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Health and Fitness News

Goodbye, Anxiety

Beat anxiety with these natural remedies.

Everyone deals with anxiety at some point in life. From public speaking and job interviews to fear about making ends meet and marriage proposals, there are countless causes of anxiety. Some people, however, deal with intense anxiety on a daily basis. Their minds blow anything and everything out of proportion, making simple challenges feel like impossible feats.

Millions of people deal with anxiety disorders, whether generalized anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or major depressive disorder. While highly treatable, less than half of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment.

In many cases, a combination of medication and therapy are the recommended methods of treatment, but these techniques often forget about the powerful effect lifestyle changes can have on relieving anxiety. If you’re living with anxiety and want a natural way to battle against it, give these a try and see how your mental health improves.

Exercise More

If you’re only going to make one lifestyle change in your effort to relieve anxiety, start exercising. It’s good for your physical health and your mental health as well. In some cases, exercise has proven to be as effective as medication at treating anxiety. So if you’re looking for a way to get off of anxiety medication, this could be it. For optimal outcome, aim to exercise for 30 minutes at least five days a week. Exercise will not only help relieve anxiety in the moment, but will continue improving your mood for hours afterward.

Cut Back on Caffeine

Your coffee addiction may not be helping your anxiety problem. Great as caffeine can be for focus, it can also leave you feeling nervous and jittery. To top these off, studies show caffeine may make your anxiety worse or even be the cause of panic attacks. Besides coffee, caffeine is also found in tea, soda, chocolate, diet pills, energy drinks, and certain headache medications.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The foods you eat influence your mental health. People who deal with anxiety would do well to avoid added sugars, simple carbs, preservatives, and artificial ingredients and eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Since drops in blood sugar levels may trigger anxiety, it’s important to eat on a regular schedule and include a source of protein and fiber at each meal and snack.

Get Plenty of Sleep

A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety, but anxiety often causes insomnia. Do what you can to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. A few ways to ensure quality sleep include going to bed and waking at the same time each day, sleeping in a cool, dark room, and not looking at screens while you’re in bed. If worries are keeping you awake, write them down before hitting the hay. That way, you get them out of your head and on paper. And once you face them in the morning, those same troubles may not be as overwhelming as you first thought.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

There are things you can do in the moment to ease feelings of anxiety. Meditation seeks to refocus your thoughts on the present, displacing your anxious thoughts with a sense of calm. Practice progressive muscle relaxation by tightening and relaxing your muscles. This helps relax your tense muscles. And deep-breathing exercises keep you from the shallow breathing, elevated heart rate, and lightheadedness that often accompany anxiety. As you take deep breaths, your brain gets the message that there’s nothing to fear, so your body and mind begin to relax.

Give Aromatherapy a Try

Various essential oils have a soothing and calming effect, and aromatherapy has been shown to improve sleep, boost mood, and help you relax. Lavender oil may have a similar effect on the brain as some anxiety medications. Other oils used to relieve anxiety include rosemary, ylang ylang, sweet orange, clary sage, and grapefruit.