Anxiety is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can get out of control. It is estimated that some 40 million Americans are affected by anxiety. For some, it can be paralyzing. For others, it can make everyday activities a constant (but surmountable) challenge. Many turn to prescription medications for relief, but are there viable natural anxiety solutions?
Yes. Many natural anxiety solutions can help reduce anxiety. We will cover five natural remedies that might help you de-stress and lower your anxiety levels. You can start using most of these solutions right now.
L-theanine is in black and green teas. It is an amino acid that has been shown to reduce blood pressure, sooth a rising heart rate, and reduce anxiety.
If drinking tea isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can buy L-theanine supplements at almost any health and fitness shop. It can be taken daily or when an anxiety episode starts. It has been shown to help anxiety-prone people feel calmer and more focused. The calming effect of L-theanine is usually felt within 30 minutes of taking the supplement and can last for 8 to 10 hours.
Valerian is a natural supplement proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and induce relaxation. It can (and does) cause drowsiness. Many anxiety sufferers take it before bed, so they achieve a good night of rest. Getting enough sleep helps reduce anxiety.
While it is not a replacement for some prescription medications, Valerian can be an alternative. Some people turn to it when they cannot afford a prescription. If you do choose to use it, be sure to let your doctor know, especially if you intend to use it regularly. According to HealthLine.com, research on using this herbal supplement to treat anxiety is lacking. But many anxiety sufferers do report positive effects from using it.
Before you look at this subheading and say nope, stop! We are not going to tell you to go buy a gym membership or start jogging at the park. In fact, if you have social anxiety, these may not even be options for you right now.
Research shows that exercise gives the brain a healthy release of endorphins and dopamine that cause a happy, “feel good” sensation almost immediately. It can combat oncoming anxious feelings and chronic anxiety.
You don’t have to hit the gym or jump on a treadmill every time you feel anxious. You don’t even have to step outside for a walk, though sunshine will help reduce anxiety, too. When you’re feeling anxious, take a few minutes to get up and DO something.
- Load the dishwasher
- Throw a load of laundry into the washer/dryer
- Tidy up a room
- Make the bed
- Walk the trash out
- Dance just because
These small movements can have the same mental effect of traditional exercise, and they are easy to do anytime, anywhere.
#4: Dark Chocolate
Do we have your attention?!
Anxiety can increase or come on when we are hungry, which is why it is so important to never skip a meal and incorporate small snacks between the day’s three big meals. Dark chocolate is a great in-between meal snack. It is sustainable and gives that quick relaxing sensation we all associate with a sweet treat.
Nuts are also a great snack food capable of curbing anxious and irritable feelings. Leafy greens have been shown to provide positive benefits in the anxiety reduction area as well. In fact, there is more to reducing anxiety than just a quick snack, which brings us to our final natural anxiety solution.
#5: Balanced Diet
Roughly 80% of Americans don’t eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Are you one of them?
A balanced diet is not a common accomplishment. Most of us feel we are too busy or unable to afford a balanced diet. But eating our fruits and veggies – and not skipping meals – is one of the most straightforward and effective natural anxiety solutions.
According to Robert Locke, there are food habits that actively increase anxiety. Skipping breakfast (or any other meal) is one. The foods we eat supply our body with needed vitamins and minerals. Deficiencies or roller coaster influxes of these elements can impact anxious feelings and contribute to chronic anxiety disorders.
What’s a solution? Plan your meals. Take the time to create, schedule, and stick to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
What Helps You?
Natural solutions that work for one person may be less effective for another, but most are free of side effects and easy to try. Remember that natural remedies take time and repeated use to achieve results. Don’t give up quickly.
Anxiety disorders are often the product of prolonged stress. Lifestyle changes can be highly effective in managing and reducing anxiety.
Do you use natural anxiety solutions to supplement or replace a prescription alternative?
Leave us a comment about what works for you.