Stress feeds negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. And, instead, anxiety and depression can accentuate stressful feelings. Unfortunately, for the nowadays society, these are common problems with medical treatments that may enhance more harm than cure.
The classical medical system usually does not find an organic substrate for these conditions and patients often reach a psychiatrist. Although there is psychiatric medication for these conditions, patients often seek natural alternatives because the side effects of medications are abundant, unpleasant and even dangerous to the health of the patient.
Most of the times, natural remedies prove to be more helpful, safer and easy to use. Here are 3 popular natural remedies, widely studied and proven to have positive effects on reducing anxiety and stress.
Image source: Pexels.com
What are Anxiety and Stress?
Generalized anxiety refers to excessive and uncontrollable worries about everyday life events. This occurs in 5-9% of the population, and the incidence is twice as high in women as in men. Generalized anxiety begins early, usually in adolescence or early adulthood. People with generalized anxiety have major challenges in all segments of daily life, in fulfilling tasks at work or at home.
Diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder can be put only when stress, caused by constant concerns, significantly affects daily activities, social and professional life, or when the quality of life is significantly impaired.
In about 85% of cases, generalized anxiety does not appear alone but is accompanied by other psychological problems, among which the most common are: depression, other anxiety disorders, substance abuse, digestive problems, etc.
Forms of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are a general term, describing a whole series of affections such as:
1.Panic Attacks – A person can feel an acute moment of fear, which triggers without a particular cause. During a panic attack, the individual may experience chest pain, excessive sweating, palpitations (when the heart beats very strongly or irregularly). Choking or even heart attacks may also appear.
2.Social Anxiety – Also known as social phobia, this term describes an individual who is overcome by normal, everyday situations. This individual always feels criticized by other people, ridiculed or embarrassed.
3.Phobias – People who suffer from this affection can experience a moment of unexplained fear of specific situations or objects, such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces, public) or, at the opposite end, claustrophobia. This fear can usually increase at alarming levels, giving rise to acute panic attacks.
4.General Anxiety – It is defined as a state of nervousness or tension in excess, without the individual having a real reason to explain this phenomenon.
The reasons for triggering these disorders are not known precisely, but they are a combination of social stress, changes in the brain, traumatic experiences or even genetic factors.
3 Natural Remedies to Fight Back Anxiety and Stress
Acupuncture is a practice of traditional Chinese medicine that is based on stimulating certain points of the body by introducing needles into the skin. Although it has been used since ancient times to treat pain, the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment for many diseases, including anxiety and chronic stress.
This is a noninvasive method that increases the heart rate variability during and after the acupuncture sessions. When acupuncture was done regularly, for long periods of time, patients reported a decrease of hypertension, therefore, a decrease in the psychological stress.
Hypnotherapy is increasingly required by patients to relieve anxiety, tension, fatigue, insomnia, phobias, pain, and even treat some serious diseases.
But how does hypnotherapy actually help in such medical conditions? By means of hypnotic relaxation techniques, this method primarily regulates the neurohormonal flow responsible for both our emotions and the physical state: muscle tension, painful sensations, etc.
The neurohormones act as neurotransmitters and autocrine or paracrine messengers. Basically, when something is wrong, these hormones send signals to cells which trigger changes in those cells.
In tense situations, if we are calm and positive, our body begins the process of self-repair; the neurohormonal flow adjusts to the body’s need, producing anesthetic hormones, which makes the pain bearable or even disappear.
Catastrophic thinking, anxiety, nervousness, agitation, anger, etc. all make the healing process of our body more difficult by deregulating the neuro-hormonal flow, slowing down or preventing the body from performing its natural functions.
In this situations hypnotherapy comes in handy as it helps to regulate the neurohormonal flow (through complementary therapeutic massage, meditation, or other forms of therapy), inducing mental, emotional and physical relaxation, which is the first step in treating the affection. Therefore, it aligns the brain in the self-healing process.
Image source: Pexels.com
3. CBD Oil
Our bodies shelter two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. Alongside these two receptors, our bodies produce its own cannabinoids and enzymes, which together create the endocannabinoid system.
Besides the natural cannabinoids, produced in our bodies, we can benefit from phytocannabinoids like CBD. The term “phyto” comes from Greek having the meaning of “plant”, therefore these type of cannabinoids are extracted from plants. The role of the enzymes is to decompose the natural cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids once these arrive in the body.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in the brain and adjust neurotransmitter release so that we do not experience excessive neuronal activity which translates into stress and anxiety. Besides this function, the two receptors are also responsible for decreasing pain or inflammation, balancing sensory perception and movement, or fulfilling a cognitive function.
CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD oil is a hemp oil with different CBD concentrations. Once inside the body, CBD oil indirectly inhibits the release of enzymes that have effects on decomposing natural cannabinoids such as anandamide.
The preservation of anandamide has several benefits, on the body, like regulating our mood, relieving pain and inflammation, adjusting appetite and increasing dopamine levels.
Several studies prove the efficiency of CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety and stress. Unlike prescribed medication or other addictive habits, triggered by anxiety, CBD oil does not give any addiction if taken purely.
There is massive evidence proving CBD oil is effective in fighting a variety of anxiety forms, such as post-traumatic stress (in veterans of war or after major casualties), social anxiety disorder, insomnia, panic attacks and it was safely used even in treating pediatric anxiety.
Signs and symptoms of any type of anxiety or phobias should be prevented, as some may pose serious threats to the body. Once anxiety is installed, our bodies become exposed to a threatening amount of stress.
This will lead, in the long term, to a series of health problems and, even, sudden cardiac death since stress is well-known for being a silent killer. However, such situations shall not occur since natural remedies can be easily used.