Anxiousness may be one of the most common emotional and mental states in Western society. Already using homeopathy? How to supplement this? Worry about what has happened or will happen can increase heart rate, cause clammy skin and inflict sleep and appetite problems. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains, and sweating yes, similar to a heart attack. We worry when we confront a difficult situation, failure, cannot recover from illness, move house or lose a job.
We worry if these things happen to a loved one. Of course we are anxious about dangers – and this is a useful acute reaction to a threat. But when anxiety becomes chronic – when we worry all the time – our overall comportment suffers. Frequent and unpredictable panic attacks, depression, compulsion, obsession may make it possible to cope. But we become rigid: a bundle of tense muscles. While this armour protects us it also ‘blocks us from living fully and from relating to others with spontaneity, ease and openheartedness’, says Tara Brach, Buddhist spiritual guru on America’s East Coast. Physical illness is often the end product, according to many doctors and alternative health practitioners.
After middle years, even though we know ourselves better and are wiser, our ability to cope when things go wrong decreases, it seems to me. Our bodies have less capacity. Hormones that once balanced us are less productive, sometimes gone. Energy can be depleted. Physically, we are weaker. If we take medications on a regular basis, we are continually asking our organs and systems to make allowances: they get tired.
Those who suffer from anxiety often turn to conventional medicine for solutions. They want to stop worrying, shift negative patterns, boost energy, allow a full night’s sleep or adjust diet problems. The tranquilisers, beta-blockers and stimulants can work. Usually, at the price of side effects, however. In the short run, these meds restore balance. In the long run, they can drive a malady further inside and cause organ and system dysfunction.
Sourcing the fundamental reason for the stress is the best way forward. This requires constitutional treatment. If that stress can be effectively treated, the symptoms of anxiety will disappear. Sometimes it cannot be cured, sometimes it cannot be easily found.
Reduce anxiety, calm nerves, lift mood by considering the supplements and following suggestions below:
to cope with emergencies and crises, get through stressful situations, from last-minute exams or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news, Bach’s Rescue Remedy relaxes and provides focus and calmness.
Lower tension, reduce and eliminate muscular spasms and alleviate insomnia with Magnesium and Calcium, taken together
Ashwagana, an adaptogen, is an Ayurvedic solution to nervous tension; it gently provides a steady mood.
Rhodiola another adaptogen, reduces stress, as do Rosemary and Frankincense.
Lesser known herbs that improve brain function, reduce memory loss include
Gingko Biloba, Calamus, Bacopa, China’s Four Gentlemen Chi Tonic and huperzine.
Check for iron deficiency. Consider an iron supplement such as Floradix, if needed
Put needed nutrients in balance and alleviate insomnia with Vitamin B complex, especially B1 and B12
Better adrenal gland function. Increase anti-oxidants to protect the heart with a Multivitaminthat contains potassium and selenium
Boost adrenal gland function and chemistry and alleviate insomnia with Vitamin C.
Calm the central nervous system and alleviate insomnia by takingZinc
Add Omega 3 (fat) to your supplements or diet.
Increase oxygen to the brain via walnuts, Vitamin E.
Gota kolaleaves have the shape of the two hemispheres of the human brain, (this is the image for this blog post.) That is no accident, just as walnuts look like brains. The doctrine of signatures is nature’s way of showing the healing power of plants and their produce. We often take Pennywort, a similar, dried version here; in southeast Asia these leaves make invigorating salad)
Reduce anxiety in general with Chromium Picolinate, L glutamine, L tyrosine and L glycine
Improve brain function, relax and feel more yourself with amino acid GABA or with Gota kola.
Adjust the sleep cycle with Melatonin.
Address anger, protect the liver and bolster your system against free radicals with Milk Thistle
Eata plant-based diet that includes walnuts, apricots, asparagus, avocadoes, bananas, okra, broccoli, brown rice, dried fruits, garlic, leafy greens, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Eat flavonoid-rich foods: citrus, berries, green tea, red wine.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Reduce and preferably eliminate animal protein.
Avoid refined sugars
Avoid coffee, tea and chocolate, which will ultimately heighten anxiety, increase heart rate and alleviate insomnia.
Take daily exercise – walking, bike riding, swimming, aerobics…(If you are older, build up an exercise program slowly; speak to your doctor before any marked exercise changes)
Engage in relaxation techniques: yoga, mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques
Get adequate rest. If you have trouble sleeping, see Insomnia in the above supplements and:
Useful herbs to reduce and eradicate INSOMNIA:
kava kava, lemon balm, passionflower, skullcap, valerian root, hops, and California poppy
promote sleep by eating the following at night:
bananas, dates, figs, nut butters, yogurt, whole grain crackers, tuna, turkey.
Consider 5 mg of melatonin one hour before bedtime – reduce to less if groggy upon waking.
If your snoring wakes you, try sleeping on your side
No enormous meals or rigorous exercise just before bedtime
Establish habits and follow them:
go to bed when sleepy, not before
no laptop or TV in bed
maintain a regular sleep wake cycle
make the bedroom dark and quiet
avoid naps during the day
Bathe in hot water with soothing essential oils or Epsom salts (Magnesium sulphate)
Should none of the above help enough, ask me for further advice on supplements and life-style changes.*for homeopathic alternatives see my post: Homeopathic Rx to alleviate Anxiety and Sleeplessness