Top 10 Easy Home Remedies For Anxiety - Herbs Info

Top 10 Easy Home Remedies For Anxiety

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Top 10 Easy Home Remedies For Anxiety
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Anxiety is a part of life – but it should only occur related to occasional events. Anxiety on a daily basis or anxiety that occurs repeatedly is considered a mental health disorder and one that must be managed or treated to prevent the condition from getting worse. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness that affects 40 million adults in the USA alone – that’s a whopping 18 percent of the total population in the US. The stigma around mental illnesses has allowed two-thirds of these individuals to go about their daily lives without receiving treatment. [1][2]



Getting To Know Anxiety Disorders

There are different kinds of anxiety disorders that affect the human population, with the ADAA highlighting six.

1: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a non-specific disorder, characterized by persistent and unrealistic anxiety about nothing in particular but rather multitude of everyday issues like health and money. This disorder affects 6.8 million American adults, with women having twice as much risk of being diagnosed with GAD. [3]

2: Panic Disorder and 3: Agoraphobia are two disorders closely linked together. The former is characterized by sudden panic attacks without an identifiable cause. The time in between panic attacks is usually filled with a fear of an attack recurring, making this one of the more debilitating anxiety disorders. The latter, or agoraphobia, is a fear of open, public spaces. This ties in with panic disorders when people affected avoid public places where they have previously had a panic attack or fear of having one in that particular place. [4]



At first glance, agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder may seem alike. They are, however, two very different anxiety orders. While agoraphobia is rooted in a fear of public spaces, social anxiety is rooted in the fear of people – or rather the negative outcomes of social interaction. [5]

4: Specific phobias or fears are categorized by feelings of anxiety – and not just in the presence of that particular object or place. Some people with severe phobias find the mere thought of their phobia being highly anxiety-inducing. Phobias don’t have to make sense – like fear of high places (where the fear is rooted in the dangers of falling); anything goes when it comes to phobias. [6]

5: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by a need to repeat specific actions (“rituals”) in order to prevent anxiety from occurring. This type of anxiety disorder is rooted in anxiety-causing obsessions of compulsions which lead to ritualistic behaviors (common rituals: hand washing a number of times, arranging your closet a specific way). [7]

6: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by a traumatizing event, like a natural disaster, injury or death of a loved one. While experiencing anxiety after these kinds of events is a normal reaction, experiencing debilitating anxiety for months or even years afterwards is considered a mental health condition. [8]

Ten Easy Tips To Manage Anxiety At Home

The management of anxiety is focused on relaxation techniques that ease the mind. These techniques can utilize either a peaceful environment or activities that promote inner peace to reduce anxiety.

#1: Tea

Tea, particularly green tea, contains powerful antioxidants and recent studies have demonstrated its ability to fight chronic diseases that affect the heart and the body’s metabolism. However, ever wonder why people often use tea to promote relaxation? A number of studies have all backed up this claim, showcasing the significant relaxation-promoting abilities of drinking tea.

– A study in 2013 on green tea found that intake promoted serotonin production and dopamine metabolism, leading to a significant anxiolytic response. [9]

– A study in 2015 on rosemary tea found similar effects, with anxiolytic and antidepressant effects caused by rosemary’s ability to inhibit ChE or liver cholinesterase activity (ChE is linked to anxiety and depression). [10]

#2: Exercise

While exercise remains one of the best healthy living activities because of its cardioprotective effects, it has amazing effects on mental health as well. Exercise is an excellent way of expending excess energy that fuels anxiety and promoting the production of endorphins or “the happy hormone”.

– According to a study published in 2015, aerobic exercise can temporarily substitute for psychotherapy in the management of anxiety by reducing anxiety sensitivity. [11]

Walking was seen to significantly improve anxiety in lung cancer patients over time, suggesting exercise can be considered a long term solution in the management of anxiety and mood disorders. [12]

#3: Meditation

Taking 15 minutes at the start and end of each day can do wonders for your anxiety. Studies have shown that meditation is a great way to achieve inner peace and relaxation.

– Zeidan, et. al. in 2014 found that meditation able to regulate anxiety by activating areas of the brain that promoted relaxation and regulated thought control (the latter of which is a primary cause of anxiety). [13]

– Another study with similar results was published this year and focused on the positive effects of transcendental meditation, a form of meditation that aims to relax the mind and reach a state of “self-transcendence”, free from the anxieties in everyday living. [14]

#4: Water

Did you know that dehydration can cause anxiety? Different studies have found that not drinking enough water can affect cognitive function – specifically concentration and memory, leading to anxiety and fatigue. But beyond the nitty gritty of physical science, there is something inherently peaceful about water that can help relieve anxiety and promote inner peace – seen in studies on hydrotherapy and anxiety reduction in women going through labor and people with chronic pain. [15][16][17][18]

#5: Having A Meal

Ever wonder why there is so much truth to the word “hangry”? Hunger can actually one of the many causes of anxiety, which makes eating a way to relax. However, binge eating or eating in the absence of hunger (as a response to anxiety) can lead to weight gain and unhealthy coping mechanisms with stress.

#6: Healthy Diet

A healthy diet goes with number five on this list – having regular meals (three meals a day and two or three snacks) can be a great way to stay fit and healthy, as well as avoiding anxiety-causing hunger. Studies have actually found that a healthy diet can regulate stress and anxiety.

