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CBD Gummies for Anxiety and Depression

For those of us dealing with anxiety and depression, CBD edibles may hold the key to less worrying, better sleep, and an overall improved quality of life. But out of all the products that exist on the market, CBD gummies are probably the most popular edibles.

The CBD oil used to produce these edibles is extracted from carefully-selected types of cannabis, with low THC and a high concentration of cannabidiol. CBD-based products are part of a different category of medicinal marijuana, one that does not place emphasis on the psychoactive effects of the plant, but rather the curative properties of marijuana.

Click below to explore innovative CBD brands, lab tested by the experts of Farma Health.

CBD Gummies

Those who use these natural products as an alternative to medication or other treatments that may involve unpleasant side effects claim amazing results. From chronic pain and inflammation to sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression, CBD gummies seem to be the new “miracle cure.”

But there’s absolutely nothing mystical or magical about this chemical compound. In fact, people have been using it for thousands of years as a remedy for various conditions. Recently, scientists have begun to explore the physical and psychological effects CBD, with promising results.

Who knows? Maybe CBD gummies and other edibles may become the next breakthrough in mental health.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in marijuana or hemp. It can be made into edibles, tinctures, body oils, elixirs, balms, and other products. In fact, ever since marijuana has been legalized in most U.S. states, experts estimate this market will reach $ 1 billion a year by 2020. [1]

Cannabidiol is believed to be the second most crucial cannabinoid, after THC, and one of the 85 cannabinoids identified so far. The cannabis from which CBD oil is extracted contains only small traces of THC, cannabidiol being the compound that dominates the plant’s genetic profile.

After THC, CBD is the most studied natural cannabinoid. The reason behind scientists’ growing curiosity toward this compound may have something to do with the numerous positive effects it can have on our physical and mental health. On top of that, the absence of psychoactive effects has led some researchers to believe that CBD could be the most important cannabinoid ever discovered.

But all the groundbreaking studies that have changed our views of cannabis wouldn’t have been possible if not for the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the late 1980s. It appears this system regulates our body’s homeostasis (overall balance) and plays a significant role in appetite, mood, sleep, pain, and hormonal balance.

But to clear any trace of doubt and misconception, let’s take a closer look at the difference between CBD and THC.

CBD vs. THC

One of the reasons why some people avoid using cannabidiol-based products like CBD gummies or other edibles is that they don’t want to get high. Decades of misconceptions about cannabis have led many of us to believe that any compound derived from the marijuana plant is a “drug” that we should avoid at all costs.

Although both CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are the main compounds found in marijuana, there are notable differences between the two.

For starters, THC is responsible for the ‘high’ that you experience when you consume marijuana – either by smoking it or through edibles. In other words, THC represents the psychoactive part of weed, generating numerous effects such as hunger, reduced aggression, relaxation, altered senses, sleepiness, and so on.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive component which can be found both in the cannabis plant and agricultural hemp. Unlike other cannabinoids, which can be found in numerous plants, CBD can only be extracted from the cannabis plant.

Another notable difference between the two compounds is that while THC is an illegal drug (with potential long-term adverse effects), CBD is harmless and perfectly legal in many countries around the world.

CBD Effects

As we mentioned before, the main reason why CBD products have gained such massive popularity is that they offer a natural alternative to medication and other treatment options that carry a certain amount of risk.

According to recent studies, cannabidiol is a potentially viable treatment option for anxiety disorders [2], can regulate emotions and emotional memory processing [3], and may also prove useful in solving the current opioid epidemic. [4]

If we are to ask the countless individuals who’ve used cannabidiol, in the form of CBD gummies, oils, balms, and all sorts of edibles, most of them would say this compound has helped them relax, sleep better, manage stress, and improve their overall quality of life.

Since the ‘CBD boom’ has only recently taken the world by surprise, imagine what exciting discoveries researchers might uncover in the coming years.

Does CBD Get You High?

The answer is definitely no. The only component in the cannabis plant that can get you high is THC. Although brands and companies that produce and sell CBD oil warn that various products may contain small traces of THC, the dose is too small to get you high.

In fact, a recent study revealed that even high doses of cannabidiol – be it in the form of edibles, elixirs, oils, balms, and so on – do not cause THC-like effects. [5]

Once again, CBD proves to be a perfectly safe and harmless compound which can alleviate various physical and psychological symptoms without giving you a ‘high’ that could prevent you from

CBD Products

Most CBD products fall under two main categories: oils and edibles. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of products and see which one fits your preferences best.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is part of a new product category that has received increasing popularity and also contributes to the development of cannabis cultivation for medical use, an industry firmly regulated in countries that have opted for legalization.

With an increasing demand for CBD oil (a base compound in many products) manufacturers have taken advantage of the opportunities the internet offers and have taken over the virgin online market. Nowadays, you can purchase CBD oil and other products and have them delivered directly to your home in over forty countries around the world.

CBD Edibles

As you’ve probably heard, CBD-based products come in many shapes and sizes. From oils, tinctures, elixirs, and balms, to CBD gummies, sweets, chocolate, and even CBD-infused honey.

But out of all the options that today’s CBD market has to offer, nothing has gained more popularity than edibles. And who could blame us! Who wouldn’t want to take their ‘medicine’ in the form of a delicious piece of chocolate or a yummy gummy bear?

CBD Gummies

Considering the wide variety of culinary options that ‘weed brands’ can experiment with, you will, without a doubt, find a CBD edible for every taste.

