Anxiety is a big problem in our world today. And I would bet that a lot of us battle it on a daily basis. With so much going on around us, it can be hard to relax and stay in the moment. I know I personally drift into future tripping so often, that it can feel like I’m always plagued by worries.
Struggling with this has helped me find some ways to naturally deal with anxiety. I must say though that there are many situations where professional help is needed and these recommendations are in no way meant to discourage you from doing that. Many times, it’s a long road we must take to find what works for us and that means trying many different things. You have to search for what will work best for you.
These are just some of the things that I have found that help me. And many people may find that it helps them too!
13 Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety
- Essential Oils – One of my favorite things to do at the office when I’m feeling overwhelmed, is to add a few drops of Stress Relief Synergy Blend to my diffuser. Smelling the beautiful aroma calms me and reminds me to breathe and be in the moment. Other great stress relieving essential oils include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and citrus.
- Yoga Poses – One of my favorite relaxation poses to do before bed is the Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose. Sit with your butt against the wall, letting your legs relax up the wall and lay your arms out flat on the ground. Stay here for 5 minutes, focusing on your breathing, to reduce stress. This is also a great detox pose, because the inversion drains the body of toxins and bad energy. Child’s Pose, Savasana, Seated Forward Bend and Standing Forward Bend are also great anxiety relieving poses.
- Acupuncture – I started doing acupuncture for my anxiety last year and have loved it ever since! It always calms my nerves and relaxes me. Acupuncturists insert needles half a millimeter away from your nerves to either produce painkilling chemicals, to encourage the body to heal itself or to stimulate the brain to control emotions and reduce anxiety.
- Detox Baths – Any bath can be relaxing, but a detox bath will also help your body by pulling out harmful toxins and by getting you some much needed relaxation through magnesium, which is found in epsom salt. Simply add 1 cup epsom salt, 1 cup of sea salt and 1/4 cup of baking soda and you’ve got yourself a relaxing detox bath. Add 10 drops of your favorite calming essential oil to make it extra soothing.
- Limit Your Caffeine – I know, this is a hard one, but limiting your caffeine intake really helps with anxiety. I first recommend switching to a lower caffeinated tea and then slowly weaning off from there. This will limit any discomfort or caffeine headaches. And if you need something warm to drink in the morning for a coffee-like substitute, try kukicha tea. It has a similar taste to coffee with less caffeine.
- Tea – There are many teas available that are relaxing and comforting and have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Chamomile is usually my go-to, but I also love lemon balm, St. John’s wort and valerian root. Try a cup before bed or when you’re feeling especially amped up during the day.
- Heal Your Body – A lot of our anxieties can come from health problems. I recently found out that I have Histamine Intolerance, and also a not-so-great liver, and one of the symptoms is anxiety and panic attacks. So, my anxiety is probably a little worse right now, while I’m trying to heal my body. Many gut issues, including leaky gut, SIBO and candida can come with anxiety as a symptom. Our gut bacteria are responsible for a lot of how we feel. And when they’re disrupted with gut issues, we just don’t feel as good. This is why I always recommend working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner. They will conduct tests to find out what is going wrong, and then prescribe diet changes and supplements to help you heal. Here’s a great link to help you find a Functional Medicine Practitioner in your area.
- Probiotics – Good gut health and a variety of good bacteria in the gut are associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression. So don’t forget to take your daily probiotic! And load up on those fermented foods, if your diet allows it. For more info on how gut bacteria affects mood, check out this post on Chris Kresser’s site by Amy Nett, MD.
- Supplements – Make sure that you’re getting your necessary daily amount of vitamins. Many people deficient in vitamin B, vitamin D and magnesium have been known to show signs of anxiety. My Functional Medicine Practitioner also recommended that I try supplementing with GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms down activity in the brain. So far, I have seen good results with it. 5-HTP is another supplement she recommended. It is a naturally occurring amino acid that increases the production of serotonin. As always, it is important to consult with your physician before trying any supplement and always follow the recommended dosage on the bottle.
- Adaptogenic Herbs – Ashwaganda, maca, rhodiola and holy basil are just a few adaptogenic herbs that not only reduce stress and stabilize moods, but also boost immunity, encourage liver detoxification and combat signs of aging. They basically improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your stress levels. These herbs can be taken as a tea, tincture or in a capsule. Frugally Sustainable even has an Adaptogenic Herbal Smoothie Mix made from adaptogenic herb powders that you can easily add into your morning smoothie. It is suggested to use one of these herbs daily for 3 months to see the best results.
- Be Easy On Yourself – When I’m feeling especially anxious, I’ve learned that it’s best to go easy on myself. This means not taking on extra tasks that I know will stress me out more, avoiding more difficult social functions or just spending more time relaxing at home. In short, this is not the time to push yourself. This is the time to relax and be gentle with yourself. Focus on self-soothing activities, like taking a bath, reading a good book or going on an easy walk.
- Set Boundaries – I’ve had to do this a lot lately. This might include setting boundaries with those around you, or with yourself. For example, I just set the boundary with myself that I’m not going to schedule any appointments on Mondays. This helps me prepare for the week without distractions. Dig into your own intuition and see what your body needs. In times of extra stress, we might need to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you, be vulnerable and speak up for what you need.
- Meditation & Breathing Techniques – I put these two together, because for me, they really go hand in hand. I love using the HeadSpace App for my meditation. They do a good job at connecting meditation with helpful breathing techniques. Meditation has taught me to slow down my brain and be more present in my body, be in the now. This relieves some of those future fears and constantly worrying about to-do lists.
There are a lot of things out there that can help relieve anxiety naturally. But the best suggestion I can give to anyone is to start with your health. I have finally started supplementing to support my liver and flush out this excess histamine, and I can’t tell you how much better my anxiety has been!
Of course, everyone’s experience is different. But I truly believe that most symptoms have an underlying cause that, when addressed, can make us feel immensely better. So, if you are interested in checking out functional medicine read my post Everything You Need To Know About Functional Medicine Practitioners.
Finally, I am not a doctor and none of this is meant to be taken as medical advice. These are just some natural things that I have found helped me relieve my anxiety.
What have you found that relieves your anxiety? What natural remedies do you use?
This post contains Mountain Rose Herbs and Amazon affiliate links. However, all of my opinions are my own and are not swayed by being an affiliate.