How to Gain Control Over Your Anxiety - Naturally
If you are tired of popping a pill every time your stress levels rise, you may want to learn how to get rid of anxiety naturally. Whether you experience palpitations, sweating, racing thoughts, or shortness of breath, anxiety symptoms may make you feel like you have lost control.
Pharmaceutical interventions only target the symptoms of the problem; they do nothing to tackle the problem itself. Natural anxiety remedies holistically address anxiety by targeting its cause, helping you to gain lasting control.
There are many triggers for anxiety, so any sustainable, effective approach must be multi-faceted. An online counselor can optimize your path to better mental health by helping you formulate an individualized plan with the combination of natural treatments for anxiety that is right for you.
Nurture Your Body with Nutrition
You may not think that what you eat has much to do with mental health, but cutting-edge research says that it does. In fact, the strong link between the digestive system and the brain (often referred to as the gut-brain axis) is a relatively new, vitally important concept when it comes to natural anxiety relief.
Remember that cake you ate three days ago? Its sugar content may still be causing anxiety. That's right, food's effects can last days and even weeks.
Eat a Whole Foods Diet
If you are anxious, perhaps one thing you worry about is your weight. If you count calories, you may rely on pre-packaged foods with nutritional labels so that you can pinpoint your exact calorie intake. However, these foods are not doing you any favors. Likely they are loaded with fillers, preservatives, and chemicals that can have an unknown effect on your entire body (including your mind). The best natural way to reduce anxiety is by eating whole, unprocessed foods.
Many people immediately notice natural anxiety reduction when they switch from a processed diet to a whole foods diet of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and pasture-raised meat. This is because the body does not have to work so hard to synthesize nutrients from the foods it recognizes.
If you decide to transition to a whole foods diet, be sure to consult with a nutritionist. Because synthetic nutrients are not added to whole foods, you may develop a nutritional deficiency if you do not seek professional help. Also, for optimal mental and physical health, it is best to transition gradually to a whole foods' diet.
Drink Tea and Embrace Herbs
Nowhere is the incidence of anxiety more prevalent than modern societies in the West. In fact, anxiety is skyrocketing in the West. Perhaps one of the reasons this is occurring is that we have lost touch with the power of plants. Unlike people of traditional, indigenous societies, Westerners rarely rely on teas and herbs as a source of relaxation and a wellspring of health. But these natural treatments for anxiety can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine to achieve a sense of balance and control.
Specifically, the chamomile flower and Ashwagandha root are particularly soothing. Ashwagandha has been used for ages as an ancient Indian medicine. It can be crushed and consumed in powdered form mixed with water or milk or as a liquid extract. Chamomile flowers can be infused in hot water and consumed as a tea. Taking the time to slow down and drink tea is a natural way to reduce anxiety, in and of itself.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars
When life gets hectic, it is easy to turn to caffeine or sugar as a stimulant when tired or alcohol as a depressant when anxious. However, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can the levels of anxiety. Not to mention that they can biochemically interact with the nervous system to induce addiction. To know how to treat anxiety naturally, steer clear of these anxiety-inducing substances.
Address Nutritional Deficiencies
You may feel anxious because your body is deficient in an essential nutrient, like B vitamins, Magnesium, or Omega-3 fatty acids. In this case, your anxiety is a red flag that your body needs a particular vitamin or mineral.
Participate in Exhilarating or Relaxing Exercise
Eating right is only one natural anxiety remedy. Exercise is another. Modern sedentary lifestyles run contrary to humans' evolutionary desire to move. Perhaps this is why just over twenty minutes of exercise per day is correlated with lower anxiety levels.
Invented many ages ago, this ancient Indian practice, if done regularly, has been shown to ease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia. Not only that, but it also reduces systemic inflammation, preventing the onset of chronic mental and physical diseases. It likely does so by helping to reconnect the body and the mind so that the yoga practitioner is more balanced, centered, and in control of emotions.
