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Anxiety is the body and mind’s response to a dangerous or distressing situation. Everyone experiences some degree of anxiety at some time. However, anxiety can occur persistently, often triggered by vague notions of a threat, and interfere with normal activities. When this happens, it’s called an anxiety disorder.
Meditation for Anxiety
Meditation can help people with anxiety by making them calmer and less vulnerable to stress and tension. People performing meditation exercises take an active role in their treatment, teaching themselves how to quiet or clear the mind.
Various clinical studies have shown that during meditation the body is altered in ways that are beneficial for people with anxiety: For example, the rate of metabolism drops and blood pressure decreases.
Studies have also revealed anxiety-reducing results with transcendental meditation (TM), a type of meditation used in Ayurvedic medicine. Meditation can be performed several times a week (even daily) or just before an anxiety-provoking situation, such as giving a speech.
Here’s a sample meditation that can be practiced every morning:
Homeopathy for Anxiety
Homeopathic medicine is particularly promising for psychological conditions such as anxiety. Treatment stimulates the ability of the mind and body to return to a healthy state. Homeopathy uses highly diluted doses of natural substances, which would bring on anxiety symptoms if given in full strength to a healthy person. The substances are from plant, mineral, and animal sources.
The classical homeopath individualizes a remedy for each patient, depending on the particular symptoms and the general state of physical and emotional health. Here are some characteristics of anxiety to consider and report to a practitioner:
Common remedies for anxiety include argentum nitricum, gelsemium sempervirens (for test anxiety), lycopodium (for performance anxiety), aconite, arsenicum, kaliphos, and phosphorus.
Herbal Medicine for Anxiety
Several herbs have the ability to act on the nervous system, bringing on states of relaxation and tranquility. Others can relax tense muscles, ease stress-related headaches, soothe an upset stomach, or encourage sound sleeping.
Kava kava, a member of the pepper family, can induce calm feelings and ease muscle tension. It’s available in tincture and capsule form.
Skullcap, an herb that was used extensively in Native American medicine, may ease emotional tension and headaches, as well as improve sleep. It is commonly used in capsule form, as a tea (made with the fresh herb), or as a tincture.
Valerian root has a calming, sleep-inducing effect for most people. (A few people experience the opposite effect.) The herb should be taken in low doses before bedtime. It can be taken as a tea made with fresh or dried root, but the taste and smell are rather unpleasant; extract and capsule form may be easier to tolerate.
Some other herbs that can be helpful include:
These herbs generally perform their functions without major side effects or the threat of withdrawal symptoms that pharmaceuticals carry. However, herbs should be used only to provide short-term or occasional anxiety relief. Successful anxiety treatment requires learning to cope in the long term by reducing stress and other anxiety triggers.
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
Hypnotherapy holds that people with anxiety can learn to release tension and effectively respond to stressful situations if their minds are prepared to do so. During a hypnotic trance, the subconscious mind is given gentle, positive suggestions, which are selected according to what situations and circumstances trigger an anxiety attack.
Examples of these suggestions may include:
The treatments can be guided by a hypnotist or done by the person with anxiety (called self-hypnosis).
Other Anxiety Therapies
For more information on anxiety and alternative medicine, see:
In Gratitude and Abundance ~