Anxiety is where we worry about possible negative outcomes rather than maintaining an attitude of optimism and trust in our own capacity to cope with whatever comes our way. Anxiety often crops up when we experience changes that are hard to accept or make us feel insecure.
We can start to find that our life is being limited because our anxieties mean we no longer dare take risks or be spontaneous. Negative emotions such as fear and anxiety can sap our energy whereas positive ones such as joy and laughter nurture us.
Anxieties can have their roots in beliefs and fears which have been passed on to us from our parents but often anxieties come from traumatic experiences which we have not been able to release or fully recover from. When unresolved traumas pile up over the years anxiety surfaces in order to push you to change and resolve certain patterns.
In her book Metaphysical Anatomy Evette Rose writes “People experiencing anxiety often feel like failures. Your best was never good and pleasing enough. Because you don’t feel like you are capable of helping yourself emotionally this creates a sense of shame, helplessness and a need to hide. Your sense of peace was regularly interrupted in childhood. There is no sense of emotional structure or stability in your life and probably never has been. This may be the result of an emotionally dysfunctional and dramatic family life.”
Feelings of inhibition or embarrassment due to an underlying lack of self-worth or shame can exacerbate anxiety. Anxious people will often try and keep feelings and emotions buried due to fear of losing control of their emotions in front of other people. New situations or social situations can be a trigger for anxiety for those who fear judgement from others and therefore struggle with being spontaneous and open. Social anxiety can make it difficult or impossible form them to ‘go with the flow’ and enjoy life.
It is easy to fall prey to anxiety in our modern society, living as we do under tremendous stress and pressure. The news and media channels are full of stories which are calculated to induce panic and alarm in our minds. Anxiety can also be a symptom of other conditions such as drug withdrawal, hypoglycaemia, thyroid problems or food allergies. Anxiety is often linked to problems with the gut and microbiome being disrupted by antibiotics or pesticides in our foods.
Depending on the degree of our work and family pressures and problems some degree of anxiety is normal unavoidable. Usually this low level anxiety only becomes an illness when very high levels of tensions are sustained over a prolonged period, undermining rest and relaxation.
Anxiety can manifest in different forms: adrenaline rushes as struggle to meet deadlines, the mental agitation of insomnia or the health fears of hypochondria. Excessive worrying and mild paranoia are other forms which anxiety can take. OCD is a form of anxiety which develops in response to a fear of chaos or disintegration. A phobia is an acute disabling anxiety state attached to a certain object, animal or situation.
As the emotional tension rises, energy levels also increase, anticipating either flight or a conflict situation. Adrenaline release leads to increased muscular tension, releasing waves of heat as sweat. As well as trembling and sweating the heart may feel disagreeably full, beat strongly and quickly with palpitations and a heightened awareness of its pumping action. The bladder becomes irritated, the bowels react with with diarrhoea or sometimes constipation and the appetite and digestion also affected (with nausea, heartburn, flatulence and colic).
Chronic anxiety can also lead to other symptoms such as insomnia, a ‘lump’ in the throat, restless tremor, tearfulness, hoarseness, an irritating dry cough, eczema, shortness of breath, sighing, an empty dragging-down sensation in the pit of the stomach. These symptoms manifest as the persons energy is depleted by the strength of the negative emotions. If left untreated anxiety can build to such a pitch that we start to experience full blown panic attacks where the physical symptoms are severe enough to mimic a heart attack.
Modern allopathic medicine can offer drugs such as valium and prozac or beta blockers to suppress the symptoms of anxieties but these come with unwanted side-effects and possibly addiction. Homeopathy treats the whole person and can gently bring a person back into a state of health and mental equilibrium. Homeopathy can effectively release stored traumas which are usually the underlying cause of anxiety.
From an energetic standpoint the root or base chakra is the one which is most affected and destabilised by fears. Fears and anxieties about self-worth, inadequacy and confidence are indications that the base chakra needs healing with remedies that will help ‘ground’ the person. The base chakra is the most active chakra in childhood up to puberty and registers any traumas that occur during this time. Remedies which help heal the base are often tree remedies such as Oak, Fagus, Thuja, Buddleia, White Chestnut Flower etc. and other remedies such as Plutonium, Yellow, Aconite, Arnica, Ars-alb, Lycopodium and Psorinum.
The Thymus gland is connected to the Heart Chakra or Higher Heart Chakra. It is the organ that appears to hold the history of childhood/family/ancestral/emotional unresolved traumas. Many of the miasmatic and new homeopathic remedies mentioned below act on the thymus and heart chakras such as Plutonium, Buddleia, Sea Holly, Lotus, Oak, Rose Quartz, Sandalwood and Thymus Gland. More traditional remedies which acton the heart include Nat-Mur, Ignatia, Thuja and Tuberculinum.
