No one really understands how anxiety can take you over in a flash, as though you were possessed unless they also suffer from anxiety. Inadvertently, those who try to help can actually make things worse by telling you to calm down (as if there was an off button) or trying to show you that there’s nothing to be so anxious about (“oh, so you’re saying I’m crazy?”). However, there are real, actually helpful methods for reducing anxiety naturally.
Anxiety can take many different forms, but the first important thing to understand is that there’s a big difference between suffering from occasional anxiety and having an anxiety disorder. An anxiety that is not rooted in a disorder is a momentary state that can be caused by a stressful event or a physical illness. It can be dealt with by addressing the cause or by reducing anxiety naturally through different techniques.
Even if anxiety is a recurring issue in your life, you still may not have an anxiety disorder and just need to learn a few coping skills. But if you feel that anxiety has become serious and pervasive enough, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, each one with different triggers, cycles, and management practices. These can include:
- Specific phobias – fear of heights, the dark, injections, or driving. What differentiates a phobia from a regular worry is that it is irrational and debilitating.
- Agoraphobia – the fear of open spaces and large crowds, or other situations or places where you can’t escape or where you don’t have a support figure with you to help you deal.
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – which results from being exposed to traumatic events such as war, violence, natural disasters, or abuse.
- Social Anxiety – a fear of embarrassing yourself or of being awkward in social situations to the point where you can’t be around other people.
- Separation Anxiety – where you get very anxious when someone you’re attached to is not close by.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – where you have obsessive and intrusive thoughts and urges that are out of your control, and you need to repeat certain behaviors (such as washing your hands) in order to soothe or control these thoughts.
- Panic Disorder – where you experience repeat panic attacks, which can sometimes feel as though you are having a heart attack or another very frightening condition.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – where you suffer from an ambient type of anxiety that doesn’t seem to have any cause or trigger and is constantly in the background.
Although we are going to give you some tips and tricks on reducing anxiety naturally, if any of the above resonates and you think you may be suffering from a full-blown anxiety disorder, it is best to seek professional help.
Remember this: whatever the case, you are not alone. Anxiety and anxiety disorders are some of the most common psychological problems the modern Westerner faces, and thankfully there are many resources available to help with coping. You don’t have to live under its curse. Whether you choose professional help or try reducing anxiety naturally, you have options.
Stress And Anxiety – Are They The Same?
The terms stress and anxiety get thrown around a lot these days, and some people use them interchangeably. But the fact is that they are actually quite different, even if they have similar physical sensations.
Stress is a response to a stressor – whether physical, like an accident or pathogen, or psychological, like a heavy workload or a fight with a spouse. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress. It is one possible outcome of stress. Think of it as a next possible point down the line, but thankfully it is not the inevitable next point down the line.
There is no avoiding exposure to stress. And in fact, not all stress is bad. Eustress, or “good” stress, can actually be beneficial. For example, a little physical eustress, like you’d experience when working out, is what helps you build more muscle or get your heart pumping. Psychological eustress can come from taking on a challenging project, which can help you sharpen your mind and feel even more fulfilled than if your work is routine.
It’s only when stress becomes too intense or chronic that it can cause a lot of harm. Certain types of stressors should be avoided as much as possible, such smoking cigarettes or being in an abusive relationship, while other types cannot be avoided, like a relationship or financial strain, so you have to learn how to cope with them in healthy, positive ways.
Anxiety is one of the outcomes of not being able to cope with stress in a healthy, positive way. That is good news because it means reducing anxiety naturally can happen as you practice new, healthy coping mechanisms.
Another thing to remember is that since stressful physical and psychological conditions can cause anxiety, reducing anxiety naturally should entail dealing with these conditions. For example, adrenal fatigue treatment includes anxiety and mild depression as common symptoms.
AFS is the dysregulation of the adrenal glands, which produce the body’s main anti-stress hormone, cortisol. The main cause of AFS is chronic stress and its main symptom is fatigue. Other symptoms include sleep disturbances, weight and appetite issues, food and drug sensitivities, PMS, infertility, an inability to handle stress, and heart palpitations. Any of these symptoms can trigger or add to anxiety levels.
Also, when the adrenal glands dysregulate, the rest of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is at risk of dysregulating. The NEM is the body’s global response to stress, and if it is not functioning optimally, you are at risk of developing anxiety as a response to the unaddressed stress. The hormones release, such as the “fight or flight” chemicals, can cause the heart to race and breathing to be shallow, for example, which are very familiar sensations for those who experience anxiety. a cool way to improve