CBD and Anxiety

Throughout our lives, each of us has probably faced the unpleasant symptoms associated with anxiety at least a couple of time. The constant worrying; the sleepless nights; the inability to get a handle on our anxious thoughts.

But when anxiety becomes a constant part of our lives, things can get quite overwhelming. When you can’t even muster the courage to get out of the house, you risk losing your job, which in turn gives rise to even more problems.

Fortunately, products such as CBD gummies and other edibles can have a significantly positive impact on anxiety. In fact, numerous anxiety sufferers have reported fewer anxious thoughts, better quality sleep, and a notable improvement in overall mood as a result of using various CBD-based products.

From oils and tinctures to gummies and other edibles, there’s an option for every taste, and all of them seem to have the same positive result.

CBD and Depression

Affecting nearly 322 million people worldwide, depression has recently become the #1 cause of disability. This mood disorder can turn your entire life upside down, causing emotional pain, low self-esteem, fatigue, sleep-related problems, feelings of helplessness, and even thoughts of suicide.

Although researchers and mental health professionals have spent decades studying this condition, there are times when ‘traditional’ treatments don’t seem to work.

Since therapy takes time and medication has numerous unpleasant side effects, perhaps a good alternative would be CBD-based products.

Many depression sufferers have discovered that this natural option proves to be quite useful in alleviating the troublesome effects of depression. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, edibles like CBD gummies prove to be highly effective in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and even pain.

Neurochemistry and CBD

Having a direct impact on the endocannabinoid system, CBD can give rise to significant changes in the neurochemistry of our brain.

Experts believe that through this system, cannabidiol can have a positive influence on the stress receptors in the hippocampus – part of your brain responsible for emotional processing.

The fact that human beings and animals have an internal system explicitly designed to process cannabinoids is truly fascinating. In a way, it seems that nature has already equipped our bodies with the means to benefit from this amazing compound.

CBD Oil Dosage

Considering this industry is relatively new, there aren’t any super strict regulations regarding the use of CBD. In fact, as one study quoted above revealed, even high doses of cannabidiol prove to be harmless.

Furthermore, the FDA has yet to issue a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for cannabidiol. The only recommendations come from brands that produce and sell CBD oil, and their estimations can range from 15 to 50 mg. [6]

As you can probably imagine, it’s somewhat difficult to zero-in on an exact dosage considering all the variables – weight, body chemistry, the severity of the condition, and so on – that scientists must consider.

Nevertheless, experts recommend you start slow and increase the dosage gradually. Also, make sure to consult your physician before considering this treatment option.

CBD Oil Side Effects

I know what you’re thinking, are there any harmful side effects associated with the constant use of CBD products?

First of all, it’s important to understand that CBD oil, and consequently any product that contains this compound, do not cause euphoric states. Since cannabidiol can be obtained from both marijuana plants and agricultural hemp, some of us might be living under the impression that it can get you ‘high.’

Although both hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis family, CBD-based products do not contain THC – the psychoactive substance in marijuana.

Second, treatment plans that involve CBD oil have proven to be useful not just in fighting severe, often terminal, illnesses but also in minor conditions that can affect our overall sense of health and well-being.

After decades of studies, researchers have yet to identify any potentially harmful side effects associated with regular use of CBD products.

In short, this product is safe, natural, organic, and quite effective in treating various physical or psychological issues.

Whether you prefer the fruity taste of CBD gummies or the soothing effect CBD body balm, the positive effects of cannabidiol are guaranteed to turn any skeptic into a firm believer.

References

[1] K. Doheny, “As CBD Oil Flirts with Mainstream, Questions Mount,” WebMD, 05 June 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180605/as-cbd-oil-flirts-with-mainstream-questions-mount.

[2] E. M. Blessing, M. M. Steenkamp, J. Manzanares and C. R. Marmar, “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders,” Download PDF, vol. 12, no. 4, p. 825–836, 2015.

[3] J. L. C. Lee, L. J. Bertoglio, F. S. Guimarães and C. W. Stevenson, “Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety‐related and substance abuse disorders,” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 174, no. 19, 2017.

[4] Y. L. Hurd, “Cannabidiol: Swinging the Marijuana Pendulum From ‘Weed’ to Medication to Treat the Opioid Epidemic,” Trends in Neurosciences, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 124-127, 2017.

[5] F. Grotenhermen, E. Russo and A. W. Zuardi, “Even High Doses of Oral Cannabidiol Do Not Cause THC-Like Effects in Humans,” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol. 2, no. 1, 2017.

[6] A. Cadena, “What’s the Best CBD Dosage?,” Medium, 25 February 2018. [Online]. Available: https://medium.com/cbd-origin/whats-the-best-cbd-dosage-81ec4f95503b.

Don’t Let The Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Rule Your Life!

Anxiety is now the most common mental health disorder in the US. Despite this fact, many people still don’t understand what anxiety really is and how it can affect them. Many of us assume that anxiety disorder is all about thoughts or feelings. This is not untrue. But did you know that anxiety can have a powerful effect on our physical functioning as well? In this article, we take an in-depth look at the physical symptoms of anxiety. Read on to learn more.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a broad term used to describe a range of disorders that encompass symptoms such as worry, nervousness, fear and distress. These symptoms commonly arise in situations that do not warrant such immense responses such as being in specific places or attending certain events. Sometimes even unidentifiable triggers can cause panic. Generally, the intensity of the symptoms is out of proportion to the level of threat posed by a triggering object or event.

