If you suffer from feelings of anxiousness or nervousness, or if you experience panic attacks, you might think you need to take drugs or supplements for anxiety reduction. We don’t condone self-diagnosis (and we can’t replace the advice of a physician), but we can tell you some of the things others have tried that are purported to help reduce anxiety. We have a section of Anxiety Reducers available, but we recommend reading our other stress reduction advice before trying any supplements.
Why Is Anxiety Dangerous?
In short: yes, anxiety is dangerous and harmful! Why? Because too much anxiety can lead to other health problems. If you have too much anxiety to sleep, your body won’t be able to cope with the next day’s tasks (whether work or school), your body can’t properly heal, your brain can’t process information properly (especially if you need to study or learn new things). You need to be able to lay your head down at night and get sound sleep – and not lay awake with worrying about things.
Too much anxiety and stress can and will have physical ramifications, but they aren’t the same in all people. I once worked a very stressful job and developed TMJ. I could actually feel a pain in my jaw – and when I would open my mouth I would hear it “click”. It was scary to realize I had done it to myself, just because I was taking my job too seriously! Imagine if I was older – and the stress had manifested as high-blood pressure, or a heart problem! Stress can be fatal. That is why you cannot just ignore your anxiety.
On the subject of work and anxiety, some people actually have too much anxiety to even get a job – because they can’t calmly sit through an interview. Other people can get hired, but then find themselves having too much anxiety to work. Performance anxiety is a term used in many situations, and it refers to a person “shutting down” when they need to fulfill a task. Think that anxiety and stress can’t affect someone’s life? That’s why we think anxiety is something that needs to be taken seriously and addressed.
How do you know if you have anxiety?
Anxiety usually shows up as a feeling in the pit of one’s stomach. It can actually cause stomach upset or a feeling of “butterflies”. Other people experience feelings higher up in the chest or in the lungs. The feeling of anxiety in the chest will express itself as shallow or rapid breathing. You may know these signals as part of a classic “panic attack”.
You can tell you have anxiety, obviously, if you consciously feel anxiety all the time. But not everyone lives in constant worry. Some people only feel anxiety before, during, or after certain situations. For instance, someone may only feel anxiety after drinking or after doing certain drugs. (By the way, we advocate not using anything that is shown to harm your body, or cause you to lose control of your mental state!) If you know of something that causes you to feel stress, and if it’s possible to simple avoid that situation or activity, then avoid it! There’s no need to pursue drugs, herbs, or supplements if you can simply eliminate the cause of the stress.
Some people feel anxiety for no reason – or no obvious or known reason. For these people, we recommend supplements that are mild, and we recommend alleviating any obvious stressors in life. We also recommend actively seeking out and doing things that are calming. For example, a weekly massage, daily walks, or a relaxing hobby. Exercise is a great stress-reducer, and we highly recommend some form of exertion.
Anxiety Reduction Techniques
Before any can recommend supplements or drugs, you should be aware of natural techniques that are supposed to help reduce anxiety and panic attacks. Before everyone was drugged up and over-medicated (as in today’s world), people dealt with stress in totally natural ways. They had no choice but to confront their fears, eliminate the causes of stress, or deal with things with what they had available.
One example, given by the famous Dale Carnegie in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, was simple: take a short nap each day. If that sounds stupid, naive, or ineffective to you, consider the low-stress of all the Mediterranean and Latin peoples who make it a daily practice to have a siesta after lunch. They know how to take life slow – and they live longer, happier lives. Compare that way of thinking to modern society that had to work constantly until they kill themselves!
Another very natural and beneficial practice that can vastly reduce stress is to simply pray to God. I realize some readers claim to not believe in God. I know that some people might be “offended” that I suggest going to the Lord in prayer. If some of my readers are easily offended, I guess that’s too bad. (I’ve made some pretty girls cry in my life, and I feel bad about that too.) But if you are a doubter and still with me, I suggest you get over this world’s pressuring prejudice against God, and give it a try. If you still find it just too hard to let God into your life, I guess meditative thought is second-best. Either way, the human soul needs something this world doesn’t offer – and I recommend seeking someone and something higher than yourself. It can do wonders for your soul, which is equivalent to the mind. The fact is that the prayerful people I know don’t get easily stressed.
Another easy way to reduce anxiety include changing your diet to eliminate excess caffeine and sugar, and include the things your body needs. The diet of today is filled with processed garbage and chemicals! Home-grown food is best. Organic is second best. Minimally-processed is third best. Do what you can to give your body “good stuff”. Instead of fast food for lunch, make your lunch the night before and bring it. (You’ll save money too!) In case someone out there is reading this and thinking “But that’s too haaa-aaard,” I must remind you that sometimes effort is actually required to gain positive results in life.
Never consume energy drinks. Red Bull, Monster, and all the rest are the worst things you can drink. They directly contribute to stress and anxiety as well as other health issues.
These ways to eliminate anxiety are good because they are free, and have no side effects! The downside of these natural ways to help anxiety is that they’re not always effective – or not effective enough to totally solve the anxiety problem. So once you’ve tried the free and natural solutions, it’s time to examine some supplements.
What are some Effective Anxiety Reduction Supplements?
There are a number of effective and proven supplements that can aid in relieving anxiety. Here are a few that you may wish to investigate and try.
Known as a sleep aid, it can gently help you fall asleep. A good night’s rest is essential for good overall mental health and brain function.
A long-time standard Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) herb known for helping the body adapt to stress. Ashwagandha is said to relax the mind, rejuvenate the body, and increase resistance to stress.
If you want something specially formulated for mood improvement and stress reduction, you might want to try Mood Boost.
We have other anxiety reducing supplements available in our Anxiety Reducers category.