What Are Some Effective, Drug-Free Treatments for Anxiety?
Anxiety is the overwhelming feeling of constant worry and stress and has become a raging problem among many in our highly inter-connected society. The fear of terrorism, money trouble and perhaps problems arising from the various social media platforms we are all so intertwined with these days, could be leading contributors to the increase in stress, anxiety and depression statistics in our modern world.
The New York Times, just last month, highlighted the increasing prevalence of anxiety, noting*:
"While to epidemiologists the disorder is a medical condition, anxiety is starting to seem like a sociological condition, too: a shared cultural experience that feeds on alarmist CNN graphics and metastasizes through social media …
'If you're a human being living in 2017 and you're not anxious,' [Sarah Fader, who has generalised anxiety disorder] said on the telephone, 'there's something wrong with you' … [I]t seems we have entered a new Age of Anxiety. Monitoring our heart rates. Swiping ceaselessly at our iPhones …
Consider the fidget spinner: endlessly whirring between the fingertips of 'Generation Alpha,' annoying teachers, baffling parents … According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, some 38 percent of girls ages 13 through 17, and 26 percent of boys have an anxiety disorder … Meanwhile, the number of web searches involving the term has nearly doubled over the last five years …"
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to combat anxiety, without the need for drugs. If you are feeling an onset of anxiety, you may just find some of these basic methods below quite beneficial.
- Exercise and decent sleep
Start with taking part in some regular, daily exercise and make sure you are getting a good night’s rest.
- Maintain a healthy gut microbiome
Gastrointestinal irregularities have been associated with a range of psychological problems, which include anxiety and depression. Science has revealed that gut bacteria use the primary nerve, named vagus, for transmitting information directly to your brain. Because of this relationship, a healthy gut microbiome is essential for establishing good signals to your brain and combating mental health issues.
Fermented, probiotic foods are perfect for keeping your gut healthy, so look to incorporate more of these foods into your daily diet.
- Reduce your consumption of processed foods
Fill your diet with plenty of wholesome foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood. Remain vigilant of any nutritional imbalances, as these have been known to trigger mental health problems. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin D, and animal-based omega-3 fatty acids could be a caution for mental health.
- Avoid over-exposure to microwave radiation
It is said that devices like smartphones and those that make use of wireless technology like baby monitors, closeness to mobile phone towers, etc., can be contributing factors to anxiety. As a good starting point, leave your phone away from beside the bed while you are sleeping.
- Look up and interact
If you are one of those people who suffer from anxiety due to the increased activity online (and in particular through social media), do yourself a favour and switch off for a period. Allow yourself some real face-to-face interaction instead, as this can do wonders for fostering purpose in life. Real human conversation is an under-valued asset nowadays.
However, if you are having serious problems with anxiety and mental health, there are various organisations that are available for help, and you should look to reach out; Beyond Blue, Lifeline, and Kids Helpline are just a few of the many.
Bondi Beach Tea Co., natural tea blends of herbal goodness, can help to get you a good night sleep, relax your mind and help you to unwind. Check out our range of natural herbal teas, available online. With a cup of tea at the ready, grab a good old-fashioned paperback book, a comfortable place to sit, and enjoy a cuppa while you put your feet up.
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* The New York Times: June 2017: Prozac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax