12 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
If you have regular anxiety issues it’s possible that you may not want to use drugs, at least not yet. There are many safe non-drug, natural remedies for anxiety, starting with mind-body techniques, as well as supplements or teas that can soothe you. Some begin to work immediately, while others may help lessen anxiety over the long term. Below are 12 natural remedies for anxiety.
If you have periods of nervousness, a cup of chamomile tea may help calm you down. Some of the compounds in chamomile interact with the brain receptors the same way that certain drugs do such as Valium.
In a study at the University of Pennsylvania patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took supplements of chamomile for eight weeks had a significant decrease in their anxiety symptoms compared to patients who were only taking a placebo.
2. Green Tea
Research shows that green tea helps control heart rate and regulate blood pressure and some lesser studies have found that it reduces anxiety in humans. In one study, the test subjects prone to anxiety were found to be calmer and more focused during a test if they took 200 milligrams of green tea beforehand.
Yes, it is found in beer, but you will not get the soothing benefits of it by drinking a beer. The sedative compound found in hops is a volatile oil, which is only contained in extracts and tinctures such as those used in aromatherapy. Hops is often used as a sedative, to help promote drowsiness and induce sleep.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a sedative herb. It is a great aid for sleep, to treat insomnia. In fact, the German government has approved it as a treatment for sleep disorders. Valerian root smells unpleasant, so most people take it in capsules. Valerian root is often combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile and lemon balm.
Exercise is safe and good for the mind; it is also a powerful antidote against depression and anxiety, both in the short and long term. If you exercise regularly, you will have greater self-esteem and feel healthier. One of the main causes of anxiety is worrying about sickness and health, which dissipates when you’re in shape.
This flower is a sedative that the German government has approved to treat nervous anxiety. Some studies have found that it can reduce anxiety symptoms as effectively as prescription drugs. It is often used for insomnia. Like other sedatives, it can cause drowsiness. Be careful with the use of more than one sedative herb at a time and do not take passionflower for more than a month continuously.
The strong scent of lavender can be anti-inflammatory. One study found that patients waiting to see the dentist were less anxious if the waiting room was scented with lavender oil. In another study in Florida, students who inhaled the scent of lavender before a test felt less anxiety.
In a study in Germany, a specially formulated lavender pill was shown to reduce the anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder as effectively as Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication in the same class as Valium.
8. Deep Breathing
Yoga deep breathing has proven effective in reducing stress and anxiety. One reason it works is that you cannot breathe deeply and at the same time be anxious. To take a deep breath, exhale completely through your mouth, then inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this at least twice daily.
9. If you’re hungry, eat
Usually people tend to be more anxious and irritable when they’re hungry. Sometimes when you have an anxiety attack it may mean that your blood sugar is falling. The best remedy is to have a snack such as a handful of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate together with a glass of water or a cup of hot tea.
In the long run, a good diet is the key to reducing anxiety. You should eat a variety of whole foods, a diet based on vegetables with a little meat and seafood, green leafy vegetables (like kale) for folic acid and a variety of phytonutrients (natural chemicals found in plant foods) to help reduce anxiety.
Many people with anxiety disorders skip breakfast. Ideally, you should eat foods such as eggs for breakfast as it is a satisfying protein and a natural source of choline. Low levels of choline are associated with increased anxiety.
Fish oils are good for the heart, but can also help combat anxiety. In one study, students who consumed 2.5 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids per day for 12 weeks had less anxiety before an exam than students who took a placebo.
Experts generally recommend getting Omega-3 via food products whenever possible. Cold water fish such as salmon are the best sources of these fatty acids; anchovies and sardines also contain a lot of these fatty acids.
12. Heat up the body
Have you ever asked yourself why you feel so relaxed after a sauna or steam bath? Warming our body helps reduce muscle tension and anxiety. The feeling of heat can alter the neural circuits that control mood, including those affecting the neurotransmitter serotonin (the basic neurotransmitter that maintains emotional balance). Heating up the body is probably one of the reasons that exercise boosts your mood.