Tai Chi is a soothing form of exercise that emphasizes the movement of energy - particularly stagnant, negative energy - that becomes lodged in the body, precipitating a list of mental and physical ills. Research connects Tai Chi is a natural anxiety treatment.
Aerobic exercise is characterized by moderate to heavy breathing and a moderately fast heart rate. Not only does aerobic exercise improve cardiovascular health, it also reduces anxiety levels.
You may not notice your subtle breath throughout the day, but it is what sustains you. In fact, deeper breathing promotes increased energy levels. How? Breathing supplies oxygen to the cardiovascular system, and deeper breaths increases oxygen intake. Oxygen fuels metabolic processes, resulting in increased energy levels.
But deep breathing increases calm energy. At the same time that your energy levels rise, your nervous system slows. Calm energy is exactly what you need when you start to feel anxious. When anxious, the tendency is to breathe shallowly, sucking in air with chest muscles (instead of using the diaphragm). This leads to a cascade of anxiety.
Learning how to exert control over the nervous system through breath is perhaps the most important of all life-hacking secrets. Learning to slow and deepen the breath is one of the most important strategies to relieve anxiety naturally. An online counselor can help you practice breathing through stressful situations.
Cultivate a Support System
When you have at least one confidant, you can share your feelings instead of storing them in the back of your mind. It is intuitive that lessening the mind's burden will lower the risk of an anxiety attack. People who cultivate and maintain support systems are psychologically and physically healthier than those who do not. An online counselor can be an important part of your support system.
Invest in Body Work
You may not be surprised to learn that there is research to support the relaxation benefits of massage therapy and acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art in which painless needle pricks stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body. Massage therapy seeks to relax muscle and connective tissue.
According to neuroscientist Candice Pert, the body - not just the mind - stores emotion. Because of this, regular massage therapy and acupuncture treatments are two ways to truly and deeply address trauma that may underlie your anxiety.
Turn to a Higher Power
Many people who experience anxiety would like to cast their cares on another. Many people who believe in a Higher Power voice their anxieties regularly, through prayer. Perhaps it is for this reason that people with a spiritual practice tend to have less anxiety and better physical health. If you want to get rid of anxiety naturally, you may decide that it is time to (re)turn to a Higher Power.
Take Time for Self-Care
People with anxiety tend to worry and care for others, often more so than themselves. While this trait is admirable, it can also be destructive. Before you can help another, you must be on solid ground yourself. Standing on solid ground requires daily self-care practices, such as aromatherapy and Epsom Salt baths.
Aromatherapy involves using essential oils (with scents) to stimulate the brain to release certain chemicals. The type of chemical released depends on the type of essential oil used. For people with anxiety, regular use of lavender essential oil can promote feelings of relaxation.
Epsom Salt Baths
Hot Epsom Salt baths flood the body with magnesium, encouraging relaxation. The heat opens skin pores, allowing the magnesium in the Epsom Salt to enter. This is an inexpensive therapy that you can practice on a regular basis to help gain control of anxiety.
Seek Wisdom from an Online Counselor
Because so many people experience anxiety, many manufacturers seek to profit by inventing "natural anxiety cures." It can be difficult to navigate the plethora of options. An online counselor can help you determine a course of action that will combat anxiety.
But an online counselor does much more than that. Trained in psychotherapy methods, a counselor is able to help you face your anxiety head on and learn to reframe anxious thoughts. He or she can also help you implement proven strategies in your daily life to overcome anxiety.
You do not need to endure anxiety any longer. An online counselor will partner with you so that you are not alone in your fight to reduce anxiety naturally.
Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:
How can I fight my anxiety naturally?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are several techniques that you can use to help relieve anxiety. The first and most accessible is deep breathing exercises. Taking a deep breath is a great way for reducing stress in general, and it’s a strategy that you can use for in-the-moment anxiety management, and even a panic attack management. Deep breaths can help manage anxiety symptoms, such as increased heart rate, quickened respiration, increased sweating, and anxious thoughts. Panic attacks and heart palpitations are also severe symptoms of anxiety. So, when you start feeling anxious, you can try deep breathing exercises to stop anxiety in its tracks.