Fight or Flight Response

This response is the body’s way of preparing itself for imminent danger. It is physiological as it causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to be activated. This, in turn activates the adrenal glands which release stress hormones that are ultimately related to the thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms of anxiety. The fight or flight response is evolutionary in nature. It prepares the body to either fight the threat or flee from it. However, it is heightened in people who are suffering from anxiety disorders and is often triggered by events that are not life threatening: such as public speaking (in the case of social anxiety disorder) or germs (in the case of phobic disorders). A traumatic event could also trigger the fight or flight response.

Panic Attacks

People who are suffering from anxiety may experience panic attacks frequently. Panic attacks are characterized by intense fear and anxiety. Their onset is sudden and panic attacks usually bring with them the powerful physical symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, trembling or shaking and an accelerated heart rate, among others. These physical symptoms may trigger and/or worsen feelings of anxiety or dread and unhealthy thought-patterns. In turn, this can make the physical symptoms of anxiety even more distressing. Anyone who has had a panic attack will understand just how terrifying this experience can be!

What Causes Anxiety?

We don’t know exactly what causes anxiety. But it’s clear that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. These could include a past traumatic event, a specific phobia or continual stress. Although anxiety may arise for no specific reason, certain situations may cause the onset of heightened fear responses. These situations are known as triggers. However; they vary from individual to individual, making it difficult to identify a specific cause of anxiety.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are various different anxiety disorders each with their own signs and symptoms. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive fears that are not connected to anything specifically. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder in which recurring thoughts occur that lead to consequent behaviors. Other anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety, hypochondriasis, and phobias.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

The physical symptoms of anxiety disorders are connected to the emotional symptoms and they may include muscle tension, restlessness, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, digestive issues, dizziness, and headaches as well as insomnia and fatigue.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Muscle Tension

People who suffer from anxiety may experience back and neck tension which are only alleviated when certain psychological measures or relaxation strategies are implemented. This means that the muscle tension does not subside when the threat is removed. Rather, relaxation or mindfulness skills need to be employed to relieve the physical symptoms.

Restlessness

The psychological effects of anxiety impact the body’s physiological response to anxiety. These physiological changes can cause a constant feeling of being restless and on edge.

Shortness of Breath

The physiological changes that accompany anxiety (such as increased heart rate and blood pressure) may lead to shortness of breath, as the body’s resources are being used in an inefficient manner.

Increased Heart Rate

The constant thought of a fight or flight response associated with anxiety leads to an increased heart rate. This demonstrates how anxiety and its related fear symptoms may lead to a physical change in a person’s heart rate.

Digestive Issues

In some people, the physical symptoms of anxiety may include constipation and diarrhea. For others, anxiety may lead to appetite loss. Sometimes, people may become increasingly aware of tension and discomfort in their bellies whenever they’re stressed or anxious.

Dizziness and Headaches

Anxiety generally involves constant worry and fear which may manifest as frequent headaches. Additionally, the distressing nature of anxiety may cause interactions in the areas of the brain where dizziness can originate. This, along with the the cardiovascular effects of anxiety may lead to dizziness.

Insomnia and Fatigue

Anxiety not only leads to constant worrying and eventual tiredness, but it may also interfere with getting a good night’s sleep.

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when extreme fears arise from situations that do not warrant such intense responses. If the physical symptoms of anxiety are causing excessive distress or if they are interfering with your ability to live the life that you want to live, you may have an underlying anxiety disorder.

Treatment Options for Anxiety

Fortunately, anxiety responds incredibly well to treatment. Let’s review some of the options.

Talk Therapy

Confronting specific aspects that heighten the person’s anxiety may alleviate the symptoms they experience. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach that is very effective for reducing anxiety. It focuses on problematic thoughts and feelings

Medications for Anxiety

Medications such as antidepressants (e.g. Prozac) and benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium) have been shown to help in patients dealing with anxiety. However, these medications are often used in combination with a variety of other treatment methods. It’s important to note that some medications can lead to addiction or cause unpleasant side-effects.

Lifestyle Changes

A change in sleep routine is one lifestyle change that can be used to treat anxiety. Furthermore, physical activity and meditation have been shown to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Support Groups

These are very beneficial as they allow for people to experience a space in which they can receive advice and support.

Your Anxiety Need Not Rule Your Life

Although anxiety affects people in many different ways, treatment and lifestyle changes can help alleviate the symptoms. It’s no doubt that the physical symptoms of anxiety can be incredibly distressing. But these are symptoms that you can learn to manage.

Don’t delay getting the support and treatment that can help you take control of your anxiety.

Finding The Best Anxiety Therapist Near Me

Anxiety is currently among the most common forms of mental health disorders, affecting nearly 260 million people worldwide. That’s 3.6% of the world’s population dealing with a health condition that’s both manageable and preventable.

If you’re dealing with anxiety and wish to address this issue asap, googling “anxiety therapist near me” might not be enough. Although numerous professionals and clinics claim to offer quality mental health services, choosing the right one means you’ll have to do a bit of research yourself.

First off, let’s begin with a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.

Anxiety: What Is It?

In a nutshell, anxiety is a state of restlessness and worry that can interfere with our day-to-day life. This condition comes in many ‘shapes and sizes’ from generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety to agoraphobia and panic disorder.

