disorder, you are not destined to get it too. 

However, what you may inherit from Grandma B is the predisposition to develop chronic anxiety or an anxiety disorder. You can inherit genetic markers that make you more susceptible to developing it. 

However, the science is still missing that connects specific genetic markers to any particular anxiety disorder. This is simply a theory. We tend to believe we’re destined to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, however, as far as anxiety and panic disorders go, that’s far from the case.

 

#2 Brain Chemistry 

 

Now this is fascinating stuff. It seems our brain chemistry is quite complicated. Could have guessed that, right?  In addition to our brain chemistry being partially genetic or at least influenced by our genetics, it’s also influenced by:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Mindset or mental/emotional attitude

Remember in our earlier example about someone being stressed because they’re stuck in traffic and late to an appointment? Well each reaction creates a different experience in the brain. When you’re stressed, stress hormones are released. When you’re calm and relaxed, feel good hormones are released – endorphins. 

Each mindset or emotional attitude had an effect on your brain chemistry. Unlock the Potential of You teaches you how to change your mindset and emotional attitude from a negative to a positive one.

Additionally, what you eat has an effect on your brain chemistry. Think about what happens when you drink alcohol. It has a pretty evident effect on your brain, right? The same with caffeine. Drink a whole pot of coffee and your thoughts are coming at you at a hundred miles an hour. 

You alter your brain chemistry. And these are two very obvious examples. When you eat sugar or fatty foods and your brain chemistry is also affected. Eat veggies and lean protein, the same thing. Each decision you make affects your body as a whole. 

It affects your hormones, your metabolism, and your stress response the list could go on and on. And because each of our body’s systems are so intricately linked to one another, it can be a powerful effect.

It’s one of the reasons the medical community as a whole strongly encourages exercise and moving your body. Exercise releases those feel good hormones right into your blood stream. The result? Instant happy face. Calm, relaxed and capable of managing anything life throws at you.

 

#3 Health & Nutrition Problem

 

We just spent some time talking about brain chemistry and we discussed the link between nutrition and brain chemistry. Did you know that certain health problems can cause chronic anxiety and anxiety disorders?

And it’s not just emotional either – because it makes sense you might feel anxious if you’re sick. However, health problems can physically cause anxiety disorders. Some common health problems that can cause anxiety disorders include:

 

  • Mitral valve prolapse – when the valve between your heart's left atrium and the left ventricle doesn't close properly.
  • Mineral deficiencies like zinc or magnesium
  • Hyperthyroidism – Over production of thyroid hormone.
  • Hypoglycaemia – low blood sugar
  • Stimulants like caffeine
  • Medication withdrawal
  • And even some medications and/or herbs

 

#4 Serious Stress

 

We’ve already mentioned that chronic stress can lead to anxiety. If you’re going through a major life change like a:

 

  • Move
  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • New baby
  • New Job
  • Death in the family
  • Illness in the family

 

You can experience tremendous stress. And life changes aren’t the kind of stress you can get away from typically. This kind of stress can lead to anxiety, which can in turn manifest into a full blown anxiety disorder.

 

#5 Bad Habits 

 

There are many bad habits that can develop that can contribute to increased anxiety. Not getting enough sleep is one simple habit that’s easy to reverse. Your body needs sleep. Without it you’re unable to manage stress. 

Not taking good care of yourself. Everybody needs a few things. It needs nutrition, it needs sleep, it needs exercise, as humans we need touch and love, and we need time to relax. If we don’t take good care of ourselves, then our bodies aren’t equipped to manage all of the stress we can experience. It can put us into stress overload. Chronic anxiety ensues and the result can be an anxiety disorder.

Additionally, mindset can be a bad habit. If you have the habit of looking at life negatively then it’s easy to imagine the worst. Fortunately, turning these types of habits around doesn’t have to be a major event. A few small changes to your lifestyle and a desire to modify your habits is all it takes.

 

Any single cause or a few causes combined can result in an anxiety disorder. They’re extremely common. It’s actually estimated that more than 10% of the population suffers from anxiety disorders. Many people live their life undiagnosed. However, treatment is available. You don’t have to live a life full of stress, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Let’s move onto the first treatment chapter in this report – Natural, Hands On Treatments for Anxiety.

4. Natural Hands On Treatments For Anxiety

 

Hands on treatments are literally treatments that require hands to be on your body. They work to reduce or alleviate anxiety for a number of reasons.

