Many people experience anxiety daily,, with symptoms like nervousness or lack of concentration often dissipating as the accompanying stressors disappear. In these everyday cases, nothing needs to be done about anxiety. It’s a normal and healthy reaction to the demands of life. However, when the anxiety gets overwhelming or too persistent, there are a few things you can do to calm yourself down.
Definition of Anxiety
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, have a rapid heartbeat, and can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It may provide coping power or energy boosts for greater focus, but anxiety disorders often feature constant and overwhelming fear.
What Causes Anxiety?
While there is no universal trigger, anxiety may be caused by trauma, a medical or mental illness, or other factors, including:.
- Genetic factors, such as a blood relative who experienced anxiety or another mental illness
- Inherited temperament or personality type
- Environmental factors, including a dangerous job, a traumatic experience, or physical abuse
- Drugs or alcohol
- A medical condition or surgical procedure
- Certain medications
- Poor health or dietary habits
- Caffeine or smoking
How to Fight Anxiety
For some people, fighting anxiety symptoms is a life-long endeavor that requires dedication and time. Some patients may require medicine, lifestyle or dietary changes, or even hospitalization. The most common way to fight anxiety is through psychotherapy, either one-on-one or in a group setting. Doctors have also begun using ketamine to treat patients suffering from extreme anxiety..
Lifestyle Changes May Work:
- Establish daily goals for yourself. Write them down in a printed calendar or add them to a note app on your mobile device.
- Get outside and socialize, increasing the frequency of events and timeframe you’ll spend on each one.
- Get your finances in order. Financial stress often leads to anxiety. Figure out a way to draw down debt and set a budget for yourself.
- Find a way to relax through meditation, exercise, or other enjoyable, low-stress activities.
- Eat healthily and exercise while staying away from alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
Herbal or nutritional supplements that help treat anxiety include:
- Lemon balm
- California poppy
Do Nutritional and Herbal Supplements Work?
The answer is: they might. Significant research by the U.S. government and other groups shows that some natural supplements can help ward off anxiety symptoms.
“Based on the available evidence, it appears that nutritional and herbal supplementation is an effective method for treating anxiety and anxiety-related conditions without the risk of serious side effects. There is the possibility that any positive effects seen could be due to a placebo effect, which may have a significant psychological impact on participants with mental disorders. However, based on this systematic review, strong evidence exists for the use of herbal supplements containing extracts of passionflower or kava and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine as treatments for anxiety symptoms and disorders. Magnesium-containing supplements and other herbal combinations may hold promise, but more research is needed to recommend these products to patients. St. John’s wort monotherapy has insufficient evidence for use as an effective anxiolytic treatment.” – Is there a citation for this since it is in quotes??
How to Diagnose Anxiety
A mental health professional – a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist – can diagnose anxiety. Diagnosis normally involves a mental evaluation where a doctor asks about behavior, thoughts, and feelings and will want details about your personal and family history of mental illness. Your symptoms will be compared to the criteria in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Researchers are still examining the precise mechanisms of ketamine infusions to treat anxiety. Ketamine can bind to pain receptors in the central nervous system, which may also be associated with mood disorders, and increase the amount of a neurotransmitter, glutamate, which has key functions in learning, memory, and mood regulation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!