7 Natural Ways To Relieve Anxiety

The world we live in is competitive, chaotic, and fast, causing most of us to be anxious about everything from work to health. And, although a little anxiety is normal if you feel like your anxiety is getting in the way of your everyday life, you should definitely consult a professional.

In addition to professional help, you could try a few natural remedies that might help alleviate your anxiety. Here are a few that experts recommend.

1. Drink Herbal Teas

Herbal teas have calming effects.

Keep a stock of herbal teas like chamomile, lemon balm, and green tea at home and your workplace. Drink any one or a combination of them to manage anxiety. Here’s how each of them might help

  • Chamomile: This herb is believed to contain properties that have the same calming effects as valium, a calming drug.1
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  • Lemon balm: This is an age-old herb that’s used to relieve both stress and anxiety. To its credit, studies indicate that lemon balm does make people more calm and alert.2
  • Green tea: Although more popular for its weight-loss inducing properties, green tea also has calming properties. In fact, it contains L-theanine, a compound which, according to studies, calms people and helps them focus when they’re anxious.3

2. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise relieves stress

Workouts aren’t just for people who’re trying to lose weight or look buff. Studies indicate that exercise, especially aerobic exercise,  reduces the levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Additionally,

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exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Hence, exercising regularly will help you manage your anxiety better.4

3. Try Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements act as sedatives.

Certain herbs are believed to work as sedatives and relieve anxiety. Here are a few that researchers have looked into

  • Hops: This herb is commonly used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer and is believed to relieve anxiety and depression when had for 4 weeks.5
  • Valerian: This herb is prescribed by a lot of professionals to relieve anxiety. However, there isn’t enough research to support its effects as of yet.6
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  • Kava: This is a type of pepper and is proven to slightly improve the symptoms of anxiety.7
  • Passionflower: This herb is believed to act as a sedative and researchers believe that it effectively manages the symptoms of anxiety.8

Although you can find all of these herbs in the form of supplements, they might interact with each other and cause harm to your body, so be sure to supplement only under the guidance of a professional.

4.
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Eat Right

Healthy diet relieves stress.

Diet goes a long way to ensure you’re physically fit, but it’s also just as important for your mental health. Here are a few things you should do if you suffer from anxiety

  • Eat small (regular) meals: Research indicates that anxiety attacks lower blood pressure. Hence, it’s important to eat smaller meals throughout the day to keep your blood pressure in check.9 10
  • Consume probiotics: Studies state that people who consume probiotics regularly have lower anxiety levels than those who don’t. So, be sure to eat yogurt, kefir water, or kombucha.
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  • Have enough omega 3 fats: It’s important to incorporate omega 3 foods like salmon, nuts, and anchovies in your diet since low levels of it are associated with anxiety as well as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and attention deficit disorder.11
  • Load up on nutrients: Foods rich in magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins are believed to alleviate anxiety, so be sure to eat nuts, avocados, leafy greens, and seafood.

Additionally, experts believe that it’s important to consume a balanced diet rich in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat to improve both, mood and energy levels. Doing so also increases the total antioxidant state in the body, which, in turn, reduces the symptoms of anxiety disorders.12

5. Meditate Regularly

Meditation lowers anxiety.

Meditation might look and feel difficult in the beginning, but if you keep up with it, you might be able to effectively tackle your anxiety. Studies show that 30 minutes of meditation every day works as well as antidepressants to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Of

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all the meditation techniques, mindful meditation was the most effective. This technique involves being aware of the mind’s tendency to wander while meditating as well as being accepting of one’s feelings and thoughts without judgment. And, considering the fact that there’s no such thing as “right” or “wrong” technique in this form of meditation, it wouldn’t hurt to try meditation, starting tomorrow.13

6. Quit Addictive Substances

Smoking worsens anxiety.

Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine might trigger or worsen the symptoms of anxiety. Studies state that anxiety can drive people to drink which, in turn, could lead to negative consequences like alcoholism and liver cirrhosis. And, although further studies are required to fully understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and anxiety, experts recommend avoiding drinking.14

Additionally, cigarette smoke consists nicotine and other toxic chemicals which cause structural brain changes, inflammation, and oxidative stress. These changes worsen the symptoms of anxiety, so if you smoke, you should definitely consider quitting to relieve your anxiety.15

Caffeine isn’t taken as seriously as alcohol and tobacco, but studies show that it worsens anxiety symptoms in people. In addition to this, it could also lead to panic attacks. Hence, it might be best to either quit or reduce the amount of caffeine you consume in a day.16

7. Try Aromatherapy

Essential oils relieve anxiety symptoms.

Studies state that aromatherapy helps you relax, sleep, and stay calm. It also boosts your mood and lowers your blood pressure.17 A few essential oils that you could try include

  • Lavender: Studies indicate that lavender essential oil can be used as an effective substitute for the most common, potentially addictive psychoactive drugs used for anxiety. It is also believed to reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body.
  • Clary Sage: Research states that clary sage can be used regularly to alleviate the symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Apart from these two oils, you could also try mood-boosting essential oils like bergamot, ylang-ylang, and grapefruit. To use these essential oils, you could either use a diffuser or add them to a relaxing hot water bath. The latter will add to the relaxing benefits of the essential oils.18

In addition to incorporating the above into your lifestyle, don’t be too hard on yourself. Simply knowing the fact that you’re anxious is an important step to overcoming it.

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