With millions of people suffering from anxiety disorders, the pharmaceutical industry is making mega bucks. Unfortunately, medicating this type of problem doesn’t actually heal it.

Xanax, Adavan, and other anti-anxiety drugs are addictive band-aids for a problem that deserves a real solution.

I suffered from an anxiety disorder called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), so I understand how painful it can be to live with anxiety. I want you to know that there are wonderful natural remedies available to you, but your absolute best option is to educate yourself. I hope this article will serve as a part of your education on coping with and treating anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Symptoms—Is It Normal?

It is normal to feel anxious in some situations, but sufferers of anxiety disorders experience anxiety symptoms so regularly and with such intensity that it interferes with daily living. The symptoms of anxiety include the following: excessive worry, repeated negative thoughts, hypervigilence, sense of helplessness.

A person with anxiety disorder may be uneasy, apprehensive, tense, on-edge, and plagued by anxiety in situations where others relax or have fun. As if general anxiety symptoms are not bad enough, many people also suffer from panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense anxiety for no apparent reasons. It may include a smothering sensation, shortness of breath or choking, heart palpitations, trembling, hot flashes or chills, chest pain, fear of dying or going crazy, nausea, and sweating.

While there are several other types of anxiety disorders (PTSD, OCD, etc), the focus of the anxiety remedies below is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder (panic attacks).

Alternative & Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

There are several supplements and herb al remedies for anxiety disorders. My personal favorites are Kava, Passionflower, Hypericum (St. John’s Wort), Valerian and Skullcap. These are all-natural and non-addictive, unlike prescription drugs. It takes about 4 weeks to get anxiety symptoms under control with these herbs, but it’s worth it to avoid the side effects of prescribed anxiety medications.

In addition to herbs for anxiety, there are several beneficial alternative practices that restore the mind-body balance. Yoga, T’ai chi, Chi Gung work by removing energy blocks and teaching you to slow down both your body and mind. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, there’s almost completely certainty that slowing down your mind isn’t something you find easy. Although that won’t change overnight, learning these ancient practices will help to restore balance within you.

Dietary changes for Anxiety

If you have severe anxiety, it is unlikely that it will completely go away just because you change your diet. However, it is important to recognize that certain foods worsen the problem. The biggest problem foods by far are sugar, caffeine, and anything processed. Do your best to eliminate (or strictly reduce) these foods from your diet.

You’ll be surprised to know the extent of the connection between a healthy physical body and a healthy mind. Blood sugar fluctuations can cause anxiety and anxiety symptoms. There is no way to completely avoid the changes in your blood sugar levels, but you can eat in a way to make sure those fluctuations are not drastic. Eat small, healthy snacks between meals and stay away from the bad stuff.

Simplify Your Lifestyle

In order to live a life free anxiety symptoms and panic attacks, you’ll definitely need to make changes to your lifestyle. Consider simplifying, living a life more in alignment with peace of mind. A few suggestions to get you started are:

  • Reduce magazine subscriptions
  • Stop junk mail
  • Buy groceries less often, in bulk
  • Learn to say no
  • Stop trying to change other people
  • Reduce dependence on TV

These are just a few examples, but you’re the only one who knows your life well enough to minimize it. Reevaluate what you need, what constitutes a constructive use of your time, and what serves no purpose other than cluttering your world.

Address High Anxiety Personality Traits

There is a strong connection between anxiety disorders and certain common personality traits. They must absolutely be addressed if you want long-term freedom from anxiety symptoms. Do any of the following personality traits describe you?

  • Excessive need for approval (People pleasing, co-dependency)
  • Excessive need for control
  • Perfectionism
  • Extreme cautiousness
  • Rigid thinking (Black and white thinking, there is a correct way to do things and anything else is wrong)
  • Insecurity
  • Over-dependency
  • Tendency to suppress negative feelings

Notice that all of these personality traits have something in common. They center around some type of fear. Fear of rejection, abandonment, losing control. Fear of failure, illness, death, or confinement.

If you suffer with anxiety symptoms and you have some of these personality traits, it is best to begin addressing them immediately through cognitive therapy or self-help techniques. Without recognizing the anxiety producing parts of your personality and learning to approach life from a renewed perspective, you may end up suffering with anxiety symptoms forever. That would be a self imposed injustice.

Panic Attack Desensitization

Sufferers of panic disorder often say that the thing they fear most is the next panic attack. The fear of panic leads to recurring anxiety symptoms and interferes with your ability to enjoy life. One way to deal with this is to use imagery for desensitization. Since most people with extreme anxiety have very vivid imaginations, it should be easy to use imagery.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a panicky situation. Feel the sensations that you get during a panic attack. Don’t stop when it begins to get scary. Have the courage to keep going. As you feel the fear closing in, remind yourself that this is a false alarm. Remind yourself that anxiety is not dangerous and that you are in complete control. There is no possibility of dying from this. You are not having a heart attack and you will not stop breathing. Coach yourself through this false alarm, knowing that you started it and you can stop it.

The more you practice creating these false panic attacks through imagery, the more you’ll be desensitized to real life panic attacks.

Let me end with some good and bad news. The bad news first: Because anxiety disorders are extremely varied and complex, there are more treatments than I can describe here. What works for one person doesn’t work for another and it may take a significant amount of time to fully understand and treat your anxiety.

The good news: With so many available treatments, you are not doomed to always suffer with anxiety disorder. You have every reason to be hopeful. Just remember to utilize available resources and stick with an anxiety treatment plan once you start it. Instead of living with apprehension or fear of the next panic attack, you can live a full and rich life.

Click here for an anxiety recovery plan that works.

Author's Bio: 

Nea is the founder of the self development blog, Self Improvement Saga. She specializes in teaching the art of natural, authentic and joyful living. Visit self-improvement-saga.com for life-changing, Law of Attraction based self improvement ideas.