Although it’s perfectly normal to have feelings of anxiety at times; when anxiety begins to affect our personal, social, and professional well-being, finding a therapist should be a top priority.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Just like any other mood disorder, anxiety is characterized by an entire array of physical and psychological symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Tachycardia
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Muscle tension
  • Irrational Fears
  • Excessive worrying
  • Self-criticism
  • Avoidance
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Restlessness
  • Exhaustion
  • A vague sense of impending danger

How to Find a Therapist

When it comes to finding the right kind of anxiety therapy, there are several options to consider.

Clinical Services for College Students

Clinical services for college students represent a cheap and relatively accessible solution for anxiety. Nowadays, many university campuses invest in clinics specialized in the treatment of various emotional and behavioral problems.

Although most of these clinics are run by seasoned psychologists who supervise the activity of mental health workers, keep in mind that counselors who work there are mostly beginner psychologists who are still in training. Furthermore, since the demand for mental health services among college students is on the rise, you will probably have to put your name on a waiting list.

Professional Referrals

A professional referral is perhaps the most reliable way to get into contact with a mental health professional who can help you manage your anxiety.

The fact that referrals come from people who’ve already been in therapy for a mental illness represents a big advantage. In other words, you know exactly what you’re getting into and you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the ‘ideal candidate.’

Lastly, if you choose to see a therapist via referral, you will probably have to pay out of your own pocket.

Online Resources

When it comes to finding a counselor or therapist for your anxiety-related issues, the Internet represents a valuable resource. Nowadays, most professionals and clinics have a strong online presence.

If you wish to know more about the counselor or therapist you plan to see; a quick google search will help you gain a better understanding of his/her professional background, therapeutic approach and other useful information.

And since many counselors have moved their services online, you can also opt for mental health platforms which offer therapy services via chat messaging and video sessions.

Insurance Providers

Ever since the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act came into effect, insurance providers are bound by law to provide the same coverage for mental health conditions and substance use disorders as they do for medical conditions.

This means you can pay for therapy using your insurance plan. However, if you choose this alternative, your options are somewhat limited. In other words, your insurance provider will pick a counselor for you and the only way to deduct the cost of therapy is by receiving a diagnosis (even if you don’t need one) which will remain in your medical record.

How Do I Assess Potential Therapists?

When browsing for “anxiety therapist near me,” there are several factors to consider before choosing the right counselor.

First of all, you need to make sure your future therapist is a licensed professional with a solid academic background and a fair amount of experience in treating anxiety disorders.

Second, you can ask him/her a bit about his/her therapeutic approach and see if you resonate with his/her style. While some counselors place a strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, others opt for a more structured and systematic approach.

Lastly, you can search for a reliable therapist by visiting the American Psychological Association’s website.

Anxiety Therapist Near Me

Anxiety Treatment

In the U.S. alone, about 18% of all adults and 25% of all adolescents experience anxiety.

Given that anxiety is among the most common mental health issues, researchers and healthcare professionals have come up with a serious arsenal of strategies and techniques designed to help you cope with this condition.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular approaches.

Traditional Therapy

In the case of anxiety disorders, traditional approaches include talk therapy, exposure exercises, and psychiatric medications (for severe cases).

Talk therapy means sitting down with a licensed professional who knows how to ask the right questions and help you open up about the problems you’re dealing with. Sometimes, understanding how anxiety works and accepting it as a normal part of life is precisely what you need to keep it in check.

But aside from understanding and acceptance, you will also need to make significant changes that allow you to overcome those anxiety-triggering situations. And this is where exposure therapy comes into play. By getting to experience – in a controlled manner – the discomfort associated with anxiety, you will learn to tolerate those situations/contexts that generate intense fear and worry.

Sadly, there are some cases when talk therapy and exposure are just not enough. When your symptoms reach such an intense and debilitating level that you can’t even find the courage to get out of the house, medication might be the ideal option.

Anxiety Therapy Online

In recent years, online therapy has become a popular option for those who might be too busy to see a ‘live’ counselor. On top of that, there are cases when a good professional might be too far from your residential area.

If you google “anxiety therapist near me”, chances are you’ll stumble upon several mental health platforms that offer online therapy. Although some experts are somewhat reluctant in recommending this approach, most counselors and mental health experts claim that online therapy is just as effective as ‘live’ therapy.

In fact, recent studies suggest that online therapy is a viable option for people dealing with emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.

What Do I Do to Set Up The First Session?

If you’ve never been in therapy before, setting up the first session can be a bit scary. You don’t know what to expect and you probably have a million questions going through your head.

All you need to do is pick up the phone and text or call your future therapist. He or she will gladly answer any questions and clear away any doubts you might have, even before the first session.

If you opt for online therapy, find a mental health platform and click the ‘Contact’ button. If you’re on Thrivetalk, click the ‘Get started’ button and you will be asked to fill in a short form. Afterward, a therapist will contact you via e-mail.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

What Happens In The First Session?

Since the first session represents the first contact you have with your therapist, there are no specific goals or procedures to follow. Just be natural, give your counselor a chance to know you better and see if you resonate with his/her approach. You are also free to ask whatever question comes to mind.

If you aim for a more structured approach, you can ask your counselor to help you set up some goals for the upcoming sessions.

All in all, the best way to approach your first counseling session is with optimism and curiosity.

Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

Here are a couple of questions that can help you figure out if a counselor/therapist is the right one for you:

  • Are you a licensed professional?
  • What is your academic background?
  • How long have you been working as a therapist?
  • Can you tell me a bit about your therapeutic approach?
  • Have you ever worked with people who were dealing with anxiety?
  • How do you usually approach this condition?

