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Natural Cures for Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks & Stress

by Emily Brown King
  • Overview

    Natural Cures for Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks & Stress
    Natural Cures for Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks & Stress
    Anxiety disorders, depression, panic attacks and chronic stress are all emotional disorders that affect people differently. Though they are all defined separately, they are also closely related. If a person is placed under constant stress, they may develop an anxiety disorder, depression or both. Panic disorder can occur when chronic anxiety leads to acute episodes of extreme worry and fear. There are many treatments available for these disorders, and prescription medication is not always necessary.
  • Diet

    A healthy body equals a healthy mind, and few things influence your health as much as what you put into your body. Often in times of stress, people tend to snack on comfort foods and grab quick meals on the go. It is important to get enough fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains in your diet every day. Certain foods that contain excess sugar and caffeine could be especially harmful for anxiety, because they are stimulants. Getting adequate nutrition and vitamins from your food will help keep your body and mind functioning correctly.
 
  • Exercise

    Exercise might just be one of the best medicines. The effects of physical activity on mood disorders are tremendous. During exercise, the brain releases endorphins and other hormones that contribute to a feeling of well being. Getting in shape can also give you strength and confidence, which can help anxiety and depression.
  • Therapy

    Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. No one should feel ashamed for reaching out for help when they feel like they have too much to handle. A good psychiatrist or psychologist will be knowledgeable about your condition and will know what kind of therapy to recommend for treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be very effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Therapy helps to determine the root of a problem and gives you tools for managing it.
  • Relaxation Techniques

    Relaxation techniques are ways of training your body to physically relax. There are several methods. Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise that involves individually tensing and relaxing each muscle group. As you isolate a muscle and feel the difference between tension and relaxation, your body will learn to relax on its own. Abdominal breathing is when you train your body to take deeper, slower breaths. This changes the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs and keeps you from hyperventilating. Others rely on practices like yoga and meditation to help them relax.
  • Alternative Medicine

    There are many herbs and other supplements that claim to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic and stress. Before taking a natural supplement, do thorough research on any side effects and drug interactions. Just because something is sold over the counter and is called natural does not necessarily make it safe. Some popular products are kava, valerian root, St. John's wort, Sam-e and 5-htp.
  • Light Therapy

    Light therapy is another alternative treatment that works well for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that can come on during winter months when there is less daylight and less opportunity to be out in the sunlight. An artificial light source is used to influence the body's circadian rhythms and suppress the release of melatonin in order to ease depression.

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