Wellness

Top 10 Ways to Treat Anxiety Naturally

Many people suffer from chronic stress and anxiety. They face symptoms such as nervousness, restlessness, tension, a racing heart and chest pain. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues.

In some cases, another health condition, such as an overactive thyroid, can lead to an anxiety disorder. Getting an accurate diagnosis can ensure that a person receives the best possible treatment. In this article, you will discover a wide range of natural remedies that can help with stress and anxiety.

10 natural remedies for anxiety and stress

Natural remedies are safe and can be used alongside more conventional medical therapies.

1. Physical exercise

Physical exercise can help treat anxiety. Exercise is a great way to burn off anxiety energy, and research tends to support this use. For example, a 2015 study of 12 randomized controlled trials showed that exercise can be a treatment for anxiety. Exercise can also help relieve anxiety caused by stressful circumstances. The results of a 2016 study, for example, suggest that exercise may benefit people with smoking cessation anxiety.

2. Meditation

Meditation can help slow down the racing thoughts. This helps to better manage stress and anxiety. A wide range of meditation styles, including mindfulness and meditation during yoga, can help. Mindfulness-based meditation is increasingly popular in therapy. A 2010 meta-analysis shows that it is very effective for people with mood and anxiety disorders.

3. Relaxation exercises

Some people subconsciously tense their muscles and clench their jaws in response to anxiety. Progressive relaxation exercises can help. Try lying down in a comfortable position and slowly tightening and releasing each muscle group. Starting at the toes and working up to the shoulders and jawline.

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4. Write: keep a diary

Finding a way to express your anxiety can make it more manageable. Some research suggests that journaling and other forms of writing can help people better manage their anxiety. A 2016 study, for example, found that creative writing can help children and teens manage their anxiety.

5. Time management strategies

Some people feel anxious if they have too many commitments at once. These can be activities related to family, work and health. Having a plan in place for the next necessary action can help contain this anxiety. Effective time management strategies can help people focus on one task at a time. Book-based planners and online calendars can help. So does resisting the urge to multi-task. Some people find that breaking down large projects into manageable steps can help them accomplish these tasks with less stress.

6. Aromatherapy

The scent of soothing plant oils can help relieve stress and anxiety. Some scents work better for some people than others, so consider experimenting with different options.

Lavender can be particularly helpful. A 2012 study tested the effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia in 67 women between the ages of 45 and 55. The results suggest that aromatherapy can reduce short-term heart rate and help alleviate long-term sleep issues.

7. Cannabidiol oil

CBD oil comes from the marijuana plant. This oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant, or marijuana. Unlike other forms of marijuana, CBD oil does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the substance that “gets you high”. CBD oil is readily available at many alternative health stores. Preliminary research suggests it has significant potential to reduce anxiety and panic.

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8. Chamomile teas

Many herbal teas promise to relieve anxiety and aid sleep. Some people find the process of making and drinking tea soothing. But some herbal teas may have a more direct effect on the brain, resulting in reduced anxiety. Results from a small 2018 trial suggest that chamomile may alter levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

9. Herbal Supplements

Like herbal teas, many herbal supplements claim to reduce anxiety. Like St. John’s wort. However, it is essential to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about herbal medicines and their potential interactions with other medications.

10. Time with Animals

Pets provide companionship, love and support. Research published in 2018 confirmed that pets can benefit people with a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety. While many people prefer cats, dogs and other small mammals, allergy sufferers will be happy to know that the animal needs to be furry to provide support. A 2015 study showed that caring for crickets can improve the psychological health of older adults. Spending time with animals can also reduce anxiety and stress associated with trauma. The results of a 2015 systematic review suggest that grooming and spending time with horses may lessen some of these effects.

Sources

Blessing, EM, Steenkamp, ​​MM, Manzanares, J., & Marmar, CR (2015, October). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders [Abstract]. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836

Brooks, HL, Rushton, K., Lovell, K., Bee, P., Walker, L., Grant, L., & Rogers, A., (2018, February 5). The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: A systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence. BMC Psychiatry, 18, 31.

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Chien, L.-W., Cheng, SL, & Liu, CF (2012). The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia [Abstract]. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012

Greist, JH (2014, May). Overview of anxiety disorders

Hofmann, SG, Sawyer, AT, Witt, AA, & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review [Abstract]. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169–183

Hosein Farzaei, M., Bahramsoltani, R., Rahimi, R., Abbasabadi, F., & Abdollahi, M. (2016, July). A systematic review of plant-derived natural compounds for anxiety disorders [Abstract]. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 16(17), 1.924–1.942

Keefe, JR, Guo, W., Li, QS, Amsterdam, JD, & Mao, JJ (2018, January). An exploratory study of salivary cortisol changes during chamomile extract therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder [Abstract]. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 96, 189–195

Ko, HJ, Youn, CH, Kim, SH, & Kim, SY (2015, September 18). Effect of pet insects on the psychological health of community-dwelling elderly people: A single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial [Abstract]. Gerontology, 62(2), 200–209

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