Shedding Light on Anxiety Disorders

We have all experienced feelings of anxiety before important events such as a big test, a presentation, or a first date. But when and how does stress become a life altering anxiety disorder? A recent study suggests that how people’s brains responds to fear may someday be able to help explain the type of anxiety they experience.

Anxiety syndromes are characterized by an excessive and irrational fear of everyday situations. Some people experience general, chronic anxiety, while others become anxious only in response to one or more specific triggers. Researchers noted that study participants who experienced higher anxiety showed increased reaction in the amygdala section of the brain in response to fear. Those with high anxiety levels also showed reduced usage of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of the brain.

From this data, researchers concluded that there are two areas of unusual brain activity in those individuals with anxiety disorders compared to people without disorders. The way in which a person’s brain regions respond to fear suggests that differences in brain activity are specific to the individual and may be the reason for the distinct causes and symptoms of anxiety disorders.

3 Natural Remedies That May Reduce Anxiety

1. Exercise: Daily Exercising helps lower anxiety according to a recent study. Indeed, workout sessions lasting longer than half an hour were best at decreasing anxiety symptoms.

2. Try Drinking Kava: According to a recent review, out of 11 studies that focused on kava, 63% found that kava reduces anxiety and related symptoms in many patients.

3. Passionflower While the researchers found only three studies that focused on the medicinal usage of passionflower, all three reported significant alleviation of anxiety symptoms. As there are only three studies on the topic, the researchers stress that further investigation is necessary before elevating passionflower from promising to effective.  Unfortunately, because passionflower is comprised of thousands of chemical properties, it is nearly impossible to determine which biochemicals are playing a pivotal role in reducing anxiety.

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