We all deal with anxiety. When you get a speeding ticket or have to take an important test, it’s perfectly normal to feel a surge of stress hormones; in fact, these hormones actually prepare the body to perform a difficult task more easily.
Anxiety only becomes a problem when it’s your normal state, when seemingly innocuous situations cause your palms to sweat and heart to beat faster. But what anxiety sufferers may not realize is that many of their behaviors are making it much worse. If you or someone you love is frequently anxious, there are three things to avoid as well as one remedy to make it better:
Alcohol and Drugs
Did you know that alcohol and drug abuse could lead to an anxiety disorder or an anxiety attack? Research shows that people with social anxiety who abuse alcohol are more likely to have severe symptoms of anxiety. Whichever comes first, substance abuse and anxiety can turn into a vicious cycle.
If you have anxiety, that daily cup of coffee is costing you. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and studies show this makes anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack. Excessive caffeine consumption can also leave you feeling nervous, moody, and increase insomnia.
Certain medications and anxiety don’t mix; they can cause anxiety symptoms or even trigger an anxiety attack. Prescription medications to watch out for include thyroid drugs and asthma drugs, while over-the counter decongestants and combination cold remedies could put you at risk as well.
What Can Help?
Adaptogens can be a lifesaver for the millions of Americans suffering from anxiety. Adaptogens are a class of herbal remedies that reduces the output of stress-related hormones from the pituitary and adrenal glands. They reduce both fatigue and insomnia, while improving memory and cognitive function.
The first herb identified as being adaptogenic was Eleuthero root, a relative of ginseng. Since the discovery of eleuthero, many other herbs have been discovered that possess adaptogenic properties. These include: Korean and American ginseng, rhodiola, gynostemma, ashwaganda, suma, astragalus, schizandra and maca.
Anxiety doesn’t have to be a life sentence. If you avoid harmful substances and instead rely on more natural remedies, you’ll be empowered to ease your symptoms for good.