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Anxious Buddies, Relax! Try These 6 Herbal Remedies To Regain Your Peace And Calmness

Anxious Buddies, Relax! Try These 6 Herbal Remedies To Regain Your Peace And Calmness

Anxiety comes in various forms and anyone could experience it any point in their lives. It is characterized by a number of symptoms, including withdrawal from social settings, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and phobia and usually can be heavily experienced during the teenage years than any other stages in a person’s life. If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager battling with anxiety, you may find that there are various faces of depression and while it is treatable, often 80% of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not getting treatment.

In most cases, treating anxiety can be done through therapy and natural healing medications that will help one regain their peace and not totally fall into deep depression.

Along with herbal remedies, there are programs that will help teenagers better understand what they’re going through and better cope with it with the proper guidance from those who have had experience helping those who have been through depression. In an interview with Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. – Founder and Clinical Director at Paradigm Malibu, he shared that many natural remedies can help with anxiety. “There are a plethora of herbal remedies that can assist anxiety, the Adaptagenic herbs, (Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Holy Basil, Maca, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra, Mucuna Pruriens) Sam E, Cava Cava and the combined use of Evening Primrose Oil and Fish oils, have all shown some degree of clinical success.”

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While most of these natural remedies were proven to help alleviate the anxiety, Dr. Nalin recommends that one must seek professional assistance when partaking them as these remedies do not necessarily replace proper and clinically proven to be effective remedies, “What is most important is to seek professional assistance and not self-medicate or self-diagnose, especially if you are already taking medication.”

Aletheia Luna, author and founder of self-discovery blog Lonerwolf, suffered from anxiety on and off for many years. She was prescribed with many types of medications including Prozac, Desvenlafaxine, and Loxalate. Aletheia jumped from one medicine to another, until she realized all those prescription medications only serve as a “band aid” that superficially numbs an mask her condition. When she was dissatisfied with the results of taking medication, she explored alternative treatments instead. Today we’ll look into some examples of herbal remedies and how they can help people regain peace and calmness.

Disclaimer: Consider taking these medications under the supervision of a professional. While some herbs are harmless, some may carry notable risks. Don’t rely solely on herbal remedies even if they were proven to be effective.

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Dr. Nalin further explains the importance of seeking professional help, “Speak to your doctor first. Residential treatment is an important piece of the puzzle for teen anxiety disorders. It allows treatment to happen in the moment, among their peer group, in a measured, supportive environment, creating an internal sense of self efficacy and esteem.This allows for change to be immediate and readily implemented, rather than something discussed in session and later implemented with varying degrees of success. Here at Paradigm we utilize a holistic approach, tailoring treatment to the individual needs of the client.”

Holistic activities such as Acupuncture, Aikido, Art, Drama, Music, Equine therapy, Challenge Courses, the Alexander Technique, Neurofeedback, Hiking, Salsa, Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Yoga, and Meditation are just some of the additional modalities Dr. Nalin recommends to full recover and release trauma and reconnect their sense of resilience, motivation and joy.

With these in mind, let’s explore some of the natural remedies which may be helpful in regaining you peace and calm:

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1. Ginger tea

Ginger grows indigenously in South China and also spread to other parts of Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. It is known to alleviate antidepressant induced nausea. Dietician Alice Mackintosh told the Daily Mail that ginger contains potent gingerol, which helps cleanse the harmful chemicals that our bodies produce when we’re worried, so ginger can help psychological stress. Becky Oberg, a freelance journalist, said her favorite ginger tea recipe is from Dominican Republic. The recipe requires a slice of one-inch piece of ginger, one quart water, one-fourth teaspoon of ground allspice, and one-fourth cup of brown sugar. All you have to do is boil the first three ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes before adding the sugar.

2. Chamomile

The leaves and flower of chamomile are edible. The German chamomile is the variety used in herbal medicine, although Roman chamomile is the true type. Anyone can grow chamomile, especially during spring because the plant grows best in cool conditions. Chamomile is commonly used as a sleeping but it is also beneficial to people experiencing anxiety as it improves mental calmness. To make your own chamomile tea, boil two cups of water and add a tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers. Steep for 15 minutes so the essential oil remains.

3. Rhodiola

It grows in regions with cold climates such as Iceland, Great Britain, and Scandinavia. The roots of this perennial plant are used as medicine in many countries. Rhodiola regulates the body’s hormones, protects cells from damage. Research suggests that Rhodax, a specific rhodiola extract, might lower anxiety in people with general anxiety disorder. Aletheia noted that she takes it in pill form at 1000-2000 mg.

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4. Siberian ginseng

It grows in Asia, but the varieties that grow in Siberia are more powerful when it comes to medicine. It can be taken as capsule, extract, or in powder form. Some take it for around 2000 mg to have its maximum effect. Still, one needs to research on the dosage because there are potential side effects with large quantities.

5. Golden Milk

It is often used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Golden Milk contains turmeric, the kind of herb which works as an antidepressant. The first step to make golden milk is to create a mixture in the form of paste. According to Oberg, here’s the right way to make golden milk: Combine half a cup of boiling water with one-fourth cup of turmeric. Stir it constantly until you make a thick paste, before adding one teaspoon ground black pepper. Add one teaspoon of turmeric paste to one cup of warm milk, one-half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil, and a bit of raw honey to sweeten.

6. Flaxseed tea

Flax plant usually grows in colder regions. The seeds (Linum usitatissimum), is often used in Austrian medicine internally. The seeds are generally safe for human beings. It contains healthy omega-3s and healthy fatty acids which help the brain function more effectively. As what Oberg said, you may use a teaspoon per cup of water when you have ground seeds. Then you can use two tablespoons per cup of water if you have meal.

When experiencing anxiety, one doesn’t have to deal with of these alone. It’s important to know that while you seek for herbal and natural remedies, there’s no better cure than knowing that there are many other people out there who have survived and managed to deal with the situation. Whether you’re looking to take professional medical help or join in groups and programs that will help you get a better understand of what you’re going through, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone in this battle.

Featured photo credit: mpaola_andreoni via flickr.com

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Jonha Revesencio

Jonha Revesencio is a Business Strategist with years of experience developing digital media strategies.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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