Keeping Anxiety at Bay: My Natural Arsenal

Do you deal with anxiety, heart palpitations, or panic attacks? Here are natural ways at keeping anxiety at bay so you can get through your day!

I first experienced anxiety, panic attacks, and heart palpitations in my late teens. I guess you could say that since then it has come in spells depending on how busy life is and whether or not I am supporting myself with the nutrition it needs to keep up with life’s happenings.

We all have genetic weaknesses (some have heart diseases that runs in the family, some cancer, some diabetes, etc.) and I happen to have these kind of symptoms that run in my family. I have family members on medication for heart palpitations, others take nerve pills to calm panic attacks and anxiety. I prefer not to take medication if I can help it because my philosophy is that my body is not lacking in medication, it’s lacking in whatever it needs to function properly. Taking medication for an underlying issue like this is just putting a band-aid on and the unhealthy problem is still there! When our bodies go crazy like this, it is letting us know that things are unbalanced and needs some serious nourishment. It’s important to research and do all we can naturally to support our bodies in addressing these genetic weaknesses. 

I have learned how to help myself through these episodes by reading and researching a lot, and putting puzzle pieces together. It is my hope that if you suffer from any symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks, you can find natural help through some or all of the things mentioned here! 

What Causes Anxiety?

In short, the thing that causes anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and similar problems is that we put too many demands on our adrenal glands and our body produces symptoms to let us know that something is wrong and needs immediate attention. These causes can come from physical, mental, or emotional demands. Chronic stress, medications, and poor diet are contributors as well. When we face busy or stressful times in life and our body is lacking in essential vitamins or minerals, or our intestinal health is not healthy, our body can go haywire. We use up nutrients and are not replenishing them as needed. 

Blood sugar imbalance can also be an underlying cause of anxiety. My DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) discovered that unbalanced sugars were a main cause of my anxiety issues. I’ll discuss below what he gave me to get my sugars back on track. 

When I first had anxiety and panic attacks, my symptoms included feeling like I was flying when I drove a vehicle or sat in a room with high ceilings. I was extremely fatigued and had a hard time doing simple tasks such as washing the dishes and cleaning the house. I had no idea what was wrong with me, and neither did my regular doctors. You can also feel like you are walking sideways or downhill when walking on a flat surface. Heart palpitations are pretty common, as well as insomnia, excessive worry, and restlessness. Supporting the adrenal glands is important when experiencing anxiety.

My Natural Arsenal For Keeping Anxiety at Bay

Do you deal with anxiety, heart palpitations, or panic attacks? Here are natural ways at keeping anxiety at bay so you can get through your day!

  1. Vitamin B-Complex – B vitamins support the adrenal glands which reduces stress and anxiety. Years ago I began experiencing heart palpitations and started taking a B-complex supplement, and my palpitations stopped overnight! My body was obviously lacking in these vitamins, but this is not always the only answer. Sometimes I need to take several nourishing things to get back on track. If you have any kind of nerve problems, a good B-Complex is important. 
  2. Adrenal Support – As I mentioned above, the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks are a sign that the adrenal glands need help. A great way to do this is with herbs that support the adrenals such as: 

     I like to keep at least one of these herbs on hand (typically the ashwagandha) to add to tea mixes for nourishment. You can also buy a tincture or capsule form.

