According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is a broad range of disorders defined by “an emotion categorized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes.” These disorders trigger unwarranted fear, nervousness, apprehension, and feelings of unrest inside one’s own body, an inability to focus, lack of sleep, appetite changes, feelings of wanting to hide or be secluded, and even heart palpitations. You can see – or maybe you know firsthand – that these symptoms affect day-to-day life. The effects can be anywhere from just plain annoying to debilitating. Some of the most common disorders are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Research is proving that stress, anxiety, and disease are intimately connected.
If you are interested in ways to reduce or eliminate your anxiety (or a loved one’s!), read on. I have some natural solutions for you. You do NOT HAVE to be on a chemical drug to control your anxiety. You will have to give these some time to work. You didn’t get this way in an instant and you won’t heal instantly. You will, however, be amazed at how well these natural methods work together to keep your symptoms under control naturally. And as always, contact a local holistic physician for more help! There is no reason for you to live with anxiety. You can be free from it!
- Exercise regularly. The ways in which exercise benefits your mind and your body is almost endless. Experts suggest just 20 minutes per day is enough to see results. If your intensity is high enough, you could even lower that time to 15 minutes. Exercise releases stored stress energy within your body and will raise your self-esteem. It has been proven to decrease symptoms of Depression as well. If you want to ramp up the results, do some exercise outside in the sunshine! The best part here is that there are 1000s of ways to “exercise.” You can just simply walk if you need to start there. Anything is better than nothing! Personally, I like to lift weights at home, where no one is watching me. Your thing might be a quiet yoga class, or a Crossfit gym where you become part of a community. Try different things until you figure out what you enjoy most. The best exercise is the one that you will actually do!
- Eat healthy foods. Anxiety attacks are triggered by eating junk food in many cases. These foods tend to cause a roller coaster effect of energy levels throughout the day and that will make you irritable and cause moods swings. Foods to include in your diet should be high in magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and B vitamins. Examples include: dark greens, nuts, seeds, oysters, beef, eggs, wild-caught salmon, pickles, sauerkraut, asparagus, beets, and avocado. Spices and herbs will help also. Turmeric and ginger are great choices.
95% of your Serotonin (think, happy hormone!) is produced in your gut.
- Sleep 7 to 9 hours. Wear an eye mask and earplugs if you need to. Take 1 mg melatonin if you need to (no more or it may have the opposite effect). Put 9 pillows on the bed if you need to. Just.get.the.sleep. No excuses. Your body only produces healing hormones when you sleep. This is non-negotiable. On the flip side of this coin, don’t over-sleep! Sleeping excessive hours can have many negative effects. If you find that you are sleeping more than 10 hours a day, refer back to #1 and #2 above, and put yourself on a sleep schedule with an alarm until your body adjusts.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes. Chemical stimulants and depressants will only add to the mood roller coaster we talked about in #2 above. If you are an adult, you understand this “rule” without too much nagging from me.
- Drink tea – specifically, Chamomile or Green teas. Tea has been used for centuries to relax humans. It is used in meditation sessions around the world. The two teas mentioned here, specifically, contain chemicals that promote relaxation of the mind and body. Plus, there is something so soothing about holding a warm mug! If you want to amp up the results here, add a Valerian Root tincture.
Other things to try: laughing, sunshine, visualizing where you’d like to be, morning mediation, unfollowing people on social media that are not positively affecting you, and loving on a pet!
Let me know what relaxes YOU!
Love & Health,