Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental disease in the United States, affecting 18.1% of the population each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. That equates to 40 million people in the United States, with fewer than 40% receiving treatment.
Furthermore, anxiety can cause a variety of symptoms that might interfere with your everyday life, such as impaired concentration, fatigue, increased irritability, trouble sleeping, and others. Don’t put off visiting a doctor if you’ve noticed yourself experiencing any of the above on a regular basis.
Fortunately, several tried-and-true natural remedies may help you on a daily basis if you are feeling anxious, agitated, or restless. They include but are not limited to meditating, practicing yoga, avoiding alcohol and caffeine in favor of herbal teas, including CBD into your daily routine, eating a balanced diet, trying aromatherapy and breathing techniques. Continue reading to learn more about naturally soothing your anxiety.
Incorporate CBD Into Your Daily Routine
CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that may help relieve anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders without the “high” caused by THC. While much more research is needed to determine the full potential of CBD oil in treating mental health conditions, early research suggests that “current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.”
CBD comes in different forms, from oils and tinctures to softgels and body creams, so you will be able to find something for your needs. However, make sure to order only from reputable manufacturers, like Kimberly James CBD Products or other premium brands. It is recommended to start with a small amount of CBD and increase the dosage gradually to observe the effects and find the dosage that works best for you.
Yoga is an ancient form of self-care that brings together postures, breathing, and meditation into one powerful practice. It may help reduce stress and anxiety by calming the nervous system and lowering cortisol. Some common yoga poses include:
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose). Stand straight with your toes touching and your arms by your sides. Raise your arms upward and keep them parallel to the ground as you bend forward at the waist. Hold for five breaths before sitting down. Repeat five times.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand straight with your arms by your sides, palms facing inward and feet together. Lift your chest and slide your hands over your shoulders. Hold for five breaths before returning to the starting position. Repeat five times.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years as a ritual to focus the mind and spirit. It is a form of mental training that may help you relax, combat stress, and lessen anxiety. There are a variety of different types of meditation, including ones specific to particular religions. Perhaps you may find comfort in a particular type of meditation, but if not, there are a few simple rules to consider:
- Find a comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed.
- Commit to a regular time every day to meditate.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Focus on your breathing and nothing else. Let other thoughts come and go, and do not chase them away or try to control them.
- If you find yourself thinking about something other than your breathing, try to bring your attention back to your breath. The more you practice this, the easier it will be.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can trigger anxiety by increasing levels of adrenaline in the body, which can cause you to feel stressed out, irritable, or even lightheaded or dizzy. Both alcohol and coffee can also interfere with sleep, which tends to exacerbate feelings of anxiety or depression. And since both substances contain harmful additives that may increase risks for certain cancers, it’s best to avoid them altogether or limit consumption to one drink per week.
Instead of drinking coffee or alcohol, reach for herbal teas instead! Herbal teas have been shown to have similar calming properties without any adverse side effects. Some soothing herbal teas include chamomile, lavender, skullcap, passionflower, valerian, etc. In addition, try adding some fresh ginger root to your next cup of tea!
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower rates of anxiety, especially when paired with regular exercise. Eating probiotic foods like yogurt or taking probiotic supplements every day may also help improve digestion which can lower levels of stress hormones in the body, leading to less anxiety overall.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon or sardines may also help reduce anxiety symptoms by reducing inflammation in the body, which is believed to play a role in panic attacks and general anxiety disorder symptoms. Other foods that may help fight anxiety include avocados, leafy greens, legumes, tomatoes, garlic, nuts, etc. Try incorporating these foods into your daily meals as much as possible!
Breathing techniques can be very effective in lowering anxiety symptoms. Try the following breathing exercises to help soothe your anxiety symptoms:
- Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and exhale through your mouth for eight counts. Do this for 10 minutes at a time.
- Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth for eight counts. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes at a time.
Essential oils like lavender, frankincense, rosemary, chamomile, etc., may help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Try adding some of these essential oils to a diffuser with water and breathing in the soothing scents for up to 20 minutes per day.
For example, the following recipe for Calming Sleep is said to help you fall asleep more quickly and enjoy deep, refreshing sleep:
- 1 tbs lavender essential oil,
- 1 tbs frankincense essential oil,
- 1 tbs chamomile essential oil.
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, try to look for the bright spots in your life. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and the things that make you smile. This will help you remember that life isn’t always bad, but rather that there are still good things out there that are worth living for.
Remember that it’s okay to take some time to yourself every once in a while to regroup and feel better about life.