We’ve got at least four tough years ahead of us, and I’m sure I’m not the only person whose anxiety is at an all-time high. Caring for yourself and being proactive are important, and when anxiety rears its head, it’s also helpful to have some tools at the ready to help you fight it.
Some of the natural remedies for anxiety below are as-needed. These are the things to turn to when Facebook sends your blood pressure through the roof. Others, especially dietary change suggestions, are more long-term anxiety remedies. These are tricks to help your body manage stress better, and you shouldn’t wait until some distant relative sends you a link to Breitbart to try them.
When to Seek Help
These natural remedies are not meant to cure severe anxiety disorders. If your anxiety is interfering with your daily life, diffusing lavender oil is probably not going to help. In a case like this, you can use these natural anxiety remedies in conjunction with professional help, but please don’t try to self-medicate if you’re dealing with crippling anxiety.
If you don’t have health insurance or your insurance doesn’t include mental health coverage, there are options out there. Therapy apps like Talkspace still cost, but they tend to be cheaper than in-person therapy.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
As with most natural remedies, not every idea below is going to help every person. Experiment with these natural remedies for anxiety until you find a combination that works best for you.
1. Get herbal. There are certain herbs that help with anxiety. Use them in teas or tinctures when you need to calm yourself down.
2. Get more probiotics. Whether you’re beefing up your probiotics intake by eating more kimchi or taking a supplement, this good bacteria has been shown to help relieve anxiety. This is one of those long-term solutions. You can’t pop a probiotic when you’re stressed and expect to feel better. Building a healthy gut takes time, so start today!
3. Do some yoga. Unwind after a stressful day or prepare yourself mentally for a tough schedule with this anxiety-busting yoga routine.
4. Use essential oils. Oils like lavender and bergamot are proven to help with anxiety. You can use an oil diffuser to fill your house with a soothing scent. I also like to add 5-10 drops of soothing oil to the bath. If you want to get really DIY about it, mix 10-20 drops of soothing essential oil with a carrier oil, like olive or sweet almond oil, in a 1-ounce spray bottle. Spritz as needed.
5. Take a bath. Whether you add a relaxing essential oil scent or not, a hot bath helps your body release tension. Grab your favorite work of fiction and soak those cares away!
6. Just breathe. What I love about breathing techniques is that you can practice them anywhere. Whether someone cuts you off in traffic or you’re stuck at a stressful work meeting, you can calm your anxiety on the spot with these simple breathing techniques.
7. Step away from the coffee. I KNOW. Completely quitting coffee isn’t on my to-do list, either, but cutting back to a cup or two a day can help, if cutting it completely out doesn’t feel realistic. Cutting back on caffeine is not easy, but stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can exacerbate your anxiety. If you need a little caffeine to prevent withdrawal headaches, try some green tea. It’s not the same, but it can help!
8. Try meditation. There is evidence that mindfulness meditation can ease anxiety. If you’re new to meditation, this free app can help. I used the Headspace app to meditate when I was pregnant with my son, and it was truly blissful. He usually directs you to sit comfortably in a chair, but I’ll tell you a secret: I used to do this in the tub for a double stress-buster.
9. Laugh about it. Laughing relieves stress, so put on a good stand-up special or comedy podcast, and just lol! I also want to strongly recommend the e-book F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff Ph.D. He offers real, useful coping techniques along with plenty of jokes and swears. It’s a refreshing approach that has helped me in the past.
10. Clean something. You may not be able to control who is head of the EPA, but you can control the dust bunnies in the living room! Next time you feel overwhelmed by life, make your bed, do the dishes, or vacuum….it’s shockingly soothing!
Related at Care2
- Herbs that Help with Anxiety
- 12 Yoga Moves to Overcome Anxiety
- 4 Proven Natural Remedies that Treat Anxiety
Image Credits: All images via Thinkstock.