Before we talk about natural remedies for anxiety, let’s define the condition first.
What is Anxiety, Exactly?
It’s a normal part of life to feel anxious at times. Maybe you’re about to start a new job, or you’ve experienced a recent loss. Maybe life just feels super unpredictable at the moment, so feelings of worry and fear set in. All of these circumstances would call for the physical reaction that stress and worry place on your body, but when the anxiety is persistent, overwhelming, and seemingly uncontrollable, there’s a problem.
Anxiety can be debilitating, which is a major indicator that something more serious than just worry and fear is at hand. Your social interactions, work, school, and family life may suffer greatly because of the side effects that anxiety can have on the body.
Some of these side effects include:
- Digestive issues
- Feeling nervous, tense, fearful
- Fast breathing/hyperventilating
- Panic attacks (in severe cases)
If these feelings seem all too familiar to you, you aren’t alone. In fact, 40 million people in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders in any given year, and the numbers seem to be on the rise. Between everyday stress, chemical imbalances in the body, genetic makeup, nutritional gaps, and lack of awareness, anxiety is really taking over the population at an alarming rate.
Suffering from anxiety is nothing to be taken lightly. If left uncontrolled, the effects that anxiety can have on your body and mind can be both short and long term. When the body experiences anxiety, it releases adrenaline and cortisol. Both of these chemicals are normally produced in the short term to respond to certain stimuli, such as a test or major event. However, if these chemicals continue to be released because of a constant state of anxiety, they become harmful, and the body is unsure how to respond. Often times, fatigue, impaired immune function, digestive problems, and chronic pain conditions are the result.
Luckily, not all hope is lost. There are many natural remedies out there that can really make a difference in the battle against anxiety.
Here are 20 of the Best Natural Remedies to Kick Anxiety’s Butt
1. Ditch Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Since anxiety already has your body on overload, caffeine will only make the problem worse. Try swapping your caffeine ritual with SUTRA Gold or Black, which provide a natural boost of energy, thanks to superfoods. As for alcohol, avoid it as much as possible. Alcohol can change the level of serotonin in the brain (the calm chemical), as well as other neurotransmitters that can help keep anxiety at bay.
2. Avoid Sugar
Sugar is really never a healthy choice, but this is especially true for those suffering with anxiety. The inevitable “crash” that sugar causes in our bodies can lead to worsened anxiety, and the sugar “high” can make you feel increasingly nervous, worried, and tense.
By exercising, you’re telling your body to release endorphins. These endorphins give you that “feel-good” mood, as well as help with sleeping problems, pain, and self-esteem.
Anxiety can actually change the structure and function of the brain. Instead of working as intended, the amygdala (the part of the brain that responds to fear) increases in size, which will of course make you more anxious. Through meditation and mindfulness, the brain can actually return to its original, intended state, where anxiety takes a major backseat
Valerian, jasmine, lavender, chamomile… The list goes on. By diffusing any of these essential oils in your home, you’re filling the air with aromas that promote calmness, ease tension, and tell your nervous system to relax.
6. Breathing Exercises
There are many different breathing exercises to choose from, but all of them have one thing in common; they teach you to stop breathing shallowly in your chest (anxious breathing), and focus on taking deep, focused breaths that come from the belly.
7. Herbal Teas
Sometimes, all you need is a nice cup of tea to take the edge off. Choose from herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile, kava, and lemon balm to breath in the calming scents, and ingest for instant stress relief.
8. Golden Milk (SUTRA)
With tumeric, ginger, and cinnamon, SUTRA Gold makes for the perfect nighttime anxiety remedy. Just mix it up in some hot nut milk, and get ready for the most restful sleep of your life.
9. Consistent Sleep Schedule
There’s no excuse for a whacky sleep schedule when you have anxiety. Staying up too late, sleeping weird hours, and just being inconsistent with waking/sleeping can both trigger anxiety, and make it worse. Set a bedtime, and a morning alarm, and stick to them.
As a natural alternative to medication, some supplements can really help fight of anxiety. Try valerian root, lavender, rhodiola, or passionflower for a good night’s sleep and reduced anxiety.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that involves sticking very fine needles into specific places on the body. By placing the needles close to some key nerves, it is believed that organs may begin working more efficiently following a treatment, and endorphins can reduce anxiety levels almost immediately.
12. Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogens are a safe way to balance the hypothalamic- pituitary-endocrine axis, which is needed to be stable in order for your brain and hormone system to work in sync to reduce the feelings associated with anxiety.
Massage therapy consists of a licensed massage therapist locating overworked, tense muscles and massaging them to release tightness. With anxiety, the fight-or-flight response is common, and loosening your muscles with massage can ease tension, improve circulation, and increase flexibility.
14. Eat Whole Foods, Never Processed
Processed foods are full of added sugars, fillers, chemicals, and other crap that will never do your body any good. Instead, make food for yourself, using real and fresh ingredients so that the contents of your meal aren’t ever a mystery.
15. Detox From Screen Time
The average American spends 60 hours per week on an electronic device. Focus on spending more time outdoors, reading a book, or cooking something. We aren’t meant to be staring at screens all day, so it’s time for an electronics detox.
16. Load up on Omega 3s
Omega 3s are essential to heart and brain health. When the body is lacking omega 3s, the brain becomes inflamed, which is a recipe for a whole bunch of different health issues. Try to add omega 3 pills to your supplement routine, as fish don’t have as much omega 3 as your brain will need right now.
17. Add L-lysine to Your Diet
L-lysine is an essential amino acid that, when implemented correctly into your diet, will help regulate the stress hormones of the body.
18. Take a Hot Bath (With Essential Oils)
A nice, hot bath at the end of the day can be a cheap and effective method for calming mood. Put a few drops of your favorite essential oils in the tub, and soak in the zen.
19. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check
Skipping meals? Bad idea. It’s crucial to keep your blood sugar stable when you’re being plagued with anxiety. A sudden drop in blood sugar can make anxiety symptoms exponentially worse. Make sure to always carry a healthy snack with you, for moments when you feel a dip in energy.
The “brain-gut” axis is a real thing. When anxiety is present, the brain sends out various levels of serotonin and acetylcholine. Since the small intestine produces its own chemicals, this can result in too little or too many chemicals. Whether it be yogurt or supplements, make sure to take probiotics to help regulate chemicals in the gut.
Living with anxiety is no easy task. Even the smallest thing can set you into a downward spiral. But, you don’t need to live like that anymore, thanks to these amazing natural remedies for anxiety! If one remedy doesn’t work for you, don’t give up hope. Each body is different, so give another remedy a try until you find the one that makes you feel like you’re living again.
Just remember, the body doesn’t heal overnight, so be patient and persevere!
About the Author - Lindsay Ware
Beginning during her high school years, Lindsay noticed an immediate dip in energy. Along with fatigue, she also showed signs of lack of concentration, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. After years of non-conclusive tests at the clinic, Lindsay finally received the correct diagnosis of Celiac Disease from her local Naturopath.
After cutting out gluten completely, Lindsay realized how much of a difference changing your diet can make to your overall wellbeing. Instead of drinking 3 coffees a day, Lindsay relies on the natural energies of clean foods to keep her mind sharp and her writing skills flowing.