Over the past three decades, the average person has developed a progressively greater degree of health anxiety than the generations before them . This new-age attitude towards illness makes us particularly good adherents of behaviors recommended by public health experts to minimize the spread of contagious diseases (hand-washing, for example). Yet it also makes people dramatically more likely to experience unhealthy or even unmanageable levels of anxiety in response to a public health crisis .
That is why, for many people, developing a clear understanding of the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak as a global public health emergency has lead to significant increases in anxiety, especially concerning:
It is no surprise, then, that our collective mental health is suffering; 16-26% of the population is currently experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms of depression or anxiety .
Anxiety is most often most effectively managed through a combination of behavioral, cognitive, and pharmaceutical (nutraceutical) interventions. That is because anxiety tends to be a multifaceted experience with far-reaching consequences for a person's emotional, physical, social, and even academic/professional health. It follows, then, that the ideal natural healing protocol for any one person should, by necessity, be tailored to their unique experience of anxiety.
Identifying the best therapeutic ingredients to mitigate any one person’s feeling of anxiety is often a process of trial-and-error, with the most-recommended practices listed below:
The gold-standard of natural healing from health anxiety during a health crisis is to moderate the type and volume of information a person sees related to the crisis. More specifically related to COVID-19, people feeling anxiety should limit their exposure to news outlets and other media so that they only see highly credible information and only engage with it as necessary to remain safe .
For people who cannot go without their smartphones and internet-connected devices, public health experts recommend seeking out non-news-focused functions. This can include playing anxiety-minimizing games instead of continuously surfing the web or watching 24-hour news .
For example, preliminary research suggests that smartphone/computer games can have a meaningful impact on the symptoms of anxiety, including lowering heart rate and improving mood . What’s more, these tools can help people feel more connected to others and more driven to achieve measurable goals (both good anxiety management practices in a pandemic) .
The most effective natural healing protocols for managing the symptoms of anxiety (regardless of cause) almost always include mindfulness-based therapy. These therapies most commonly refer to meditation practices, gratitude journaling, breathing exercises, and other daily mindfulness rituals .
Like most natural healing interventions, mindfulness-based remedies have varying demonstrable results. For example, both Mindfulness Meditation and Sufi Meditation can effectively lower anxiety levels, with the most-likely-effective option for any one participant depending on individual characteristics and belief systems .
Some of the most promising approaches to natural healing for anxiety-sufferers include self-treatment with herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and self-administered acupressure [10, 11, 12]. In each of these cases, at-home intervention — either as a part of a broader health routine, in anticipation of feeling anxiety, or in response to elevated levels of anxiety — self-administration proves sufficient to markedly decrease the symptoms of anxiety.
What’s more, each of these natural healing practices can yield complementary health improvements (like boosting the immune system, reducing both persistent and transitory pain, and improving sleep, respectively) [13, 14, 15].
These tactics for managing health anxiety at home aim to follow public health experts’ and psychologists' best recommendation, namely, focusing on what you can control about how you feel. That said, there is no shame in needing additional support or advice at this time; some of the most effective natural healing advice comes from trained medical professionals .
According to first-hand user experiences, kratom does help immensely with anxiety relief. But when it comes to using supplements, users should be mindful of two things. The first is to not allow kratom to be the only tool to fight anxiety because addiction is not uncommon for any supplement. Whether that's alcohol, kratom, or cannabis. And second is to conduct complete research prior to using kratom as a tool for anxiety. Resources like the American Kratom Association or Kratom Society are great to develop a full understanding of the benefits and effects of kratom.
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