Mailbag! Overwhelmed by Anxiety? Try THESE Natural Fixes
“I have anxiety, but I’m worried about taking medicine for it. Do you have anything you could recommend instead?”
–Teresa from St. Paul, MN
It’s always a good idea to be cautious about starting a new medication. And that includes anti-anxiety drugs.
Typically, these medications do work, but they’re not a long-term solution. They come with a laundry list of potential side effects. And ironically, in some cases, they lead to MORE agitation and anxiety.
My first choice when treating anxiety is something called exposure therapy.
Often, the things we’re afraid of turn out not nearly as bad as we feared. Exposure therapy is simply putting yourself in the situation that causes you anxiety… but in small doses. The “dose” is then slowly increased over time.
Exposure therapy works well for things like fear of snakes, flying, or talking in front of groups. But it’s not usually effective for anxiety triggered by unavoidable things, like money troubles or health issues.
I suggest anyone battling anxiety work with a therapist. They can often provide the gentle guidance needed to overcome constant worrying, including providing drug-free tools for calming your anxiety.
These days you can easily find a therapist and even work with them from the comfort of your home. Many practitioners offer online sessions.
To find a therapist, visit Psychology Today’s online directory. You can narrow your search by insurance plan, gender, and even religion to find the support you’re most comfortable with.
It’s not unusual to have to try a few therapists before you find one that fits you well, so don’t give up if it’s not a match right away. Keep trying.
In the meantime, here are a few more natural ways to manage anxiety.
Dr. Scott’s Anxiety-Stomping Program
- Sleep. Anxiety and sleep go hand in hand. Most of us know we feel more anxious when we don’t sleep. But getting enough sleep can be challenging. Natural supplements like L-theanine, melatonin, and chamomile can be very effective in helping you get the shuteye you need.
- Calming herbs. Speaking of sleep, I’ve recommended herbs that are usually recommended for sleep to people who have anxiety and found they often work well. Anxiety sufferers can try taking a half-dose of a sleep supplement in the morning. Chamomile, valerian, kava, and passionflower are all great for relaxation.
- Exercise. Regular exercise reduces anxiety. Find something that you ENJOY doing, and you’ll find it easier to stick to.
- Focus on gut health. Research has shown that gut health is closely tied to brain health. Taking a probiotic and eating probiotic-rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt can help restore your inner calm.
P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your question and get featured in the weekly mailbag!
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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