Benzodiazepines come in many forms, but most commonly is referred to as Xanax. It is a drug that is often prescribed for those with anxiety issues, and is considered a controlled substance. While this powerful drug does seem to help with anxiety issues, it has a host of common pitfalls which have many that take it looking for a natural alternative.
Those that take the drug, may experience sedation like effects, memory loss, and dependency. It has recently been shown to contribute to dementia. This drug binds to brain receptors, which is what is thought to cause these effects.
If you currently take a benzodiazepine or have been recommended to take one, you may wish to consider a more natural approach to helping your anxiety issues. Below are some alternatives you can use to help treat anxiety:
- There are many herbs that have been shown to help promote relaxation and aid in preventing panic attacks and anxiety. Some of these include, catnip, kava kava, linden flower, passion flower, chamomile, and skullcap. Some of these herbs are very strong and should only be used with the advice of a natural professional.
- It is also thought that your diet can play a large part in your anxiety and stress levels. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet so you obtain the proper vitamins and minerals used by your body to combat stress. Some foods that are particularly important for those that have high stress levels, include: apricots, bananas, broccoli, salmon, garlic, asparagus, raw nuts, and yogurt are just a few. These foods are high in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium – all depleted by stress.
- Proper levels of selenium have been shown to elevate your mood and decrease anxiety. Foods to include in your diet to increase your selenium levels are, crimini mushrooms, tuna, salmon, mustard greens, turkey, and sunflower seeds, just to name a few.
- Learning relaxation techniques have also shown to reduce stress and anxiety in many people. Practicing mediation, deep breathing, or yoga have been shown to help promote a calm state.
- Regular exercise is also extremely important in keeping stress levels low. Exercise such as a walk, a bike ride, or swimming can help to alleviate anxiety symptoms. It is important to practice exercise at least 3-4 times per week for at least 30 minutes.
- Be sure that you keep your diet as clean as possible. Remove sugars, animal protein, and caffeine from your diet as much as possible. In addition, eating smaller meals more frequently can help with getting your body the needed nutrition to combat stress and anxiety.
Even with implementing these natural alternatives into your life, it is important for you to determine your triggers for your anxiety. Only then can you attack those triggers and remove them from your life. If you are able to identify and remove your triggers, and then incorporate some of the suggestions above, you will notice a real difference in your stress and anxiety levels.
Please Note: Always consult with a physician before stopping medication, or replacing your Rx medication with herbal supplements. It is recommended you consult a holistic professional when determining if you are an adequate candidate for this alternative approach and determining your dosage.
By Tammy Moorehead, CHHP, for the 50 Plus Report