You’re anxious, worried, upset. You’re bothered by money problems, health, work or relationships. You know the symptoms. Your heart beats fast. Your breath comes shallow and rapid. In your mind all you can imagine is doom and you wish you could just relax…
Whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or are just upset, there are many options to help ease your suffering.
Telling a person to just slow down or take a little time to relax is not realistic in the digital age. The tight schedule may even be a significant contributor to the problem. You just don’t have the time for a yoga class or daily meditation. Your doctor can prescribe a pill that may help, and you can even have it delivered through a pharmacy online, but if you don’t want to try a drug, there are other less drastic approaches.
There are many safe natural remedies for anxiety, ranging from mind-body techniques to supplements to herbal teas. Some start working immediately, while others take more time.
If you have the jitters, a cup ofchamomile tea might help calm you down. Chamomile works similarly to benzodiazepines, binding to the same brain receptors Valium does.You can also take it in capsules as a supplement.
According to one study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in symptoms compared to placebo.
L-theanine, an amino acid in green tea, helps curb a rising heart rate and blood pressure, and a few human studies have found that it reduces anxiety. You can drink it, but a supplement may be more effective.
Hops and valerian are both effective tranquilizers. The sedative compound in hops is a volatile oil, so it’s best to get it in extracts and tinctures—and as aromatherapy in hops pillows. Valerian tea is a very effective aid to insomnia and an alternative to drugs like Ambien.
Lemon balm is a pleasant-tasting herb thathas been used since the Middle Ages to reduce anxiety and help with sleep. While it’s generally safe, some studies have found that taking too much can actually make you more anxious, so always start with a small dose. Lemon balm comes as a tea, capsule, or tincture. You can combine it with other calming herbs such as hops, chamomile, and valerian.
Passionflower is an herb that is often used for insomnia and can reduce symptoms of anxiety as effectively as prescription drugs. Don’t take passionflower for longer than one month at a time.
Lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as effectively as Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication in the same class as Valium. It is a good choice for those who may not want to ingest another herb. Just enjoy the aroma, which is also effective. A lavender-scented candle in the bedroom or at the office couldn’t hurt.