  3. Nerve Tea – If I am having a stressful day or am starting to feel anxious, I love drinking what I call Nerve Tea. I fix a quart jar of this and sip on it throughout the day, and it calms my nerves! Here’s what I do: *Combine equal parts of dried rose petals, chamomile, lavender flowers, and oatstraw in a container for storage (I like to store herbs in jars). Sometimes I add chrysanthemum flowers and I also like to add an adaptogenic herb like ashwagandha to support the adrenals. The adaptogenic herbs should be added in half the amount as the others. So, for instance, if I added 1/4 cup each of the rose petals, chamomile, lavender flowers, oatstraw, and chrysanthemum flowers, I would only put 1/8 cup of one of the adaptogenic herbs in the jar. Mix the herbs in the jar well and add 2 teaspoons of the mix to a cup of boiling water. I almost always make a quart jar, so you would obviously multiply the amount to 8 tsp. of the mix for 4 cups of water if you want to make that much. I find that 3-4 cups in a day is necessary if I’m having any of my symptoms of being too stressed. Remove the pan from heat and cover with a lid. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain the herbs and sip away!
  4. Magnesium – Stress depletes us of vital nutrients like magnesium. Magnesium is highly associated with our stress levels. [1] [2] Supplementing with magnesium is essential when you experience symptoms of stress. I try to take it every night before bed. It nourishes and helps calm the body for bed. You’ll most likely find yourself sleeping better at night! My current favorite is Natural Calm. They have a few flavored options with stevia. I’m currently taking the raspberry lemon flavor. You check out the different flavors here!
  5. Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy – this is a flower remedy specifically targeted for emotions rather than for the physical body. It helps stress, panic attacks, emotional trauma, and shock. You just place a few drops under the tongue as needed. 
  6. Kombucha – Kombucha is a fermented drink that is so good for the adrenals, is full of b vitamins, and helps lower cortisol levels. It is also very, very good for the gut health. All of these things are great at reducing stress. If I know I’m going to have a very busy week and possibly not enough sleep, I make sure I’m drinking a bottle of kombucha every day. It supports my adrenals and nervous system to help me stay on my feet and have the energy I need. The difference is like night and day! You can make your own kombucha (see www.culturedfoodlife.com for instructions), or you can buy kombucha at some stores like Wal-Mart. Not all bought kombucha is as good as homemade (as far as being as nutritious), but GT’s Kombucha is one brand that IS as good for you as drinking homemade. It saves a ton of money to make your own, but buying is more convenient, so some prefer that. 
  7. VegeCleanse Plus for balancing blood sugars. I used this 14 day Detox Program and found myself feeling much better. I typically do this detox program once or twice a year when symptoms are bad enough.
  8. Diet – processed foods and sugar contributes to stress and adrenal problems. Eat as much food to the way it was originally created as possible!
  9. Sleep – Having enough sleep is essential when experiencing anxiety. The difference in getting 6 hours of sleep and getting 8 hours is huge! I’ve often found myself with headaches and a general feeling of heaviness and stress in my head. Making sure I get to bed by 9 or 9:30 when I feel this way makes me feel like a new person. 

Do you deal with anxiety, heart palpitations, or panic attacks? Here are natural ways at keeping anxiety at bay so you can get through your day!

You may be wondering which of these you should take and when? I keep all of it on hand the best I can. But here’s how I personally use these natural remedies for keeping anxiety at bay, as well as heart palpitations and panic attacks.

Every day:

When I begin having heart palpitations, anxiety, and/or panic attacks or feel overly stressed, I add these other things to my daily routine until my body balances and symptoms subside.

When needed:

If you are dealing with anxiety, heart palpitations, extreme stress, depression, panic attacks, etc., let me reassure you that there IS hope and there is a way to heal yourself. I felt so hopeless all those years ago when I didn’t know what was wrong with me or how to get better. It can be a long journey to healing, but it’s worth it! Don’t be discouraged in the journey. It often takes years of stress, maybe taking medication, and/or poor diet to cause our body to suffer these health problems. It can also take a while to correct the damage that has been done. Patience and persistence is always key! 

Resources:

1. Cuciureanu, M. D. (1970, January 01). Magnesium and stress. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/

2. Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017, April 26). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/

3. Top 5 Ways Kombucha Relieves Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.storey.com/article/top-5-ways-kombucha-relieves-stress/

How I Healed My Heart Palpitations Overnight

heart and stethoscope in vintage style

Have you ever lived with heart palpitations? If you haven’t, let’s just say it’s quite an aggravation!  The palpitations are not normally a sign of anything really serious, but they are a sign that something in your body needs attention.