One reason hands on treatments work is because the simple act of touch. Our skin and our bodies are designed to respond to touch. In fact, positive feel good hormones are released when we’re touched. Don’t believe it? Go hug someone. It’s also one of the reasons people with depression are often advised to get a pet. Because the simple act of touching a dog or cat, of being touched by them, can release positive hormones.

The second reason touch therapies work depends largely on the therapy itself. For example, there is a touch therapy called reflexology which is a bit like acupressure for the feet. Touch certain areas of the foot and you release toxins, ease headaches and clear your sinuses. 

We’re going to look at two hands on therapies here – therapies that are generally accepted practices. They include:

  1. Massage
  2. Acupuncture

 

  • Massage For Anxiety Relief

 

Massage has long been used to reduce stress. It is also incredibly effective to treat anxiety and depression. When you receive a massage your body releases those feel good hormones we’ve mentioned before. Specifically, it releases or increases release of:

  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin 
  • Endorphins

 

And massage reduces the stress hormones:

  • Cortisol
  • Adrenaline. 
  • Noradrenaline 
  • ACTH Adrenocorticotrophic hormone

 

And massage works to improve your body’s systems. When your system are improved and optimised, you’re better able to manage stress and anxiety. Think about it, you’re lying on a table and someone is working out all of the tension from your body. You’re so primed to manage any stressful situation once the stress has been worked out of your body. So what systems does massage improve? Massage can improve your:

  • Immune system
  • Metabolism/Blood sugar
  • Circulatory 

 

A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found massage demonstrated a significant reduction in anxiety and depression in people who received massages. Subjects had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their saliva. They also found that overall mood improved and people who received massage slept better. 

This studies results have been confirmed by other studies which have also found that people who suffer from chronic anxiety or anxiety disorders were able to reduce their anxiety and in many cases reduce their need for anti-anxiety medication. 

 

  • What Type Of Massage Works Best?

 

There are many different types of massage. Some have very specific purposes while others may simply fit different personalities. It’s also important to know that you don’t have to see a professional to receive a massage. 

Yes, professionals are trained in how to release stress hormones and tension from your body, however, any massage may be better than no massage. You can massage your feet, or have someone you love help you out. You can also purchase a massager or give yourself a quick head, neck and shoulder massage.

 

  • Swedish Massage

 

This may be the most common type of massage because it’s designed to help you relax. It may also be the best massage for people suffering from anxiety and looking to relieve stress. It’s noted by gentle long strokes followed by kneading your muscles and tissues along with circular movements to release tension.

Deep-tissue massage, Sports Massage and Trigger Point Massage are all generally used for muscle damage, circulation improvement and injuries. They’re not likely to be the type of massage you experience if you’re seeking relief from stress and anxiety.

 There are many spas and salons that offer massage as do many physical therapists. If you’re on a budget, consider visiting a massage school. They generally offer significantly discounted massages so their students can practice. Of course, if it isn’t a relaxing experience you may prefer to spend a little bit more money. Some companies have opened up around the country that offer massage memberships. For a monthly fee you receive one free massage each month and discounted massages if you choose to have more than one a month.

 

  • Acupuncture For Anxiety Relief

 

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment. It uses needles inserted in specific points of the body. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the insertion of these needles helps correct imbalances in the body. 

There have been many studies on acupuncture’s ability to relieve stress and chronic anxiety. Two recent studies are of interest. One study in particular studied people who suffered from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is an anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic event. Panic attacks can be triggered by memories, sensations, or events linked to the initial trauma.

 

  • How Does Acupuncture Work?

 

Chinese medicine considers the body a complete system. When it’s out of balance problems arise. When it’s operating optimally everything is in balance. You may be familiar with Ying and Yang or Chi. These are both concepts of balance and energy flow. They also believe your body is composed of organ systems and the five elements which include fire, earth, water, wood, and metal.

According to acupuncturists, most anxiety and anxiety related conditions are due to imbalances of the heart and kidney. The heart is considered a yang energy organ. The kidney is a water energy organ. The kidney balances the heart. When one is out of balance, it affects the other and anxiety can be the result. 

 

  • Your First Appointment 

 

At your first appointment you’ll likely be required to provide a complete medical history. Your acupuncturist will also ask about any emotional symptoms you’re having in addition to your physical ones. They’ll also conduct a thorough examination, specifically looking at your energy points and assessing your behaviour, complaints, and concerns.

It’s common to worry about needles. Many people want to know if it hurts. By and large most people say it is relatively painless. However, you may experience some discomfort depending on the are being treated and how deep the acupuncturist has to go.

