Anxiety, fear and fright are the universal phenomena of human experience, the resultant of a complex mosaic of causal factors, both internal as well as external. None of us are ever free of anxiety, although we do not suffer its consequences for most of the time. The term anxiety is derived from Latin word anxious- angere.
Anxiety is a diffuse, ill-defined, vague feeling of apprehension which is accompanied by sensations such as tightness in the chest, rapid heartbeats, sweating, restlessness, headache, diarrhea, frequency of urination etc. Fear is similar emotional state, but there is a subtle shade of difference when studied in depth.
What Are The Causes Of Anxiety And Stress?
Man is not born with the ‘mind’; it unfolds under the influence of several factors. Anxiety is a resultant of interaction between the individual and his life situation. It usually arises from stress in our life, physical and mental. There are multiple factors that are responsible for the state of anxiety; this includes environmental stress, family predisposition, and imbalance in the brain chemicals, substance abuse, and certain medical factors.
- Environmental stress: stress at all levels is known to cause anxiety. It can be a conflict in personal relationship, quarrels and conflict leading to separation and divorce. Workplace stress, catastrophes of nature, stress arising from financial crisis, traumatic events such as loss of loved one, getting victimized or abused are all situational anxiety triggering factors.
- Family predisposition: emotionally insecure and immature parents form one of the significant sources of childhood and adolescence anxiety.
- Changes in brain chemicals: abnormal levels of certain brain chemicals also known as neurotransmitters, can give rise to anxiety disorders. When these neurotransmitters do not work in tandem, it leads to the state of anxiety related disorders.
- Social conflict: Threat of censor; loss of position, power status, stature or self esteem, consequence of doing the wrong thing.
- Disease conditions: thyrotoxicosis and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) are two clinical conditions that have anxiety as their principal manifestation.
- Difficulties in sexual intercourse: impotency, frigidity, sterility, unwanted pregnancy.
- Substance abuse: Abuse of alcohol and drugs often serve as an escape mechanism to ward of anxiety. Enforced abstinence may aggravate anxiety and evoke withdrawal symptoms.
- Anxiety in aged: it results from enforced dependence on others. Feels he is burden to others.
Home Remedies For Anxiety Disorders
As an alerting signal, anxiety is a normal and useful emotion as it prompts the person to take immediate action to minimize the threat and consequences. However, when anxiety becomes severe it needs to be treated or else it may lead to major depressive disorder. Besides cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, use of tranquilizers, there are several natural remedies that can help to treat anxiety.
- Exercise: high intensity exercise is useful in reducing stress and anxiety. By doing regular exercise, your body releases ‘feel good’ hormones and at the same time reduces stress hormones.
- Yoga and meditation: these relaxation techniques are found to be most effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
- Avoid alcohol, and other stimulants.
- Almond: mix ½ tsp of powdered almond, a pinch of dried ginger powder and a dash of nutmeg in a cup of warm milk. Drink it before you sleep. It helps to relax your mind and reduce anxiety.
- Rosemary: drink tea prepared from dried rosemary herb daily when you are under severe stress and anxiety. Rosemary is a natural remedy that has calming effect on nerves.
- Vitamins: Vitamins, especially B vitamins are useful in treating anxiety disorders since they are actively associated in secretion and maintenance of brain chemicals. Niacin, thiamin, biotin, B6, B12 are required for healthy nervous system. Supplementation or eating fruits and green vegetables which are loaded with these vitamins are useful to calm the nerves.
- Minerals: magnesium and calcium deficiency is also associated with anxiety related disorders. Eat diet rich in magnesium when there is severe form of anxiety related illness. Eat magnesium rich food such as beans, broccoli, Halibut, okra, plantain, tofu, spinach etc. Dairy products are rich source of calcium.