I am consistently trying to shamelessly find ways to reduce anxiety-like many of you who have had to deal with it at one point or another.
It can come from challenged thinking, a worried heart, or even internal spiritual conflict. But no matter why you individually struggle with anxiety, know that it can be difficult to go through for each and every one of us.
Here are 3 natural ways to reduce anxiety.
Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that uses the scent of essential oils to improve any ailments that may be impacting the mind and body.
The practice is based on the belief that different scents can arouse or alleviate different moods and feelings, making it a popular go-to and effective solution for both mild and severe issues such as fatigue, insomnia, stress, and most commonly, anxiety.
Candles, essential oil diffusers, sprays, bath bombs, and massages are the most popular aromatherapy methods. Some well-known scents for anxiety include:
- Ylang Ylang
- Lemon Balm
- Clary Sage
Eliminate alcohol and caffeine
One of the worst things to do when dealing with anxiety is to engage in or consume things that stimulate the side effects of anxiety or limit your ability to properly manage it—alcohol and caffeine do both.
On one hand, alcohol is a depressant that changes the level of neurotransmitters in your brain, like serotonin, and can worsen anxiety by weakening your ability to stabilize your emotions, even after the effects of the alcohol have worn off.
Caffeine, on the other hand, is a stimulant that triggers your fight or flight response which ultimately results in the physical effects of anxiety-like shaking, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia.
The solution here is simple: completely cut out or limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption. Even if you feel like they don’t impact your anxiety, go without them for 3 or 4 weeks and see if there are any key changes in how you experience stress and worry.
Warm-up your body
According to the National Institutes of Health, slightly raising your body temperature may be the key to alleviating anxiety.
Based on practices and methods from the Indian medicine system, Ayurveda, body warming is exactly what it sounds like—warming up your body using various methods such as eating a bowl of soup, using a heating pad, or taking a warm bath.
The idea behind this theory is that your brain associates comfortable warmth with safety, so if you do something like wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket or give someone a hug, it immediately begins to combat feelings of anxiousness.
Do not be mistaken, the practice doesn’t require you to be hot, just warm. So before you go off and sit in a steam room or hit that high-intensity workout, consider that hot conditions can worsen your anxiety instead of improving it.
According to Healthline, there are several supplements that you can use to reduce stress and anxiety.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most common ones:
Lemon balm: Lemon balm is a member of the mint family that has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects (2Trusted Source).
Omega-3 fatty acids: One study showed that medical students who received omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms (3Trusted Source).
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety. Several studies suggest that it’s effective (4Trusted Source).
Green tea: Green tea contains many polyphenol antioxidants that provide health benefits. It may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels (5Trusted Source).
Valerian: Valerian root is a popular sleep aid due to its tranquilizing effect. It contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to lower anxiety.
Kava kava: Kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is increasingly used in Europe and the US to treat mild stress and anxiety (6Trusted Source).
Some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects, so you may want to consult with a doctor if you have a medical condition.
What do you do to reduce anxiety on those stressful days? Comment below!