Anxiety can be crippling. It’s described as an uneasy feeling, a feeling of nervousness that can affect your body mentally and physically. If escalated, anxiety can lead to compulsive behavior or panic attacks. In this guide, we’ll examine 5 tips and tricks for natural anxiety relief that are sure to help you find a sense of calm in your everyday life.
If you suffer from anxiety, know that you’re not alone. It’s estimated that around 40 million adults suffer from anxiety. This includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety to name a few.
It’s considered a normal part of life to feel anxious at some points in your life. But if the anxiety you experience is persistent, overwhelming and fills you with dread when facing even everyday challenges, it may be time to discuss a possible anxiety disorder with your health care team.
Anxiety is more than a mental health concern. It can also lead to physical health concerns such as:
- high blood pressure
- achy muscles or muscle tension
- shortness of breath and chest tightness
- debilitating panic attacks
- stomach aches or digestive problems
- heart palpitations
Natural anxiety relief tips and tricks
There are many anti-anxiety medications available via prescription from your doctor. But these may cause side effects that you want to avoid. There are also treatment options that include therapy, a powerful tool for learning how to cope with challenges and anxiety.
But you may be looking for natural remedies for anxiety you can do at home. These treatment options may be the catalyst you need to spark lasting change in your overall mental health journey. From herbal supplements to aids such as lavender oil and green tea, there are many options available to help you reduce stress and create a sense of inner peace.
Try these 5 tips and tricks today:
Tip #1: Get enough sleep
Anxious feelings can be exacerbated when you don’t get enough quality sleep. This can become a vicious cycle, as anxious feelings can cause a person to have difficulty sleeping.
The more anxious you feel, the more sleep you should try to get. Give yourself sleep goals such as:
- Shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Don’t underestimate the benefits of a 20-30 minute power nap in the afternoon or on a lunch break if you’re feeling fatigued and anxious.
- Keep your body and mind on track by waking up around the same time every morning and going to bed around the same time every night. Your body functions very well when on a routine.
- Drink chamomile tea or green tea before bed.
- Be aware of your blood sugar levels at bedtime. Levels that are too high or too low can impact your cycle of sleep as well as lead to other, more long-term health concerns.
- Use essential oils such as lavender around your home, in your bedtime bath or on your wrist to help you relax. You may also try CBD oil to help maximize your sleep time.
Tip #2: Practice gratitude
Studies show that people who practice gratitude experience fewer anxiety symptoms. Stress and anxiety can create a fog around us, leaving us absorbed in our anxious thoughts. It can also leave us unable to interact with or enjoy the world around us. Gratitude can help us reframe our current situation and break through that fog.
There are many ways that you can practice gratitude such as:
- Name 10 things that you’re thankful for when you wake up in the morning or as you’re falling asleep at night.
- Many people find that a gratitude journal helps them to feel better. If you would prefer to start with a guided journal, try something like Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration.
- Find ways to be grateful for the challenges you face and what they teach you.
- Appreciate small moments and opportunities that help you in reducing symptoms of anxiety.
- Find creative outlets to express your anxiety.
- Create a list of things to be grateful for and add to it daily.
- Say “thank you” often and show your gratitude for others in your community.
Tip #3: Choose the right foods
The foods you eat can have a significant impact on your physical state as well as your mental condition. When you’re feeling anxious, you might crave comfort foods that aren’t necessarily good for you. While grabbing a bag of chips or a donut might make us feel better in the moment, research shows that consuming processed or sugary foods can actually increase levels of anxiety long-term.
To set yourself up for success and to reduce anxiety and depression, eat a whole food, nutrient-dense diet. This can include foods such as:
- fruits and leafy greens (berries, spinach and collard greens)
- whole grains (barley and quinoa)
- foods rich in vitamin B such as asparagus and avocado
- foods rich in zinc such as nuts and legumes (walnuts, cashews, almonds, lentils and peas)
Tip #4: Meditate
Mindful meditation can also be an effective form of natural anxiety relief. Not only can it relieve anxiety today but it can also change the structure of your brain. This change can allow it to function more effectively in the future. In fact, research has shown that meditation can rewire how your brain responds to stress.
If you’re new to meditation, start with a guide. Apps like Calm and Headspace are great ways to get started, and both apps offer a free trial. You can also search on YouTube to find meditation videos.
Bonus tip: use lemon balm oil for an ultra refreshing and relaxing meditation session.
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Tip #5: Create a dream board
Sometimes our anxiety stems from future unknowns. Creating more positive and concrete thoughts about the future can not only help to combat those feelings of uncertainty. It can also allow us to embrace the power of visualization and shaping our future.
To create your own dream board:
- find images of what you want your life to look like in the future from magazines
- focus on images that spark joy, inspiration and peace of mind
- include photographs you’ve taken yourself on your board
- think about destinations, memories, settings and people who bring you a sense of calm
Affix these images to a poster board or cork board. You can also create an online dream board on Pinterest. When creating your board, use the T.H.I.N.K. tool. Choose visualizations that are:
Dedicate time each day to sitting with your board and soaking in the positivity and calm it brings you. Visualize how you want your life to change. Take small steps each day that help you actualize those changes.
Check out how to create a dream board here:
The bottom line
Anxiety is a condition that deserves treatment. If you are suffering from anxiety, you may find yourself believing otherwise from time to time. But remember that it’s something millions struggle with, that treatment options are widely available for and that you deserve a treatment plan that brings you peace. Natural anxiety relief options can complement traditional treatments or even replace them.
You may want to try several combinations of therapies and remedies to reduce your risk an an anxiety attack. Your health care team can help guide you down that path to treat your anxiety effectively.
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