The kidneys have a direct relationship with the heart – these two organs must be able to communicate with each other energetically at all times because of their influence on the blood. The Kidneys are responsible for the upward flow of fluid energy (water) to the heart and the heart controls the downward flow of heat (fire) to the kidneys. The kidneys carry what is known in Chinese medicine as ‘essence’ which describes a persons hereditary energy and determines the strength and vitality of their constitution.
In homeopathy it is possible to prescribe not just for miasmatic inheritance but also for the effects of emotional and spiritual inheritance. The emotion most associated with the kidneys is fear. This may be slow fear that develops from accumulating anxiety or sudden explosive fear from shock. It can also be inherited fear from anxious or chronically shocked parents.
In his book Volume 2 of the ‘New Materia Medica’ Colin Griifths goes into detail about the effects of anxiety on the kidneys: Fear may cause chi to descend through the body and the result can be weakness of the bladder (especially at night in fearful children) and sometimes of the bowels. Or it can cause chi to rise; there is a rush of adrenaline, a flushed face, dry mouth, restless and insomnia.
One of the causes of anxiety that affects and depletes the kidney yin energy is stress at work: mental overwork combined with lack of relaxation. The depletion of yin energy leads to too much yang/adrenal/fire energy because there is too much ‘doing’ at the expense of ‘allowing or receiving’. Symptoms such as light-headedness, tinnitus, poor memory, reduced hearing, night sweats, thirst and a sore back with darker urine can be the result.
If anxiety has led to a state of victimhood or apathy then there is excessive yin energy which allows or even invites further loss of energy to others. Here there can be chilliness, weakness, lassitude, water retention, lack of thirst, poor appetite and loose motions. There is too much ‘feeling’ at the expense of ‘thinking or choosing’. Remedies which support the kidneys include Ars-alb, Calc- carb, Lycopodium, Nat-our, Phosphorus, Brown Rice, Oak, Sandalwood and White Chestnut Flower.
Below are some of the homeopathic remedies that might be used to treat anxiety. Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and contains only brief notes on some of the remedies to illustrate the scope of homeopathy in treating this condition.
Bach Rescue Remedy is a combination of flower essences available widely in pharmacies and great to keep in your handbag or first aid kit for use in any crisis.
Kali Phos tissue salt is a nerve nutrient and helps with nervous tension, depression, irritability and exhaustion.
General remedy for panic. Fear comes on suddenly and with great intensity. Restless, afraid of death, thirsty. Skin hot and dry. Palpitations. Better in the open air. Predicts the time of his death. Worse from cold or a cold wind. Worse at night.
A remedy made from adrenaline, the hormone and neurotransmitter which is released in circumstances experienced by the body as a threat. Adrenaline is harmful in large quantities. The rapid release of adrenaline is part of our survival mechanism designed only for acute situations (fight or flight). Over production can cause many problems through the body. This remedy helps to regulate the production of adrenaline whether it is too much (anger/anxiety) or too little (burnout).
Crippling fear of cancer. People who need this remedy can become quite morbid because of their anxiety about health leads them to feel they will die ‘before their time’.
Severe anticipatory anxiety especially when travelling way from home or appearing in public. Indicated for OCD, panic attacks, claustrophobia and agoraphobia. People in this remedy pattern are easily overwhelmed by panic, becoming restless and agitated. They find it impossible to stop their mind running over improbable disaster scenarios. Fear of their own impulses (e.g. fear that he would throw himself off a bridge). “What if?” fantasies (“What if the cable on the bridge broke as we drove over it?”). Better from fresh, cool air. Worse in open spaces or a crowd. Craves sugar, which causes belching.
Characteristically fends off feeling of anxiety by being meticulously tidy. Fastidious, perfectionist, critical. Fears disease, robbers or death. Especially at night and when alone. Very restless and chilly.
A group of homeopathic remedies which can help to restore a health biome and when there are problems with a leaky gut. Because the gut is the ‘second’ brain problems with the gut often manifest alongside a state of tension and antagonism with the self.
Brown Rice (Oryza sativa)
This is a remedy for the lonely child. Anxiety from change. Nervous and anxious but don’t feel they can ask for help. Overwhelmed by anxieties but can’t identify what they are. Anxiety about routines being broken or lack of routine.
A great shock and trauma remedy. Can clear inherited unresolved ancestral grief and trauma from the tissue memory.