Making Your Decision

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a therapist is right for you. No matter how much research you do, you can never know for sure unless you try a couple of sessions.

If, at some point, you start feeling uncomfortable or think your therapist is not the ideal choice, make sure you discuss these issues with him/her. Also, bear in mind that you’re free to end the therapy process at any point and for any reason.

Find a Therapist Now on Thrivetalk!

Instead of googling for an ‘anxiety therapist near me,’ why not go straight to Thrivetalk where you can choose from countless professionals who can help you end anxiety once and for all.

This mental health platform offers top-quality counseling services via chat messaging and video sessions. No matter what problems you are dealing with, this platform is the ideal place to find highly-skilled, well-experienced and dedicated professionals.

With Thrivetalk, getting the help you need has never been easier.

 

References

  1. W. H. Organization, “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017.
  2. S. Hunley, “4 Steps to Finding the Right Therapist for You and Your Anxiety,” Anxiety.org, 15 September 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.anxiety.org/how-to-find-a-therapist-to-treat-your-anxiety-disorder.
  3. A. P. Association, “Beyond Worry: How Psychologists Help With Anxiety Disorders,” American Psychological Association, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/anxiety.aspx.
  4. Z. Villines, “Two Studies Explore Effectiveness of Online Therapy,” Good Therapy, 6 November 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/two-studies-explore-effectiveness-of-online-therapy-1106152.

Essential Oils for Anxiety: What’s the 411?

Essential oils are mysterious and powerful natural products. Throughout history, they were used as perfumes and to add extra flavor to foods. Since ancient times these miraculous oils have been recognized for their medicinal values and today still, various essential oils are thought to be invaluable.

These naturally scented oils are the aromatic compounds that you can find in nature. Essential oils come in various forms. They can be found in body oils, lotions and liquids and their main purpose is to boost well-being through aromatherapy.

If you think about it, essential oils are quite versatile. On top of giving off a nice smell; they can have wondrous benefits for your psychological and overall health.

Several scientific studies have shown that aromatherapy may have the potential to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia. You may be wondering if they really work. Essential oils for anxiety may be surprisingly effective.

Let’s begin your crash course on essential oils and the benefits they may have for anxiety!

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is basically the natural response your body has to stress. Are you familiar with that fearful feeling about things to come? Think about how you felt on our first day back at school or about the dreadful panicky feeling you get before giving a speech. That nervous feeling is anxiety in a nutshell and most of us experience it at some point in our lives.

For certain people however, anxiety is not as commonplace as for others. If you have extreme feelings of anxiety or if you feel anxious constantly over a period of weeks or months you may very well have an anxiety disorder.

It is normal to have some level of anxiety about various life experiences and even though it can be unpleasant, you may actually be motivated by your anxiety to achieve greater things in life. This type of ordinary anxiety comes and goes and under normal circumstances it does not interfere with your life.

Those who struggle with anxiety disorders may find the everyday activities that many of us take for granted rather challenging and their symptoms get in the way of them living normal lives. They are confronted with feelings of fear and apprehension most of the time.

In extreme cases, anxiety may affect individuals in such a way that they stop doing the things they once enjoyed. They may not even be able to enter elevators, cross streets or leave their homes. If this kind of anxiety is not treated properly, it might get worse.

Anxiety affects people in different ways. Feelings of anxiety can range from an unsteady feeling in the stomach to a racing heart. Some may feel out of control or disconnected from the bodies. Others may find it difficult to keep unwelcome thoughts out of their minds.

The symptoms that make life difficult for those who suffer from anxiety include:

  • An increased heart rate
  • More rapid breathing
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep

An anxiety attack is characterized by a feeling of overwhelming fear or apprehension. It may build slowly and it may worsen close to a stressful event. Many people who deal with anxiety tend to connect anxious feelings to specific events or situations and they may end up going to incredible lengths to avoid future feelings of anxiety.

The exact cause of anxiety is not clear, however, it has been suggested that a combination of factors can contribute to its development. Genetic factors, environmental factors and brain chemistry are all assumed to be involved. Additionally, researchers believe that the parts of the brain that control fear may hold answers to this mystery.

Stats About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders have become the most common type of emotional disorder and it can affect anyone at any stage in their life.

In the U.S. around 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders every year which is approximately 18.1% of the population.

Even though anxiety is highly treatable, only an estimated 36.9% of individuals suffering from this debilitating disorder receive treatment for it.

According to statistics, the likelihood of someone with an anxiety disorder to seek help from a doctor is 3-5 times higher than that of anyone who does not have problems with anxiety. They are also more or less 6 times more likely to receive in-hospital treatment for psychiatric disorders than people who don’t have anxiety disorders.

Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders tend to also suffer from co-occurring mental disorders or physical illnesses. It is common for someone who has an anxiety disorder to also have problems with depression and nearly 50% of people diagnosed with depression are eventually also diagnosed with a form of anxiety disorder.

What are the Traditional Treatments for Anxiety?

The traditional treatment for anxiety generally falls into the categories of psychotherapy and medication. In severe cases treatment can assist you in overcoming the symptoms that go along with anxiety to enable you to live a more manageable life.

Once your anxiety disorder has been diagnosed, you can explore the different treatment options with your health care provider.

Therapy for Anxiety

Meetings with a psychologist or therapist can help you learn about tools and strategies you can utilize to cope better with anxiety.

