Finding Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety at Home
If you’ve been searching for natural ways to treat anxiety, look no further. ELYSIAN’s got you covered. It’s no secret that over the past few months, everyone has been on edge. In fact, anxiety is the most common disorder in the United States today. It affects nearly 40 million adults. Isn’t it ironic that it makes us feel as if we are completely alone?
Thankfully, you aren’t alone. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, there are millions of people who can empathize with you. Those seeking treatment for their anxiety typically talk to their doctors about trying new medications. More often than not, prescribed treatments include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications have been proven to reduce anxiety in most patients.
In addition to medications, there are countless ways to naturally treat anxiety. The results of SSRIs and SNRIs are even more promising when combined with holistic wellness practices. Activities such as meditation, exercise, and healthy eating can go a long way. In fact, scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise can help elevate and stabilize mood, alleviate tension, and improve sleep and self-esteem.
Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety: Tea Time
Typical advice you might receive from a doctor or friend is to cut caffeine out of your life. But this is much easier said than done! If you’re like me, that means taking away your daily wake-up alarm and saying goodbye to your favorite morning smell. Luckily, there are tasty alternatives to coffee that won’t cause your blood pressure to spike.
For example, mint teas are an excellent choice for moments when you want to relax. Because many of those who have anxiety experience racing thoughts, it is important to calm the mind. Mint teas have natural antispasmodic and sedative properties, so it’s the perfect beverage. Peppermint tea, served either hot or cold, is a refreshing drink that has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve digestion. It can even help soothe headaches brought on by stress or anxiety.
Additionally, there are plenty of herbal remedies that can cure side effects of anxiety like insomnia. To start, valerian is an herbal supplement that works as an excellent sedative. It can help chase away those racing thoughts you have at night. Consequently, the herb is commonly used as a sleep aid. When combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile, and lemon balm, it is especially effective. However, valerian tea is said to have a pungent scent, so consuming it in capsule form may be the best option.
Next we have chamomile tea, which is one of the most popular options for tea-lovers. With a warming aroma and smooth flavor, it’s easy to see why. As an herbal tea, it has an earthy, fruity taste that’s likened to a crisp apple. The tea is made from dried chamomile flowers, which come in two varieties. The German chamomile flower is the one most often used for medicinal purposes. Markedly, it has been used to treat stomach aches, inflammation, and skin conditions for centuries.
Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety: Work It Out
Next on our list of natural ways to treat anxiety is exercise. When done right, physical movement can prevent a myriad of health issues, including anxiety. Along with improving your physical condition and immune system, exercise helps reduce stress. Daily physical activity can also enhance your overall cognitive function. Despite the amazing benefits of exercise, many view working out as a challenge. Whether it be lack of time, feelings of self-consciousness, or general lethargy, getting yourself moving can be tough.
The best way to beat these worries is to start with an easy workout. Walking is perhaps the number one way to get yourself moving without the added stress. Psychologists have found that a 10 minute walk is just as effective as a 45 minute workout. By being active for just a few minutes, you can calm your nerves for the next several hours. Participating in cardio and aerobic exercise is especially helpful for decreasing stress hormones in the body like cortisol.
Those who suffer from panic attacks know how much negative energy is built up and thus released by sudden crying, hyperventilation, fainting, or temporary paralysis. Activities such as running, swimming, and cycling are great aerobic exercises that can help exhaust all that negative energy. Whether you’re prone to suffering panic attacks or bouts of depression, regular exercise can help stabilize your mood in the long term.
During a panic attack, the body will typically go into fight-or-flight mode. People often experience symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain. In extreme cases, some may feel like they are having a heart attack. This is a reaction caused by cortisol being released into the nervous system. It creates a sort of adrenal rush that can be frightening to experience. Scientists believe that regular exercise can help the body adjust to the physical reactions of increased cortisol.
Light physical activity helps to release endorphins, which reduces feelings of irritability and restlessness. Being active also provides an element of distraction. When we’re outside, everyday stressors fade into the background and we are forced to be in the moment. While going for a walk or bike ride, pay close attention to your surrounding scenery. Pick up a pebble to keep in your pocket or smell some flowers. By focusing your mind on external realities, negative thoughts will begin to fade away. This technique is called grounding.
Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety: Be Mindful
Yoga is another great option for those who want to ease themselves into a workout routine. There are various forms of yoga ranging from gentle, calming poses to intense, powerful flows. The physical poses, controlled breathing, and periods of meditation can train your body and mind to relax. Yoga allows you to have more control over your body, which is important for anyone who is prone to having panic attacks.
Some may question the validity of meditation and mindfulness as a natural way to treat anxiety. But these practices are scientifically proven to help those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The essential premise of mindful-based meditation is to detach from anxious thoughts. It allows you to forget the laundry list of things you need to do. To stop ruminating on the past and torturing yourself with future could-be scenarios. If you want to prevent your mind from spiraling, you must learn to have control over your thoughts.
Mindful-based meditation is all about living in the now. Separate yourself from the ongoing dialogue in your head and acknowledge what is happening around you. While brushing your teeth in the morning, feel your feet on the floor. Notice your arm moving up and down.
When you drive home from work, take a different route every once in a while. When you do the dishes, stop and feel the warm water on your hands. While you have these moments to yourself, be present and don’t forget you are connected to the world around you.
Written by Katie Jensen