Natural Ways to Control Anxiety
Ah…. Anxiety, the feeling of what some call “Catastrophic Thinking” or “Catastrophizing”. The mind going through a series of really terrible ideas and wondering “what if that would happen?”. Your brain going through a hard time of processing what to do, leading to your lost of function. Thinking that it would ruin your life. If left uncontrolled, it could really ruin your life.
Well to tell it frankly, all of us. Yes, even the ones you highly regard and idolize experienced those things. We are all human beings. The good news is there are Natural Ways to Control Anxiety and they are actually simple but effective.
1. Stay active and Exercise
21 Minutes of Exercise is all it takes to reliably reduce symptoms of anxiety since it will make you feel better by flooding your body with feel-good endorphins. Improving your cardiovascular system and circulations will help you feel better and mostly, feeling fit and healthy really makes you feel great! Researchers also believe that exercise increases body heat which would alter neural circuits within your brain and that includes the neurotransmitter for serotonin, which they believe to boost one’s mood, stimulate relaxation and mostly, alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
15 Minutes of sunlight will boost your mood! This is also the best way to naturally increase your vitamin D levels, alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms. A Japanese study found that people who walked through a forest for 20 minutes had a lower stress hormone levels after their walk than those on urban areas. So maybe a 15 minutes break and a walk on a park full of trees is what you need to take your mind off your stress.
2. Lessen Caffeine Intake
One of the problems of a former coffee addict such as me is having anxiety attacks after drinking a lot of coffee in a busy day. It is normal since caffeine boosts your energy, which would make you hyperactive and anxious. How about lessening your caffeine intake by reducing intake to a cup a day and see if you notice changes in your anxiety symptoms. You can also try switching to a drink with less caffeine such as green tea. Please also take note of other sources of caffeine that may be in your diet such as chocolate, tea, soda and some medications like Excedrin or Midol.
3. Get enough sleep
Insomnia is one of the clear signs of anxiety moreover, it causes people to be irritable. A long deep sleep would surely lighten up your mood.
Here are tips on having a great good night sleep.
- Only sleep at night when you are tired
- Applying Bluelight filter on your devices, such as computers, phones and laptops. It is always incorporated on your devices nowadays.
- Waking up and sleeping on the same time every day.
- Avoiding caffeine 6 to 8 hours before going to bed.
- Keeping your room cool and dark
4. Breathing and Meditation
Slow and Quiet Breathing
Panic and Anxiety attacks often lead to chest pains, which are cause by hyperventilating and tight muscles on the chest. If this happens, do not breathe deeply, breathe into a bag or breathe calmly. People tend to breathe faster when they are anxious, which would make them dizzy due to the blood pH levels becoming alkaline due to the loss of too much carbonic acid in our body. Breathe at a slow pace of about 6 to 8 times per minute and it would be a cue to your body that everything is going to be okay.
Meditation is also a good way to alleviate your stress levels and just focus on what you have right now. A 10-15 minute break to do mindfulness meditation could work wonders. How? It teaches your brain to shut off the excessive thoughts that keep swarming your mind. Even just doing it 5 minutes each day would work wonders to your mental health.
To do mindfulness meditation, time your phone maybe for only 5 minutes. Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breathe. When your brain wanders, which it will surely do, return your focus on your breathing. I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for more than a year now and I can tell that it works!
5. Healthy and Balanced Diet
Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. Artificial preservatives may cause mood change. Your may try foods listed below
- Omega-3 Fatty acids such as walnuts and salmon
- Vitamin C such foods such as orange
- B vitamins packed foods such as milk. Avocado and egg
- Blueberries are found to reduce stress hormone cortisol
- Magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables and whole grains
- Zinc which is found in oysters and liver
- L-Lysine found in meat, beans and fish is a building block for the neurotransmitters in your brain. Studies have shown that L-lysine supplements reduced levels of stress hormones in the body.
- High fiber foods such as Oats could help prevent blood sugar spikes which research shows to have a significant impact on the subject’s temperament.
6. Drinking Tea
How about some relaxing time while drinking tea? A study showed that chamomile tea may be a powerful ally against generalized anxiety disorder. In that study, people who took 220mg of chamomile capsule 5 times daily had a great reduction in scores for tests that measure anxiety symptoms compared to those who were in placebo. Another, a cup of tea on a relaxing day is always worth it.
A Soothing bath
A soothing warm bath that we always enjoy. The moment you step inside a warm bath and enjoy the aroma you have placed into it. Raising your body heat not only will help regulate your mood but also helps in controlling your anxiety. If you are in for another treat, adding Epsom salt has been shown to lower your blood pressure and alleviate your stress levels. You may also try Lavender oil to enjoy the aroma and reap the benefits of a relaxing scent.
A research done in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that patients undergoing MRI who breathed vanilla-scented air has a whooping 63% less anxiety than those who just took a normal MRI scan. Also, another research concluded that people who received a massage with lavender oil were more lively and had less anxiety than people who had a lavender-free massage. Lavender oil even lowers blood pressure that is associated with stress. Try putting a few drops of lavender oil or vanilla on your skin, bath, pillow or even better, to a humidifier and enjoy the scent it gives.
Some other essential oils used to relieve anxiety are:
- clary sage
- ylang ylang
When using essential oil, it is a very big difference if you use a humidifier. Essentially, your whole room can make you relax. Not just your bed. You can find a list of humidifiers in here:
8. Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking
These methods surely will decrease your anxiety for a short while. Anyway, alcohol is a sedative. However, it would only help you for a short period and the detrimental effects it may cause in the future is surely not worth it. The same goes for smoking, in fact, a study shows that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later. Research also suggests nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety.
9. Treating yourself
How about going for a Vacation. Treating yourself after a long day of hard work. Nothing is definitely wrong with enjoying little achievements in your life. It may also be better since you get more motivation to accomplish things.
Treating yourself does not always mean to use up your money. How about you get the sleep you’ve always been asking for after all those busy days? In fact, a long deep sleep will surely lighten your mood.
10. Talk about It
Communicate with the people you love will always be worth it. Sharing your experiences, talking and laughing with them is surely a good way to relieve your stress. Live at the moment with them, do not look away, they care for you. Life shouldn’t be so complicated as they said it would.
If you need more help, you could consult an expert in these areas, you may try an online help called Panic Away, they also have free audio for you to try, check it out here:
Life is not a race. Each of us are unique in many ways. People normally experience anxiety. All of us get through that part in life. It is not the end of the world. Do not let it define who you are nor let it change your life. Try to enjoy life as it is. It surely has pitfalls, but one day, you will get up again.
If these do not work, maybe you need to consult an expert. Do not worry, they are there to help you. Be honest and allow them to. Don’t let anxiety or depression break your life.
All the best to you!
Jason, Owner of www.Chillaxeasy.com
One of the main reason for stress is work, how about reading my other article and learn to catch work related stress symptoms early before it gets worst: here is the Link: https://chillaxeasy.com/articles/work-related-stress-symptoms-catch-it-early/