An Alternative to Medication
Parents are always looking for alternatives to medication when it comes to anxiety and stress. While medication can help, natural solutions are always preferred. They may help on their own or they can supplement other courses of treatment.
Anxiety and stress are very heavily influenced by brain training. You can train yourself to have panic attacks, talk yourself into making them worse, or train yourself to overcome them. Panic attacks are scary. Your brain wrongly senses danger and dumps adrenaline into the bloodstream which puts your senses on high alert. Although it can feel like the world is ending, this anxiety can be reduced with mindfulness and meditation.
Whether you are coping with full blown panic attacks or just a little stressed from work, here are some tips that might help:
Focus on the Edge
Look straight ahead but concentrate on the edges of your eyesight. Focusing on your peripheral vision triggers your parasympathetic nervous system which regulates relaxation and sleep.
In-In-In * Hold-Hold-Hold * Out-Out-Out
Slowing your breathing instantly changes your anxiety level. This works if you’re having a panic attack or just a little stressed. Try breathing in for 3 counts, hold for 3 counts and then breath out for 3 counts. Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach and feel it rise as you fill your lungs. Big deep belly breaths through your diaphragm activates the relaxation centers in the brain.
Now Walk it Out
Anxiety can trigger the fight or flight response which increases the amount of adrenaline in your body. This response is intended to help you survive a dangerous situation by preparing you to either fight for your life or run. But what happens if you don’t use the adrenaline to fight or flight? It pools in your body making you anxious, sweaty, and even afraid. To get rid of this excess adrenaline you don’t need to fight off a bear or run a marathon. Easy exercises like walking, biking or light weight lifting could do the trick. Take the dog for a walk. Take a stroll through your favorite park. Go window shopping at the mall or check out an exhibit at a local museum.
Ditch the Iced Caps
It is no surprise that the same substance that wakes you up and gets you moving can also aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Switch to decaf or swap your iced cap for an herbal tea or juice.
Remember, anxiety is a complex condition. A one-size-fits-all treatment plan is usually not the solution. Reducing anxiety and stress requires a slow and steady approach. Step by step, look for incremental progress not a big jump.