A couple months ago I woke up to my heart pounding and beating irregular. It was a far too familiar feeling, as I lived with them for many, many months when I was a teenager/young adult.  It’s not that the palpitation are painful, they are just very annoying.  It’s kind of like being aware of your heart beating non-stop.  Of course I know my heart is constantly beating and working to keep me alive, but I don’t want to be aware of it all the time.  Heart palpitations are feelings of your heart fluttering, pounding, skipping beats, beating fast, beating slow.  The palpitations can occur in the chest or throat, and they can get worse when you bend over and do various activities.  For me they occurred some at night too, so there was little rest from them.

When I suffered from palpitations years ago, I knew nothing about natural health, nor had I considered the concept of figuring out the cause of health issues instead of dealing with symptoms only.  So let’s just say that I suffered for a long time.  I saw more than one doctor who all told me I was completely healthy and just prescribed me an anti-depressant (which I did not take).  I eventually found my way into natural health and was treated by a natural chiropractor.  I don’t remember everything he had me take, but the natural supplements he gave me certainly took care of the palpitations too!

Causes of Heart Palpitations

There is more than one condition that causes heart palpitations, so it may be difficult to know the cause if it isn’t something you’ve already dealt with.  There may be one cause, or there may be a few different ones.  When our bodies react by causing something like irregular heart function, our body is trying to get our attention and let us know that something is wrong and needs corrected.  Our bodies are not asking us to take medication to merely try to correct a symptom.  Our body needs nourished and healed.

Anxiety and stress is probably the biggest underlying cause of heart palpitations.  Most of us lead very busy, stressful lives, and we don’t eat diets that give us enough living nutrients to help our bodies handle the stress.  This results in symptoms like heart palpitations, panic attacks, feelings of be overwhelmed, unable to handle life, depression, being anxious and fearful to do normal activities.  When I began to experience the heart palpitations, I figured it was due to anxiety and stress.  When I first experienced these almost 20 years ago, it was a side effect of medication I was taking.  I really compromised my health all those years ago by taking the medication and all these years later I’m finding myself with some of the same symptoms.  But this time I know how to treat it safely and naturally.

Other possible causes of heart palpitations

  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Thyroid Disease

How I Healed My Heart Palpitations Overnight 

I have been reading this year in Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health.  This book has a lot of great information on panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and healing the nervous system.

This paragraph in her book caught my attention:

“Symptoms of mental distress or disorders such as irritability, nervousness, panic attacks, excess fear, depression, or suicidal tendancies often indicate a B-vitamin deficiency….B vitamins are most effective taken as a complex.”

Dealing with mental or emotional distress often calls for healing it from several different angles. I was already drinking a nerve tonic (soon I’ll have to share my favorite-so-far recipe also taken from this book), but after reading about B-vitamin deficiency, I knew I needed to add it to my regime.  I purchased Garden of Life Raw B Complex. Buy the complex here.

The morning after taking a dose of the B Complex, my heart palpitations were completely gone, and they have not returned since.  For me, I was already working on my nervous system and adrenals, so a B-vitamin complex was the missing key.  I am still taking a B-vitamin complex daily as I continue to heal my nervous system.

My body was so depleted of B-vitamins that it was sending an emergency signal to me by causing my heart to malfunction.  A doctor would have just prescribed medication to regulate my heart beat, but my body was not crying out for medication to force it to perform better, it was crying out for healing.  That’s how God created our bodies.  Our bodies let us know that something is seriously wrong by sending signals of malfunction – our quest is to find out the root and work to heal it.

If you are dealing with heart palpitations, or even just mental or emotional distress, I believe a B-vitamin complex is essential to take.  I highly recommend a good company like Garden of Life, because not all supplements are made the same, and it’s possible that you won’t see benefits by taking an inferior quality (like something from Wal-Mart).  It’s very important that it be a complex of b-vitamins and not just a single vitamin.

If you don’t find relief by taking B-vitamins, don’t give up – it doesn’t mean you can’t heal naturally.  Be sure to add herbs that help the nervous system.

If you don’t know what is causing your heart palpitations, be sure to seek medical advice to make sure it’s nothing serious.  You may be suffering from something like anemia or thyroid disease (which can be healed naturally too).  Find the root cause of your symptoms, and start the healing from there. 

What about you?  Have you ever suffered from heart palpitations?  How have you dealt with it?