Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults each year. No one needs to be told that anxiety can be a debilitating condition.
There are many medications available to treat anxiety, but they often come with unwanted side effects which prompts many people to seek out natural alternatives. If you are looking for a more natural way to deal with your anxiety, here are some options to consider.
1. Exercise Regularly to Release Endorphins and Improve Your Mood
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It helps to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise also helps to increase energy levels and improve sleep quality, both of which can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
If you don't have time for a full workout, even a brief walk or jog can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety thoughts. Try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Besides the physical benefits of exercise, it can also help to improve your mental well-being. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health concluded that "regular aerobic exercise promotes a reduction in anxiety levels."
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can equally affect your anxiety levels. Eating a diet that is high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can worsen anxiety symptoms. Foods that are high in omega-three fatty acids, like salmon, have been shown to help reduce anxiety.
Besides eating a healthy diet, it is also important to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Aim to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.
3. Sleep Well Every Night
Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it can also help to reduce anxiety. A lack of sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms, so it is important to get enough rest. Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do to help. Try avoiding caffeine in the evening, establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a relaxing bedtime routine. You can also try some bed-time relaxation techniques, like taking a CBD gummy, reading, or taking a warm bath before going to bed.
4. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Some popular relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
Deep breathing is a simple but effective relaxation technique. To do this, sit with your eyes closed and take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Breathe in for a count of four, then breathe out for a count of four. Repeat this until you feel more relaxed.
Meditation is another great way to reduce stress and anxiety levels. There are many types of meditation, so it is important to find one that works best for you. One popular type of meditation is mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment without judgment.
Yoga is another excellent relaxation technique that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga involves both physical and mental components, which can help to relax the mind and body.
5. Spend Time With Friends and Loved Ones
Spending time with friends and loved ones can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Social support is an effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Besides spending time with friends and family, you can also join a support group for people with anxiety. This can be a great way to meet others who are dealing with similar issues.
There are many online support groups available, as well as in-person groups. Support Groups Central, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and Mental Health America all have online support groups you can join.
6. Identify Your Anxiety Triggers and Avoid Them If Possible
Many things can trigger anxiety. It is important to identify your anxiety triggers and try to avoid them if possible.
Some common anxiety triggers include:
- Certain people or situations
- Stressful life events
- Lack of sleep
Once you know what triggers your anxiety, you can develop a plan to deal with it. For example, if you know that caffeine triggers your anxiety, you can try to avoid it or limit your intake.
If financial stress is a trigger for your anxiety, try to create a budget and stick to it. This can help you feel more in control of your finances and less anxious about money.
7. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Both substances are central nervous system stimulants. This means they can aggravate anxiety and make it harder to relax. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s best to limit your intake of both caffeine and alcohol.
Of course, everyone is different. Some people find that a small amount of caffeine helps them focus and feel less anxious. If this is the case for you, stick to one cup of coffee per day. The same goes for alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner might help you relax, but drinking more than that can have the opposite effect.
If you think either caffeine or alcohol is making your anxiety worse, it’s best to cut back or eliminate it from your diet.
8. Practice Guided Imagery.
Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that involves using your imagination to visualize a calm and peaceful scene. To do this, find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths.
Then, imagine a peaceful scene. This could be anywhere you’ve been before, or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Visualize every detail of the scene, from the colors and smells to the sounds. Spend a few minutes in this peaceful place, then slowly open your eyes.
Guided imagery is a great way to relax and reduce stress. It can be done anywhere, at any time.
9. Follow the 3-3-3 Rule.
The 3-3-3 rule is a simple relaxation technique that can be done anywhere. To do this, simply look around and name three things you see. Then, name the three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body.
For example, you might look around the room and see a lamp, a book, and a pencil. You might hear cars outside, the sound of your breath, and the ticking of a clock. You might move your hand, your foot, and your head.
Doing this will help to ground you in the present moment and break the cycle of anxiety.
10. Add CBD to Your Daily Routine
Adding CBD to your daily routine is one of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety without medications. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp plants and has been shown to have many therapeutic benefits.
A 2011 study investigated the effects of CBD on people suffering from social anxiety disorder, or SAD. They divided participants into two groups: one that received 400 mg of CBD and one that received a placebo. Those who received CBD reported a significant decrease in anxiety.
Several other studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, have shown that CBD can help deal with common anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD also has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can also help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, like headaches and muscle tension. CBD is available in many forms, including tinctures, capsules, creams, and edibles. If you're looking for a natural way to lower your anxiety levels, adding CBD to your daily routine is a savvy way to start.
Anxiety is a common condition that can be debilitating if left untreated. If you’re struggling with anxiety, there are many natural ways to find relief. From relaxation techniques like guided imagery and yoga to lifestyle changes like getting more sleep and reducing stress, there are many options available. You can also try adding CBD to your daily routine to give yourself a mood boost.
If you’re struggling to manage your anxiety on your own, it’s important to seek professional help. While there are many effective natural treatments for anxiety, it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If your anxiety is interfering with your daily life, please make an appointment with a therapist or healthcare professional to get some help with your mental health.