Natural Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

by Vlasta Kuster

The first step of natural treatment for generalized anxiety disorder is to help yourself, without the use of pharmaceuticals and in this article I will present a few natural approaches to doing just that.

But first, a few words about generalized anxiety disorder.

According to the statistics, every year at least eighteen percent of adult Americans suffer from anxiety, so much so that it is becoming part of the contemporary lifestyle for increasing numbers of people.

It’s as if we’ve grown accustomed to experiencing stress-induced nervousness, tension, elevated pulse and chest pain.

Still, it’s not easy to get used to such feelings, and their increasing strength is a serious problem.

When they get to be too much, a condition known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) develops.

This means simply that the person lives continually with an amorphous sense of dread, accompanied by physical discomfort as well.

When these feelings are temporary, we can simply ignore them. When they become overwhelming, however, we are compelled to seek relief.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

  1. Talk to someone you trust who will understand your emotional experience

 Find a person who will understand what you’re going through and who you can trust.

In some circles, anxiety is still a taboo subject, and many people try to conceal their experience of it from friends, acquaintances and co-workers.

It’s important to be aware that you are not alone — many, many people suffer from anxiety.

Find someone who willsupport and listen to you and will be there for you in difficult times.

Natural Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder no.2 : Physical activity

Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise helps to ameliorate the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Sports and recreational activities release the tension that has built up over the course of the work day. I especially recommend non-competitive sports and athletics where you can be on your own, preferably outdoors.

Such activities include

  • brisk walking,
  • running,
  • swimming and
  • cycling, and have been shown to have the same positive effect after 30 minutes of continuous exertion as taking an antidepressant.

I would, however, advise against activities where you are in competition with others, as these tend to release adrenaline.

Whatever physical activity you choose, it’s important that you maintain it for at least half an hour, three times per week, and that you break a sweat and are tired by the end of it, without exerting yourself beyond your capabilities.

When generalized anxiety becomes really strong, even exercise will not bring relief.

I myself have met a number of successful male athletes who had experienced anxiety at some point in their lives and who tried to overcome it by ramping up the intensity of their training.

They didn’t realize the limits of this approach, believing that the secret was to match the intensity of their training with the intensity of their anxiety. And so they would train for many hours a day, competing with themselves and pushing their bodies to the point of total exhaustion.

And this is not the right approach.

Exercise in itself is of course beneficial and is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but the rule is: don’t overdo it — only do what results in an enhanced feeling of relaxation and well-being.

In cases where anxiety is especially intense, sports and recreation will not be enough. You will need something else in addition, another approach, something that reaches deeper into body, mind, and heart.

 3. Observe your thoughts and feelings

Yet another natural treatment for generalized anxiety disorder is - meditaion.

When you’re restless, simply stop and take a little time to feel your body and your emotions.

Be completely present in the moment, without attempting in any way to run away from your thoughts and feelings.

Be here, now.

Become the observer of yourself.

Watch your feelings in real time and say to yourself ‘‘OK, I’m angry, worried, sad,’’ and so on.

Don’t allow your feelings to pull you down into the abyss with them; simply observe them, feel them.

Meditation is just that — learning to be fully present to whatever the current experience contains.

4. Live a balanced life

Living a balanced life is the next in the row of natural treatment for GAD.

Anxiety is a sign that something in your life needs to change.

Maybe you need to

  • find a new social group,
  • change jobs,
  • dedicate more of your time to rest and relaxation, or
  • learn how to say ‘no’.

Ask yourself what your body is trying to tell you — where you may be overdoing it or letting things get to you too much.

Make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle, both physically and socially.

Ask yourself honestly if you’re being too much of a perfectionist or pushing yourself too hard.

Try introducing some positive changes into your life, and if you find there is too much resistance, it may be that your unconscious emotional patterns have something to do with your anxiety.

It is precisely those patterns that we address and modify in EFT, allowing you to live and work with a peaceful mind and a joyful heart.

 5. Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT)

For most people who read this article, the strategies listed above will probably not suffice to bring about lasting change.

All of them can offer temporary relief and a better quality of life.

When you have a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, however, you need powerful and fundamental change from the inside out.

EFT will change your life.

It will intervene in your subconscious patterns, change your limiting beliefs such as

  • ‘‘I’m not good enough,’’
  • ‘‘I have to be perfect,’’
  • ‘I’m in danger,’’ or
  • ‘‘I always have to be prepared for the worst.’’

All such deep convictions are foundations laid in childhood, on the basis of which various bad experiences are laid one on top of the other, forming an imposing edifice of fear which we call generalized anxiety disorder. EFT pulls that structure apart one brick at a time.

For example, if you harbor the belief that you have to be perfect, you will run yourself into the ground trying to achieve perfection. And because none of us is perfect, you will experience constant frustration and be unable to forgive yourself for your flaws or allow yourself to rest.

Your unconscious drive for perfection, formed when you were perhaps as little as five years old, runs — and runs you — on automatic pilot, even though you may now be thirty, forty, even fifty years old.

The belief remains active and acts as the ‘‘operating system’’ in the background of your life. In EFT, you will learn to convert the maladaptive belief ‘‘I must be perfect’’ into something a little more user-friendly, such as ‘’I want to be perfect,’’ or ‘‘I want to give my best.’’

And that is something completely different.

Such a resetting of the original belief will allow you to relax while still being successful at what you do, knowing that it’s enough to give your best without demanding perfection of yourself. EFT will also clear out past traumas both minor and major that remain within you as sources of anxiety.

After a completing a three-month course of Emotional Freedom Therapy, you will look on life with greater trust and will no longer be at the mercy of constant worry.

And could anything be more desirable than that?

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Vlasta Kuster, holds an MA degree in Basic Medical Sciences and uses her 3-month EFT therapy in her work to help people to do away with panic attacks and anxiety for good. She has more than 10-year experiences in EFT therapy and achieves at least 90% success in permanently eliminating anxiety and panic attacks. You may contact her through her website