Anxiety, this word is thrown around like crazy nowadays and sometimes people don’t even know what anxiety truly means, yet everyone is looking for natural remedies for anxiety that will help cure them. So what exactly is anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about an event, the unknown, or an outcome. Anxiety can become a psychiatric condition when a person over-worries daily about all things no matter how trivial they are.
Anxiety is different from stress. Stress is tension due to a demanding circumstance such as work. Many people miss use these words and confuse anxiety and stress as the same thing when in actually they are very different. Stress is a normal human reaction to a demanding task, whereas anxiety is an abnormal response of excessive worry or nervousness about any and everything. What these two words do have in common is the negative effects they can cause on your body.
Both excessive stress and anxiety can result in weaker immune systems, higher cortisol levels, headaches, hypertension, cardiac conditions, strokes, and much more. This is why it is so important to try to find relief from this excessive worry and stress and treat it before it causes permanent damage to your body.
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S today. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety and only 37% seek treatment. Many people might not seek treatment due to fear of stigma of mental health or others many not like the idea of using psychotropic drugs to treat their anxiety. Whichever the reason is, it is still important to try to find some relief so that this anxiety will not cause permanent damage to your body.
Luckily, there are many natural remedies for anxiety that can be used to help decrease this excessive worrying and allow you to live a more laid back lifestyle. So lets get into the top natural remedies for anxiety.
*Quick Reminder: This information is meant for educational use. This information in no way is meant to be medical advice. As always, please consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements, substance, or medicines.
Top Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Magnesium, aka the original “chill pill”, is an incredible element that can significant improve both anxiety and depression. Did you know that 68% of Americans eat less than the recommended daily value of magnesium per day? That’s a crazy high number of people who could have seriously low magnesium levels (aka hypomagnesium) causing anxiety or depression issues.
Lemon Balm is an amazing herb that has shown to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation. Studies have shown that people who ingested lemon balm had calmed brain wave functioning durning stressful situations and were better able to focus on a task. Lemon balm can be easily ingested in many forms those studies show most benefit from lozenges or oil form.
Lavender is another wonder herd that has been shown to ease restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and depression symptoms. Studies have shown that women how ingest lavender oil had similar anxiety relief to many anxiolytic drugs such as xanax, valium, and prozac. So next time you are feeling a little anxious try some calming lavender tea to relax.
Adding in chamomile tea to your daily routine can be a game changer for your anxiety. People who ingest chamomile tea daily have lower stress levels and reports less anxiety. One study found that of participants who drank chamomile tea daily, 40% had lower anxiety during the treatment phase. Plus chamomile tea is a great herb that can aid in more restorative sleep.
Starting your morning off with a quick 5 minute mediation has been shown to reduce stress levels through the day. People who start their day more relaxed are less likely to suffer from anxiety through the day.
Many people say “I need a drink to unwind” or “this glass of wine will help me relax” but sorry to break it to you, alcohol has been shown to actually increase anxiety and insomnia problems. Here’s the reason why alcohol is worsening your anxiety. Yes, alcohol is a depressant/sedative and will cause a relaxing effect on your body, however many people who suffer from severe anxiety are looking for this effect all day or for as long as possible. Therefore, people suffering from daily anxiety will normally develop behaviors of drinking in excess to treat their anxiety which can lead to addiction, and wait for it…. WORSE anxiety. That’s right, excessive amount of alcohol intake actually create anxiety because the person has been flooding their system with sedatives for too long and now when the sedative in no longer in the system the person feels an increase sense of their normal anxiety level and sometimes even worse, they could start going into alcohol withdrawals which presents as severe anxiety symptoms such as sweating, shaking, tremors, flushing, nausea, and diarrhea. So, next time skip that glass of wine and grad a nice chamomile tea to relax and unwind.
Aromatherapy has been around forever and it’s just now really getting into the spot light it deserves. I personally use aromatherapy in my office when I’m seeing patients and you can bet there is a big different in their mood from in the waiting room to sitting in my office. Plus the added bonus is that aromatherapy smells AMAZING! So here are so of the best scents you should be using to help calm anxiety. The best anxiety relief oils are ones with lavender, lemon balm, patchouli oil (personal favorite of my patients), ylang ylang, peppermint (another favorite of my patients), and sage.
Getting outside and breathing in some fresh air is always a good idea when you are feeling anxious and stressed. You know the phrase “walk it off”, well it really works. Walking outside is great for you health and will give you the chance to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun which has been shown to reduce stress and help fight depression. Did you know the best treatment for Seasonal Affect Disorder is Light therapy? Yup that’s right, simple all natural light is all you need to fight the blues and boost that mood.
Exercise (20-min treadmill miracle)
Did you know that doing a brisk walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes can relieve anxiety and stress just as well as medications. So why does walking stop anxiety? Well, it’s actually many things about it that help anxiety so let’s break them down. An anxious person is normally tense, they hold their breath, they have a racing heartbeat, and racing thoughts. So how can we reverse all this? Through movement of course!
The movement of walking briskly forces the person to get into motion which is helping to relief tension. Walking also forces the person to take in deeper breaths allowing them to relax easier. Walking also naturally speeds up someone’s heart rate so now the physiologic response of exercise matches their abnormal response to anxiety. Walking on the treadmill also allows the persons mind to be distracted which is a huge helper to calm anxiety. If you think about it, anxiety is literally just an irrational thinking pattern, so if you are distracting the mind with other activities then over worrying is less likely.
Wow, That Was A LOT of INFO!
Ok, so that was A LOT of information, but lets just do a quick recap. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder today in America, so don’t feel like you are fighting this alone. Chances are someone sitting next to you is also suffering from anxiety. Another important thing to remember is to not give in to anxiety and let it run your life. You are in charge of your life, not your anxiety so take action to get relief today. Whether it be trying one of these amazing natural remedies or talking to your doctor about your situation, it important to treat the anxiety to prevent it from causing long-term damage to your body.
I personally always love trying a natural remedy first such as healthy lifestyle changes before turning to medications, but you need to do whatever is best and right for you.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If you are interested in learning about other natural remedies for things then check out this post HERE!