Pretty much everyone feels anxious from time to time due to daily stresses, upcoming events, and uncertain situations. But when anxiety gets in the way of normal activities, many people (and doctors) are quick to reach for prescription pills. Statistics reveal that at least 40 million adults in the U.S. have anxiety disorders but that only about 36.9 percent of people are receiving adequate treatment for their conditions.
However, prescription anti-anxiety medication is not necessarily the best solution. To avoid unexpected side effects and feelings that are potentially even worse, here are some natural remedy ideas for anxiety problems.
It’s a commonly known fact that tea has relaxation properties, especially teas containing chamomile. That’s because chamomile contains apigenin and luteolin, both natural chemicals that can help soothe you. Studies have been conducted to test the anxiety levels of patients who drank chamomile tea compared to patients who were given a placebo, and the tea-drinkers reported decreases in their symptoms.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are best known for their heart health benefits, but they may help ease anxiety symptoms as well. Many researchers believe that fish oil and other foods containing omega-3s can lower stress chemicals, such as cortisol and adrenaline, in the body. Good sources of omega-3s are salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
After a long, stressful day, there’s often nothing more relaxing that taking a hot bath. Consider adding some soothing essential oils or Epsom salts into your bath when you’re feeling anxious. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, which is known to calm anxiety.
More Time in Nature
Do you ever notice how much more refreshed and rejuvenated you feel after spending time outdoors? Nature (via sunlight) is the best source of vitamin D, and simply spending time out among plants, animals, or relaxing landscapes can go a long way in promoting long-term mental health.
When you feel overcome by anxiety, the last thing you probably feel like doing is exercising. However, one of the best forms of natural anxiety relief is to get your body moving. To get the best benefits, take your exercise outside and go for a walk or run. Exercise increases endorphin in the body, and it can make your feel better about yourself in a short amount of time.
Lavender is often used as an herbal for anxiety disorders because it is known to lower systolic pressure and stress. Lavender oil can be used in massage, or you can add a few drops of it to your bathwater. Lavender-scented bath products are readily available, and you can also add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to your bed pillow at night.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Taking a deep breath when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed can help keep you grounded and maintain control. But practicing deep breathing exercises on a regular basis goes much further than this. Meditation and deep breathing exercises help train the body to respond to future stress so you can keep it at a manageable level before it spirals out of control.
Just as Epsom salts are good for anxiety in the bath because of their magnesium content, so are magnesium-rich foods. If you are prone to anxiety, plan to incorporate more leafy greens, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, and bananas into your diet.
Reduced Caffeine Intake
Caffeine may be what fuels you throughout the day, but it could also be contributing to your anxiety problems. Reduce your caffeine intake by a cup per day to start, and see if your jittery feelings subside over a few days.
Consider trying a few of these natural remedies and preventative measures for anxiety before starting to take a new anti-anxiety medication. Always talk to your doctor or therapist about your symptoms and their severity to determine the best course of treatment for this all-too-common health issue.