Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety reported, with women being twice as likely to suffer from the disorder. Yet, many people with anxiety are reluctant to seek treatment.
Alternative therapies have become increasingly popular to provide relief to sufferers of anxiety without the need for medication or conventional treatments. The aim of alternative therapies is to reduce the symptoms of anxiety by improving the general health and wellbeing of the patient without any of the side effects that come with conventional medical treatments. Combining alternative therapies with traditional treatments like counselling can help to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
Yoga incorporates elements of meditation, stretching, and controlled breathing to help you achieve calmness and relaxation through stationary and moving poses. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) lists yoga as one of the most effective alternative therapies to treat anxiety and a host of other mental disorders. Try signing up for a regular class or private lessons to ensure you attempt poses properly and minimise the risk of injury.
This traditional Chinese therapy has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and many other conditions for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves trained practitioners inserting sharp needles into the surface layers of the skin that correspond with different organs and areas of the body. It is believed that the technique encourages the brain to release natural endorphins and pain-relieving chemicals that help sufferers overcome their symptoms of anxiety.
Finding the right space and the time to clear your mind can be hugely beneficial to your wellbeing. While meditation can’t alter the world around you, it can certainly change the way you perceive and respond to it. By learning to meditate you will learn to fully relax your body and possibly discover the root cause of your anxiety. By maintaining a meditating stationary pose and focusing solely on your breathing technique, you’ll learn to allow deeper thoughts to enter your mind before acknowledging the thought and then letting it go.
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