How To Overcome Anxiety and Stress Naturally

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The word anxiety is derived from the Latin verb “anxo”, which in ancient Greek, means το constrict, strangle, squeeze, or press tight.

Everyone is exposed to stressful situations on a daily basis. When we feel stress, our bodies fill up with tension and our brains are triggered with multiple different thoughts.

When we feel stressed and have feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration, and fear are prevalent, as well as irritability, fatigue, and even depression. These emotions can dominate us and will not allow us to operate as we should.

Major changes which occur within a short period time are likely to be the main cause of anxiety and stress in our lives.

Various life events such as a death, divorce, illness, job loss, moving, an overall change in life circumstances, financial problems, and retirement, can also trigger anxiety and stress.

Stress can even occur when pleasant events take place such as marriage, pregnancy, and even winning the lottery.

To try and find a fair balance between one’s career and family is the main causes of stress in the lives of many.

Depending on the intensity and frequency of events in one’s life, there might be a physical or mental reaction that occurs.

  • What Problems Can Arise from Anxiety and Stress?

Stress can make us act demanding, impatient, excitable, and with no ability to cooperate with others.

We run the risk of maltreating the people around us, verbally or even physically, which can lead us to unhealthy behaviors such as excess food consumption or abuse of alcohol and drugs.

According to scientists, anxiety and phobias damage cells in the body which can cause premature aging to “add” six additional years to our appearance.

Especially, women with phobic anxiety were found to have further cell damage associated with age, compared to women who did not possess phobic anxiety.

When we get stressed, we feel an undefined concern of some undetermined risk. We feel that something is threatening us, but we don’t know what, and this could lead to a panic attack.

Magazines and books on the topic psychology indicate that chronic stress affects our immune system negatively, creating dysfunction throughout our entire body, which causes us to become more susceptible to diseases.

In a current survey conducted at the University of Wake Forest in North Carolina, researchers discovered that stress contributes to the survival of cancer cells.

  • The Symptoms of Intense Stress

The symptoms of intense stress are manifested in three levels:

- Emotional Reactions included:

Concern, agony, discomfort, irritability, tenseness, feelings of constant fear, frustration, aggression, mental exhaustion, melancholy, suspicion, a tendency to cry, and escapism.

- Bodily Reactions included:

Tachycardia, a pain or feeling of weight on the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness, nausea, sweating, sleep problems, nervousness, numbness, dryness of the mouth and throat, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination, muscle weakness, tremors, and headaches.

- Behavioral Reactions included:

Isolation, alienation, depression, indecision, ambivalence, constant search for confirmation, waywardness, loss of interest in sex, random sex, or differential sexual selection, as well as verbal and physical aggression toward others.

  • Natural Solutions to Cope With Stress and Anxiety

anxiety testBelow, you will see the benefits that herbs have on our bodies, and how they can naturally reduce and improve anxiety and stress.

Note: Don't try all the recipes listed below all at the same time. Decide which recipe you will use depending on the availability and the side effects of the herb.

  • Valeriana officinalis

The name "Valerian" originated from the Latin word, Valere, meaning "health and strength" (to be strong, to be well) and refers to the therapeutic use of the plant, although it is sometimes claimed to mean a strong odor.

The valerian herb has been known since antiquity, and from the 18th century until today, it has been used in Europe and Asia as a sedative for the nervous system. Many people around the world use this herb to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

It can safely be used to reduce tension and anxiety, hysteria, insomnia and excitability, convulsions, epilepsy, menstrual cramps, and symptoms of menopause.

Valerian combines well with other herbs such as passiflora, Melissa, and chamomile for advanced effects.

The decoction of valerian in small doses relieves headaches.

Use:

Infusion: Pour boiling water into a cup with 3 grams of valerian root. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes, strain it and then drink.

Decoction: Boil a liter of water with 10 grams of valerian root for 6-8 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then drink it 1-2 times a day.

Tincture: For chronic stress, put 10 drops of tincture in a glass of water and drink a little of this mixture every hour, for one week (only one glass per day).
The herbal tincture is very active and should be consumed with caution.

Caution: The use of valerian should be consumed only for a week and then followed by a discontinuation for 2-3 weeks.

Valerian should not be taken by those who are treated with sedatives or other prescription drugs that affect the central nervous system.

It should also be avoided by children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

NEVER combine valerian with St. John's wort.

  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil has been known since antiquity.

Basil’s place of origin is considered to be the tropical and subtropical zones of Africa and Asia, with a first expansion into India.

Basil removes nervous headaches and helps to strengthen a weak memory, with melancholia problems, anxiety, and also in times of mental overwork.

Basil is a very important stimulant for the nervous system because it soothes nerves, reduces tension, and cleanses and stimulates the mind, all the while to improve the mood.

A remarkable fact about basil is that it provides energy for those who are mentally tired, while still offering peace when stress and anxiety are present.

Basil soothes the plurality of symptoms associated with stress such as headaches.

Use:

Infusion: Pour boiling water into a cup with 1 teaspoon basil. Allow it to sit for 5-6 minutes, strain it and then drink.

Decoction: In half a liter of water, add a handful of fresh basil leaves. Cover the mixture and boil it for 6-8 minutes. Leave it to cool and drink 1-2 times a day.

Caution: The daily use of basil tea can cause lethargy. Avoid excessive intake of basil seeds because they can cause damage to the brain and to the body.

Basil tea should also be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

  • Ginseng (Panax)

The name of ginseng has Chinese origins.

Ginseng means human root, and is defined as such due to the characteristic forked shape it has resembling human feet. It has been used in China for 5,000 years.

