A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine practising Holistic Health Care in the Woodbridge, Vaughan, Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga, and Toronto areas since 2001.

How to Cope with Anxiety Naturally

Do you feel anxious and worried?  Do you have a child who struggles with anxiety at school?  Anxiety  is one of the leading conditions I see in my practice these days…and my anxiety patients are getting younger and younger.  Whether it’s chronic low-grade anxiety, or full-blown panic attacks, it seems to have become a fixture in our society.

With kids, I see signs of fear and hesitation, whether it is related to going to school, or leaving the comfort and protection of the parents.  They may suffer from nausea and stomach aches, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, unexplained crying, or insomnia.

Naturopathic Help for Anxiety

Naturopathic Help for Anxiety

In adults, I often see fears associated with work, driving a car, or even going into a mall.  In a society that is moving ever faster, it’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with all the technology and information we’re bombarded with on a daily basis.  They may suffer from insomnia and restlessness, as the mind churns over responsibilities, fears, or financial worries.  The constant daily pressures, lack of time, and concern for their children are some of the many reasons for anxiety.

Anxiety may also include:

–  A constant feeling of fear or panic

–  Continuous obsessive thoughts

–  Feeling of doom, like your world is going to collapse, or you’re going to die

–  Palpitations, dizziness, headaches

–  Difficulty breathing, sweating

–  Hypervigilant state, feeling jumpy

–  Numbness and tingling, muscular tension, abdominal distress

Cope With Anxiety Naturally

Cope With Anxiety Naturally

 

If you have ever experienced any of these temporary symptoms, or more chronic conditions that have made it difficult to get up and function normally through the day, you know how debilitating anxiety can be.

What can you do if you find yourself (or your child) in this situation?

With small children, it’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on with them.  They may not be very expressive, or they may not be able to find the words to explain what they’re feeling and why.

The same may hold true for teenagers, who may also be confused about life in general and how they fit in with their peers.

Kids may be suffering from internal or external pressure to excel at school.  They may be having challenges with relationships at school or at home, or perhaps being bullied.  They may be worried about their safety, their future, or that their parents may be splitting up (especially if they’re arguing).  Or they may be afraid of the dark.

In adults, a lifetime of stress can weaken the body’s ability to cope, so that one ‘minor’ life challenge could be all it takes to reach the tipping point and go over the edge.

Natural Help for Anxiety

Natural Help for Anxiety

Start by trying to talk to your child, to find out if they’re feeling anxious or worried.  If you’re unsuccessful, speak to their teachers or friends, to find out if they’ve noticed any changes, or know of anything that’s happened.  Support your child by seeking help and/or counselling, if that’s appropriate.

Helping your child to relax is imperative, through rest and comfort.  It may be useful to encourage them to do some physical sport or activity.  If they’re stressed about school, try to find a way to help them, whether through moral support, or through some concrete action.

Proper nutrition is crucial to help the mind and body cope with the situation.  A diet of low sugar, low refined or packaged foods (and junk foods), and low breads, replaced by vegetables, some fruits, and plain water, is a good start.  Fruit boxes are filled with sugar, and will stress the body’s sugar balance.  This can also impact their energy, and ability to concentrate and think clearly.

If they have no appetite for solid food, then smoothies might be an alternative.  This could include healthy foods like berries, a handful of greens, seeds (chia, flax), avocado, plain and unsweetened yogurt, and protein powder if the child is not getting enough protein from other sources.  Other healthy ingredients can also be included for added benefit.

It’s important to ensure your child’s body is receiving enough of their daily vitamins, B vitamins, C, and essential fatty acids.  These help to support the adrenal glands (for stress management) and the brain.  Homeopathic remedies can also be extremely helpful.

If you are experiencing stress as an adult, all of the above also applies to you.   In addition, adaptagenic herbs such as ashwagandha, licorice, rhodiola, ginseng, and nutrients such as L-theanine or 5-Htp or calmative herbs may also be helpful.  The choice of herbal/nutrient combination is one that I don’t recommend be randomly selected.  It is best done after proper in-office assessment.

I also offer a special combination of specific nutrients that help to feed the brain, to decrease anxiety, increase focus, and support ADHD and Autism.

One of my favourite adjunctive therapies in cases of anxiety is EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique.  I have been using this therapy for about 11 years now, with some remarkable results.  Back when I first started using it, very few people even knew what it was.  Now it has become so popular (because it is so simple and effective) that most people have at least heard of it.  I teach it to my patients so that they have an extremely powerful tool, literally at their fingertips, to help them through those high-stress, high-anxiety moments.  You can find further information about EFT right here on my website.

Anxiety does not have to stop you from enjoying life the way you were meant to.  With proper support for anxiety, it may be with you just for a brief moment in time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Linda L. Brown, BA, ND is a registered Naturopathic Doctor, BodyTalk and EFT Practitioner, and Registered BioEnergetics Practitioner. Her mission is to teach and inspire people to live in a healthier, more balanced way, so they can enjoy the life of their dreams.

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