People, regardless of social status or age, normally worry about certain things in life. With a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), these worries are magnified and people who suffer from it worry about anything even if there’s really nothing to worry about. While there are no recent reliable estimates available about the number of people affected by GAD, mental disorders, in general are on the rise.
What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
What causes anxiety? Like other anxiety disorders, GAD is characterized by fear and worry but, unlike how most people temporarily fear or worry about relationships, money, health, social conditions, and other aspects of life, “For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time”. Why do people get anxiety? It is normal. It is a part of life but, anxiety disorders set in when worry gets out of hand.
Unlike other anxiety conditions, people diagnosed with GAD do not worry or fear single aspect but rather tend to worry about everything. Some of the most common Generalized Anxiety Disorder Criteria are outlined below:
Signs and symptoms of GAD
- Constantly worrying about everything
- Feeling constantly nervous
- Experiencing difficulty relaxing and calming down
- Heart palpitations, trembling, and breathlessness
- Easily gets tired and sleepy during the day
- Trouble concentrating, staying focused, and finishing tasks
- Always feeling irritable towards everything and everyone
- Sweaty palms and feet all the time
- Frequent urination
Experts also believe that GAD runs in families. This is why diagnosis will often accompany screening for the symptoms identified above, as well as inquiring about your family history with anxiety attacks.
How to treat yourself with GAD?
When you have been diagnosed with GAD, the normal course of anxiety treatment involves a combination of anti-anxiety medications and therapy sessions that will help you relax, stop worrying, get more quality sleep and rest, and become happier. There are also more natural ways that you can do to help yourself. Listed below are ways on how to calm anxiety, naturally:
Using natural ingredients
You may either choose to take natural supplements for anxiety or, incorporate calming foods and drinks in your diet. These affect your brain’s chemical makeup, particularly in raising the levels of your DOSE hormones (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins) which are responsible for bringing you to a happier, more satisfied state of mind. Outlined below are some of the natural supplements for anxiety and natural treatments for depression:
- Valerian. The roots of the Valerian plant are used to help relieve sleep disorders. These can be taken as capsulized supplements or, as tea. You may not find this particularly satisfying to your taste buds but, you may always combine with lemon or other citrus fruits to improve the taste.
- Lemon balm. This is also used for improving the quality of sleep, like Valerian. However, too much can actually lead to you to become more anxious so experiment with smaller doses.
- Passionflower. A powerful sedative, passionflower must not be used for a prolonged period or in tandem with any prescription sedative. It helps you lose that nerve-wracking, trembling feeling that signals anxiety, as well as help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Lavender. Taken as tea or, with its scent inhaled deeply, lavender is well-known to help calm the senses.
- L-theanine in Green Tea. Whether taken as tea or supplement, this helps you calm down. It is the best tea for anxiety and one of the most effective home remedies for anxiety.
Exercise for GAD
Another group of natural treatments for depression involves exercise. Other than regular workouts that help you burn that excess energy that’s making you twitch and tremble and that help set you up for a restful sleep, you should also try the following relaxation techniques.
- Deep breathing. It gives you better control over your palpitations. When you feel nervous, simply close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths. Thinking happy thoughts will also help calm yourself down faster.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. You know how pre-schoolers are taught to “silence” their lips, silence their arms, silence their feet? You should follow the same technique to calm your whole body and mind. Feel muscles on your fingers, around your eyes, shoulders, and every other muscle group relax which should work up to give you a calmer mind and feeling.
- Meditation. How to get rid of nervousness? Learning to meditate will not only help you stop excessively worrying about everything but also help improve your focus, particularly on the more important things that should matter.
Other ways to get relief from GAD
What most people suffering from anxiety do not always recognize is that the best medicine for anxiety cannot be found in the hospital or drugstore. Below are just some of the ways to relieve anxiety for good:
- Share your worries and problems with people close to you. Talking to someone about what bothers you is one way of structuring your thoughts. Opening up to a person you trust can help you release any negative feelings about your worries. This person may even help you focus more on the solutions rather than the problem.
- Learn to calm down quickly. The mind is very powerful that even when its mechanisms are compromised or, faced with injury, it can be taught to grow new connections. Needless to say, you can also train your brain to calm down faster whenever you feel anxious or afraid.
- Eat your favorite food. Did you know that 80 per cent of your serotonin, one of the hormones that gives your brain happy thoughts, can be found in your gut? Activate that happy response by giving in to your cravings at least once in a while.
How to cure anxiety? There are many ways and even more ways to treat yourself naturally. Just remember that just as GAD may have taken several years to develop, it may take years before you break free from this condition. Always keep in mind that you don’t have to face your troubles alone.