– Luna and Foster (2015) found that a healthy diet promotes balance in the microorganisms in our gut, with gut microbiota being linked to the neurologic system and anxiety. [19]

– The result of Saneei, et. al.’s (2016) study was a positive correlation between healthy eating and a decreased incidence or risk for mental disorders, primarily anxiety and depression in Middle-Eastern population. [20]

– Healthy diets were inversely associated with depression in a study on pregnant women in 2015; however, the results were confined to antenatal anxiety and depression and not post-natal depression. [21]

#7: Warm Baths

Relaxing after a tiring day can be done with a warm bath, usually with scented oils or candles to promote a soothing environment. There are different studies on the anxiety-reducing effects of a warm bath; one of the most recently published studies was in 2014 and focused on anxiety in pregnant women. A warm foot bath accompanied by rose oil aromatherapy was able to significantly reduce anxiety after ten minutes. [22]

#8: Writing

Writing is a great outlet for reducing anxiety. It allows a person to sort out their thoughts and can provide order and peace to an anxious mind.

– According to Park, Ramirez & Beilock (2014), expressive writing was able to reduce anxiety in math students, improving math performance. [23]

– The same results were seen in a study by Wang, et. al. (2015), showing that expressive writing can have long-term benefits on anxiety management by regulating neural balance in the brain. [24]

#9: Massage

Massage therapy has been the focus of numerous studies over the recent years, finding that this form of touch therapy was able to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Most of the studies published focused on massage being able to reduce stress and anxiety in people preparing for surgery (or after surgery!) or suffer from chronic illness like cancer. For healthy individuals, getting a massage regularly can help relieve the daily stresses in everyday life. [25][26][27]

#10: Visiting The Outdoors

The great outdoors can be a great way to take a break from the anxieties of the city. You can either visit the ocean or take a short hike through the forest and use the peaceful environment to reduce your anxiety and give you time to yourself. The outdoors can also be a place where you can meditate, write, exercise – basically activities that will help you manage your anxiety.

References:

[1] National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety Disorder. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

[2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Facts & Statistics. http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

[4] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Panic Disorder & Agoraphobia. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia

[5] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Social Anxiety Disorder. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

[6] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Specific Phobias. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/specific-phobias

[7] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd

[8] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

[9] Mirza, B., et. al. (2013). Neurochemical and behavioral effects of green tea (Camellia sinensis): a model study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23625424

[10] Ferlemi, A., et. al. (2015). Rosemary tea consumption results to anxiolytic- and anti-depressant-like behavior of adult male mice and inhibits all cerebral area and liver cholinesterase activity; phytochemical investigation and in silico studies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25910439

[11] LeBouthillier, D. & Asmundson, G. (2015). A Single Bout of Aerobic Exercise Reduces Anxiety Sensitivity But Not Intolerance of Uncertainty or Distress Tolerance: A Randomized Controlled Trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25874370

[12] Chen, H., et. al. (2015). Randomised controlled trial on the effectiveness of home-based walking exercise on anxiety, depression and cancer-related symptoms in patients with lung cancer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25490525

[13] Zeidan, F., et. al. (2014). Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23615765

[14] Tomljenovic, H., Begic, D. & Mastrovic, Z. (2016). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23615765Changes in trait brainwave power and coherence, state and trait anxiety after three-month transcendental meditation (TM) practice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26938824

[15] Elgot, A., El hiba O. & Gamrani, H. (2012). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23615765Changes in trait brainwave power and coherence, state and trait anxiety after three-month transcendental meditation (TM) practice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22172710

[16] Ganio, M., et. al. (2011). Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21736786

[17] Benfield, R., et. al. (2010). The effects of hydrotherapy on anxiety, pain, neuroendocrine responses, and contraction dynamics during labor. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20453024

[18] Im, S. & Han, E. (2013). Improvement in anxiety and pain after whole body whirlpool hydrotherapy among patients with myofascial pain syndrome. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24020034

[19] Luna, R. & Foster, J. (2015). Gut brain axis: diet microbiota interactions and implications for modulation of anxiety and depression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25448230

[20] Saneei, P., et. al. (2016). Adherence to Alternative Healthy Eating Index in relation to depression and anxiety in Iranian adults. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27188471

[21] Baskin, R., et. al. (2015). The association between diet quality and mental health during the perinatal period. A systematic review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25814192

[22] Kheirkhah, M., et. al. (2014). Comparing the effects of aromatherapy with rose oils and warm foot bath on anxiety in the first stage of labor in nulliparous women. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25593713

[23] Park, D., Ramirez, G. & Beilock, S. (2014). The role of expressive writing in math anxiety. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24708352

[24] Wang, F., et. al. (2015). Reappraisal writing relieves social anxiety and may be accompanied by changes in frontal alpha asymmetry. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26539146

[25] Peng, S., et. al. (2015). Effects of massage on the anxiety of patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25751447

[26] Dreyer, N., et. al. (2015). Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, relaxation, and tension after colorectal surgery: A randomized study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26256133

[27] Karagozoglu, S. & Kahve, E. (2013). Effects of back massage on chemotherapy-related fatigue and anxiety: supportive care and therapeutic touch in cancer nursing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24055114

Infographic Image Sources:
Cup of Tea – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Meissen-teacup_pinkrose01.jpg
Stride – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stride-q210c.jpg
Meditation – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sidhasana.JPG
Mineral Water – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stilles_Mineralwasser.jpg
Fruits and Vegetables – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fresh_cut_fruits_and_vegetables.jpg
Bathtub – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clawfoot_bathtub.jpg
Pen and Paper – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DavideSapienza_pen%26paper.jpg
Massage – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Massage_Frankfurt.jpg
Ocean – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:20100726_Kalamitsi_Beach_Ionian_Sea_Lefkada_island_Greece.jpg



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