Reducing stress in your life and leading a healthy lifestyle is another way to help ease anxiety and promote better mental health overall, according to research from Harvard Medical School. While you can’t just snap your fingers and make the anxiety go away, there are a few lifestyle changes that can help you stop feeling anxious and reduce the impact of generalized anxiety disorder and other mental health issues.
First of all, you need to get enough sleep. Research shows that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting a good night’s sleep can reduce the amount of stress hormones your body produces. Getting enough sleep can help you focus better, and it makes you better prepared to manage feelings of worry and reduce anxiety. You’ll also find that getting enough sleep can help you focus better and feel more energy throughout the day.
Next, you should get consistent exercise. Even just walking or strolling near your home or doing some stretching exercises or yoga at home is enough for calming the symptoms of anxiety disorders or a panic disorder. Intentional physical activity gives a stronger sense of control, which can reduce anxiety symptoms. Consistent exercise can reduce other anxiety symptoms such as muscle tension and promote muscle relaxation, too. When your body is relaxed, it’s easier to manage your anxiety and prevent panic attacks. So, exercise can ease stress and anxiety and also support better mental health overall.
Eating a healthy diet rich in macronutrients and complex carbohydrates is another medically reviewed way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in your life. According to research done by Harvard Medical School, avoiding processed foods and simple sugars helped to ease both anxiety and depression symptoms over time. Plus, a balanced diet (including egg yolks) was shown to help relieve anxiety symptoms and reduce the overall likelihood of a panic attack. Of course, before you change your diet drastically, you should get medical advice from your doctor.
Additionally, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol can help reduce anxiety. Caffeine and alcohol impact both the body and the mind, and they can increase the effect of other symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even though you may drink these beverages to relax, consistent consumption can actually add to the stress in your life, not to mention increasing the risk of other health conditions. While completely giving up caffeine and alcohol might not work for you, try to drink less each day. In its place, have a cup of green tea or a glass of water to stay hydrated and promote your general mental health.
Meditation is another great way to address anxious thoughts. Meditation is the process of calming your mind and body so that you can rest and relax on a deeper level. It can help eradicate certain symptoms of anxiety, including racing thoughts and panic attacks. You can also incorporate essential oils you’re your meditation sessions to increase the anti anxiety effect. For extra support with meditation, you can get help from a professional, or even start out with videos and resources available for free online. Remember, meditation doesn’t have to be a scary or difficult thing: it’s just about getting into a restful headspace so that you can address any anxiety and depression from a place of non-judgement.
Finally, seeking support from a mental health professional (or a support group) is a proven and effective way to treat anxiety disorders. Most therapists will use a talk therapy approach to help you identify the triggers for your anxiety, and to really recognize what causes the anxiety disorder or panic disorder. For example, if you’re facing social anxiety, then the mental health professional can offer targeted therapy and medical advice for your specific triggers. Then, the therapy session will focus on different ways to cope with anxiety. They will help you establish and maintain the coping skills that you need for a life without anxiety and better mental health overall.
How can I instantly control anxiety?
There are several strategies for lowering anxiety quickly and almost instantly. One way to relieve anxiety disorders fast is deep breathing. Deep and intentional breathing as soon as you start feeling anxious can help calm anxiety quickly. This is because it suppresses many the physical symptoms of anxiety. In turn, once your body is relaxed, your brain starts to ease up on the excessive worry, as well.
When you start to feel anxious, take a deep breath through your nose. Make sure that you’re breathing all the way down towards your stomach. Then, hold your full breath for several seconds. Finally, breathe out slowly through your mouth. As you exhale, imagine that you are pushing out all the tension in your body; exhale whatever is making you feel anxious. Before you inhale again, wait with your lungs empty for a few seconds. Then, repeat the exercise until your breathing is steady, your heart rate is down to normal, and you feel control over your body, mind, and anxiety.
