A recent study from the University of Iowa found that the intense feeling of panic is induced outside of the amygdala, a part of the brain that was thought to be responsible for fear in humans. Their research, published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience on February 3, 2013, provides proof that the amygdala is not the only gatekeeper of fear in the mind.
The researchers believe that this finding could be a “fundamental part of explaining why people have panic attacks,” and if correct, the “newly discovered pathways could become targets for treating panic attacks as well as post-traumatic stress syndrome and other anxiety-related conditions.”
While this may ultimately help those who are suffering from the often debilitating effects of panic attacks or any level of anxiety, reducing and/or eliminating anxiety may best be achieved through natural remedies rather than dealing with the side effects of synthetic medications.
Regular exercise is imperative for relieving anxiety. Studies have found that it works just as well if not better than synthetic medication but without the negative side effects. Its feel-good brain chemicals will boost your mood and just the act of getting up and moving will help take your mind off your worries – automatically reducing stress and anxiety.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Taking fish oil supplements as well as including foods that are high in omega-3s have been shown to improve many mental conditions, but are especially good at reducing anxiety. The best food sources include wild-caught salmon, sardines, walnuts, olive oil, flaxseeds and hemp seeds.
Practicing meditation can bring instant relief to anxiety. Just by starting your day with five or ten minutes of slow, deep breathing while relaxing your muscles and focusing on the present can prevent scary panic attacks and ease those anxious feelings over the course of the entire day.
Herbs can be beneficial for use as a natural anxiety reliever. A few of the best include Valerian, Chamomile, Kava Kava, Lemon Balm and Passion Flower.
Getting your ZZZs
Anxiety can cause a vicious cycle that leaves sufferers with insomnia and other sleeping problems – leading to even more anxiety. To break the cycle, practicing meditation or deep breathing just before bedtime can be very helpful. Sipping wellness teas that serve to promote better sleep such as Chamomile tea or any relaxing herbal tea with a few drops of Valerian added are excellent for inducing shuteye. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night can go a long way in reducing anxiety symptoms.
Have you dealt with panic attacks and anxiety? What has worked for you?
– The Alternative Daily