Anxiety is a problem that millions of people deal with on a daily basis. While there are many prescription medications available to help, they often come with unwanted side effects.
In this article, we will discuss 10 ways that you can reduce anxiety naturally, without the use of medication. These methods include exercise, diet, and relaxation techniques. If you are looking for an all-natural way to reduce your anxiety symptoms, read on!
What is Anxiety?
Before we get into the ways that you can reduce anxiety, let’s first take a look at what anxiety is. Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all feel from time to time. It is the body’s way of preparing us to deal with threatening situations.
For some people, however, anxiety can become a chronic problem that interferes with their daily lives. When this happens, it is important to seek professional help. But there are also a number of things that you can do on your own to help reduce your anxiety symptoms.
Some common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling tense or nervous
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling short of breath
- Feeling like you can’t concentrate or think straight.
10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear that can be mild or severe. While everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, for some people it can be constant and overwhelming. If you’re looking for natural remedies to help ease your anxiety, here are 10 options to try.
#1 – Stay Active
When you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything. However, exercise is one of the best things you can do for anxiety relief.
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It also helps to take your mind off of whatever is causing your anxiety.
If you don’t feel like going to the gym, there are plenty of other ways to get active. Taking a brisk walk, going for a swim, or taking a yoga class are all great options.
#2 – Steer Clear of Alcohol
It’s common for people to drink alcohol to relax, but it can actually make anxiety worse. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down the brain and body. This can lead to feelings of drowsiness and sleepiness, as well as impairing your judgment.
In addition, alcohol withdrawal can cause anxiety. If you drink heavily, you may experience anxiety when you try to cut back or stop drinking. To avoid this, it’s best to steer clear of alcohol altogether. If you do drink, do so in moderation.
#3 – Consider Quitting Smoking
Smoking is another common way people try to relieve anxiety, but it can actually have the opposite effect. Nicotine is a stimulant, which means it speeds up the brain and body. This can result in increased heart rate, sweating, and jitters – all of which can worsen anxiety.
In addition, smoking is addictive and quitting can be difficult. If you’re struggling to quit, there are many resources available to help you, including nicotine replacement therapies and counseling.
#4 – Limit Caffeine Intake
Like nicotine, caffeine is a stimulant. It can cause increased heart rate, sweating, and jitters – all of which can worsen anxiety.
If you’re struggling to quit, there are many resources available to help you, including counseling and support groups.
#5 – Prioritize Getting a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is crucial for managing anxiety. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind aren’t able to properly rest and recover. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety.
To get a good night’s sleep, aim for seven to eight hours per night. Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading or taking a bath, to help you wind down before sleep.
You should also avoid watching television or working on the computer in bed. The light from screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep process.
#6 – Meditate and Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing your attention on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Research shows that mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety.
To start practicing mindfulness, try a simple meditation exercise. Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Focus your attention on your breath. As you breathe in and out, pay attention to the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. Continue for five minutes or longer.
You can also incorporate mindfulness into your everyday activities. For example, when you’re eating, take the time to really taste and savor your food. Or, when you’re out for a walk, pay attention to the sensations of your feet hitting the ground and the sensation of the air on your skin.
#7 – Eat a Balanced Diet
What you eat can have a big impact on your anxiety levels. Eating a diet that’s high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can make anxiety worse. On the other hand, eating a diet that’s rich in whole foods, healthy fats, and antioxidants can help reduce anxiety.
Some specific foods that may help reduce anxiety include:
- Dark chocolate
- Green, leafy vegetables
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s worth making sure that you’re eating a balanced diet.
#8 – Practice Deep Breathing
One of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce anxiety is to focus on your breathing. When we’re anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid. This can cause us to feel even more anxious.
Practicing deep breathing is a simple way to calm the body and mind. To do this, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Slowly inhale through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise. Then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes.
You can also try different deep breathing exercises, such as:
- Box breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for fourer counts, and repeat.
- Equal breathing: Inhale and exhale for the same count, such as two or three seconds.
- Belly breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and inhale deeply so that your stomach expands. Slowly exhale and feel your stomach fall.
#9 – Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is another popular natural anxiety remedy. This involves using essential oils to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
There are a few different ways to use essential oils, such as:
- Diffusing them in an oil diffuser
- Adding them to your bathwater
- Massaging them into your skin
- Inhaling them directly from the bottle
Whichever method you choose, make sure to do a skin patch test first to ensure you’re not allergic to the oil. Once you’ve done that, lavender oil is a good place to start. This oil is known for its calming and relaxing effects.
#10 – Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea that has been used for centuries as a natural anxiety remedy. Chamomile tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in the brain and has calming effects.
To try chamomile tea for anxiety, steep one chamomile tea bag in hot water for about five minutes. You can also purchase chamomile supplements from most health food stores.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If anxiety is impacting your quality of life, please consult with a healthcare professional. There are many treatments available for anxiety and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, using some or all of the methods we’ve outlined can be a great start to finding relief. What has worked best for you in reducing anxiety? Let us know in the comments below!