How To Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a psychological condition characterized by heightened sensitivity to certain stimuli, leading to an array of psychosomatic reactions. These can include increased heart rate, heightened pulmonary ventilation, excessive sweating, brain activation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. Anxiety can occur as a primary condition or as a secondary symptom to other medical or psychiatric conditions.

When anxiety becomes frequent, persistent, and significantly impacts a person's lifestyle, it is referred to as an "anxiety disorder." This can take various forms, including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Understanding and Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is not merely a temporary state of nervousness; it can be a sign of a deeper psychological conditions if it persists or intensifies. Recognizing the early stages of anxiety and addressing them is crucial in preventing the development of more severe, chronic mental health issues.

Consultation and Professional Advice

The initial approach to managing anxiety involves consulting a healthcare professional. This step is essential, as it helps in obtaining a proper diagnosis and expert advice on potential treatment options. A healthcare provider can assess the severity of the symptoms and consider the individual's medical history to recommend the best course of action, which might include medication or referrals to mental health specialists.

Exploring Non-Pharmacological Options

For individuals hesitant about medication, alternatives are available. Consulting a psychologist or psychotherapist offers a pathway to uncover the underlying causes of anxiety without the use of drugs. Through sessions with these professionals, individuals can explore the specific triggers of their anxiety.

Therapists employ various methods of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is highly effective in teaching patients to manage anxiety by changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.

Indications for Immediate Medical Attention

In cases where anxiety is severe, frequent, and disruptively impacts daily activities, immediate medical intervention may be necessary. Certain indicators warrant prompt attention:

  • Persistent and Intensified Symptoms: If anxiety continuously escalates despite initial interventions, it may suggest the need for more intensive treatment.
  • Family History: A family history of anxiety disorders or psychiatric illnesses can increase the likelihood of similar challenges, necessitating early and aggressive management.
  • Substance Use: The involvement of alcohol, narcotics, or other substances can complicate anxiety symptoms and hinder standard treatment efforts, making specialized care crucial.
  • Co-occurring Mental Health Issues: The presence of other psychiatric conditions such as depression significantly influences the treatment strategy for anxiety.

The Role of Diet in Managing Anxiety

While diet alone is not a cure for anxiety disorders, it plays an important role in influencing mood and mental well-being. The body's hormonal balance, neurotransmission, enzymatic activity, and receptor function, which are integral to regulating the autonomic nervous system, rely significantly on the availability of specific nutrients. Imbalances in these nutrients can either exacerbate or mitigate feelings of anxiety.

Certain dietary components are particularly influential due to their role in neurotransmitter synthesis. For example, serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that affects mood, is synthesized in the body from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Foods that are rich sources of serotonin include cocoa, dark chocolate, walnuts, and a variety of fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, cherries, tomatoes, bananas, and plums. These foods can help enhance the serotonin levels in the brain, potentially improving mood and reducing anxiety.

Tryptophan, which is pivotal for serotonin production, is abundantly found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as in Griffonia simplicifolia, a legume often utilized as a natural dietary supplement to boost serotonin levels.

Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their role in brain health. A diet sufficient in omega-3s, found in oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines), certain algae, and seeds like flaxseed and chia, can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

However, it is equally important to be mindful of consuming substances that can trigger or worsen anxiety. Stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine found in coffee, guarana, certain teas, cocoa, chocolate, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages can increase anxiety by stimulating the nervous system. Avoiding or reducing intake of these can help manage anxiety levels more effectively.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

There are various natural remedies available that can help manage anxiety symptoms. These include psychological therapy, phytotherapy, oligotherapy, gemmotherapy, and aromatherapy, each offering unique benefits.


Phytotherapy, or herbal medicine, utilizes plants known for their calming properties to help alleviate stress and increase relaxation. Common herbs used in this therapy include chamomile, lavender, and valerian root, which have been studied for their efficacy in reducing anxiety symptoms.


Oligotherapy involves the use of trace elements to replenish minerals that the body may lack and that are essential for mental health. Minerals like manganese and cobalt are used in this therapy under the premise that they can help modulate nervous system functions and potentially reduce anxiety levels.


Gemmotherapy is a form of herbal medicine that uses the buds and young shoots of plants. These plant parts are rich in growth factors and hormones, which can help in regulating the body’s hormonal balance and potentially easing anxiety symptoms.


Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils that are either inhaled through the nose or absorbed through the skin. Oils such as lavender, bergamot, and frankincense are noted for their neurosedative properties, which can help soothe the nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Medical Treatments for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are typically managed with a combination of pharmacological and psychological therapies. Among the pharmacological options, several classes of medications are employed based on the severity and nature of the individual's symptoms:

  1. Anxiolytics: These drugs are primarily used to reduce anxiety levels quickly and include medications such as buspirone, which works by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby helping to alleviate anxiety without the sedative effects commonly associated with other anxiolytics.
  2. Benzodiazepines: Often prescribed for short-term relief of severe anxiety symptoms, these medications work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. They include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). However, due to their potential for dependence and withdrawal issues, their usage is generally limited to brief periods.
  3. Antidepressants: When anxiety coexists with depression, antidepressants may be recommended. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), like venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta), are commonly prescribed. These medications help regulate mood and anxiety by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain.
  4. Antihistamines: Though less commonly used, certain antihistamines like hydroxyzine are prescribed for their anxiolytic properties, particularly when the patient has difficulties with other medications due to side effects or interactions.
  5. Beta-Blockers: Used primarily for treating cardiovascular conditions, beta-blockers such as propranolol can also be effective in controlling physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat and trembling.
  6. Anxiolytics-Antipsychotics: In cases of severe anxiety or anxiety mixed with psychotic features, medications such as quetiapine may be prescribed. These drugs are potent and used in specific, more complex anxiety disorders.

While these medications can be highly effective, their use should be closely monitored by a healthcare professional due to potential side effects and the necessity for proper dosage adjustments.

In addition to medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other psychological interventions are crucial for long-term management and treatment of anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, outside of these conventional treatments, no other medical therapies have been consistently validated as effective remedies for anxiety.

Preventing Anxiety

Prevention of anxiety disorders is more about management and mitigation rather than complete avoidance, especially after their initial onset. It is crucial for individuals to first acknowledge their propensity towards anxiety. This self-awareness is the foundational step in managing potential triggers and symptoms effectively.

To effectively prevent the exacerbation of anxiety disorders, individuals must identify and understand the specific situations and environments that trigger their anxiety. This could include high-stress scenarios, certain social settings, or even specific times of the day. Recognizing these triggers allows for strategic planning to avoid or modify these situations wherever possible.

In addition to self-awareness, implementing general wellness practices can significantly aid in managing anxiety. These practices include regular physical activity, which can help in reducing stress; maintaining a balanced diet, which affects mood and energy levels; ensuring adequate sleep, which is crucial for cognitive function and emotional regulation; and practicing mindfulness or meditation, which can enhance overall mental resilience.

While all the aforementioned strategies can be highly beneficial in preventing the escalation of anxiety symptoms, it is important to note that they do not replace professional treatments such as pharmacological interventions or psychological therapy. These medical and therapeutic interventions are essential for individuals with severe anxiety and should be pursued based on professional medical advice.

In conclusion, anxiety is a complex psychological condition that requires a comprehensive understanding and a thoughtful approach to management. By understanding the triggers, symptoms, and potential treatments, individuals can better manage their anxiety and improve their overall quality of life.

Article Disclaimer
The Wellyme Team

We understand the importance of reliable information, and our goal is to provide you with knowledge that empowers and informs your wellness journey.