Anxiety is amongst the most common mental illnesses in the United States. It affects people, young and old, in all corners of the country. Luckily, with the help of modern and holistic medicine, sufferers can rely on an assortment of tactics to manage and heal anxiety.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the condition affects over 40 million adults each year. Throw in a global pandemic, crashing economies, and job uncertainty into the mix, and that number is on the rise. Despite being a treatable condition, the ADAA shines a light on the fact that most anxiety disorders go untreated. With so many victims avoiding doctor offices, they need to find other ways to manage the mental illness holistically.
What Is Anxiety?
There are many types of anxiety disorders and, therefore, many different causes. The illness can be broad and generalized: panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or it can be more specific, linked to a particular fear or event: agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Regardless of the type or its triggers, the symptoms of anxiety are quite similar. Victims suffer from physical symptoms, like rapid or irregular heartbeats, sweating, trembling, trouble breathing, lethargy, and muscle weakness. Mental symptoms include feelings of doom, panic, sadness, fear, and mood swings. These reactions impact mental sanity, personal relationships, school, and work.
Anyone can suffer from anxiety, whether its generalized or trigger-related from fear or life events. Strain can also be genetic or due to brain chemistry and personality. In general—according to the National Institute of Mental Health—women and young adults tend to suffer more from anxiety and anxiety-related mental illness.
Treatments With Holistic Medicine
Because anxiety and mental illness are on the rise, many victims are left wondering how to treat their conditions. Medication is necessary for many ailments and clients should always consult their doctors first. Holistic medicine is another path to healing, managing, and treating anxiety.
Meditation and Deep Breathing
When anxiety hits, many have difficulties breathing, suffering from a rapid heart rate and shallow gasps of air. By clearing the mind and taking long, deep, and intentional breaths, the heart rate slows, and the symptoms start to dissipate. Regular practice in meditation and deep breathing can help sufferers stop anxiety or panic attacks before they start.
By maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, anxiety sufferers are ensuring that their body gets all the proper nutrients to function optimally. This form of holistic medicine is essential because it can positively impact the gut and nervous system, which can keep the brain functioning at its best.
When brain chemistry is at the root of the problem, regular exercise is vital. Aside from “burning off” built-up energy that can affect mood, training gives your brain endorphins. You may have already heard of the benefits of mood-boosting endorphins for those suffering from anxiety and depression. And it’s true—regular and consistent exercise, big or small, is an excellent tactic within holistic medicine that can help you manage and heal your anxiety.
Talking about your stress, depression, or overall emotions is therapeutic for those with anxiety. With meditation, you focus on clearing the mind temporarily. But with therapy, you are settling the mind long-term. Both have their holistic benefits, but therapy can help you rid your mind of anxiety, mainly when there's a trigger or link to specific events. If you’re not a talker, try writing about your feelings in a journal.
Supplements are a popular form of holistic medicine, as they mimic medication but keep the treatment natural. Many people like to use supplements to manage and heal ailments, including anxiety. But before starting any new regime, it’s essential to speak with your doctor, who can help create a plan that’s right for you. Some of the more popular supplements include ashwagandha, gamma-aminobutyric acid (also known as GABA), and valerian root.