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Natural Ways to Fight Anxiety Records at the National Alliance on Mental Illness reveal anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem among Americans today, affecting about one in five. While drugs that treat these conditions are typically important component managing them, there are also plenty of natural, do-it-yourself methods that can help. Whenever you’re feeling over the edge, try any of the following: 1. Laugh about it. Buy some sense of humor and laugh it off. Even a fake laugh will give you an instant dopamine boost. Dopamine is that brain chemical that fuels feelings of reward and pleasure. If you’re too anxious to laugh on your own, take advantage of technology. For instance, find a a laugh track app you can put on your phone. Studies show merely anticipating a joyful laugh can bring down your cortisol (stress hormone) levels substantially.
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2. Set a schedule for relaxation and stick to it.
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Sit down and look at your schedule. However busy your current schedule is, block off at least half an hour for relaxation. No matter how hectic your current schedule is, insert at least 30 minutes for relaxation. This can be a walk, yoga, listening to music – anything that floats your boat. Studies found that men who were suffering from social anxiety felt relieved after a few moments of relaxation, reducing their heart rates following interaction with people. 3. Take GABA supplements. GABA supplements (available in online and offline health food stores) can help relax anxious people. An acronym for gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA is a neurotransmitter that neutralizes the excitability-increasing effects of another neurotransmitter known as glutamate. You have to remember that supplements like GABA can interact with any drugs you may be taking, so check in with your doctor before you get on them. 5. Smell lavender. Research says lavender essential oil is effective for calming nerves. single drop on your collarbone and you can enjoy the scent wafting up. Or just rub it gently against your temple. You will find the smell very relaxing. 5. Distract your mind. When you sense anxiety creeping in, “ground” yourself. Rub your fingers against your house keys. Hold any object in your hand, maybe an ice cube for as long as you can take the cold. What’s up with this? Your brain can’t serve two masters at the same time. The “grounding” feeling distracts you from your anxious feelings. From those negative, racing thoughts, your mind will shift to the cold ice cube you’re holding. 6. Face your fears. Whatever makes you scared, confront it. If you’ve always been shy, socialize. If clowns frighten you, go to the circus. Each time you worry about your fears — like feeling out of place at a party — your anxiety only increases. You’re worried about uncertainty, but uncertainty will always be a part of life. Exposure therapy, or confronting the fear, will help you live with it.