After your first appointment, your practitioner will tell you what to expect as far as side effects and relief. And it’s important to know that most acupuncture therapy is conducted over a series of visits. It’s also often recommended to make lifestyle changes and you may be prescribed a few herbs and herbal remedies.

 

Both massage and acupuncture can play a role in easing your stress and anxiety and helping people with anxiety disorders live a fully functioning life. However, we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to natural remedies and treatments for anxiety.

Next we’ll take a look at herbal remedies for anxiety which includes herb to consume but also aromatherapy.

5.  Herbal Remedies, Nutrients and Supplements for Anxiety

 

Herbs have been used for centuries to treat everything from ulcers to heart attacks. And yes, there are some very effective herbal remedies for anxiety too. 

Before we dive into herbal remedies, aromatherapy and other natural options it’s important to address the potential risks of herbs and herbal remedies.

Always talk to your doctor if you’re considering an herbal remedy. This is particularly important if you are taking any medications for anxiety or medications in general. Some herbs can cause negative interactions. Others can reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of drugs you are taking.

Additionally, herbs can have side effects just like medications. That being said, herbs are generally much safer than prescription medications. Still, it’s important to be extra safe when you’re dealing with your physical and emotional health. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs. Be aware of possible drug interactions and side effects.

 

Okay, now let’s take a look at some of those herbs that ease anxiety, stress and panic attacks!

 

  • GABA

 

GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid that is found in your central nervous system. See, we’re back to brain chemistry again. Many people who suffer chronic anxiety have low levels of GABA. The good news is that GABA can be found in a number of foods including:

 

  •  Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Brown Rice
  • Halibut
  • Lentils
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Rice bran
  • Spinach
  • Walnuts
  • Whole grains

Eating foods rich in GABA can help reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm and well being.

 

  • Vitamin B

 

Visit any vitamin aisle at your local super market and you’ll see rows of vitamin B and various combinations of B. This is because vitamin B is known to help your body manage and reduce stress. When you purchase a vitamin B stress complex you’re often getting a number of B vitamins all rolled into one. You’re getting:

 

  • Thiamin 
  • Riboflavin 
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B-6 
  • Folic Acid 
  • Vitamin B-12 
  • Biotin 
  • Pantothenic Acid 
  • And Sometimes Vitamin C

 

  • Ginseng

 

Do you consume energy drinks? Take a look at the label and you’ll probably see Ginseng. That’s because Ginseng is supposed to help induce relaxation, reduce stress and help maintain balanced emotions. You can drink Ginseng tea or take a capsule. Steer clear of the energy drinks because they contain caffeine which can worsen anxiety symptoms.

 

  • Valerian

 

Valerian, often used as a natural sleep aid, is also used as an effective anti-anxiety medication. It’s most often consumed in capsule form. 

 

  • Passionflower

 

According to several studies passionflower was as effective as some of the benzodiazepines in relieving anxiety. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to patients suffering from an anxiety disorder. Again, this is commonly consumed in capsule form.

 

  • Kava

 

Kava is often mentioned as an anxiety reduction herb however, at this point it’s recommended to steer clear of Kava because it can cause serious liver damage. 

 

  • St John’s Wort

 

St. John’s Wort is often used to treat depression and mild cases of anxiety. It can be taken as a capsule or in tea form.

 

  • Chamomile 

 

Chamomile has long been prescribed to help ease stress and anxiety and is often consumed before a person goes to bed. 

 

Essential Oils to Ease Anxiety

 

In addition to herbs and vitamins to ease anxiety, you can also use essential oils to induce a state of relaxation. If you’re experiencing chronic anxiety, you can take essential oils with you. You can place them on pressure points like the insides of your wrists. You can create a room spray or you can simply pull out your oils and inhale when you feel the need to relax.

 

Common Essential Oils for Anxiety & Stress Relief Include:

 

  • Marjoram 
  • Neroli (orange blossom) 
  • Bergamot 
  • Sandalwood 
  • Geranium
  • Cedarwood 
  • Chamomile 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Comfrey 
  • Frankincense 
  • Geranium 
  • Hyssop 
  • Lavender 
  • Marjoram 
  • Patchouli 
  • Peppermint 
  • Rose 
  • Sage 
  • Sandalwood 
  • Ylang Ylang

 

You can create your own combination of oils into a personal relaxation recipe. You can also choose to enjoy a single oil or you can start with one of the following recipes:

 

  • Relaxation Recipe #1

Combine equal parts of:

  • Marjoram 
  • Neroli (orange blossom) 
  • Bergamot 

Place in a small clean bottle and cap tightly.

