Sep 20, 2009

Relieve your Anxiety

Almost everyone experiences anxiety which may be described as any feeling of worry or dread, usually about events that might potentially happen. Anxiety about stressful events is normal, however, if you feel anxious without reason and your worries persist and affect your day-to-day life you may have generalized anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder may include restlessness, felling tense or on edge, irritability, impatience, or poor concentration. You may also notice changes in your physical health such a s bloating, chest tightness, dry mouth, excessive sweating, fatigue, headaches, indigestion, insomnia, jaw pain and muscle tension.

Although it is important to be evaluated by your doctor for a proper diagnosis and to rule out other medical problems that may resemble anxiety, there are ways in which you can take control of your anxiety.

Here’s how:

Address the cause(s) of your stress.

Physical exercise, yoga, tai-chi, self-hypnosis and meditation are just some stress reduction techniques for anxiety. Try different techniques and determine which routine you can stick to keeping in mind your schedule.

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine.

Take a multivitamin cone a day. This may help reduce anxiety and feelings of stress.

Physical stimulants such a caffeine

Take a multivitamin once a day. This may help reduce anxiety and feelings of stress. Increasing your intake of calcium, magnesium and the rage B-vitamins will also help.

Calm the nervous system by taking an herbal combination of valerian (valeriana officinalis) (100 to 200 mg) and passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) (45 to 90 mg) three times a day. While passionflower has been used as folk remedy for anxiety and insomnia, valerian will help reduce your insomnia. Be careful, as passionflower should not be taken with other sedatives without medical supervision, and the use of valerian should be limited to three months at a time.

Kava, which is native to Polynesia and has been found to have anti-anxiety effects in humans.

Plant essential oils can be added to baths, massage oil, or infusers. Essential oils that are used for anxiety and nervous tension are: bergamot, cypress, geranium, jasmine, lavender, Melissa, neroli, rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang. Lavender is the most common and forms the base of many relaxing blends.

Massage therapy, shiatsu, and other forms of bodywork are widely used to diminish muscle tension, relieve stress and improve sleep.

By Dr Aftab Saeed
The writer is Research Professor, HIASR, Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University, Karachi.

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