by Peter Friis, CEO of ESSIO Essential Oil Diffuser
Are there days when everyone you speak to and see seems “overwhelmed”? And, perhaps, are you among the overwhelmed yourself? Then it’s time to look into natural medicine for anxiety.
Is anxiety new? No. But psychologist, sociologists and cultural anthropologists, as well as religious and spiritual thinkers and writers, concur: anxiety is more of a recognized global phenomenon than in generations past. While pharmaceutical fixes promise instant neurochemical help, natural medicine for anxiety may offer more enduring, long-term solutions.
During the past half-century, a vast vocab of jargon has sprung up around pop psych and self-help, not to mention junk science. Some of it is helpful. Much of it is misleading. But let’s try to get a collective grip on the basic term.
What is anxiety, exactly? Anxiety is irrational fear, generated by the mind, emotions and neurons. This distinguishes anxiety from stress. Stress is a response to an immediate condition, like gridlock on the freeway. Anxiety is what you feel, dressed for work in the morning and pacing in your hallway, anticipating the gridlock on the freeway. Stress is when you’re right in the middle of the actual thing, trying to deal with it. Anxiety is when you’re remembering, anticipating and imagining the thing that will stress you.
With this distinction, it’s easy to see why natural medicine for anxiety, including attitude and mood management, positive ideation, nutritional choices, exercise, proper rest and the use of essential oils, can support an overall lifestyle which has many coping mechanisms integrated into many aspects of your day.
Essential oils of Orange and Lavender are favored by aromatherapists as one approach to natural medicine for anxiety. Try them in your shower, massaged into the soles of your feet, and in an aromatherapy shower kit and be sure to select 100% USDA organic essential oils.
A key benefit of essential oils: there is more to natural medicine for anxiety than something you swallow. Without a doubt, we are living in an age of prescription. And while Zoloft, Xanax and Valium may have their place (these drugs boost the action of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid—GABA), a more comprehensive approach, possible in tandem with pharmaceutical treatment, may be more successful in taming the accelerating cascades of terror commonly termed as anxiety.
Many theories share the air-space as possible natural medicine for anxiety. Some of these involve food. Some alternative nutrition experts state that traditionally fermented foods support beneficial gut bacteria, reducing our inclination toward anxiety. Lots of experts agree that Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are helpful in balancing the metabolism in order to abate angst.
Regular exercise, fresh air and exposure to early morning sunlight are constantly cited as antidotes to anxiety.
Another important element in natural medicine for anxiety involves “unplugging” from generic world news disasters and re-connecting with friends and family. The explosion of digital new media contributes to anxiety in two ways: we are bombarded 24/7 with real-time global disaster from multiple electronic sources, and we are distanced from face to face intimacy with actual human beings in our lives. Here’s an exercise to develop one aspect of natural medicine for anxiety: when a guest arrives at your office or home for a meeting or get-together, turn off your devices, physically embrace the person, and offer her or him water and other refreshments. Make and maintain eye-contact. Ignore your phone and screen while they are with you. These simple steps may create a sense of bonding which lowers anxiety.
Many unusual therapeutic techniques have emerged in recent years, including EFT or the Emotional Freedom Technique for anxiety treatment, which involves tapping your own head, face and hands as you repeat affirmations of self-acceptance—possibly the most low-tech approach to natural medicine for anxiety.