 

  • Relaxation Recipe #2 

  • Lavender - 3 parts
  • Bergamot - 2 parts
  • Sandalwood -1 part

Place in a small clean bottle and cap tightly.

 

  • Relaxation Recipe #3 

Combine:

  • 2 drops geranium
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops sandalwood

 

Place in a small clean bottle and cap tightly OR add to bath salts for a relaxing bath at the end of a stressful day.

 

Essential oils can be an important, and fun, part of your every day routine. You can add them to your bath at the end of the day and/or use a diffuser to surround yourself with relaxing scents or create an air freshener to spritz when you need something soothing.

Herbs, essential oils, and vitamins all play a role in your body’s ability to manage and reduce stress. The great thing about natural remedies is you can pick and choose what fits your personality, needs, and budget. And unlike medications you’re generally not at risk for serious health complications, addiction or unwanted side effects.

We’ve explored a variety of natural remedies for anxiety up to this point. In the next section we’re going to explore habits to generally ease stress, avoid anxiety and to live a happier, healthier life. These habits cover a broad range from mindset to exercise and everything in between.

 

6. Habits You Can Embrace to Live Free From Anxiety

 

There are a number of things you can do every day to prevent anxiety, better manage anxiety and to stop anxiety attacks and panic attacks in their tracks. To make this final chapter more useful we’ve divided it into three primary sections. They include:

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Relaxation Techniques
  3. In the Moment

 

Let’s begin with number 1. Lifestyle

 

1. Lifestyle Habits to Free You From Anxiety

 

  • Meditation

 

Meditation is one of the most effective means for relaxing your mind and your body. It’s been proven to lengthen life and to increase quality of life. The simple process of clearing all thoughts from your mind, of quieting your mind, can have dramatic and lifelong benefits.

Many people have some misconceptions about meditation. Simply sitting quietly and clearing your mind of all thoughts for five to ten minutes is a great way to start. You don’t have to sit for hours, chant or be physically uncomfortable. Simply focusing on your breathing for a few minutes is enough. 

You can also walk and mediate, listen to soothing music, or follow a guided imagery or meditation session. This site is full of different meditations for you and Reaching Unity Meditation Course will gently guide you through the process. 

There is nothing to stop you from starting your new meditation lifestyle today!

 

  • Diet and Nutrition Changes 

 

This habit actually incorporates several lifestyle changes. We’ll list them for ease. They include:

  • Reducing sugary foods from your diet 
  • Eliminating or reducing caffeine
  • Eating the RDA of fruits and veggies
  • Take a multi-vitamin
  • Eliminate or reduce alcohol
  • Eliminate nicotine if you smoke or chew tobacco 

 

Use the commitment journal in your resources to list the lifestyle and dietary changes you are going to make and then make that commitment. Push yourself a little but also make it achievable, increase your commitments every week or so.

 

  • Exercise

Like nutrition and diet, exercise also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to manage stress and to avoid anxiety and anxiety attacks. There are a few general rules of thumb, however, for the most part, you should do what makes you feel good. 

To be blunt, your body was designed to move. Generally, that means walking, however, if you prefer to dance, stretch, box, run, swim, bicycle, do yoga or any other exercise you enjoy then by all means go for it.  Taking a walk each morning before 10am ticks so many boxes for treating your anxiety and stress, add a meditation in there and you will be set up for the day.

And think about your exercise personality too. If you’re a social person and like to exercise with others then consider joining a club, a sport, a class or simply gathering a group of friends together to work out.

If you’re a person who likes to work out alone then maybe jogging, swimming or some other individual sport is best for you. 

What is a fact is that when you move your body you release hormones and activate systems that keep you both physically and mentally/emotionally healthy.

Movement helps not only alleviate stress and anxiety, it helps your body manage it better. 

Now here are those rules we talked about a few sentences ago:

Take 10,000 steps a day (equivalent of 5 miles)

And/Or

Exercise for 30 minutes a day

 

Yoga, stretching and Thai Chi can all be calming, whole body exercises that leave you feeling tremendously focused and relaxed at the same time.

 

 

  • Sunshine

 

It may sound strange but 20-30 minutes of sunlight each day can do a lot to help improve your overall mindset. This is because the sun helps your body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body manage stress and it helps you regulate your moods and emotional well being. 