Getting some exercise is another great way to get rid of anxious thoughts quickly. When you feel that worry rising up inside of you, take a few minutes to walk around and move your body. The main goal is to get your body moving! You can walk around the neighborhood, do some stretching at home, or if you’re feeling up for it, hit the gym with some friends. Intentional physical activity is a great way to regain some control of your thoughts and actions, and it allows you to take your mind away from your worry for a while. Plus, consistent exercises is great for both your long term mental health and physical well-being.
Once your body and mind are a bit calmer, you can start to express how and why you felt such excessive worry. You can write your feelings and what triggers your panic disorder; this will give some perspective on patterns in your anxiety and triggers over time. This information can help you better cope with anxiety disorders, and this can lead to an overall reduction in anxiety and anxious reactions to triggers.
For more strategies for coping with anxiety disorders, or for medical advice diagnosis or treatment of existing anxiety disorders, you should talk to a mental health professional. Mental health professionals are specially licensed to give medical advice diagnosis, and other treatments, so it’s necessary to talk to a doctor or other professional before undergoing treatment for anxiety disorders.
What are 5 ways to control anxiety?
- Deep Breathing: Taking a deep breath is a great way to work against anxiety disorders. Deep breathing brings nearly instant stress relief, since it can help relieve anxiety symptoms by bringing down your heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Deep breathing also alleviates muscle tension. By easing these physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, deep breathing sends messages to your mind to relax. It can also relieve stress by giving you a moment to reflect before you react.
- Healthy Diet: Getting the right vitamins and macronutrients is a key to living a life without chronic stress. It is one of the more effective methods for managing both the physical symptoms and mental implications of stress and anxiety. Managing stress in your body is easier when you stick to healthy diet. Plus, foods that are high in fat and sugar can cause extra strain on your body and mind, which could add to the existing effects of anxiety.
- Getting Enough Sleep: Sleep is a crucial ingredient for a healthy sympathetic nervous system. This is the system of nerves that sends messages from your brain to your whole body. When you have better control over these messages – that is, when the nervous system is sending clear messages – you can better assess and manage stress and anxiety. You can improve sleep schedule by cutting back on coffee, energy drinks, and alcohol. Plus, you can try making a schedule to help standardize your sleeping schedule.
- Doing Plenty of Exercise: Exercise is a great way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in both the short term and the long term. In the moment, physical activity feels good and helps with managing stress. It can help you feel in control of your body and mind, which is a great form of stress management. Regular exercise is a healthy way to ward off anxiety and reduce stress. It can also help improve your overall mental health over time.
- Strong Social Connections: Turning to others in your personal life for help and social support is one of the healthy ways for reducing stress and anxiety. In many situations, it helps to have a trusted friend or family member nearby to talk through all of the things that cause you stress and anxiety. Just talking through the stressors and triggers can be a healthy way to reduce stress and put those stressors into perspective.
What triggers anxiety?
Some of the most common triggers of anxiety and feelings of anxiety include:
- Changes at work, such as a new job or loss of a job
- Lack of friends or support during a specific season in life
- Changes in friends, such as changing schools or moving to a new place
- Abuse (verbal, sexual, physical, and/or emotional)
- Substance abuse (excessive intake of drugs and/or alcohol)
- Relationship problems (with friends, a family member, and/or a romantic partner)
- Emotional shock, often following traumatic events in life
- Pregnancy, giving birth, and/or transition into parenthood
- Death or loss of a family member / loved one
- Other underlying mental health conditions, such as depression
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and it doesn’t account for the buildup of prolonged stress over time. In fact, according to many personal stories and researched medical advice, people who experience prolonged stress are at a much higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder or experiencing anxiety symptoms. They may also suffer from physical symptoms of stress, such as trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, stomach problems, trouble concentrating, and headaches.
Why I am anxious for no reason?
Most people don’t experience anxiety for no reason at all. Instead, if you feel anxious for what seems like no reason at all, there might actually be something under the surface that is causing the anxiety. For example, prolonged stress is a very common cause of anxiety. This means that even if you’re just going normally about life, the stress of it can build up and lead to anxiety that seems to appear or come out from “nothing.”
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