Medications for Anxiety

Some of the typical medications used in the treatment of anxiety are sedative medications and antidepressants. These medications play an important part in balancing your brain chemistry and in combatting the most disabling symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Home Remedies for Anxiety

In several cases medical treatment is not necessary for individuals struggling with anxiety. Home remedies or lifestyle changes may be more than helpful to provide them with the means to overcome the debilitating symptoms they cope with daily.

Most home remedies involve taking care of your body, participating in healthy activities and getting rid of unhealthy habits.

Examples of home remedies that can give you an advantage in your battle with anxiety are:

  • getting proper sleep
  • meditating
  • exercising regularly
  • eating healthy
  • avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • quitting smoking

What Are Essential Oils?

The highly concentrated oils which are extracted from the flowers, roots, and leaves of plants are known as essential oils. These oils capture the scent and flavor of a plant and the unique aromatic compounds contained within essential oils are what give them a characteristic essence.

Essential oils can either be inhaled or applied to your skin. The chemicals found in essential oils can have a number of different effects on your body. They can work through stimulating your sense of smell or they can have medicinal effects after being absorbed by your skin.

Aromatherapy

In aromatherapy, molecules of essential oils are generally inhaled or they are absorbed through the skin. It is thought that they could possibly influence parts of the brain and nervous system. Additionally, essential oils can have an effect on certain hormones, the metabolism and other functions in the body.

Essential oils are commonly used to repel insects, boost mood and to ensure a good night’s rest. But, did you know that they can be used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety?

Research has shown that essential oils for anxiety can significantly reduce the bothering symptoms associated with this condition. Although the effects of these magnificent oils still need to be studied more rigorously, the fact remains that aromatherapy is fast-acting as well as easy to apply.

Topical Use

Essential oils for anxiety are much too potent to be used directly on the skin. They need to be diluted with some or other kind of carrier oil before being applied to your skin. By diluting your essential oils before application, you reduce your risk for skin irritation. Almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil are popular carrier oils.

Remember that essential oils may cause allergic reactions in certain people. It is highly advisable for you to do a patch test on an area of skin before you use essential oils for anxiety topically. Drop a little bit of diluted oil onto your wrist or elbow and cover it up with a bandage. You can check the area after 24 hours for any skin reactions like redness, itching or a rash. If you can spot these irritations, you are most likely allergic.

Various soaps, lotions, shampoos, and bath salts are enhanced with essential oils. You may have used them before during a massage or a spa treatment.

Oral Use

Essential oils for anxiety should absolutely not be ingested, ever! Ignore any claims on the internet that tell you otherwise. There is certainly not enough research on any specific essential oils to prove that they are safe to swallow and some of them are toxic.

Essential Oils for Anxiety

Essential Oil Effects

When essential oils for anxiety are absorbed through your skin or when you inhale their aromas they affect your body on a physiological level. Studies have found that aromatherapy can have measurable benefits for reducing anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress.

How Could Essential Oils Help With Anxiety?

Essential oils are most commonly used in folk medicine and Ayurveda to remedy anxiety.

The mode of action of essential oils for anxiety is pretty complex. Essential oils for anxiety contain compounds that can pass through the membranes of our skins. They can also be inhaled easily through the respiratory tract and our lungs. These compounds are distributed into the bloodstream following these initial entries from where they can reach target organs.

Moreover, receptor cells in the nose are activated when you inhale essential oils for anxiety. The signal is transmitted from there to specific parts of the brain where they activate the release of “messengers” like serotonin and endorphins. This is believed to result in a psychological feeling of relief.

If you had a particularly stressful day or if you are anxious before an important meeting, a session of aromatherapy can do wonders for your stress levels. However, you should keep in mind that it is no substitute for getting professional help from a doctor.

Commonly Used Essential Oils

Let’s jump right into learning about which essential oils you can try using to relieve your anxiety symptoms.

Lavender

Lavender wins the popularity award when it comes to aromatherapy oils. Experts argue that lavender can relax the brain and reduce anxiety.

Chamomile

If you can’t sleep, chamomile is your go-to essential oil. It is well-known for its sedating and relaxing properties. This essential oil for anxiety helps to calm an overactive mind.

Peppermint

Inhaling the rich scent of peppermint essential oil can relax you to reduce high levels of anxiety.

Bergamot

Bergamot is another one of the essential oils for anxiety that can improve your mood and relieve anxiety through its invigoratingly fresh citrus scent.

Frankincense

This aromatic essential oil has a musky and sweet scent that is considered to relieve anxiety.

Essential Oil Risks

Essential oils for anxiety are safe in general with minimal adverse effects. However, the following points are vitally important to keep in mind for your safety when using essential oils:

  • Essential oils should not be taken internally as they may be toxic.
  • These oils should not be applied to the skin at full strength.
  • Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding their babies should consult a healthcare professional before using any essential oils.
  • Seeing as essential oils for anxiety have therapeutic effects, it is best to seek advice from an expert to discuss whether the use of these oils is appropriate for you.

Can Essential Oils Help You?

Aromatherapy is practiced widely nowadays. From lavender essential oils to the oils of chamomile, the assorted scents of essential oils have relaxing properties which make them ideal for relieving anxiety.

While the currently available research on essential oils for anxiety is fairly limited, their benefits have nonetheless been explored and documented.

Considering the fact that essential oils for anxiety are not likely to cause harm, you could just as well test their effects to see which work for you. If you use essential oils regularly, over time you may find that simply inhaling their scents will assist you in recalling memories of feeling calm.

When life gives you essential oils for anxiety, why not try them?

