There are approximately 54 million people in the United States who suffer from anxiety disorder on a daily basis.  There are prescription pills that you can take to help with this disorder, but is the risk of becoming dependent upon chemicals and not being able to function without them worth it?  There are many non-chemical, natural alternatives that could potentially help alleviate these feelings of anxiety.

Before we explore natural remedies for anxiety, we first must understand what anxiety is.  Anxiety is both a physiological and psychological force that can affect a wide variety of bodily functions.  It can induce heart palpitations and cause sweat glands to activate; it can cause muscular tension and chest pains; it can lead to a panic attack where the person involved feels as if they are dying or suffocating; it can lead to a depressed state of mind that paralyzes an individual and prevents them from being able to accomplish even the most basic tasks; it can affect your neural network and cause your brain to essentially malfunction.  All of these symptoms can be very dangerous and can certainly distract you from performing any sort of organized task.  So what should you do to combat these forces from taking over your life?

There are many non-chemical, natural alternatives to either taking prescription pills or to imbibing some of the other supplements offered by various drug companies.  Here are a few.

Bathe your olfactory senses in the ancient practice of aromatherapy.  The olfactory nerves help give you your sense of smell, and stimulating this sense has been proven to release hormones known as endorphins into your brain.  Two types of endorphins released in this process are encephalin and serotonin, and they facilitate feelings of well-being and euphoria.  People who are surrounded by pleasant smells are happier, and it’s not hard to see why; they are experiencing a natural high.

Go get a massage.  Massaging relaxes your muscles and improves circulation.  We’ve all heard people talk about massaging tension away, and this is in fact what happens when we get a massage.  Our muscles accumulate toxins over time, and  the job of a masseuse is to massage these same toxins out of our muscles and into our blood stream.  Our bodies then eject these toxins, improving our health.  Just make sure to drink plenty of water prior to visiting your massage therapist so that your body will be able to eradicate the harmful toxins from your system.

Engage in some strenuous exercise.  Exercising is known to relieve stress and anxiety, and one of the ways that it does this is by releasing endorphins into our brains.  These are the same hormones produced by the human brain when runners experience “runner’s high”.  Studies show that not only do endorphins cause us to feel pleasant but they can also prolong our lives and make us more healthy.  There is also the psychological benefit of exercise to consider.  Completing a difficult exercise routine endows us with a feeling of accomplishment and reaffirms our sense of purpose.

Do breathing exercises accompanied by meditation.  Yoga, which is a combination of stretching, breathing, and meditating, has been utilized for over 4,000 years and continues to be popular today.  A practice of such historical significance must be working or it would not have endured for as long as it has.  People from all corners of the world have documented the benefits of practicing yoga.

Go see a therapist.  Oftentimes people who suffer from debilitating anxiety have some underlying issues that are the real problem, and visiting a therapist to explore these issues may help.  Talk therapy has been known to assist some people immensely.  It is possible that you just don’t feel comfortable talking about certain issues with anyone currently in your life, and a therapist could provide you with the unbiased third party that you need.

Take a warm bath.  Immersing your body in water that is just above its natural temperature is known to help relax muscles.  Combine the warm bath with some pleasant smelling bath oils, and you can maximize your relaxation potential.

Stress and anxiety are going to be present in our lives as long as we are alive, but they don’t have to dominate our lives.  If you feel crippling anxiety creeping in to take over, try a few things on this list and watch that anxiety disappear.

For massage, aromatherapy, yoga and more call Shiatsu Massage Center in the heart of Honolulu at (808) 922-0171.