Anxiety disorders are an increasingly common problem facing people today. The rapid lifestyle and technological changes that have taken place over the last hundred years have brought with them an increase in stress, anxiety and panic for everyday people.

It is estimated that in these modern times there are approximately forty million American adults each year who are suffering from anxiety disorders. This situation is not just confined to the U.S either, with similar problems being experienced around the world.

If you are suffering from excessive anxiety, the following are a number of practices, and lifestyle changes, worth considering to help bring you some relief from your problem.

1. Exercise

Many studies have been carried out into the effects of exercise on anxiety levels. In one study it was shown that a ten week program of exercise, undertaken by people suffering from panic disorder, had the same impact on anxiety levels as a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug.

Regular thirty minute sessions of aerobic exercise, that are sufficient to get your heart rate going, can have a calming effect on the mind and the reduction of your anxiety levels are often noticed very quickly.

Who needs medication when there is a natural way of achieving similar results which also benefits your overall health, with no harmful side effects? If you are not already doing this, i strongly urge you to give it a try.

2. Meditation

Meditation is a method of self regulation of the mind that has been practiced in various forms for thousands of years.

Scientific studies have shown that meditation can cause a significant reduction in anxiety levels in people who are suffering from panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, including people also displaying agoraphobia.

Excessive anxiety is often brought about by our own hyper active thought processes. Meditation can help the mind to achieve stillness and peacefulness, and in doing so naturally reduces your anxiety level.

3, Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses the essential oils from certain plants, which are mixed with either oil or alcohol. These aromatic compounds are used to treat a variety of symptoms and can help to alter your mental state.

They can either be applied directly to your skin when having a massage, or a solution of them can be inhaled. They tend to be useful for stress-related problems, and may help your mind to relax which can take the edge off your anxiety.

Aromatherapy is probably best when used together with other anti anxiety techniques, as a complementary therapy, as the effects are relatively mild and on it's own it is not usually going to significantly help someone who is suffering from severe anxiety. Common oils that are used to treat stress and anxiety include Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile, Lavender and Geranium.

4. Diet

The diet you eat can have a major effect on anxiety levels for some people. Studies have shown that people who eat a regular diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, fish, quality meat, and fruit, are more than thirty percent less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

On the other hand, a diet high in saturated fats and processed foods is more likely to negatively effect your mental health.

Try to eat fatty fish, such as Mackerel, as these are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for human health and play an important role in brain function. If you need to cook using oil, try and use olive oil.

Turkey and Milk are both high in tryptophan, which is required by the brain to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important part in regulating anxiety and making us feel happy. Low levels of serotonin can make us feel anxious and depressed, so try increasing these in your diet.

5. Avoid alcohol and coffee

Many people turn to alcohol to help them deal with their anxiety as it can initially have the effect of relaxing you. However drinking too much alcohol can actually increase your state of anxiety.

Alcohol consumption can effect serotonin levels, and the drop in these the day after a drinking session can cause you to feel anxious and depressed. It can also cause a drop in your blood sugar levels which can lead to feelings of nervousness, confusion, dizziness and shaking.

People suffering from an anxiety disorder can often mistake these symptoms for the onset of their anxiety problem and then the cycle of worrying thoughts can elevate anxiety levels even further until it leads to panic.

The occasional glass of wine with a meal is okay for most people, but be careful to limit exactly how much you drink, or you could end up making your symptoms worse.

Coffee is another drink to consider avoiding. The caffeine in coffee is a powerful stimulant, which has been known to bring on panic attacks in people vulnerable to them. Caffeine can significantly increase the amount of adrenaline in your blood stream, which can make you feel jittery and increase your anxiety levels.

If you really like it, and have to have a cup of coffee, make sure it's decaffeinated. Be careful about drinking tea as well, this also contains caffeine, although not as much as coffee.

6. Qi Gong

Originating in China, Qi Gong is a traditional medical practice, which combines the idea of exercise and meditation to produce a calm mental state by aligning your breathing with slow stylized movement. It can be practised by anyone, irrespective of age, and is a very relaxing activity that is good for your general health.

Qi Gong can be learnt through a qualified instructor, or through videos and the internet, and it is easy to learn and practice. Scientific studies have shown that Qi Gong can have a positive effect on people suffering from anxiety disorders.

All the things mentioned above are not usually on their own a cure for your anxiety disorder. However, what they can do is help you to cope better with your condition without the need for potentially harmful medication. It is important to learn how to calm and relax yourself when you are feeling anxious, and very useful to be aware of the things that may trigger you off so you can avoid them.

Taking care of your overall health can only be of great benefit for you, both physically and mentally. If doing some of these things involves a significant lifestyle change for you, then do give strong consideration to it because you may really benefit from the change.

But in order to finally cure your anxiety disorder and have the pleasant, worry free life you deserve, you will need to combine the aspects mentioned above with a proven method of treatment that can provide the permanent release from your condition that you desire.

Author's Bio: 

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