Anxiety is a common issue that many experience at some time or another. In fact, it is estimated that over 40 million adults deal with this, and more are being diagnosed each year. In this post, you will find 9 natural solutions for anxiety relief that are doctor recommended and work well.I myself have dealt with anxiety (and panic attacks) for many years. If you are dealing with this, I know just what you are going through! Sometimes it feels like hell! But not to worry, there are answers and you will find what works for you.
If you suffer from anxiety please read on.
I have 9 natural solutions for anxiety relief that I think can really help!
What Is Anxiety?Anxiety is defined by the American Psychological Association as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical change like an increase in blood pressure..” These symptoms are also known as the “fight or flight” instinct or response and are a very normal and necessary reaction if faced with an emergency of some sort.
Anxiety Is Not:
- Just nervousness
- Depression (although some people do have depression in addition to anxiety)
- Something you can just turn off or stop
- A weakness
What Causes Anxiety?Anxiety is so common that it seems like there would be a simple cause, right? Sorry, I wish that were true! Anxiety can have many causes. A person may have a number of factors in life that all contribute to anxiety.
- Poor gut health (which has been linked to brain chemistry)
- Excessive stress
- And many others 🙁
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9 Natural Solutions for Anxiety Relief
1. Eliminate CaffeineCaffeine is quite stimulating to the body, and while a cup of coffee can be a great pick-me-up and taste delicious, for some people (especially those with adrenal fatigue!) it can have a negative effect on adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol levels. According to Dr. Gottfried, having these chemicals out of sync can definitely cause or contribute to anxiety!
2. Avoid Blood Sugar SwingsYou may notice that if you go too long without eating anxiety may seem worse. This is no coincidence. Your brain needs glucose to function properly and if you get busy or forget to eat, your blood sugar can get out of whack. To avoid this, be sure to eat regular (healthy!) meals. It is a good idea to keep snacks such as nuts, cheese, a good protein source like natural meat sticks, or a little fruit with you if you have a busy day and there is the chance you may have to eat on the go. Word of caution: If you find yourself needing something to eat, be sure to skip the junk food!! Sugary food can make blood sugar swings worse!
3. Add MagnesiumMagnesium is an incredibly important mineral for the body! This mineral is needed for hundreds of biochemical processes in the body but because of our modern diet, many are deficient. For relaxation (and general health!) consider adding magnesium to your daily routine. There are great magnesium lotions, flakes to add to a bath, and powdered drinks, so adding it to your day is really easy!
4. Breathe for CalmnessIt is common for people to hold their breath or breathe very shallow when stressed. To help induce a calm state, try breathing in through your nose for four counts, holding your breath for four counts, and exhaling for four counts. Do this a few times and then breathe normally. You can also try sitting in a quiet place, plugging your right nostril and only breathing through your left nostril for a few minutes. Both of these techniques are thought to slow breathing, help bring focus to the breath, and reduce feelings of anxiety.
5. Consider Adding Yoga and ExerciseYoga can be great for anxiety. Taking time to stretch, breathe, and look inward is all part of yoga, and beneficial to both body and mind. Yoga is a wonderful restorative practice. Other exercises can be helpful too. Walking, running, lifting weights, or any activity that you like can help focus the mind, regulate the breathing, and reduce anxiety. Just be careful and listen to your body.
6. Prioritize Responsibilities and Learn to Say NoOkay, I’m not gonna lie, this one is really hard for me! Responsibilities are a fact of life, we all have them. But if you are dealing with anxiety, it may a good idea to re-evaluate your responsibilities and make a few changes. Time to put yourself and your needs towards the top of the list! After an evaluation of responsibilities and some changes, be sure not to take any more on (at least for the time being). Lightening your load may be just what you need to reduce anxiety and start building the life you want!
7. Pay Attention To Your ThoughtsWe all have thoughts that play in our head continuously throughout the day. Pay attention because if you have anxiety, you may be having negative or fearful thoughts on that playlist. Your thoughts have a profound effect on how you perceive situations and life in general, so be aware of your self talk!
8. Consider Keeping a JournalA journal is a great way to write down thoughts and feelings, reminders of what you are grateful for, or to be able to look back and see patterns and progress. It’s also great for getting those negative or fearful thoughts out of your head and on to paper, so you can think of better things. Spending only a few minutes per day can make a big difference!
9. Reach OutAnxiety only gets worse the longer those scary and intrusive thoughts go around and around in your mind. Sometimes a good conversation is one of the best ways to calm the mind for a time. Find at least one person that you can reach out to when you need someone. This could be a friend, parent, sibling, or counselor. No matter who it is, make sure to ask for help if you need it! Asking for help is not weak, it is really a sign of a very strong person!!
A Few Last Thoughts….
I know it doesn’t feel like it, but anxiety really does serve an important function. When you feel the anxious, fearful, and intrusive thoughts start, remind yourself that these thoughts are there for a reason, and they will pass.
Your mind and body are trying to tell you something. Do your best to accept where you are right at that moment and begin to use some of the ideas above to help.
Acceptance, reflection, and taking positive steps to a calmer state will help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your needs, which will help you deal effectively with stress and anxiety in the future.
Please remember- you are a work in progress and the process of anxiety relief takes time! Give yourself time, love, patience, and understanding. Treat yourself with the same patience and love you would a dear friend. You need that right now and you most certainly deserve it!
Association, A. P. (n.d.). Anxiety. Retrieved from American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety
Brogan, K. M. (n.d.). Depression Starts In Your Gut. Retrieved from Kelly Brogan M.D.: https://kellybroganmd.com/depression-starts-in-your-gut/
Gottfried, S. M. (2015, August 24). Anxiety: 5 Ways to Reset from Anxious to Zen. Retrieved from Dr. Sara Gottfried MD: https://www.saragottfriedmd.com/anxiety-5-ways-to-reset-from-anxious-to-zen/
Do you deal with anxiety?
I would love to hear some of your natural solutions!!
Feel free to leave them in the comments.
I have a background in natural health and homeopathy, have been a licensed massage therapist for over 14 years, and have a degree in Human Services. But most importantly, I am a wife and mom.
My mission is to provide researched information and actionable steps to help you on your road to good health.
Because there is nothing more important than....
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