Anxiety – it lurks in the shadows and used to be something that no one admitted to. But many of us have fallen prey to it at some stage or another.
I remember when I had my first panic attack about a decade ago. I was on my way to work when my heart started to beat furiously. Then I lost my vision. I thought I was dying and grabbed at some poor commuter to help me off the train. After a couple of minutes, my vision returned but I felt like a freak. It scared the hell out of me.
Since then, I’ve equipped myself to deal better with my anxiety issues. I’ve also learned that I’m not alone. Panic Anxiety Disorder Association Inc. (PADA) reports that 12% of Australians will experience anxiety and panic disorders at some point in their lives.
Physical symptoms of anxiety and panic include muscle tightness, heart palpitations, chest tightness/pain, dizziness, numbness, tingling and panic attacks.
When I first experienced acute anxiety and panic, my doctor only offered me sedatives or anti-depressants. Fortunately, there now are numerous natural alternatives that treat the cause rather than the symptoms.
First, as always, look at your diet and lifestyle. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables with a little meat and fish. Foods containing L-Tryptophan, such as turkey, help the body to relax. Relaxation exercises and meditation also play an important part in healing, as does talking with a qualified therapist.
Bach Flower Remedies aid in relieving a variety of emotional disorders. St John’s Wort, Valerian and Omega 3 are said to relieve depression and maintain emotional balance, but consult a naturopath first. Anxiety can sometimes be the result of an iodine deficiency and it’s recommended that anyone suffering from anxiety and panic symptoms have their thyroid checked.
Deep breathing is the body’s natural defence against anxiety. Try this breathing exercise. Yoga, acupuncture, holistic kinesiology and Bowen Therapy are also great ways to alleviate panic and anxiety.
When it comes to anxiety, the most important thing is not to suffer in silence. Get some expert advice and don’t let panic get the better of you.
Now check out part two of this article, Revisiting anxiety and kicking panic’s butt.