Anxiety disorder is a mental illness characterised by excessive fear and anxiety. Anxiety disorder may be caused by environmental factors, medical factors, genetics, brain chemistry, substance abuse, or a combination of these. It is most commonly triggered by the stress in our lives.
Environmental factors like stress from work, relationships, trauma from death of loved ones, natural disaster, lack of oxygen in high altitude areas, medical illness, genetic predisposition (family history of anxiety disorder) are also some of the causative factors.
Research reveals that people who have an abnormal level of neurotransmitters are more prone to develop anxiety disorder. The malfunctioning neurotransmitters can cause the brain’s communication network to break down resulting in inappropriate reactions to situations that can cause anxiety.
According to Ayurveda, anxiety is caused due to imbalance in Vata dosha, mainly praana and vyana vata. Various procedures that help in balancing vata should be followed. Acute anxiety caused by fear or desire, falls under the general heading of ‘Unmada’, which means insanity, in Ayurveda. Sushruta describes Unmada as a derangement of bodily doshas affecting the up coursing nerves and thereby producing a distracted state of Manas (mind).
The common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety disorder are: shortness of breath, dizzy feeling, extreme tiredness, irregular heart beat, angina, headache, tingling or pricking sensation, tremors, sleep disorders, anorexia, feeling of nervousness, diarrhoea, vomiting, frequent urination, sweating, forgetfulness and amnesia, unexplained fears, speech distortion, unsteady on feet, agitated movement of the eyes, extreme mental fickleness and confusion.
You may try these home remedies for beneficial results:
- Drink chamomile tea or mint tea daily.
- Take about 10 pieces of almonds and soak it overnight. Grind and mix it with a cup of milk and a pinch of ginger. Drink this daily before going to bed.
- Consume orange juice with honey and nutmeg powder daily.
- Indian Ginseng, which is called Ashwagandha has very large amount of antioxidants like glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. It can also produce a little amount of tranquilizing effect on the brain and helps to de stress the mind and ward off anxiety. Aswagandha powder 1/2 tsp with milk at bed time would be beneficial
- Yoga alone is proved to relieve stress and anxiety. Stretching exercises (asanas) relaxes the muscles, meditation soothes the mind and calms down the brain. Routine practice should be followed for at least 3 months and continued for long lasting benefits.
- A hot oil body and head massage twice a week is also highly beneficial.
Ayurvedic supplements mentioned below are very beneficial-
- Drakshadi kashayam
- Brahmi oil for head massage.
Avoid irregular sleeping patterns, minimise the use of coffee and tea intake, keep yourself occupied, cultivate new hobbies and spend some time with your loved ones.