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio/281114794_Essential_oils_used_in_aromatherapy_A_systemic_review
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221925405_The_Therapeutic_Benefits_of_Essential_Oils
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/essential-oils-for-anxiety
  4. https://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/g22594459/best-essential-oils/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588400/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety
  7. https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils#section2
  9. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-essential-oils-88807
  10.  https://www.verywellhealth.com/aromatherapy-what-you-need-to-know-88168

Don’t Give Up! Try a Natural Anxiety Remedy Instead

Do you feel like you have reached a dead end? You may have started treatment for your anxiety problems and in the beginning, it worked like a charm. Lately, however, you have been experiencing those all too familiar fears that are driving you up the walls again.

Has this made you reluctant to start over with a treatment approach that you no longer believe in? Don’t give up!

You may have exhausted all the conventional treatments for anxiety that you can think of. But, have you tried a natural anxiety remedy?

The majority of available conventional treatment options for getting anxiety under control have important benefits. However, these treatments may have limited efficacy in the end. Moreover, people who use potent sedative-hypnotics chronically to help them overpower intense feelings of anxiety may be concerned about adverse effects, drug dependence or drug withdrawal.

Another problem is the fact that many people who struggle with the symptoms of anxiety have positive responses to their medications at first, but they tend to remain symptomatic in the long run.

Luckily, various non-medication alternatives are available to help you live a happy life without constant anxiety. Herbal remedies, vitamins, meditation, and exercise can all help to keep anxious feelings at bay. A natural anxiety remedy may just be the answer you are looking for.

What is Anxiety?

Generalized anxiety is characterized by psychological symptoms as well as physical symptoms like feelings of tension, heightened arousal and excessive worrying. These symptoms interfere with an individual’s social functioning and they may find everyday interactions unnecessarily challenging. For instance they may have problems performing well at work or in school and their anxiety may even affect their relationships.

The symptoms of generalized anxiety tend to change over time and they may last for several months. Various explanations have been proposed about the origin of chronic generalized anxiety. The condition most likely stems from the way in which the brain reacts to chronic stress at a neuronal level. It is suggested that neurotransmitters may play a part in activating the biological cascade that leads to the development of anxiety.

Panic attacks are short-lived surges of intense anxiety and they may be triggered by unexpected or terrifying situations. These attacks are also known to occur spontaneously in some people. Dizziness, hyperventilation, raised heartbeat, feelings of dread and an abnormal fear of dying are all symptoms associated with panic attacks. The duration and severity of the symptoms experienced during panic attacks may vary considerably. People who suffer from chronic attacks experience significant difficulties in their social and occupational lives.

Many people who suffer from panic attacks develop agoraphobia (a fear of large open spaces) or they end up avoiding situations that they associate with panic attacks they experienced in the past. These individuals may also suffer from insomnia, depression or other mental health issues.

Sometimes, symptoms that mimic generalized anxiety can be caused by other medical problems like thyroid disorders, diabetes or abnormal heart rhythms. In these scenarios, the symptoms typically resolve as soon as the underlying health issue responds to treatment.

Stats about Anxiety

Anxiety in all its sub-types has become a serious problem. It has overtaken depression in the United Sates as the leading disorder affecting mental health and an estimated 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety.

Combination Therapy

Some established mainstream treatments for relieving anxiety include supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and prescription medications. Benzodiazepines and certain types of anti-depressant medications may be invaluable in the treatment of anxiety.

Combination therapy that makes use of psychotherapy along with medications is a popular approach for treating anxiety and it may be the perfect solution for many individuals.

Some people, however, may find that their medications are not helping or they may struggle with some of the adverse effects of their treatment regimens. This along with the sometimes limited effectiveness of conventional treatment options for anxiety invites the consideration of alternative, non-medical approaches.

Herbal Supplements

Various herbal remedies have been suggested as alternative treatment options for anxiety and its related symptoms. It should be noted, however, that the research in this field is still young and further studies are needed to enhance our understanding of the risks and benefits of herbal medicines.

If you are considering using a new herbal supplement as a natural anxiety remedy, be sure to talk to a doctor first. Some herbal remedies can interact with medications and this can lead to the development of serious side-effects.

Kava

Kava was used in traditional Polynesian cultures for ceremonial purposes and also as an inebriant. Alternative medical literature has shown that Kava can be potentially helpful for relieving anxiety. Various animal studies have indicated that the principal bio-active constituent of this herbal remedy can help to ease anxiety.

Research indicates that Kava can modulate anxiety through affecting the way that certain neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin work in the nervous system.

Kava is usually well tolerated and it is non-addictive and non-hypnotic. Scientific evidence has indicated that it can significantly improve anxiety with minimal adverse effects. Some side-effects of Kava include headache, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Like any other herbal remedy, Kava can interact with other medications and therefore, you should only take it under the guidance of your health care provider.

Passion Flower

Around 500 known species of passionflower have been identified and this plant family is also known by the name “Passiflora”. Studies are available that support the idea that particular species have possible medicinal benefits. Passiflora incarnata, for instance, may be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.

This herb has a rich history as Native Americans used it to treat earaches, wounds, boils and liver problems. Spanish explorers named the plant for its resemblance to a crucifix and they learned about its impressive properties from native Peruvians. In Europe it was used for restlessness and agitation.

Today, passionflower is known for its possible advantages in the treatment of anxiety. The idea around its potential usefulness in relieving anxiety is that it boosts the levels of GABA in the brain. This compound characteristically lowers brain activity which means that passionflower may aid relaxation and improve sleep quality.