The medical community agrees that most people are drastically low on vitamin D. If you cannot get out into the sun each day for 20-30 minutes, take a vitamin D supplement or a multi vitamin with a day’s supply of vitamin D.

 

  • Stress Management & Prevention

 

It all boils down to taking great care of yourself. You of course can accomplish this in a number of easy. Here are a few easy suggestions you can add to your daily routine to make it, less routine and more enjoyable.

  • Treat yourself well and take several breaks a day to relax and step away from stress
  • Do something you love to do each and every day
  • Laugh. It’s been proven that laughter release stress and lowers stress hormones.

 

 

2. Relaxation Techniques to Free You From Anxiety

 

Relaxation techniques are things you can do every day to help stay stress and anxiety free. They can become part of your routine or you can use them only when you feel particularly stressed or anxious or if you feel an anxiety attack coming on.

Many of these are much like meditation and in fact meditation is a relaxation technique however, meditation is recommended as a daily lifestyle habit and not something you use when you need it. Meditate a few times and you’ll quickly see why – the benefits are present almost right away. There are simple relaxation guided meditations for you in your resources and meditation section.

 

  • Visualisation

     

 

Much like meditation, when you practice visualisation you will want to find somewhere quiet to sit. The goal is to visualise a peaceful location. For example, you might imagine yourself at the edge of a quiet pond. A small waterfall trickles over the rocks and colourful birds chirp happily in the thick trees overhead.

 

  • Full Body Tension Release 

 

This is a common method of complete mind and body relaxation. Find someplace comfortable and quiet to lie on your back – your bed at the end of the day is a great place to practice this method. 

Beginning with your toes, tense them, then feel them relax completely. Feel them ease into the soft surface beneath you. Move up to your heels, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, buttocks and work your way up through each muscle group until your entire body is completely relaxed. 

 

  • Focus On Your Breathing 

 

You’ve probably heard people give the advice to take three deep breaths or to count to ten when you’re angry. This is the same type of thing only you don’t have to wait until you’re angry. If you feel pressure, anxiety, or stress you can take a few seconds to a few minutes to focus on your breathing. 

This helps you move your attention from what’s upsetting you. It turns your attention inward, and helps you find calm.

 

 

3. In The Moment – What To Do As Anxiety is Building

 

Okay, so anxiety is building. You’re feeling a full blown release coming. Maybe you’re on the verge of an anxiety attack or a panic attack – what do you do?

 

Here are some options:

 

  • What Are You Afraid Of? What’s Stressing You? What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

 

When you’re ready to explode the most common reaction is to let the emotions overwhelm and to react to them. Unfortunately, reacting to stress and anxiety often just makes the symptoms worse.

Instead, turn your thoughts inward and regain control over the pending situation. Ask yourself why it’s happening. Often the simple question forces you to be realistic instead of letting your imagination continue to run away. 

While you may not find an answer, and in fact there may not be one to find, the process of asking the question and turning your focus inward toward reality and what you can control, may stop or reduce the attack.

 

  • Grab a Glass of Water. 

 

This is a quick way to distract yourself from diving headlong into a panic attack. The process of getting the water and the breathing pattern when you drink the glass will help you relax. Additionally, sometimes it’s easier to have a panic attack if you’re dehydrated.

 

  • What Are You Grateful For?

 

Gratitude has the effect of instantly changing your attitude. It changes the glass from half empty to half full in one quick thought. And the truly great thing about this tactic? There is always something to be grateful for. If nothing else, you’re alive and you’re breathing and that’s something to be grateful for. 

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a few seconds to list five or more things you’re grateful for. You’ll begin to turn to gratitude often and that’s a great way to live.

 

There are more tips and advice on dealing with anxiety and panic attacks in this section.

Conclusion

 

Anxiety, stress and occasionally panic are to be expected. They’re part of an active life. However, when anxiety, stress and panic become the normal experience for you, when they become chronic then it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation.

It may be that you need to see a doctor. You may have developed an anxiety or panic disorder. You may also experience health problems related to stress and anxiety that need to be evaluated by a physician.

Treatment generally includes therapy and/or behaviour modifications. It may also include medications. Whether you decide to take prescription medications for your anxiety or you choose to forego them, there are natural treatments that can help you manage, reduce and even eliminate stress and anxiety from your everyday life.

Freeing yourself from the prison of anxiety means a longer life. It also means a happier and healthier life.

 

To your good health and happiness!

 

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.”

- George F. Burns