Anxiety is an integral part of every person’s life. Whether you’re rehearsing your graduation speech or preparing for a job interview, it’s alright to feel anxious and jittery now and then. In fact, anxiety is often your brain’s natural response to stressful situations. It helps your body and mind stay alert and focused.
However, some people might suffer from intense and debilitating episodes of anxiety. It can even interfere with their ability to carry on with routine activities, such a dressing up and commuting to their workplace. The sad part is that more than 18% of adults in the U.S. suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder.
If you’ve been living with an anxiety disorder, you already know how weak and helpless it can make you feel. While it isn’t always possible to cure anxiety, there are various ways to control and manage your symptoms. Of course, seeking professional help from a certified therapist is always a good idea.
Depending on your symptoms and health history, a therapist might suggest different treatment options, including counseling and medication. However, if you’re still skeptical about seeing a therapist or starting medication, you can try various at-home remedies to relieve anxiety.
Even if you’re already undergoing treatment for an anxiety disorder, you can still try a few natural therapies on the side. Most of these techniques involve simple lifestyle modifications and can go a long way to help your body and mind cope with anxiety. Also, they’re not associated with any harmful side effects.
Without further ado, here are a few natural therapies that can help you deal with anxiety:
1. Drink Herbal Tea
You might think that a cup of coffee every morning helps you feel fresh and energizes your body. But it’s also loaded with caffeine, which can exacerbate your anxiety. Worse still, it can interfere with your sleep and keep you up all night.
So, ditch that cup of coffee and try sipping on some herbal tea instead. From chamomile and lavender to hibiscus and butterfly pea flower – you’ll find a wide array of herbal tea flavors. While the exact health benefits of herbal tea depend on the flavor, most of them induce a calming effect.
Some flavors, such as chamomile tea, even inhibit the release of cortisol, which in turn, relaxes your body and mind. The next time you start feeling nervous and jittery, just pour yourself a cup of your favorite herbal tea flavor.
Moreover, herbal teas are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and help strengthen your body’s immune system. They even help minimize the chances of chronic ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
2. Try a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets use a technique called deep pressure stimulation, which involves applying gentle pressure on your body to help you relax. While weighted blankets are mostly used to treat sleep-related disorders, they also help manage various symptoms of anxiety.
It’s because the warmth and embrace of a weighted blanket mimic the feeling of being hugged. This, in turn, provides you with emotional security and put your mind at ease. Also, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most effective ways of coping with anxiety.
It is, however, worth mentioning here that you should do a bit of research before you buy yourself a big weighted blanket. Make sure you get one that snugly fits on your bed and weighs roughly 10% of your body weight.
3. Start Exercising
Regular physical exercise isn’t just good for your body. It stimulates the release of endorphins, a neurotransmitter that promotes the feeling of pleasure and wellbeing. That’s why it is always a good idea to incorporate some form of physical exercise into your daily routine.
If you aren’t fond of working out at the gym, try going for a short walk or run in the park. Alternatively, you can practice yoga or Pilates at home. Or you could join a dance class to get your weekly dose of exercise. The key is to find a form of exercise that you’re going to enjoy.
4. Change Your Diet
The food you eat throughout the day significantly impacts your overall mood. The more junk, processed, and sugary food items you eat, the worse your anxiety might get. That’s why as a ground-rule, you should ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet that’s rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins.
Also, try to incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Stay away from aerated drinks and sodas; they contain a lot of caffeine and sugar. You should also consider incorporating superfoods, such as flaxseed and nuts, in your meals.
5. Use Aromatherapy
Essential oils, such as lavender and ylang-ylang, are known for their calming effect. They help relax your body and mind and even promote better sleep. Also, they help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, thereby alleviating the symptoms of anxiety.
You can use a diffuser to burn some aroma oil in your bedroom. Or you could add essential oil of your choice to a warm bath.
Have you used any other at-home therapies to cope with anxiety? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.