Anxiety: My Secret Weapons

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Anxiety is one of the many gifts that you may receive along with Attention Deficit Disorder. And like ADHD, it may be mild or severe, depending on variables like your general health and the environment around you.

My daughter Caitlin suffers from acute anxiety; my anxiety is far milder yet seems to be present far more often.

Caitlin needs prescription medication for her anxiety; I treat mine naturally.

Here are three of my secret weapons when it comes to anxiety:

1. Meditation or prayer and a change of scenery. The act of meditating or praying takes your mind off whatever is causing you anxiety and gives your mind a rest. I’ve also found that changing locations, especially if I can go outside in the backyard, helps a great deal. A little gardening or just a walk around the yard can help.

2. Lemon balm tea. I grow lemon balm in my backyard; it’s related to the mint family and extremely easy to grow, plus it will come back year after year. You can also purchase lemon balm tea in most health food stores.

I pick a few fresh leaves, crush or bruise them a little, and add boiling water. You can add sweetener if you like, or even a little bit of lemon to intensify the flavor. You can control the taste and effectiveness of the tea by adding more leaves and letting it steep longer.

A mild cup of tea will relax you, similar to a glass of wine. A stronger tea can help put you to sleep.

3. Valerian. I get out the Valerian when I need the big guns. Valerian is a flower, but the medicinal part comes from the root. You can buy Valerian in most health food stores, usually in the form of a pill or capsule.

Valerian has the worst smell ever. It’s been compared to dirty socks and dog doo. I don’t think it smells like either, but it is awful. I had to move where I kept it once because the family was complaining about the smell.

For this reason, I recommend buying only the capsules. The pills smell worse and can be hard to swallow. I’m not even going to discuss the tea.

Valerian works exceptionally well for anxiety and insomnia. In fact, this plant is where the medication Valium comes from.

If you are on medications of any kind, consult with your doctor before adding herbs to your treatment plan. Lemon balm should be fairly safe, but I would be cautious with the Valerian.

As with most herbs, the effect you notice will be softer and gentler than that you might experience with medications.

I personally like the idea of using something natural when I can, and am willing to accept the softer effects.

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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