Natural Remedies for Anxiety That You Can Start Using Today
Whether it's during a tough day at the office, in the midst of a claustrophobic commute or when confronting an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome, anxiety can strike at any moment, and it's important to know how to overcome it.
Over forty million adults across the United States suffer from some form of anxiety disorder, with the average age of developing the condition varying from seven to 32, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. However, thanks to some quick natural remedies, many of those moments can be quelled and those who suffer from symptoms can begin tackling life's challenges anxiety-free.
Below are some of the many ways that can be used to help cure, or at the very least mitigate, anxiety:
Health.com reported on a study from the University of Pennsylvania's Medical Center in which patients with anxiety were given a chamomile supplement and their levels of anxiety were compared to another group of patients taking a placebo. After eight weeks, the study found those using chamomile experienced "a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to patients taking placebo," according to the site.
The University of Maryland's Medical Center reported lavender has been linked in a number of studies to reducing the effects of anxiety, and can also be used to treat insomnia, depression and fatigue. According to the university, "Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled." Lavender oil can be used as a massage lubricant, which comes especially in handy when a quick back rub could make all the difference in a day.
Yoga is a traditional exercise used not only to increase flexibility and improve physical health, but to lift the mind and spirit as well. Of course, it's no secret that yoga, as well as any form of stretching over a period of time, can have positive overall effects on mood and comfort. However, Harvard University Medical School finds the effects may go even deeper, allowing the body to transform the way it responds to causes of anxiety. According to the University, "By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body's ability to respond to stress more flexibly."
Have a bite to eat
Eating a healthy snack or meal is probably the most natural way of replenishing your body with energy, and one of the quickest, too. "Almost universally, people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry," Dr. Ramsey, the coauthor of The Happiness Diet, told Health.com. "When you get an anxiety attack, it may mean your blood sugar is dropping. The best thing to do is to have a quick sustaining snack, like a handful of walnuts, or a piece of dark chocolate, along with a glass of water or a nice cup of hot tea." Another way to incorporate food into beating anxiety? Eat breakfast, every single day of the week.
It may be tough to ditch the office or classroom, but being able to spend just 20 minutes outside can have lasting effects on reducing stress levels and increasing positive moods, according to the Huffington Post. "Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it's in your own neighborhood, reduces stress," Judith Heerwagon, a Seattle-based environmental psychologist, told the Huffington Post in 2014. "I don't think anyone understands why, but there's something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence -- like lower heart rate."