Anxiety is a normal response to stressful circumstances, but persistent anxiety can be overwhelming and impact your overall quality of life.
Over time, anxiety can take its toll on your mental health, impairing your concentration, and ability to sleep.
It can also impact your physical wellbeing, inducing dizziness and heart palpitations.
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There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating anxiety and different approaches will work depending on the nature and severity of your condition.
While psychological treatments are the most common form of treatment, emerging evidence suggests taking certain supplements may help too.
Here are three supplements shown to ease anxiety:
Magnesium performs a number of vital functions in the body and evidence suggests the mineral may hold promise in treating anxiety.
A systematic review looked at the results of 18 different studies and found that magnesium supplements may improve measures of anxiety in people vulnerable to the condition, although the researchers also acknowledged more research needs to be conducted to confirm these findings.
Furthermore, a short review study reported that people with anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome benefited from taking magnesium supplements.
In addition to supplements, magnesium can also be found in the following foods:
- Whole wheat
- Almonds and cashews
- Dark chocolate
- Black beans
Omega-3 fatty acids
Numerous studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids found fish to improved heart health but evidence also suggests the supplement may ease anxiety.
A systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the results of 19 clinical trials and concludes that taking omega-3 supplements such as fish oil could be helpful for people with anxiety.
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Bolstering the findings, a review study suggests that a low intake of omega-3 fats can raise the risk of anxiety and depression, and that taking omega-3 supplements could help prevent or treat these conditions.
Chamomile extract, derived from the daisy-like flower, has been touted for its calming effects for thousands of years.
According to the National Center for Complementary Integrative Health (NIH), preliminary evidence suggests that a chamomile dietary supplement may ve helpful for treating generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD is a form of anxiety that involves the feeling of being anxious about almost everything and anything for no real apparent reason.
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One study concluded that people who took chamomile extract for eight weeks had a reduction in GAD symptoms.
The participants, who took 1,500 mg of chamomile per day, observed effects that were comparable with those of an anti-anxiety drug.
Furthermore, a randomised study found that people who took 500 mg of chamomile extract three times per day had fewer symptoms of GAD than those who took a placebo.
More common treatments for anxiety
According to the NHS, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety, you’ll usually be advised to try psychological treatment before you’re prescribed medication.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is usually recommended to alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
How does CBT work?
According to the NHS: “CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.”
As the health body explains, CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
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