Anxiety is undoubtedly one of the evils of our time. People of diverse backgrounds around the world suffer from anxiety or panic disorder. According to the World Health Organization, more than 280 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders. (1) That is, about 3.5% of the global population. However, those who suffer the effects of anxiety without it reaching the degree of the disorder are much more. These disorders have become the number one mental illness in many countries over the years. The worst of it is that according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 86% of people with anxiety disorders do not treat it or know how to. In this article, you’re going to learn tips that will help you to tackle anxiety naturally.
Some Causes And Symptoms Of Anxiety
Now, many things can cause you to feel fear or anxiety. Be it financial problems, at work, health, in our relationships, or family problems. It is very likely that you have felt anxiety or panic at some point. That is, having in mind a situation that you cannot control, and that quickly turns into the worst thing in the world. Many people do not know why they suffer from anxiety or why they are so worried, but the most important thing is to know that it can be treated and that you can also help yourself.
There are other types of people that anxiety affects extremely. They suffer from panic attacks, extreme fear, and feel danger around them. When this happens, anxiety begins to interfere with one’s daily functions such as your job, relationships, family, and every other aspect of your life. Some anxiety symptoms include low concentration, a racing pulse, sweating, an upset stomach, nausea, negative or pessimistic thoughts, and even insomnia and a bad temper.
So, beyond the professional help that may be important or essential in many of these cases, it is also good for you to know natural ways to reduce the anxiety that come with your daily routines: a lot of work, too many social commitments, financial difficulties, relationship problems, etc. Listed for you below are nine tips to tackle anxiety naturally. Read on to learn your alternatives to pharmaceutical medication.
9 Tips To Help You Tackle Anxiety Naturally
Exercise promotes norepinephrine production, a substance that moderates the brain’s response to stress, and endorphins, the neurotransmitter known as “the happiness hormone” since it produces well-being and joy.
It also helps to secrete dopamine and serotonin, other chemical agents that contribute to those pleasant sensations. When we exercise, we sweat, and sweat reduces stress and improves our body’s functions. In the same way, exercise is an excellent antidote for people with depression or anxiety disorders.
It also helps us have a better mood and alters our brain’s cognitive functions, making us feel better about ourselves. If you are not used to exercising, start walking or running for 30 minutes a day. When you see how good you start to feel, you can join a gym. Physical activity is, therefore, inevitable when considering options with which one can tackle anxiety naturally.
2. Take walks in nature
Recent studies have shown that walks through the woods, fields, and other natural environments help to relax and leave behind the so-called “morbid rumination,” the thoughts that repeatedly return to the mind, which can become obsessive and be the cause of stress and anxiety. (2)
On the other hand, researchers have discovered that these walks have other benefits. They result in an improvement in working memory, and short-term memory, which is necessary for complex cognitive tasks, such as reading or mathematical operations. (3)
3. Overcome procrastination
Also, high levels of procrastination – the habit of postponing necessary tasks to dedicate time to more entertaining but less relevant tasks – are related to stress and anxiety (as well as poor school and work performance and the worsening of some diseases).
How to fight against this tendency to leave for tomorrow what we could do today? Some simple tips are to visualize how good it will be to “get it done,” to think about the downsides of getting the job done and give yourself small rewards for each advance.
4. Drink infusions
Certain herbs’ infusions have been drunk for centuries by many cultures, which have attributed various properties to them, including a relaxing and anxiolytic effect. Science has proven these effects in the case of some infusions, such as chamomile, linden, valerian, and Ashwagandha tea (widely used by practitioners of Hinduism). (4)
Passionflower, otherwise known as passiflora, is a potent herb in this category. It helps raise GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an acid that functions as a neurotransmitter that helps regulate brain activities.
There are studies where it is believed that the passiflora may even be better than anti-depressants and anxiolytics. Passiflora is one of the best herbs for people who wish to tackle anxiety naturally. It helps with mood swings, decrease agitation, calm nerves, and sweating from anxiety. Like valerian, it causes drowsiness, so it will be best to take it at night. (5)
5. Mindfulness Meditation
Perhaps you have already heard about this new meditation technique. It was originally a Buddhist practice, but it has become exceptionally good for people with depression and anxiety disorders. More and more people are practicing it to tackle anxiety naturally.
Mindfulness meditation is literally being in the present and concentrating on yourself for at least 15 minutes a day. This practice is about not focusing on the past and not worrying about the future, just focusing on the present and what is happening right now. (6)
Whether it is paying attention to when we brush our teeth, what we eat, feeling, and savoring our food or taking a quiet bath, this meditation helps us focus on what we are experiencing without letting our worries or negative thoughts affect us. If it seems complicated to you, you can start by paying close attention to the present and this moment.
6. Meditate and breathe
Beyond all the religious links associated with meditation, the different mindful forms of breathing, and other relaxation techniques, there is scientific backing that these practices have many benefits. (7)
Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus only on your breath and how it enters and leaves your body. Focus on this moment with curiosity and without judgment. Focus on how the air feels in your nose, in your throat, in your lungs. Don’t worry if you lose focus; just acknowledge the thought, put it aside, and go back to focusing on your breathing.
Soon you will feel your body relax and enter a state of peace. Breathing purposely as you meditate results in the reduction of stress and the risk of suffering from depression, which reduces your possibilities of suffering from anxiety. These benefits are maximized when people practice meditation and breathing exercises consistently.
7. Breathe into a bag
Unlike the breathing exercises mentioned in the previous point, whose positive effects are especially noticeable in the long term, breathing into a paper bag is a resource to try to control hyperventilation that, in many cases, occurs with an anxiety attack. The advice is to breathe – in the most natural way possible – between six and twelve times with a paper bag over your mouth and nose.
This will help the hyperventilation stop by returning the blood’s pH to neutral values due to the recovery of the balance of O2 and CO2. However, be careful: this technique is discouraged by many specialists since if the person has any respiratory condition (asthma, lung edema, pulmonary embolism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.), they are unaware of the consequence of breathing into a bag could worsen their condition. (8)
Writing also has therapeutic effects. Psychology has revealed how keeping a personal journal or simply writing down certain traumatic situations can improve emotional and even physical health. Writing is a cathartic exercise, in which the person often feels that a weight is lifted off their shoulder. Writing relaxes you and reduces stress and feelings of anxiety. (9)
9. Indulge in Sex
It is well known that sex has powerful anxiolytic and analgesic effects, especially for men. It releases a series of relaxing compounds with am action very similar to that of opiates. Asides from triggering the release of pleasure hormones into your bloodstream, sex brings down your blood pressure, boost the bond between you and your partner, and step-up your self-esteem. Great sex life is, therefore, key to tackle anxiety naturally.
See also: How To Deal With Depression Naturally