Do you feel apprehensive, panicky or experience feelings of dread and impending doom? If so, you could be suffering from an anxiety disorder - and you are not alone. Around 19 million people have an anxiety disorder in the UK.
How to combat anxiety
Ways aromatherapy can help with panic attack symptoms
A number of aromatherapy essential oils are used to help treat anxiety, most of which have a sedative effect. These include: benzoin, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, lavender, melissa, neroli and sandalwood (seek advice before using any oils if you are pregnant).
Try adding five drops of an essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil (almond or avocado) and add to a comfortably hot bath once the taps are turned off. Close the bathroom door to keep in the vapours and soak for 15-20 minutes by candlelight. Afterwards add two or three drops of lavender oil to a tissue and tuck near your pillow to help you sleep.
Can homeopathy help cure my panic attacks?
This natural therapy can help many emotional problems, including panic attacks. It's best to consult a qualified homeopath to obtain the right remedy for your constitutional type. Some of the homeopathic remedies you could use include:
• Lycopodium - for anxiety with a lack of confidence
• Arsenicum album - for anxiety with restlessness
• Phosphorus - for anxiety relieved by reassurance
• Calcaria carbonica - for anxiety with fear of insanity
Flower remedies are flower essences preserved in brandy. Place a few drops in a glass of water and sip slowly until feelings of anxiety pass. Several of the 38 Bach Flower Remedies are helpful for anxiety, including:
• Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera) for fear of losing control, uncontrollable rages, tempers, impulses, fear of causing harm to oneself or others
• Aspen (Populus tremula) for vague fears and anxieties of unknown origin, sense of foreboding, apprehension or impending doom
• White chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) for persistent, unwanted thoughts, mental arguments, preoccupation with worry
Some remedies are made by combining different flower essences to help more complex emotional states, such as Bach Rescue Remedy (containing Rock rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry plum) for use in times of crisis such as when anxiety leads to a panic attack.
How can herbal supplements help?
Valerian is one of the most calming herbs available and can help to relieve anxiety and muscle tension, and promote calmness.
It is often used together with other calming herbs such as lemon balm and hops to ease nervous anxiety, insomnia and to help avoid a panic attack. If anxiety is associated with depression, St John's Wort will help to lift a low mood, but seek advice if you are taking any prescribed medications to check there are no interactions. Chamomile tea also has a useful calming action.
Take a look at the best herbal supplements for your health concerns here.
Can hypnotherapy cure panic attacks?
Hypnotherapy helps overcome anxiety by promoting relaxation and improved self-esteem. It also helps you change your thoughts and behaviour from negative patterns to those that are more positive. You can also learn self hypnosis to continue working on your improvements on your own.
Who can help me with my anxiety?
No Panic helps people with all types of anxiety disorder. Freephone 0808 808 0545, 10am to 10pm, every day, staffed by trained volunteers. Read the NHS's expert advice on panic disorders here or read some more coping tips on Mind.Org.UK.
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