The best natural remedies for anxiety
How common is anxiety?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults every year in the US. This shocking statistic shows anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health related conditions. Because of this, a lot of research has been done to learn about the best remedies to ease symptoms.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
The symptoms of anxiety vary between individuals. We all experience anxiety from time to time. Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to stressful events in our lives. For example, moving house, relationship breakups or financial difficulties. But when anxiety starts affecting your day-to-day life and how you function in the world, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety creates a range of physical and emotional symptoms. The signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Excessive worrying that impacts your ability to focus and get through the day.
- Trouble getting to sleep or having a disrupted sleep schedule.
- Tense muscles and aches and pains in the body.
- Feeling irritable, snappy and on edge.
- Tiredness and fatigue that persist despite sleeping.
- Unable to concentrate due to constant worrying thoughts.
- Shortness of breath and chest pains - common during a panic attack.
Myths about anxiety
Despite anxiety being a common condition, there are still myths associated with it. These can be harmful and upsetting to those who experience anxiety. Let’s take a look at some to set the record straight.
Anxiety is just worrying too much - although excessive worry is a symptom of anxiety, it isn’t the only thing that sufferers experience. Anxiety isn’t always linked to rational fears like getting fired or missing a train. It creates feelings of extreme distress and consistent worry that is felt physically and interferes with daily life.
Social anxiety is just being shy - Shyness is perfectly normal and we can all experience it in certain situations. Meeting new people can be nerve wracking and being the centre of attention might be your worst nightmare. But social anxiety is not shyness, it is debilitating. Sufferers can dread situations for months in advance and avoid everyday situations we might take for granted. Activities like popping to the shops are simply too much of a challenge.
Anxiety can only be treated with medication - Just as there are many types of anxiety disorders, anxiety symptoms range in severity. This means there are different treatment options depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Although medication is an option, there are other natural treatments that can significantly reduce symptoms and bring relief to sufferers.
Anxiety is something you can just snap out of - Anxiety isn’t a condition you can just ‘snap out of’. It is a persistent condition that interferes with everyday life. It won’t simply go away by just being positive and looking on the bright side. Anxiety cannot simply be suppressed or ignored. This can actually make things worse in the long term.
Can anxiety be treated naturally?
Anxiety can feel debilitating and overwhelming but the good news is that it can be treated naturally. There are a variety of different options to try before going down the prescription medication route. Remember that not all options will suit everybody, so a bit of trial and error is needed to find the best support for you. It might also be worthwhile trying a few different ideas in combination.
The best natural remedies for anxiety
Natural remedies are treatments that don’t include prescribed medication. They often involve lifestyle changes or adopting new habits. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular remedies that help treat anxiety naturally.
Research has shown that exercise can be useful for treating chronic anxiety. Aerobic exercise is exercise that makes your heart pump faster and increases your breathing rate. And you don’t even have to go to the gym to get your glow on. Skipping, running and HIIT workouts are all great activities you can do from home. Exercise works by distracting you from worries, easing the tension in your body and promoting the increase of anxiety-reducing chemicals in your body.
A great affordable way to ease your anxious mind is using aromatherapy. This holistic healing therapy uses powerful essential oils that impact your mood, health and overall wellbeing. It is used widely for stress-related conditions. A popular soothing and relaxing oil is lavender. Try adding some to a diffuser or in a hot bath. Rest and relaxation is sure to follow.
Quitting smoking and alcohol
People often believe smoking helps them feel less anxious. In fact, nicotine only provides temporary relief. In the long-term, smoking can actually increase anxiety symptoms. Our ripple+ diffusers are a useful support for helping you quit nicotine. And they include beneficial aromatherapy blends too. Alcohol is also used to alleviate anxious feelings. Having a drink can make us feel more relaxed and less inhibited. But it disrupts the balance of chemicals in the brain and makes anxiety symptoms worse when the effects of the initial high wear off.
An increasingly popular natural treatment for anxiety-related conditions is CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant. A major study in 2020 discovered that patients taking CBD for mental health conditions experienced a significant improvement in their ability to carry out usual activities. CBD products include oils, capsules, gummies and sprays.
Meditation and breathing techniques
Meditation is particularly effective for anxiety. It can slow down overactive racing thoughts and calm the mind. Starting a meditation practice can be a challenge. Sitting still and just allowing your thoughts to exist can be difficult at first. If you are a total newbie to meditation, try some guided meditations on YouTube or download a mindfulness app. When we feel panicky our breath quickens and becomes shallower. Become aware of your breath and consciously slow it down. Taking deeper breaths is also a useful technique to use during the onset of a panic attack.
We don’t get enough sleep. It’s a fact. Sleep is super beneficial for our physical and mental health. But most adults don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night. When you are experiencing anxiety, it’s a nightmare trying to get to sleep. Worrying thoughts make it difficult and this lack of sleep then worsens anxious symptoms. Make sleep a priority by building a healthy sleep routine. Avoid screens for an hour before bed and make sure your room is comfortable and calming. A spritz of lavender spray on your pillow can help ease you into a state of relaxation. Check out our info on getting a good night’s sleep for some more ideas.
If you are experiencing anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety is a debilitating condition that affects the quality and enjoyment of life. Being consciously aware that you are experiencing anxiety is the first step towards actively reframing your thoughts and implementing a helpful strategy.
Next time anxiety takes over, try some of our suggestions for treating your condition naturally. Hopefully it will ease the symptoms and bring you some relief. It is recommended to visit your doctor if your symptoms continue for over 6 months or your life is being significantly negatively impacted.