This herb is considered safe as long as the recommended dosage is taken. It may have some mild side-effects like sleepiness, confusion and dizziness. Passionflower should not be taken along with sedative medications and it may also not be safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Valerian Root

For thousands of years, the root of the Valerian plant has been used as a remedy for conditions like arthritis, digestive issues, sleeping problems, headaches and disorders involving the nervous system.

It is thought that Valerian root naturally increases the amount of the neurotransmitter known as gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA in the brain. This helps to regulate the nerve cells to calm anxiety. Interestingly; benzodiazepine medications, used to treat anxiety, work in the same way.

Natural Anxiety Remedy

More research is needed to enhance our understanding of the exact benefits of valerian. Nonetheless, some scientific studies have been presented that affirm the use of valerian root as a sleeping aid. Moreover, people who take valerian supplements have found that it can help them feel calm and reduce nervous tension.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation helps you to slow down and take an outside look at the world without judgment. When it is used properly, meditation can assist in the reduction of stress and fatigue. Both mindfulness and meditation may be beneficial for reducing anxiety as they allow you to put your worries aside and be aware without fear.

Research supporting the fact that meditation may be a promising approach in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder has provided positive results. Additionally, mindfulness is strongly advised as a natural anxiety remedy.

For people living with anxiety, practicing meditation daily may help to release tension in the body and it can assist them in overcoming anxiety. The surprising advantages of meditation can go a long way and it becomes easier and increasingly effective with continued practice.

Yoga

Yoga can be a shockingly valuable natural anxiety remedy. Reviews have shown that yoga practices can counteract the effects of exaggerated stress responses and they may greatly assist people who experience problems like depression and anxiety. The impact of yoga can produce similar results to relaxation, exercise or socializing with friends.

You may find that yoga helps you to gain more control over your stress responses as it can lessen perceived stress and feelings of anxiety. In turn, this can lead to a reduced heart rate, lower blood pressure and it may also alleviate difficult breathing. Furthermore, yoga can assist the body in responding to stress in a more flexible fashion.

Yoga classes can be gentle and accommodating or they can be strenuous and a bit more challenging. Your style is most often based on your personal preference and your own physical ability.

For individuals who deal with anxiety or depression, yoga can be a very appealing way to manage their symptoms with less effort. Growing evidence supports this low-risk, highly effective natural health remedy for improving the troubling symptoms of anxiety. After all, scientific studies suggest that physical and mental health are essentially equivalent.

Dietary Changes

The way in which food and mental health is interconnected is starting to gain more and more attention.

Healthy guidelines popularly include things like eating a healthy balanced diet, staying properly hydrated by drinking enough water and limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol. These guidelines can be used along with other dietary considerations to help relieve anxiety.

A diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables is much healthier than one made up of processed foods that contains large amounts of sugar and simple carbohydrates. It is also important to eat regularly throughout the day and not to skip meals as dips in blood sugar levels can make you feel jittery which can worsen your anxiety symptoms.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, you can try eating specific foods to combat the negative effects of anxiety. Certain nutrients may help with anxiety in surprising ways.

  • Animal studies have shown that a diet low in magnesium can increase behaviors connected to anxiety. Foods like spinach, seeds, nuts and whole grains are high in magnesium and they may help to calm anxiety symptoms.
  • Oysters, liver, cashew nuts, egg yolks and beef are rich sources of zinc that has been linked with reduced anxiety.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish have possible benefits for reducing anxiety.
  • Probiotic foods like kefir and yogurt have been suggested to lower social anxiety.
  • B vitamins may help to ease stress and to stabilize moods. Vitamin B6, in particular, has been considered as a natural anxiety remedy as it can boost mood and keep the nervous system healthy.

Exercise

Regular exercise is healthy for your mind and body. It can enhance mood, promote sleeping quality and improve energy levels.

Exercise can provide relief from common issues brought on by anxiety and nervousness. For individuals with panic disorder and other conditions related to anxiety, exercise is a great way to release tension and to reduce feelings of worry and fear. Regular exercise can also assist the body in producing endorphins which are the natural mood-enhancing chemicals in the body. If you can stick to your training program, you may be able to adjust your sensitivity to stress reactions.

Exercising for at least 20-30 minutes a day can lower anxiety levels in people with generalized anxiety and improve their sense of well-being.

Talking With Your Doctor about the Right Changes for You

If you feel that your anxiety is interfering with your daily activities, speak to a doctor. They should be able to provide you with more information about the available treatment options.

Give a Natural Anxiety Remedy a Shot!

Many options are available to help people who struggle with anxiety day after day from conventional medications to natural remedies. While one type of treatment may work wonders for one person, it may not work for someone else.

If you keep an open mind, you can be guided toward a treatment option that suits you best. Try not to stand in your own way of being anxiety free by giving up hope!

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/herbal-treatment-for-anxiety/faq-20057945
  2. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/cate-sibley-pharmd/2017/10/10-natural-remedies-to-consider-for-treating-anxiety
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201702/treating-anxiety-without-using-prescription-medications
  4. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201703/kava-is-effective-and-safe-treatment-anxiety
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/calming-effects-of-passionflower
  6. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-is-valerian-root-used-for-social-anxiety-3024974
  7. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-meditation-for-generalized-anxiety-disorder-4143127
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
  9. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441
  10. https://www.verywellmind.com/physical-exercise-for-panic-disorder-and-anxiety-2584094