Anxiety is categorized as excessive worrying about a variety of topics and situations accompanied by at least three physical symptoms that often limit a person’s ability to function in one or more aspects of daily life. People sometimes have trouble with small talk, social settings, noise, or everyday activities such as driving or talking on the phone.
Anxiety affects 18 percent of the U.S. population.
Like most mental illnesses, anxiety is categorized into multiple types: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, and specific phobias. Each type comes with its own set of symptoms. Specifically, phobias, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorders are set off by triggers. Although GAD can be triggered by certain situations, it and panic disorder tend to surface without a reason or warning.
Excessive or unwarranted nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness or hypersomnia, and decreased ability to function in occupational or social situations are only a few symptoms that plague sufferers.
Despite the medical advances toward treating anxiety, there is rising public interest in holistic remedies, which has encouraged health care providers to rethink their tactics and explore natural remedies.
Providers have found that medication and therapy are not the only treatments.
Psychologists have discovered that plants found in work, home, and social (restaurants, coffee houses, etc.) settings provide an overall sense of peace. Plants also lower blood pressure, improve reaction times, increase attentiveness, raise productivity, improve well-being, and reduce stress during recovery from surgery.
Some plants are more effective than others. Here are four that help reduce anxiety at home.
There’s a reason this herb has been revered for centuries as a healing plant. Many people describe their anxiety as feeling “knots in their stomach”—we feel anxious in our gut. Chamomile tea calms the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, which helps your body relax and alleviates the physical symptoms of anxiety.
The Tuscans believed lavender could counteract the evil eye—a curse cast by a malicious glare, usually caused by envy and inflicted unknowingly upon a person. Many believed the evil eye brought misfortune, injury, and illness. Today, we use lavender in candles, essential oils, and lotions because the scent alone induces relaxation. Putting a few drops of lavender oil in your bath, on a hot towel, or on your skin is an easy way to get it into your system. Take a deep breath and let the lavender work its magic.
Regarded as the most romantic flowers, roses are also among the most aromatic and therapeutic. Rose oil is infused into massages and bath water or mixed with water and applied directly to the skin. Because the flower’s scent is so strong, sitting next to a rosebush or bouquet can provide enough essence to relieve stress and calm nerves. It also can positively affect the heart and circulatory systems, which can help with a racing pulse during an anxiety attack.
Poppies are famous for providing pain relief and sedation, but the California poppy is a milder member of the family. It contains a lower amount of the compounds that induce sleepiness, making it perfect for calming an anxiety attack. Because the plant is so mild, it is especially great for children who suffer from anxiety and are unable or uncomfortable with taking medication. Making tea or a delicious summertime popsicle from the dried leaves can alleviate symptoms and put anyone at ease.
Anxiety makes it difficult to get out into nature, especially when life is chaotic. Houseplants can purify the air, provide aromatherapy, and brighten any space. Plants also interact with all five senses, making them perfect for those who use the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.
Every little bit helps. Add weapons to your arsenal against anxiety.