Want to relieve anxiety naturally? Whether you worry about money, health, work, family, or love – anxiety touches nearly everyone in some way. Anxiety disorder is the most widespread mental illness in the US, with at least 40 million people suffering with some form, and millions more experiencing situational or temporary bouts.
Fortunately, anxiety is a highly treatable illness through therapy, and sometimes maybe even medication when needed or recommended by your doctor. In addition to these treatment options, there are also a few natural ways that seem to mitigate general anxiety and stress; these simple tweaks may not be an instant fix — but they may help to promote relaxation and calm- which can indirectly (and sometimes even directly) help with anxiety.
Whether you have a full-blown anxiety disorder or are just having temporary freak out, you may want to take a look at these 10 ways you can relieve anxiety NATURALLY!
1. Clean up your eating!
If you read my past blog post, What You Eat Really Does Affect Your Mood, you can see that recent research has shown a fairly strong connection between the food and mental health.
Poor diet can contribute to many anxiety symptoms, including moodiness, fatigue and abnormal blood sugar levels that may contribute to nervousness and the jitters. A poor diet can also lead to weight gain, which affects body image and can impact self-esteem.
Eating real, unprocessed foods, that are packed with nutrients – like magnesium, calcium, and iron. Next try adding in fruits, vegetables, clean proteins, and LOTS of water. Aim to stay away from fried foods, and refined sugars. If you need recipe ideas, visit my recipe page here!
2. Limit caffeine.
Excess coffee and caffeine in general is linked to anxiety symptoms like nervousness and jitters. In moderation caffeine, it may not trigger anxiety in most people, but more caffeine can mean a greater likelihood for anxiety. Caffeine in general can increase your heart rate, which may mimic the sensations of (and possibly lead to) a panic attacks. So try to cut back to 1 cup daily.
3. Drink a cup (or two!) of chamomile or passion flower tea.
If you’re feeling kind of stress, a cup of chamomile tea might help calm you down. Chamomile tea may not only help to reduce stress and anxiety, but it also may help insomnia and may help to calm tense muscles too.
Passion flower tea is another great natural remedy that may reduce stress and anxiety. This is because of the flavone chrysin contained in passion flower which has anti-anxiety benefits. Passion flower tea has been linked to better more peaceful sleep.
4. Eat plenty of magnesium and omega- 3 rich foods.
Magnesium, and omega-3s are known two nutrients that may help relieve anxiety and stress. So what should you add to your diet? To get more magnesium and omega-3s try adding avocados, dark chocolate, nuts/ seeds, and fatty fishes like salmon.
5. Make sure to get physical activity.
EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE! I can’t stress how important exercise is to your mental and physical health. Regular physical activity helps to improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, boost confidence, improve energy levels and ease stress. Exercise helps us to focus on the moment, by focusing us on the present (versus where most of our brains sit- which is in the future, and as an added bonus exercise can help to release a TON of endorphins. Don’t know how to get started? Here are a few of my favorite workouts the blog!
6. Practice mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation strengthens cognitive ability to regulate emotions. This study done by Wake Forest shows that just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety. You don’t need to become a Buddhist to incorporate mindfulness training into your daily routine. Check out this post by Psychology Today to learn how to get started.
7. Try adding a supplement like GABA or 5-HTP.
GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid) is an is a neurotransmitter that helps send messages between the brain and the nervous system. GABA’s role in the body is to calm restless or jittery nerves, which could be linked to feelings of anxiety and fear. Because of this calming effect, GABA supplements are often used as a natural remedy for anxiety. GABA has been shown to help reduce anxiety, and aid relaxation of your muscles.
5-HTP is another supplement that can be useful to relieve anxiety and stress. 5-HTP is the nutrient precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin—widely known as the “happy neurotransmitter”. By taking 5-HTP you could see an increase of serotonin in your brain, which in turn boosts mood.
Make sure to discuss any new supplements with your doctor before trying!
8. Get Plenty of Rest.
This is probably pretty obvious, but its so so important to make sure you’re getting enough zzz’s. Sleep deprivation can contribute many of your anxiety symptoms. When we restore proper sleep patterns, our brains get a chance to refresh and restore helping to reduce worry and tension.
9. Diffuse Essential Oils.
My oil diffuser is one of my FAVORITE items in my house. Oils like eucalyptus, lavender, jasmine, and ylang ylang, all make my room smell amazing, and hold incredible calming benefits. Try to diffuse your favorite scents before bed, or if you have a private office, try to sneak in a diffusing session during the work day!
10. Take time to Show Yourself LOVE!
Self- love (I’m sure you’ve heard me go on about this one before!), is a KEY to happiness. Take the time you need to de-stress, pamper and support your body by incorporating the things that make you feel good every single day. Add these 8 Self-Love Daily Practices to your routine, and truly honor the FABULOUS person you are!
Everyone goes through hard times, and nobody is expecting you to be perfect. I hope this short list inspired you, and helps you in your journey to being a healthier and happier YOU!