What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a person who feels anxious on most days, worrying about a variety of things, extending for periods of six months or more.
The ‘emotional’ area of the brain activates a stress response system and is responsible for the feelings of fear, aggression or defensive behaviour. When the hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol are released the body goes into the ‘flight or fight’ response.
Other symptoms could include ongoing feelings of stress, noise intolerance, and irritability, feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with your day-to-day tasks.
Anxiety is a response to a perceived threat or danger. The body experiences a combination of biochemical changes as a consequence of personal history or memories, or a social situation. A large portion of anxiety is produced by negative expectation or anticipation of future events.
It is important to distinguish between anxiety as a feeling or experience, and an anxiety disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis (the latter being outside the parameters of this article). A person may feel anxious without having an anxiety disorder. For example, a person facing a clear and present danger or a realistic fear is not usually considered to be in a state of anxiety.
According to the latest statistics by Beyond Blue: “In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. (In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression) and over 2 million have anxiety”
Some of the Possible causes of Anxiety
- Hormonal imbalances such as PMS, or at the time of perimenopause and menopause can bring about anxiety. The fluctuations and imbalances of the reproductive hormones have a major effect on the other hormones in the body.
- An imbalance in the thyroid hormones can cause feelings of anxiety – hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid function) symptoms such as racing heart and sense of nervousness which can then lead to anxiousness. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid/auto-immune hashimotos) can have effects on the emotional state – feelings of depression, low motivation, anxiousness
- Toxicities such as heavy metals (amalgam fillings, exposure at work) or chemical overload (from personal or household chemicals; pesticides from foods; or exposure at work or living environment such as manufacturing/farming) are known “neurotoxins” ie toxic to the nervous system. For some people these toxins can accumulate in and around the nervous system causing nervous irritability and can possibly lead to degeneration of the nerve fibres.
- Ongoing stress from either a work situation (or school for children); home life; or relationship stresses can be constantly putting your body in the “fight or flight” response. Over time, the body is flooded with the hormones cortisol and adrenaline with the result as ongoing feelings of anxiousness
- Poor Sleep – sleep deprivation or irregular sleep patterns such as shift workers will worsen any stress response in your body. Anxiousness and poor sleep go hand-in-hand and so does the solution. Managing your sleep will help to manage your anxiety.
- Previous trauma
Whilst I strongly recommend seeking professional help from a psychologist or counsellor in the situation of ongoing anxiety, there are tools you can investigate yourself, such as meditation and mindfulness strategies.
Natural Medicine Solutions
Safe, effective, clinically trialled natural remedies have been used in Australia and many countries and cultures around the world for decades. In fact, I have been told doctors in European countries will often recommend Herbal Medicines as their first preference for anxiety over prescription medication.
Known herbal remedies such as St John’s wort, Valerian, Ashwanga; Vitamin B complex, Magnesium, GABA, Vitamin D, and the humble fish oils all can help alleviate and manage anxiety effectively. However, what does your body need? You certainly wouldn’t want or need to take a cocktail of all of these remedies. What specifically will help you?
As always with the approach of Naturopathic Philosophy – treat the body as a whole – look at the possible underlying causes, address these and support your overall health including the nervous and adrenal systems.
I find the use of the Asyra Bio-resonance helps me to determine possible underlying causes and imbalances in my clients’ overall health. We can also test which supplement/nutrients will most benefit your body to bring about balance and harmony to your health. We then have a very specific approach to help not only the anxiety but the other symptoms you’re experiencing as well.
Are you “feeding” your anxiety?
Some foods that you are eating could be unbeknown to you, making your anxiety worse. Learn which foods are beneficial or not.
Contact me if you have any queries or would like to make an appointment to see how natural medicines and a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing can help you manage anxiety.