The conventional approaches for anxiety disorders treatment are to take medications, such as antidepressants, and participate in therapy, such as psychological counseling. These options are effective for many patients, but others have found alternative or natural treatments for anxiety disorders to be helpful in managing panic symptoms and bringing overall stress levels down.
Below are some of the most talked-about alternative and natural treatments for anxiety disorders. Whatever approach proves most helpful, be it conventional or alternative, it is important to work with a doctor or other trained medical professional to ensure progress remains on track.
Supplements for Anxiety Disorders Treatment
A few herbal and vitamin supplements have been reported to help anxiety. One in particular that has been the focus of many studies is an herbal supplement called “kava.” This plant-derived extract has calming properties similar to those of alcohol. However, some data suggest that kava causes liver damage. The Food and Drug Administration has issued an advisory on the risks of taking kava supplements, but it remains available on the market in the U.S. People who take kava need to make sure that their other medications do not exacerbate the potential liver problems.
Another herbal supplement sometimes used for alleviating anxiety is valerian, a flowering plant that can be made into an extract or an herbal tea. Valerian reportedly has sedative effects and can help with insomnia, but to date the data on its efficacy is not conclusive.
Some people with anxiety disorders may benefit from taking vitamin B supplements. Inadequate levels of this vitamin can lead to feelings of depression and promote anxiety.
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Disorders Treatment
Hypnotherapy is a treatment approach sometimes used for social phobia (also called “social anxiety disorder”). In this kind of therapy, a trained medical hypnotist first puts the patient in a hypnotic state. This state is a kind of trance in which the patient is extremely relaxed and highly open to suggestion.
People with social phobia have negative associations with particular social situations. They may, for example, associate attending a party with becoming nervous and insecure. Hypnotherapy aims to undo these associations by taking advantage of the patient’s suggestible state. Ideally, when the patient is no longer hypnotized, the new associations formed under hypnosis are retained and the old, negative associations are lost.
Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety
In addition to all the other treatment options available, one of the most important approaches for reducing anxiety is to lead a healthful lifestyle. A healthful lifestyle includes:
- A healthy diet: The best diet includes omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamin B12 and B6.
- Minimal alcohol and caffeine: Both substances promote anxiety.
- Regular exercise: Exercise improves mood and reduces stress.
- Sufficient sleep: Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is important for optimal health.
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