Anxiety results from spending too much mental energy in future which obviously comes with an unknown outcome. Anxiety disorders have affected almost all people at some point and are present in diverse ways. Moreover, this remains under diagnosed or mis-diagnosed. Some changes in our lifestyle and dietary patterns can improve this condition effectively. This condition can be effortlessly managed with change in your sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary patterns. Adapting Ayurveda which is a science of life can bring out flying colours in outcomes. Modern medical system can suppress the condition for a temporary basis but eliminating the root cause is very mandatory.
Some amount of anxiety is normal, but you need to analyse when it isn’t? When you start noticing that your anxiety is taking control over your daily life. Then, this is not at all normal. Scientifically speaking, anxiety can be correlated to fear which is a default neurological state of alarm signified by flight or fight response to cognitive appraisal of real or perceived danger. Anxiety can be manifested as state which is future-oriented and includes physiological, behavioral, and effective and cognitive response systems. These all events result from anticipations or circumstantial threats and overestimation of a situation.
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders across the globe. Studies have shown that specific phobia is having a prevalent rate of around 12.1%, agoraphobia affects upto 2.5% of total population and social anxiety is affecting around 7.4% of population. There are more incidences of anxiety in females than in males with ratio of 2:1.
What is an Anxiety Attack?
Panic attack and anxiety attack may share common events and varies from person to person. It’s a feeling of worry, fear, distress and overwhelming. It can be easily recognized by dry mouth, feeling faint, sweating, worry, distress, fear and numbness.
What Are the Causes of Anxiety?
Anxiety is caused by a combination of psychophysiology factors. Though, some conditions which trigger this condition include certain medications, panic disorders, trauma, substance abuse, addictions and some childhood experiences. It is believed that there are certain mediators in the central nervous system like dopamine, GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid) and serotonin, which control most of the symptoms.
How to recognize if your anxiety is getting worse?
A person with anxiety shows characteristic symptoms. Here is a brief discussion given below on signs
1. Cognitive Symptoms
Person will always have a fear of losing control, physical injury and death. They will be concerned about the negative evaluation by others and have frightening thoughts. Affected individuals will experience difficulty speaking, poor memory and concentration and confusion.
2. Physiological symptoms
These kinds of symptoms include palpitation, breathlessness, increased heartbeat, rapid breathing, nausea, chest pain, chills, hot flashes, shaking or trembling, weakness and sometimes diarrhea or upset stomach.
3. Behavioral symptoms
Person will always try to escape and avoid threat cues or situations. They may feel restless, find it difficult to speak properly, motionless and freezing.
4. Affective symptoms
He or she will always be frustrated, grumpy, jumpy, edgy, fearful, nervous, terrified and impatient most of the time.
5. Dysfunctional cognition symptoms
Person starts developing an overestimation of danger or threat of any situation which is not having any confirmation in any way.
6. Clinical symptoms
False alarms and persistence which often leads to impaired functioning and hypersensitivity.
Common Symptoms involved in Anxiety
A person with anxiety might have these clinical features like anorexia, dizziness and fainting, headache (persistent), parenthesis and weakness, fatigue, insomnia and palpitation.
Apart from the medical history and noticeable symptoms there are few investigations and differential diagnosis involved like-
- Investigations in the procedure include Halmilton anxiety rating scale, ECG and anxiety disorder interview schedule.
- Differential diagnosis includes phobias, alcoholism, society anxiety disorders, and hypoglycemia and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Ayurvedic Aspect of Anxiety
According to Ayurvedic principles, chittoveda (anxiety) is caused due to excess accumulation of Vata in the nervous system. As, Vata is considered as an mobile element in Ayurveda and is dry, light, rough and mobile in nature. Anxiety is believed as an expression of excess Vata in Mano vaha srota which is a channel of mind.
Management of Anxiety with Ayurveda
As per the Ayurvedic concept, natural management involves proper lifestyle and healthy dietary patterns. Some of the lifestyle tips include
- Ritualise your schedule for meals: You should keep your digestion strong with not only good food but on time too. As our gut and brain are connected physiologically so it’s a simple tool for managing anxiety. Try to set a goal to have breakfast between 7am-9am and you should consume warm, easily digested and spiced food. And you should eat your lunch when Agni (digestive fire) is strongest i.e. between 11am – 1pm while dinner should be light between 4pm-6pm.
- Focus on your breath: Balanced breath (Sama Vritti) which is a most basic breathing and can be done anytime and anywhere. This will calm your body and mind.
- Shirodhara :The word Shirodhara has been derived from Sanskrit language i.e. Shiro means head and Dhara means flow which is an Ayurvedic body therapy. In this a gentle and steady stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead continuously. This therapy helps soothe and heal the nervous system, basically it stimulates healthy blood circulation to the brain and Pituitary gland. Addition of herbs and essence helps in relieving anxiety, migraines and Insomnia. Moreover, Shirodhara works majority on Manomaya Kosha.
- Pranayama :Anuloma- viloma, Ujjayi, Bhramari along with meditation including Yama and Nigama.
- Nasya karma : Nasal administration of medicaments which involves herbs like Brahmi svarasa.
- Panchkarma therapies: This involves Abhyanga (body massage), Snchaplna, Shiroabhyanga (head massage) and Shirovasti with medicated oils.
- Avoid intake of coffee, tea, alcohol and carbonated beverages.You should stay away from stressful situations. Keep yourself associated with virtuous people and participate in satsanga.
Hence from this above discussion on anxiety, it affects differently to every individual with diversified symptoms. Though, every ailment depends on our habits and routines, so natural management is a much better option. Moreover, this will enhance your quality of life and one can live a happy and healthy life.