A Personal Experience With Anxiety
I was driving on the Schuylkill Expressway, irrational thoughts racing through my head, palms sweaty white-knuckling the steering wheel, heart-pounding and seriously considering if I should pull over; fearful of passing out. That was the worst panic attack I’d experienced as a result of my anxiety, which seemed to be mimicking the behavior of an out of control teenager.
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you also suffering from anxiety; along with the other 40 million adults across the United States. A staggering statistic, I know! Unfortunately, no one ever talked to me about anxiety disorders so I wasn’t aware that everything I was thinking and the feeling was pretty common. When I finally sought help from a therapist, I was relieved to hear I wasn’t alone. Many suffer from this disorder to varying degrees. There wasn’t something “wrong” with me. My disorder could be treated. What I didn’t know was I had options when it came to treatment, and so do you. While I’m not opposed to medicating, this post offers a more holistic approach to healing your anxiety.
To Medicate Or Not Medicate: That Is The Question
I’ve struggled with anxiety over the past 17 years and the severity of my symptoms is about as consistent as the weather. When I was first diagnosed, I did what the doctor ordered; I tried various medications until I found something that didn’t leave me feeling like a zombie. In hindsight, I’m quite perturbed that health professionals don’t recommend alternative treatments, but that’s another story for another blog post.
If you’re struggling with the decision to medicate or not, let me alleviate some of the pressure you’re likely feeling by telling you there is no right or wrong answer. The choice is yours and yours alone and I trust you’ll make the best choice for yourself. I was medicated for years until I began exploring other options.
If you think or know you’re suffering from anxiety you should speak with a licensed therapist or physician to talk you through the best treatment for your circumstances.
Natural Approaches to Ease Your Anxiety
While I do believe that some symptoms of anxiety require medication, it is my personal opinion and experience that natural approaches are also effective.
The list below includes some of my favorites:
- Meditation – a technique for resting the mind and attaining higher states of consciousness has been a game-changer for my anxiety. The practice takes you on an inward journey, helping you to perceive that which is within your control and that which must be accepted and let go. With practice, over time you come to understand that you have the power to heal your anxiety.
- Exercise – pick a form, any form, and move your body for at least 30 minutes a couple of times per week. “According to some studies, regular exercise works just as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long-lasting.”
- My Healthy Mood – one of YouVeda’s Ayurvedic supplements that use adaptogens and herbs like magnolia bark known to reduce stress and help you achieve a state of calm.
Choose one (or all) to incorporate into a daily self-care routine to better manage your thoughts, boost your energy, brighten your mood and improve your overall well-being. It’s time to take your life back.