When you have anxiety, you tend to feel overwhelmed by a lack of control. You can get fixated on problems, overthink things, and even feel physical symptoms in response to your thoughts and feelings.
Fortunately, you can use numerous coping skills and natural methods to help manage anxiety and find your footing.
Here are eight approaches to natural anxiety management:
Use Natural Supplements
There are a variety of natural supplements that can be used to help manage the symptoms of anxiety. Many people choose to use these to help offset the need for prescription medication. For years, people have been using natural herbs and remedies to soothe their nerves and calm their anxiousness.
A few natural supplements that help with anxiety include:
- ashwagandha ksm-66
- CBD oil
- lemon balm
Consider taking these in capsule or tea form to help ease your anxiety safely and affordably. Be sure to speak with a medical professional if you have any existing conditions or prescriptions in place.
Sweat it Out
Frequent exercise is one of the best natural remedies for anxiety. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that have a natural mood-boosting effect. Anxiety and depression can sometimes be tied to serotonin or dopamine imbalances in the body. Exercise can help regulate these levels by producing more dopamine and serotonin.
Endorphins have one core purpose in the body: fighting stress and pain. The body is unable to differentiate exercise stress from the natural response to fear or turmoil. As such, exercise releases these powerful chemicals to help you feel calm and in control, which lasts long after you’ve finished running or lifting weights.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps you get in touch with your inner self and let go of intrusive thoughts. It’s a focus technique that sometimes uses deep breathing, visualization, and solitude. While developing mindfulness often goes hand-in-hand with meditation, the core of your practice will be learning to be present in each moment.
When you practice mindfulness to help deal with anxiety, you dive into the issue and explore what’s bothering you. Then, you let go of things that aren’t in control and shift your attitude to one of acceptance and peace.
It takes time and dedication to practice mindfulness, but it’s a functional coping skill worth exploring.
Cut Out Stimulants and Substances
Sometimes the things we use to help fight stress and anxiety can cause us harm. Alcohol and substance use might cause a temporary feeling of calm but can also trigger a downward spiral into negative thoughts and dependency. When you use smoking and alcohol as your go-to method for dealing with anxiety, you’ll start to experience anxiety when they aren’t readily at hand.
It’s not only the notably harmful substances to watch out for when dealing with anxiety. Caffeine and stimulants can also exacerbate the issue, as many of the physical side effects of stimulants emulate that of anxiety disorders.
If you’re feeling anxious, consider swapping out your coffee with a caffeine-free alternative.
Try Forest Bathing
Shinrin-yoku, A.K.A. forest bathing, is the Japanese practice of getting back in touch with nature. While it may seem like a new age meditation practice, there are actually peer-reviewed scientific studies that measured a notable decrease in physical stress markers after forest bathing.
The practice is based on the biophilia hypothesis, which theorizes that humans, as living entities, have a deep connection to other life forms. If you’re not a nature lover, don’t worry— you don’t have to go deep into the woods and live off the land to make it work. Go for a quiet walk through a local park, or create your own private escape with house plants.
Grounding is a coping method that’s useful during an acute anxiety attack. If your anxiety peaks in response to specific triggers, having a grounding routine can be incredibly beneficial.
There are numerous ways to practice grounding yourself. You can start with something simple, like closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and counting to 100.
The 54321 method is another option that’s frequently used in treating anxiety. With this method, you find five things you can see, four you can feel, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. You can swap these variables out with other things, such as five shows you enjoy, four books, three songs, etc. The key is to slow down your breathing and shift your focus.
Grounding practice can incorporate anything from making lists of dog breeds to giving yourself a pep talk. Try different techniques and find the one that suits you best.
Create an Evening Self-Care Routine
For people with anxiety, the transition from activity to restfulness can be challenging to navigate. These are the people who end up lying awake at night stressing about things they have to do tomorrow or awkward moments from middle school.
Creating a self-care routine in the evenings, you can help your mind relax and let go of stressful thoughts from the day. This routine will put you in a restful state to ensure you get the sleep you need to conquer tomorrow.
Your self-care routine should consist of things that soothe you, whether it’s taking a bubble bath or listening to music.
Talk to Someone
If anxiety controls your life and keeps you from doing the things you love, consider talking to a professional. There’s still a huge stigma surrounding mental health and therapy. However, talking to a specialist can help you identify your triggers, work through underlying issues, and create personal coping methods to help you move forward.
When you’re feeling your anxiety flair up throughout the day, reach out to a trusted friend or loved one to vent. Be clear about what you need from them, whether its advice or just a listening ear. Never hesitate to reach out for help when things get tough.
Try a few of these strategies to help fight your anxiety and smash the barriers that hold you back from enjoying your life.