Anxiety in teenagers is a situation where normal emotions such as stress and tension, go into overdrive. Every teenager faces anxiety or apprehension in adolescence due to the complex nature of physical and emotional changes occurring in his/her life. Adolescence is a time to decide career choices and the beginning of friendships. However, all teenagers are not able to deal with daily life stresses, and this turns into anxiety.
Anxiety is an issue that merits concern when it lasts for more than 6 months, interferes with daily life and shows signs and symptoms in the teenager such as fatigue, rapid heartbeat, irritability, sweating, sleeplessness, muscle aches and headaches.Read More: Anxiety Disorders in Teenagers: Signs and Symptoms
11 Natural Remedies for Anxiety in Teenager
The treatment of anxiety in teenagers encompasses a wide spectrum, ranging from psychotherapy or counseling to medication. However, there are natural ways to relieve anxiety, with very little side effects, and these may be preferred over heavy medication. Naturopathy based remedies are useful to treat anxiety disorders in adolescents by harnessing the body’s innate capacity for recovery. Take a look at some natural remedies to treat anxiety-
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an ayurvedic herb which has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. It exerts an anti anxiety effect by regulating the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha acts like a plant based hormone that inhibits cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This reduces stress and anxiety levels. It is available in powder or tablet form.
2. Diet modification
Certain dietary ingredients are associated with increased anxiety because of their stimulant properties. Limited consumption of caffeine, energy drinks, chocolate and refined sugars decreases anxiety in teenagers.
Yoga is a mind- body intervention that greatly helps reduce anxiety in teenagers. It means union or unification and involves finding a balance of physical and mental aspects. Ashtanga yoga can help relieve anxiety symptoms, particularly in Obsessive compulsive disorder. It also aids in stress reduction and overcoming depression. Yoga also increases emotional, spiritual and social well being.
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant whose roots have anti anxiety properties. Kava acts on neurologic receptor gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and exerts physical relaxation. It also helps to reduce insomnia, improve mood and decrease anxiety. It is available in powder, tablet and liquid forms.
5. St John's wort
St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a shrub whose yellow flowers have anti depressant and anti anxiety properties. It is called ‘choli phulya’ in hindi. St. John's wort contains a number of chemicals, such as hypericin, hyperforin, and flavonoids and acts on a variety of neurologic receptors to exert its actions. It is available as a powder, tablets, liquid extract or tea.
6. Meditation and relaxation
Meditation is a mind- body approach that involves focusing the mind. Mindfulness meditation involves deliberately paying constant attention to current body, mind, and emotional experiences, devoid of judgement of any element of that experience. Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and hypnotherapy are useful in treating anxiety and depression. Sustained practice of mindfulness meditation and relaxation exercises breaks the stress and anxiety patterns by calling attention to the present situation.
7. Lysine supplements
Lysine is an essential amino acid that is not produced by the body, so must be obtained through food and diet. It fortification in diet via supplements reduces anxiety as well as acute stress. Lysine supplements are available as powders or tablets. Lysine is also available in diet rich in lysine such as chicken, turkey and tuna fish.
8. Passion flower
Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a herb that is a central nervous system relaxant. It is called ‘Krishna Kamal’ in hindi. It helps to reduce depression, anxiety, stress, irritability and insomnia. Passion flower is available as capsules or liquid extracts.
9. Lemon balm
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb that is lemon scented. It is used to treat anxiety, increase sleep and has a calming effect. It is also an anti-spasmodic agent, so it relaxes muscles that are tense due to anxiety. Lemon balm is available as tea, capsules, extracts and oil.
10. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is a distillate of the flowers of the herb Lavandula augustifolia. This oil is an essential oil that is often used in aromatherapy because of its pleasing and soothing fragrance. Lavender oil is particularly beneficial for sleep problems, anxiety and depression. It is also used in people who have dental anxiety. It is available as an oil or capsule supplementation.Read More: 7 Best Lavender Oil Benefits for Kids
11. Chamomile oil
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a herb whose flowers are used to treat anxiety. It has the scent of apples. It has a relaxing and calming effect and is used to treat anxiety. Chamomile is used in aromatherapy It is available as an oil, tea or capsule supplementation.
Natural anxiety remedies are effective and have the advantage of fewer side effects, compared to conventional anti anxiety drugs. Meditation and yoga do not need any specialized equipment and can be easily practiced at home. However, even natural supplements may contain additional phytochemicals that may have unwanted effects on the body so it is best to use them under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
Teenagers can benefit from the use of natural remedies to treat anxiety in an easy and relatively safe manner.
Stay natural, stay healthy!