Stop. Breathe in. Breathe out.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably suffering from anxiety and looking for some advice.
Feeling anxious isn’t fun. In fact, it can be downright debilitating. Anxiety can impact your personal and professional life in equal measure, and it can often strike without warning, triggered by any number of reasons. Worrying about work, relationships, your health, your wealth, or your future can place a burden on your mind and impact your well-being.
Perhaps you’ve considered medication in an attempt to alleviate your symptoms. However, relieving anxiety doesn’t have to be left squarely in the hands of big pharmaceutical companies. There are countless natural remedies out there that you’re bound to find effective.
Here are ten that you can put into practice today to help combat those anxious feelings.
Put the Kettle On
Just holding a nice, warm cup of tea can sometimes be enough to calm you down. But it’s what’s in your mug that can truly make a positive difference.
You might consider green tea, which is chock full of antioxidants and other good stuff, including an amino acid called L-theanine. This particular amino acid has been shown to help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
For a lot of people, exercise is a key part in alleviating stress, depression, and anxiety. Not only is it good for your physical health, but there are also a number of mental benefits to regular, long-term exercise.
You’ll find that, as your self-esteem increases, you’ll feel healthier and happier. And, as your fitness improves, any lingering concerns over ill health will slowly fade away.
You’ll also release lots of endorphins, chemicals that interact with your brain and reduce your perception of pain while triggering positive feelings in your body. Those feelings are often described as a “runner’s high.” Learn more about getting started with an exercise regime here.
Run a Bath
If the previous kind of running isn’t really your bag, then here’s another you can try. Nothing beats running (and slipping into) a warm, relaxing bath. Studies have shown that increasing your body temperature can actually have a positive impact on your mood and lessen anxiety.
You should also consider adding some Epsom bath salts as the magnesium sulfate will lower your blood pressure and make you feel better. Or why not try some calming scented bath oils, such as vanilla or lavender?
Speaking of which…
Breathe In (Lavender)
Deep, long breaths will always help when you’re feeling panicked or stressed, and when you add the aroma of lavender to the mix, you’ll find an intoxicating calming scent that triggers feelings of peacefulness.
The science behind this suggests that the smell of lavender actually has a similar impact to that of a sedative and is particularly helpful if you’re having trouble relaxing or falling asleep.
Pet Your Pets
Your furry little companions can offer more than just unconditional love. They can also be the unwitting saviors in relieving anxiety. Whether it’s playing to take your mind off of whatever’s troubling you or always being game for a cuddle, your pets offer a number of outlets for dealing with the stressful moments of everyday life.
They’ll never judge you, always love you, and always be ready to lend a sympathetic ear (so long as you aren’t looking for any advice in return).
Embrace the Great Outdoors
Never underestimate the impact of sunshine – or lack thereof. If you’re stressed and anxious at work, being cooped up in an office isn’t going to do you much good. That’s why it’s important to get outside once in awhile, even for a quick 15-20 minute contemplative stroll. You’ll have a chance to increase your vitamin-D levels, which can actually help fend off the symptoms of anxiety and depression while taking your mind off of whatever’s weighing you down.
If you’re a city dweller, bear in mind the good being surrounded by greenery can do. A study conducted in Japan found that those who spent time walking in a forest had lower levels of stress hormones than those walking in urban surroundings. The fresh air and quiet of a natural environment will do wonders for your mental and physical well-being, so seek out a nice public park if a forest isn’t handy.
Skip That Third Latte
Overconsumption of caffeine is never a good thing, and when you’re feeling anxious, it will only serve to amplify your symptoms. While you may rely on your morning cup of coffee for a quick energy boost, you should try to cut back on drinking more throughout the day.
Also try to be conscious of what else may contain caffeine. If you’re prone to snacking, steer clear of chocolate, soda, or energy drinks. And while we’re on the subject of diet…
Eat More Fish
Omega-3 fatty acid, predominantly found in fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, is widely accepted as being good for the heart, but did you know it’s also good for your mental health?
Studies have shown that consuming more fish and, therefore, more omega-3 can affect the functionality of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin go hand in hand with depression and anxiety, so increasing those levels can go some way towards being preventative. It has also been noted that communities in which fish was more regularly consumed actually reported lower levels of mental health issues.
Eat Better in General
Be sure you’re giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs and craves, such as vitamin B and C and magnesium. Eating foods that contain these, along with omega-3 discussed previously, has been shown to have a positive impact on your mental health, lower stress hormones, and combat feelings of depression or anxiety.
Foods such as blueberries, spinach, avocado, and even some quality dark chocolate (high in cacao) all contain those necessary nutrients and minerals.
Lastly, try to cut out sugar where possible. Not only will it impact your physical health, but it has also been suggested that it can increase symptoms of anxiety. Seek out fruits, nuts and seeds as a substitute snack if your tummy starts rumbling between meals.
Feeling anxious is never fun, and of course it’s always recommended to speak with your doctor if it’s having a seriously detrimental impact on your life. Hopefully, these natural anxiety relief techniques will help alleviate your symptoms and start to take your life back from anxiety and depression.
Have you tried any of these methods? Did they work for you? Do you have any others you can recommend? Let us know in the comments.