Everybody feels anxious from time to time. Whether we are worried about work, money, family, friends, a relationship or an upcoming social or professional commitment, no one is immune to the feeling. For a lot of people, the issue is only temporary, but many people suffer with chronic anxiety in almost all aspects of their life. In addition to the psychological struggle, anxiety can cause physical symptoms like a fast heart rate, pain and tension in the body, sweating, trembling, and more. An anxiety disorder can be debilitating, and it is important that people suffering with chronic anxiety seek professional medical help.
These people may be prescribed therapy and/or medication, but there are also several natural ways to treat anxiety which can be explored at the same time. Here are seven natural treatments which may help to soothe the symptoms of anxiety.
Exercising can have many benefits for people struggling with anxiety and/or stress. Exercising causes the body to release endorphins which bring a feeling of calm and happiness, while simultaneously reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Exercise also enables people to work off excess energy which can help promote a healthier sleep routine and prevent a feeling of restlessness. Exercise does not need to be excessive; consider taking a walk outside in the sunshine for 30 minutes per day as sunlight can also have a positive impact on our mental health.
- Relaxation and/or meditation techniques
When you are struggling with anxiety, obsessive worrying, or stress, relaxing may seem impossible. However, there are practical techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and yoga which can help people to find a connection between their mind and body. Practising simple breathing exercises while trying to relax tension in the shoulders or jaw can help to ease anxiety.
- Express your anxiety through creativity
Trying to hide or suppress anxiety will only intensify its impact on your life, which is why some people find it beneficial to express their feelings through creativity. Whether through writing stories or poetry, playing music, drawing, painting, or making crafts, having an outlet for emotions which are difficult to articulate can be incredibly helpful. Click here for more about turning anxiety into creativity.
Several research studies have found that spending time with animals – whether with dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, rats, or reptiles – can be helpful for people with anxiety. Animals can bring joy, companionship, and affection as well as a renewed sense of purpose and structure if you are responsible for caring for the animal. Even caring for an insect like a cricket can help people in this way, so do not rule out getting a pet if you have allergies to pet fur or are restricted by where you live.
CBD or cannabidiol oil is extracted from marijuana plants, but it does not contain the substance which is responsible for the psychoactive ‘high’ associated with marijuana, i.e. tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. You can now buy quality CBD products which, although scientific research is in its early stages, has been found to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety.
- Take some jobs off your plate
A major source of anxiety for some people is trying to please too many people at once and putting themselves under too much pressure. If you are juggling work, family, health issues, social commitments, financial concerns, etc, it may be time to give yourself a break. To combat this, consider writing a plan of the day which is divided by times. You should give yourself one task at a time to focus on, so you do not become overwhelmed or try to take on too much at once. Do not be afraid to say no to people who ask too much of you, or to ask for support when you feel you are reaching your limit.
- Explore aromatherapy and herbal supplements
The natural world offers plenty of flowers, plants, and herbs which have been reported to ease the symptoms of anxiety. Aromatherapy, for example, is used by many people who find certain scents helpful such as lavender which can reduce the heart rate and help people to sleep. Some people find scents to be more effective than others, so it might be worth experimenting to find a scent which works for you. Herbal teas and supplements have also been reported to reduce stress, e.g. chamomile. If you are taking other medications, it is important to discuss any new supplements with your doctor to ensure they will not interfere with your treatment.