Could Crayons Be the Solution to Generalized Anxiety Disorders? Why Americans Need Art Therapy
Is your anxiety out of control? Experts say that having a sense of nausea or of being out of control can be a natural part of life: panic before a new job, or nervousness at meeting new people. It’s only natural that fear, nervousness, or anxiety would occur from time to time, but if the frequency of panic attacks or digestive problems related to anxiety becomes unmanageable, it may be time to seek treatment for one of several anxiety disorders.
In fact, anxiety is the most commonly reported mental disorder in America, but most people do not realize that their symptoms are relatively simple to treat. About one in five people reports suffering from anxiety-related symptoms; more than 40 million American adults are currently grappling with anxiety, but only about 33% of anxiety sufferers are currently pursuing treatment.
What natural health practitioners know about anxiety is that there are treatment options besides — or in addition to — medication. People who have social phobias may wish to consider deep breathing or meditation exercises; sometimes, learning to relax a bit and to breathe deeply while in the midst of a panic attack can provide some relief from racing thoughts and an overall sense of fear.
Regulating social situations can also help: avoiding crowds and loud noises, making friends with similar hobbies, and joining groups with similar interests can all help people with social anxiety feel that they are more in control of their environments. Taking time at night to breathe deeply before going to bed may also help regulate and control severe panic attacks; reviewing the events of the day can often help anxiety sufferers gain perspective and “digest” difficult or worrisome life events.
In order to stay healthy, some people with anxiety disorders find that they need to reconsider their diet practices. Daily consumption of caffeine and sugar may need to be scaled back, and a trip to a medical doctor or natural health center can also help isolate possible allergies that may be affecting mood on a daily basis. Changing diet practices could help with anxiety-related digestive issues, and people may find that some of their panic is related to pain in their stomachs or intestines.
Recently, a new treatment for generalized anxiety disorders has been trending worldwide: taking the time to color, draw, or produce art for 10 to 15 minutes every day has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels in both children and adults. Coloring may be a favorite activity among children, but adults who color and draw are actually building neural connections between both hemispheres of their brains. Lowering stress levels and “reprogramming” the amygdala — the part of the brain that regulates anxiety and mood — is assisting millions of anxiety sufferers to find balance.
Finding relief from anxiety, whether from medication, diet practices, or from pursuing a healthier live overall can help people make new friends and become more confident. While the symptoms of anxiety can be worrisome, dedicating time and energy toward creating a healthier life and toward examining the causes of panic disorders can assist in the development of coping mechanisms and, perhaps, a long-term cure.