The healthiest natural treatment for anxiety is water. Hydration is the most essential habit for us humans to function properly, yet is constantly a neglected practice. It is estimated that a third of the population frequently misinterpret dehydration for hunger. While dehydration is not a cause of anxiety it is definitely a proven contributor. Substances like coffee, alcohol, and soda are commonly consumed liquids that actually cause dehydration and are known to exacerbate anxiety. Anxiety attacks are even worse for those who suffer from asthma as because one can actually trigger the other and force them to make frequent use of a nebulizer. Here are some of the ways dehydration can make you more vulnerable to panic attacks brought on by anxiety:
- When you are dehydrated, hormones are inhibited from reaching their desired locations due to lack of blood flow.
- The brain is 85% water and is stressed to function properly without proper hydration. Lightheadedness and headaches are common symptoms of being dehydrated.
- Our muscles are composed mainly of water and without adequate supply, tense up. These muscles include the heart and in the case of someone prone to panic attacks brought on by anxiety the heart rate tends to rapidly increase.
- Dehydration causes our blood pressure to drop which also causes our heartbeat to increase because it is working harder to pump blood.
Always Remember to Breathe
Whether it's during exercise or because you feel a panic attack coming on, learn to practice proper breathing. Activities like yoga are very effective at treating anxiety because they not only can give you a workout but they teach you to focus and channel your breath to the point where you can calm yourself during the onset of an attack. Those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory disease commonly cite yoga as a beneficial activity for not only improving respiration but helping them learn to recognize when there body is lacking in certain forms of nourishment like hydration.
Nothing Like Hydrating After Exercise
Regular exercise and hydration can not only keep you from being less prone to panic attacks, but also help you in treating it. Have you ever noticed how you feel best in the minutes after rehydrating from a workout? The endorphins released by our brain have the greatest effect on us when we are most hydrated. Consequently the more you exercise and practice proper nutrition, the less likely you are to feel anxious.
Separate the Good Liquids from the Bad
Drinking nothing but water can seem too tedious for some. If you want to stimulate your taste buds while staying hydrated go with pure fruit juices, sport drinks, or occasionally even dairy products(if not lactose intolerant). If you have a real anxiety disorder and are prone to panic attacks avoid or drinks that contain caffeine, high amounts of sodium, or alcohol. These drinks tend to be triggers of the effects listed above and should only be consumed in moderation for the general population, more so for those who suffer from sever anxiety.
Anxiety is a health affliction that affects people in different degrees. While hydration and other habits of a healthy lifestyle can help keep it at bay it is always important to seek help from a doctor if it significantly hinders your daily life.