Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States? They’re also some of the most treatable disorders. But while most people turn to medication as the answer, a common sense understanding of how the human mind functions in tandem with the physical body, shows that natural treatments are far more effective over the long haul.
The Lowdown on Anxiety
According to ADAA, 40 million adult Americans, or roughly 18 percent of the population, suffer from anxiety disorders on an annual basis. However, just 36.9 percent of these individuals receive treatment. And the vast majority of the ones that do receive treatment rely solely on prescription medication.
No two people are the same and every anxiety sufferer experience causes and symptoms differently. Anxiety and depression are frequently linked, and people commonly suffer from a combination of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder (PDD), and/or other related illnesses.
5 Tips for Natural Anxiety Treatment
While certain prescription medications are helpful in alleviating some of the frustrating symptoms of anxiety, they can be addictive. They also do very little to address the underlying causes. Thus, it’s more like slapping a bandage on a gunshot wound, as opposed to actually cleaning the cut and stitching things up.
If you want to address your anxiety at a foundational level without the risk of becoming addicted to medication, you’ll find the following natural treatment options helpful:
- Regulate Gut Bacteria
A growing body of research suggests that there’s a stronger connection between gut health and mental health than previously realized. It has to do with the way in which the nerves of the gut connect and interact with the nerves found in the brain.
According to InVite Health, studies show that it’s possible to treat anxiety symptoms more thorough regulation of intestinal microbiota. This can be accomplished with proper diet, as well as through the intake of targeted supplements.
- Exercise Daily
When anxiety strikes, most people want to curl up in a ball and binge watch Netflix with a carton of ice cream in their hands. However, this is actually the worst thing you can do. When your mind is paralyzed, exercise is one of the best remedies.
Physical activity raises your serotonin and endorphin levels, which helps you feel better emotionally. It also improves circulation, which enhances your brain’s ability to think clearly. Try to get at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate to rigorous physical activity each day.
- Get More Sleep
Sleep is your friend. As you slumber, your brain recharges and your mental capacities for focus, concentration, and discernment are restored. If you find it difficult to get adequate sleep, try creating a bedtime routine where you fall asleep at the same time each evening and wake up at the same time in the mornings.
- Watch Your Social Circle
It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If your circle of friends, family, and coworkers are negative/anxious people, don’t be surprised when it rubs off on you. By shifting your energy towards more positive people, you’ll naturally begin to think, act, and feel like them.
It’s also wise to curb any unhealthy social media habits you have. In fact, you’re better off not using social media, which commonly creates feelings of discontentment and fear of missing out.
- Practice Mindfulness
Anxiety is triggered when your mind races to thinking about the future and things that could go wrong. By practicing mindfulness, you train your brain to stay in the present. According to HeySigmund.com, it has been shown to create measurable changes in both the brain and body.
Practice mindfulness by starting with 10 minutes each morning. Sit in a comfortable position and only pay attention to what’s happening in the present moment. Focus on breathing, posture, and your senses. With regular practice, you’ll find it easier to be mindful at other points throughout the day.
Kick Anxiety to the Curb
Anxiety is something that must be dealt with in a proactive and appropriate manner. Medication is helpful in some situations, but it’s not the answer to your underlying problem. By implementing some of the natural remedies outlined in this article, you can improve your mental health and rediscover what it looks like to live a happy and balanced life.