For the person who fears for his sanity, forgets things easily and becomes overweight and feels the cold.
Anxiety that time is running out, going too quickly. That he or she is wasting precious time. About the future, with restlessness.
Acute anxiety with confusion. Anxiety about financial security. Helps to clear negative thought patterns from the subconscious. ‘It can help you relax to the core of your being.’ For situations in which we have no control or are trying to control.’ Combines well with Rose and Lotus.
Helpful where fear of failure and low confidence creates panic just before interviews or exams.
Anxiety that follows loss of a loved-one or break up of a love affair.
Anxiety with an over stimulated mind. People in this remedy state may have an overacted thyroid gland making them feel hot and sweaty and needing to eat a lot.
Fears about health especially a heart attack. Worse at night (1-3am). Sleeps with a hand over the heart. Chilly and can’t get warm. Persistent thoughts at night. Aversion to going to bed.
Anxiety about a new situation, or any situation that involves performing in front of an audience, especially if a person craves sweets and feels worse in hot stuffy rooms.
Used where people feel dirty or contaminated. They are afraid of disease and wash their hands compulsively.
Anxiety from lack of confidence with confusion and great physical tension. Anxiety over being late.
Calms any digestive problems due to anxiety and it all cushions any impact caused by fear and stress.
For tense, fearful, anxious states. Person apt to dwell on morbid topics and never at ease with other people or in any social situation. Hates fuss and sympathy.
Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus)
Has a reputation for being similar to Rescue Remedy. Though it works on the physical body as well as the psyche. Anxiety which manifests as physical tension. It helps to balance the four elements in the body: earth, wind, water and fire. When fearfulness and stress causes a loss of energy Lotus 30c medicating potency can be combined with Mimulus, Larch and White Chestnut flower essences will act as a subtle support.
Anxiety felt in the chest. Anxiety which manifests as physical tension. Fosters resilience in the face of inevitable stress. Debility and weakness after a long struggle with a difficult or stressful situation.
Acute anxiety. “It is a calming remedy for the hurt mind; a tranquillising influence on those who carry shock and trauma in the psyche and are unable to release them. It slows down an agitated system.’
For sensitive, warm, outgoing people who feel as ‘nervous as a racehorse’. Extremely sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. Always better from company and reassurance that he/she is liked and approved of. Startles easily. Flashes of short-lasting energy and drive. Anxious during thunderstorms. Sensitive to sounds, odours and light. Thirst for ice-cold drinks. Craves ice cream, spicy food or chocolate.
Like all radiation remedies, Plutonium reduces terrible fearfulness held in a patient’s auric field. At the core of this remedy is destructiveness and breakdown. Physical restlessness yet exhaustion. Anxiety worse from indecision.
Helps to heal the fear of poverty or ‘poverty consciousness’. People in this energy pattern have low expectations and feel dissatisfied and miserable; they think nothing will ever get better.
Useful for people who have superstitious behaviour patterns such as not stepping on the cracks in the pavement or compulsively checking that everything electrical is tuned off in the house.
Anxiety in those who have turned towards recreational drugs, smoking, drinking, allopathic medicine. Over anxiety, despair and sadness about the state of the environment. Fragility due to being worn down by anxieties.
Anxiety about mortality. Opens up the heart chakra to the possibility of resolving emotional trauma that has been buried for too long.
Anxiety felt in the heart after traumatic emotional events. Fosters calm and encourages a sense of having more time to cope. A balm to the spirit and emotions.
Relieves tension in the nervous system. It gives detachment in a crisis and fosters understanding and a clarity of mind. Very grounding, eases strain on the thymus gland and protects the heart. Anxiety from change. About death, drowning the future. Hypertension worse when anxious and agitated.
A major remedy where anxiety is associated with lack of drive. Withdrawal and lack of competitive spirit are indications for this remedy. A good remedy for those who feel shy and unconfident and who withdraw into a private world whenever they feel exposed in public settings.
Anxiety as if the person has done something they should not have done. Thymus Gland opens up the body, mind and spirit to past trauma; this may be physical, emotional or ancestral. Starts a process of healing and may be followed by other complementary remedies.
Indicated where a person is suffering from hyperactivity or workaholism. Nervous system revving out of control. People in this energy pattern are impatient and intolerant of other people and find it impossible to delegate. They feel very driven inside and find it hard to relax even in bed.
Stillness and peace of mind in all states of worry and anxiety whatever the cause.
Has a calming effect on those who have lived through a series of traumas or who are perpetually agitated for some reason that is not evident. Deep distrust in life and fear of change and moving forward.