Did you know that anxiety is among the most common mental health issues faced by Americans, with more than 18% of adults affected by anxiety disorders? For those who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, an overwhelming sense of fear, tension and panic can be debilitating. While medications exist to help, there are also natural remedies that many prefer and have found to be more holistically beneficial.
In this blog, we decided to share our top five favorite ways to naturally relieve anxiety.
1. Getting outside
Getting out in the natural sunlight is proven to be good for your physical and emotional health. Sunlight naturally increases vitamin D levels, which can lower symptoms of both anxiety and depression. A short 15-minute walk out in the sunshine also lets you reap the benefits of getting fresh air and exercising. And the greener the outdoors, the better! A study in Japan found that people who walked through a forest had lower stress hormone levels than those who took a walk in an urban area. If you’re stuck in an urban area, try to find parks or a quiet tree-lined street for your outdoor time. The combination of exercise, fresh air and sunlight can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and rebalance your mind.
Meditation also helps to relieve chaotic thoughts and replace them with a sense of calm. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a Buddhist practice that has become part of mainstream therapy. According to Dr. Teresa M. Edenfield, Clinical Psychologist in the Veterans Administration Medical Center, “The act of practicing mindful awareness allows one to experience the true essence of each moment as it really occurs, rather than what is expected or feared.”
To begin meditating, simply bring focus to your breathing, making no effort to control the breath. Then, focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Continue to focus on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return it back to your breathing. For more assistance, check out some guided meditations.
3. Eating healthy
By staying hydrated, eliminating processed foods and eating healthy food, you can alleviate some of the symptoms that trigger anxiety. It can be difficult to recognize when our anxiety is being caused by hunger, dehydration or poor food choices because our worries are typically unrelated to the underlying cause. Therefore, it’s important to stay mindful of what we put or don’t put into our bodies.
Here are some foods that help to maintain a healthy mind/body balance:
- Peaches and blueberries contain nutrients that relieve stress and have a calming effect.
- Oranges and other foods rich in vitamin C help to regulate and lower the stress hormone cortisol.
- Spinach and green leafy vegetables high in magnesium are also known to help.
- Oats increase serotonin production and are high in fiber, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes that affect mood.
4. Taking a hot bath
A hot bath can calm the nerves and raise your body temperature, another factor known to help with anxiety. Some researchers believe that increasing your body heat alters the neural circuits controlling cognitive function and mood, including those that affect serotonin levels. A nice hot bath not only increases relaxation, it can clear your mind, boost your mood and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. For extra self-care, try lighting some candles, putting on a calming playlist and stirring some Epsom salts or natural aromatherapeutic oils into the hot bath.
5. Cannabidiol oil
Research suggests that CBD has broad therapeutic properties that treat a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, stemming from diverse central nervous system actions. In recent years, evidence of the CBD’s anti-anxiety effect shows that it exhibits both anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.
This is true even for social anxiety. In one interesting study, people with social anxiety disorder were asked to speak in front of a large audience. Researchers compared anxiety levels of participants who took CBD versus those who unknowingly took a placebo. The scientists found that those who took CBD reported significantly lower anxiety compared to those who took the placebo.
At Think Botanicals, we offer the highest quality, natural CBD products. If you’re interested in adding CBD to your self-care routine, give us a visit. We’d love to hear what other remedies you’ve found so far that help with stress and anxiety.