When the world gets a little too much reach for one of these all-natural calming aids
With 77 percent of us regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress and 73 percent enduring psychological effects, anxiety is a growing problem which should not be ignored. There are a range of activities believed to help calm attacks, from gentle exercise to sweating in a sauna, but the trick is finding what works best for you. If physical activity brings a wave of dread rather than relaxation, why not try these seven alternatives remedies – no sports wear required.
A lack of sleep is one of the most common triggers for an anxiety attack, but when you're feeling stressed the last thing on your mind is catching some Zs. Cue a restless night with wild thoughts racing through your mind, and the cycle continues... Break the chain with a calming cup of chamomile. A recent study found that chamomile significantly relaxes blood vessels and smooths muscle fibers helping to release built up tension and ease you into the land of nod.
A popular over-the-counter sedative in Japan, valerian root is a natural treatment for anxiety. Helping to promote sleep, control panic attacks and relieve headaches, scientists have found that the herb increased the amount of GABA (a chemical which helps regulate the nerve cells and calm anxiety) in the brain.
With a long history in herbal therapy, lavender is most commonly used in aromatherapy. An emotional anti-inflammatory, the essential oils from a lavender plant are believed to help promote calmness. Lavender sprays which are applied to pillows are also said to help promote a peaceful night's sleep, perfect for those suffering from stress.
When anxiety attacks, our heads feel like they could explode. Calm your brain with L-theanine, a type of amino acid commonly found in green tea. It is thought to positively affect our mood by increasing GABA production, boosting dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain and also stimulating our alpha waves putting us in a more relaxed state.
Boasting a pretty purple colouring and a powerhouse of antioxidants, passion flower is also a sleep aid and calming agent. Most commonly consumed as a tea, passion flower is often combined with other relax-inducing herbs to offer anxiety relief.
This herb has a calming history which dates back to the middle ages. Once steeped in wine to help 'lift spirits', heal wounds and calm insect bites, it is now commonly combined with valerian to soothe stress. Studies also suggest it can help aid indigestion and that when used in aromatherapy, it can also help to improve cognitive function and decrease agitation in those suffering from Alzheimers.
Hops is most commonly used to make beer, however you won't benefit from its tranquillizing qualities by downing a cold pint. The bitter herb holds many medicinal benefits. A great treatment for insomnia, it is often combined with valerian in natural remedies to soothe stress and anxiety.
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