I suffer from anxiety. I’ve tried medications and although they can be helpful (especially for panic attacks), I prefer dealing with anxiety in natural ways.
Medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are often prescribed to treat anxiety, but if you’re like me, the idea of taking mind-altering medications isn’t a long-term solution.
The following all-natural methods can act as a supplement to the medication you’re already taking for anxiety, or as a general lifestyle change if you’re suffering from anxiety without a formally diagnosed anxiety disorder.
Here are 7 natural ways for dealing with anxiety…
While specific medicines prescribed by psychiatrists can be helpful when dealing with anxiety, there are also some great drug-free ways to combat it.
If your anxiety is debilitating enough to warrant medication, by all means, take your medicine.
If you just feel a little bit anxious, but you don’t feel that you need to see a doctor, you should try to incorporate these remedies as an overall lifestyle change to see if they help.
#1 – Try Mindfulness Meditation
A common misconception about mindfulness is that it is a spiritual practice carried out with the purpose of becoming enlightened or meeting a deity of some sort.
The truth is a lot simpler – the goal of mindfulness is to live your life in the present moment.
Anxiety arises when I’m too preoccupied with what the future holds. By focusing on the present moment, I can reduce my anxiety by concentrating fully on what I’m doing right then – not what might happen in 10 minutes or 10 days.
It’s easy to implement a mindfulness routine into your life:
- Start off with 5 minutes every day just focusing on the sensation of breathing.
- Do this for 2 weeks (increase by 1-2 minutes each day) and evaluate how much calmer you feel.
I meditate for at least 10 minutes every day now and it has really reduced my anxiety. There are many great guided meditations online to help you get started.
#2 – Journal Your Thoughts
Even though I have supportive friends and family – sometimes I just don’t want to talk about my feelings.
That’s when journaling can be really helpful.
Taking 10 minutes every day to write down your thoughts is a great way to reduce the burden of anxiety on your mind.
Similar to sharing your feelings with someone else, sometimes just writing them down and getting them out of your head can really help relieve anxiety.
There’s a reason people have been writing in journals for centuries – it’s good for the mind.
#3 – Do Something You Enjoy
Distractions sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re great for calming yourself down during a bout of anxiety.
The mood boost from watching your favorite movie or playing a musical instrument can last for hours after you’ve finished the activity.
I enjoy upcycling and crafting. I love taking something old and unusable (furniture, frames, mirrors, etc.) and giving it a new look.
Choosing a hobby and working on it when anxious thoughts arise can certainly push them out of the forefront of your mind.
Try to spend at least 30 minutes every day doing something you love and you’ll be sure to feel a little bit better about your anxious feelings.
#4 – Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea can take the edge off during a bout of anxiety.
The herbal treatment is not as effective as prescription medications are, but 2 cups of chamomile tea in the evening can make a world of difference to symptoms of anxiety.
The main benefit of drinking chamomile tea is a feeling of light relaxation that can help quiet your mind when you’re too focused on unpredictable future events.
#5 – Start Exercising
Working up a sweat isn’t just good for your physical health. Numerous health studies have supported the claim that regular exercise benefits mental health.
You don’t need to perform intense 60-minute workouts to get the mental benefits of exercise.
Start by walking briskly for just 30-minutes every day and you’ll be sure to notice a reduction in the severity of anxiety.
#6 – Begin Volunteering
Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile — all factors that help you treat anxiety.
Spending time helping someone (or something else) helps you take the focus off of yourself. You can look into volunteering in your local community and help underprivileged people, animals or organizations.
Feeling good about making a difference in someone else’s life is a great way to relieve anxiety naturally.
#7 – Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Just like everything in life, moderation is key. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder you may find that you begin to use alcohol to dampen your anxiety.
Over time, you may feel a greater need to drink to cope with anxiety, and you may choose alcohol over taking healthier steps to treat anxiety.
I no longer consume alcohol and that lifestyle change alone has really helped me deal with my anxiety.
I’m also an avid coffee lover! I do know that if I’m feeling stressed or anxious, it doesn’t always help to drink a big cup of caffeine-laden coffee.
Limiting alcohol and caffeine when you’re already dealing with anxiety can really help to reduce the effects of anxiety disorders.
More About Treatment For Anxiety
- 12 Of The Best Mindfulness Meditation Sites
- 7 Natural Herbs That Help With Anxiety
- Find Out What Volunteer Opportunity Is Best For You
- What Caffeine Does To Your Brain
- How To Start Exercising When You’re Already Overweight