The Latin name of ginseng is «panax», and it was derived from the Greek word panacea which means “a solution for all difficulties or a remedy for all diseases, a cure-all”. In Greek mythology, Panacea was the goddess of healing.

Ginseng is probably the most popular herb in the East with significant beneficial effects to the brain in general, but especially in the management of anxiety, stress, and depression.

Ginseng helps to restore the nervous system, and it also helps severe anxiety and depression. Ginseng is considered to be ideal in intense emotional stress, mental stress, as well as nervous exhaustion.

Use: Simmer 3 grams of ginseng root into 2 cups of water for about 1 hour. Strain and then drink one cup, 2 times a day for 3-4 weeks.

Caution: Ginseng raises the blood pressure and brings it back to normal, so it should not be used by people with hypertensive disorders.

If ginseng is consumed in large quantities, it can cause temporary nervousness, irritability, excitability, insomnia, headaches, skin problems (hives, itching), nausea, diarrhea, swelling, and blood pressure disorders.

You should avoid taking ginseng with other stimulants such as caffeine. Do not combine ginseng with stimulants, pills, or hormones.

Do not take ginseng if you have cardiovascular problems, or if you have diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, or nervous system dysfunctions.

Ginseng should also be avoided by children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

  • Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passiflora plant (the plant of passion) was proclaimed medical Plant of the Year in 2011 by a study group at the University of Würzburg in Germany.

This “plant competition” is held every year and refers to the historical evolution of plants used in medicine.

The study group, based in Germany, underlines the fact that this plant helps to relieve nervous anxiety, stress, anger, symptoms of mild insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders associated with nervousness. The scientific team also added that passiflora has been proved to be effective in dealing with stressful situations.

Unlike many psychiatric drugs, passiflora does not affect the muscular system which makes it safe to use at any hour of the day.

Use:

Infusion: Pour boiling water into a cup with 1/2 teaspoon passiflora. Allow this mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes, strain and then drink up to 2 times a day.

Tincture: For chronic stress, put 10-15 drops of tincture in a glass of water and drink a little every hour, for one week (only one glass per day).

The herbal tincture is very active and should be consumed with caution.

Caution: Passiflora should not be consumed by people who take blood thinning medicines, as this combination poses an increased risk of bleeding.

Also, passiflora should not be taken concurrently with other antidepressants or anxiolytics, as there is a possibility of increased sleepiness.

A high dose of passiflora can reduce blood pressure.

It should also be avoided by children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

During the ancient Roman times, Melissa was called the "elixir of life" by the physician Avicenna (his most famous work is “The Book of Healing”).

The herbalist John Evelyn wrote in 1679 that Melissa is a "diamond for the brain, strengthens the memory, and removes active melancholy".

The action of the herb is a sedative and antidepressant.

Melissa stimulates the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and balances the functioning of the nervous system.

It’s action is important in reducing intense stress and tension. It is also combats insomnia, anxiety, sadness, and depression.

A scientific research conducted in 2003 showed that Melissa removes the symptoms of a panic attack effectively and helps to calm thoughts during critical moments.

Melissa increases its effectiveness in combination with lemon, and if combined with valerian, acts against insomnia.

Use: Pour boiling water into a cup with 1 teaspoon Melissa. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes, strain and then drink up to 2 times a day.

Caution: People who take thyroid medication should avoid consuming it.

Because Melissa is an emmenagogue, it should be used with caution by women with an irregular or excessive menstrual cycle.

It should also be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

  • Finding and Treating the Source of Your Anxiety or Stress

We often have solutions to various difficult situations and problems.

anxietyEach person has a different degree of anxiety, which is considered normal under certain circumstances.

In other cases, however, increased anxiety can cause harm and dysfunctional for people and can negatively impact their health.

When you feel you are in stressful situation, sit in a quiet place and try to define exactly what is bothering you.

Set a specific problem without prolixity or generality.

Ask yourself the following questions:

- What are you most worried about?

- Is there something that is constantly on your mind?

- Is there anything that you fear will happen?

- Is there something particular that you regret or are displeased about?

- Keep a diary of your experiences or thoughts that seem to relate to your anxiety. In these cases, do your thoughts increase anxiety?

  • Try to Find a Solution to your Problem

Then, write down as many solutions as possible for the problem that concerns you.

Try to think how someone else would react in your position, and do not hesitate to ask others for advice. Many times, others can see a simple solution to our problem that we simply cannot see.

For each solution found earlier, write down the pros and cons from implementing each solution.

The goal is to find a solution with the most pros, or the one with less cons listed.

  • Apply the Solution you Provided.

Apply the solution selected as the most prevalent.

If this solution is achieved, then well done! Apply this same method to other problems you might have as well.

If your solution did not work as expected, try to understand "what went wrong". Continue with a second solution from those that you already wrote down.

Whatever your conclusion happens to be, remember that you have not failed.

We should all expect some mishaps to happen in our lives because it is the natural flow of life.

Instead, look at anxiety and stress as another challenge from which you can learn from.

Besides, you have certainly encountered problems, difficulties, and stressful situations in the past. Refer to those “files” of your mind and remember what helped you then to overcome those difficult times. Those “files” of your mind are likely to be useful to you now.

  • Final Note

To do something in order to address stress and anxiety is better than doing nothing at all.

Keep in mind, at this moment, you are reading tips on how to troubleshoot your stress or anxiety either on my website or somewhere else, meaning that you have the power to succeed achieve your goals.

As a final note, do not ever forget that nature is able to relieve those who suffer from annoying symptoms.

Nature’s pharmacy has a plurality of sedating herbs that can give us mental balance without the harmful side effects of toxic substances.

I wish for you to be always healthy.